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Variable and Adaptive Postural Control in the First Year of Life

presented by Stacey Dusing

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Variability is a key component of typical development. A lack of variability in development may be related to developmental delay. This course will describe the development of variable and adaptive postural control in typical development and in infants at high risk of disabilities. The role of early experience in development will be highlighted. The implication for assessment is highlighted.

Meet Your Instructor

Stacey Dusing, PT, PhD, PCS

Dr. Dusing is a board certified pediatric physical therapy specialist with over 15 years of clinical and research experience with infants and children. Dr. Dusing is currently associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University where she directs the Motor Development Laboratory. Her research focuses on postural control, reaching development and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Background on Postural Control

This chapter will start with an overview of postural control terminology. Next we will review the historical assessment of postural control.

2. Perception Action and the Role of Experience in Postural Control

This chapter will present the theoretical background for the impact of the environment on postural control. Perception action theory will be interpreted and linked to the typical variability seen in infant development.

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3. Development of Variable and Adaptive Postural Control

This chapter will introduce the concepts of postural statistical variability and postural complexity as important factor in development. In addition, the role of postural adaptability will be highlighted. Comparisons of development of variable and adaptive postural control in child who are typically developing and those with motor delays will be included.

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4. Postural Control: Implication for Assessment

This chapter will discuss the implications of variable and adaptive postural control on clinical assessment of infants.

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Parent Child Interaction: Why Intervention Must Start Early

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Infants born preterm or with a high risk of disabilities benefit from developmentally supportive interactions. Therapy alone cannot meet the needs of these infants without the support of parents to integrate supportive experiences into the infants’ daily routine. This course will present evidence on how parent-child interaction influences development and provide examples of how parents can be engaged to support learning and development. Parent and therapist collaboration can improve developmental outcomes, and it is important that the therapist understands their role in this process.

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A large body of evidence suggests a tight coupling between motor and cognitive development. Yet physical therapy education often focuses only on motor development. This course will demonstrate the relationship between motor and cognitive skills in the first year of life and will introduce intervention strategies that can be used with infants and young children to enhance the integrated development of motor and cognitive skills. The application of theory to clinical examples will enhance learners’ ability to support motor and cognitive development.

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