Babies’ Bodies & Brains: Multi-System Assessment & Treatment of the Premature/Medically-Complex Infant for the Rehabilitation Professional- LIVE WEBINAR- Two Sessions LIVE WEBINAR

November 11-12, 2023

8-5 p.m. CST Saturday & Sunday  



[Click here to register on our Partner's site]

Course Description

This course “Babies' Bodies and Brains: Multi-System Assessment and Treatment of the Premature/Medically Complex Infant for the Rehabilitation Professional “ complements Holly's other course Baby Beat and Breaths: Therapeutic Interventions for the Premature Infant with Cardiopulmonary Compromise”. These courses are not sequential in nature and may be taken in any order. If you have not taken either course before, Holly recommends taking the course titled “Babies' Bodies and Brains: Multi-System Assessment and Treatment of the Premature/

Medically Complex Infant for the Rehabilitation Professional” first.

This intermediate-advanced course will provide a systems-based approach to assess the premature/medically complex infant in the NICU/PICU setting. This course will focus on understanding the co-morbidities associated with prematurity and medically complex infants and increase critical reasoning skills for the clinician to create treatment plans to advance motor and feeding skills for the infant. It will build on information provided during the “Baby Beats and Breaths” course but can be a stand-alone course for advanced clinicians working with medically complex infants. This course will provide the clinician with hands-on treatment techniques for positioning/
handling infants in the Small Baby unit (infants under 32 weeks gestation), oral motor interventions to support pre-feeding/feeding development, edema management including lymphatic facilitation, post-surgical considerations for infants, trunk facilitation to support cough development, extremity facilitation to support ribcage development, pelvic floor activation for stooling, abdominal facilitation for infants with GI complications, scar assessment/treatment, and feeding techniques for infants with multi-system co-morbidities

Participant Requirements for the course: In order to maximize the learning experience during lab time, each participant needs to bring a soft body doll. The ideal size would be 10-15”, but any soft body doll will work.

Course Objectives

Following completion of this course, participants will be able to:


  • Identify three anatomical and kinesiological developmental changes for the premature and newborn thoracic and abdominal cavity as related to motor development for oral feeding and postural control.
  • Apply at least two positioning/handling interventions for small babies, with focus on interventions for infants 28 weeks and younger.
  • Identify three neurological and gastrointestinal co-morbidities of prematurity (including anatomical changes post-surgical interventions for necrotizing enterocolitis) and the effects those co-morbidities have on feeding/motor development for the infant.
  • Differentiate the lymphatic system of the premature infant from that of the full-term infant and how those differences affect feeding skills.
  • Assess infant edema within face, extremities, and trunk using objective measurements.
  • Apply two treatment strategies with positioning, handling and manual edema mobilization using the provided case study.
  • Integrate a systems approach to a current individualized care plan for a premature and/or medically complex infant.

About the Instructor

Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS, has worked in pediatrics for the past 26 years with the past 16 years in a level IV NICU. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, Certified Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapist, Certified Brain Injury therapist, a member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and has completed 6-month mentorship in infant/child NDT.

She has worked within the NICU and NICU follow-up clinic to maximize patient and family outcomes for the most complex premature and medically-fragile term infants. Holly received her BS in OT from the University of North Dakota. She is a faculty member for the Neonatal Touch and Massage certification; and Manuel Edema Mobilization training. She is the recipient of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Clinical Excellence award in 2018, due to her clinical expertise and dedication to advancing the therapeutic interventions for NICU infants with cardiopulmonary conditions.


Coming soon....



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Who Should Attend

This course is recommended for intermediate to advanced neonatal therapists, PTs, PTAs, OTs, OTAs, and SLPs, working with infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


15 contact/CEU hours