Course Description

Postural control is widely accepted as the foundation for all functional motor skills; gross motor, fine motor and oral motor as well as phonation and articulation. However few therapists feel mastery in understanding the interconnections, assessment, clinical reasoning skills of treatment and development of home program strategies to address the various components of this complex phenomenon. This course is a deep dive into this subject; we utilize a contemporary model of postural control grounded in dynamic systems theory as the framework for developing the theoretical understanding and practical skills for 12 individual components as well as discussions of the interconnections between these systems. Each of the 12 modules includes an article for pre-reading, a lecture (with videos to illustrate concepts) and a practical application exercise. The total course is 6 hours in length plus readings and suggested practical assignments for a total of 10 contact hours. The purchase price includes 90-day access to the course and a curated library of articles and resources on postural control. $250.00 USD

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction to Postural Control

    • Article: Changes in Posture Control Across the Life Span - A Systems Approach

    • Quiz: Changes in Posture Control Across the Life Span - A Systems Approach

    • FFF Intro to Postural Control handout

    • Introduction

    • Typical Development Highlights

    • Atypical Development Highlights

    • Independent assignment: Pondering postural control

    • Additional resource: Postural variability and sensorimotor development in infancy

  • 2

    Muscle Tone

    • Article: Spasticity and Its Contribution to Hypertonia in Cerebral Palsy

    • Quiz: Spasticity and Its Contributions to Hypertonia in Cerebral Palsy

    • FFF Muscle Tone handout

    • Introduction

    • The Neurological Component

    • The Mechanical and Dynamic Holding Components

    • Assessment

    • Treatment

    • independent assignment: Muscle tone

  • 3

    Emotional Regulation

    • Article: Patterns of Postural Sway in High Anxious Children

    • Quiz: Patterns of Postural Sway in High Anxious Children

    • FFF Emotional Regulation handout

    • Introduction

    • Typical Development of Emotional Self-Regulation

    • Development of Dysregulation

    • Recognizing Dysregulation

    • Supporting Emotional Regulation

    • independent assignment: Emotional regulation

  • 4

    Musculoskeletal Components

    • Article: Functional adaptation of tendon and skeletal muscle to resistance training in three patients with genetically verified classic Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

    • Quiz: Functional adaptation of tendon and skeletal muscle to resistance training in three patients with genetically verified classic Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

    • FFF Musculoskeletal Components handout

    • The Importance of Movement Observation

    • Contribution of the Skin

    • Assessment

    • Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA)

    • Assessing Alignment

    • Treatment Considerations

    • independent assignment: Musculoskeletal components

    • Additional resource: Modified Ashworth Scale

    • Additional resource: Tardieu Scale

    • Additional resource: Beighton Scale

    • Additional resource: 2D digital photography for child body postural evaluation

  • 5

    Neuromuscular Synergies

    • Article: Muscle synergies and complexity of neuromuscular control during gait in cerebral palsy

    • Quiz: Muscle synergies and complexity of neuromuscular control during gait in cerebral palsy

    • FFF Neuromuscular Synergies handout

    • Introduction

    • Assessment: Moro

    • Assessment: TLR

    • Assessment: ATNR

    • Treatment Options

    • independent assignment : Neuromuscular synergies

    • Additional resource: The Correlation between Primitive Reflexes and Saccadic Eye Movements in 5th Grade Children with Teacher-Reported Reading Problems

  • 6

    Anticipatory and Reactive Mechanisms

    • Article: Effects of inspiratory muscle training in children with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial

    • Quiz: Effects of inspiratory muscle training in children with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial

    • FFF Anticipatory and Reactive Mechanisms handout

    • Anticipatory Mechanism Introduction

    • Dynamic Core for Kids

    • Assessing Central Alignment

    • Treatment: Making A Beginning

    • Reactive Mechanism Introduction

    • Reactive Mechanism Assessment

    • Reactive Mechanism Treatment Part 1

    • Reactive Mechanism Treatment Part 2

    • Independent assignment: Anticipatory and Reactive Mechanisms

    • Additional resource: BESTest

    • Additional resource: Mini BESTest

    • Additional resource: Pediatric Balance Scale

    • Additional resource: Early clinical Assessment of Balance

  • 7

    The Vestibular System

    • Article: Anatomy of the Vestibular System

    • Quiz: Anatomy of the Vestibular System

    • FFF The Vestibular System handout

    • Introduction

    • Special Consideration: The Head and Neck

    • Assessment

    • Treatment

    • Independent assignment: The vestibular system

    • Article: Modification of the Postrotary Nystagmus Test for Evaluating Young Children

    • Additional resource: Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance (CTSIB)

    • Additional resource: Modified CTSIB

    • Additional resource: Community Balance and Mobility Scale

  • 8

    The Visual System

    • Article: Vision in children and adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder- Evidence for reduced convergence

    • Quiz: Vision in children and adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Evidence for reduced convergence

    • FFF The Visual System handout

    • Introduction

    • Functional Eye Movement Observation

    • Assessment

    • Treatment

    • Independent assignment : The visual system

    • Additional resource: Opthalmic abnormalities in children with developmental coordination disorder

  • 9

    The Proprioceptive (and Tactile) Systems

    • Article: Assessing proprioception in children- A review

    • Quiz: Assessing proprioception in children: A review

    • FFF The Proprioceptive/Tactile System handout

    • Introduction

    • Assessment

    • Treatment

    • Independent assignment :The proprioceptive/tactile system

    • Additional resource: Comprehensive observations of proprioception

    • Additional resource: The effects of whole body vibration on mobility and balance in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review with meta-analysis

  • 10

    Internal Representations and Stability Limits

    • Article: Early brain damage affects body schema and person perception abilities in children and adolescents with Spastic Diplegia

    • Quiz: Early brain damage affects body schema and person perception abilities in children and adolescents with Spastic Diplegia

    • FFF Internal Representations handout

    • A Word About Sensory Strategies

    • What Is Internal Representation?

    • Assessment

    • Treatment

    • Independent assignment: Internal representation

  • 11

    Cognitive Resources

    • Article: Effect of dual-task training on postural stability in children with infantile hemiparesis

    • Quiz: Effect of dual-task training on postural stability in children with infantile hemiparesis

    • FFF Cognitive Resources handout

    • Introduction

    • Treatment

    • Integration

    • Independent assignment: Dual task training

    • Aditional resource: A neurocognitive perspective on developmental disregard in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

  • 12

    Conclusion

    • Wrapping Up

    • Foundation for Function Course References handout

Course Objectives

On completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Explain 12 main components of a contemporary model of postural control.

  • Identify a selection of special topics related to each component and their relevance to clinical practice.

  • Choose appropriate treatment techniques to address deficits in each of these 12 components including 4 individual sensory systems.

  • Choose appropriate formal assessments for each of these 12 components.

  • Demonstrate clinical reasoning skills in developing an appropriate assessment and treatment planning to address postural control and functional motor skills for children with different diagnoses.

  • Build a curated collection of articles on postural control.