Occupational & Physical Therapy Management of SCI: A Functional Treatment Approach

May 6-7, 2023
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturday

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Sunday


Early Bird Special:  $495.00

[Click to Register on our Partner's Site

Course Description

Founded in 2004, SCI Seminars presents a comprehensive approach to the treatment of the spinal cord injured (SCI) client from onset of injury through acute inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Rehabilitation from moment of injury to “highest potential” is a lengthy, complex and extraordinary process requiring support from all medical disciplines, as well as family and friends. Expert presenters from several nationally-recognized facilities share evidence-based and experienced-based treatment techniques and considerations through lecture, video, discussion and lab activities. Participants with all levels of experience will learn to more effectively and efficiently progress their clients with spinal cord injury to reach their highest functional level. Course is most appropriate for physical therapists (PTs), physical therapy assistants (PTAs), occupational therapists (OTs), and occupational therapist assistants (COTAs), but any health care discipline is welcome.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • All participants will accurately determine neurological level and classification for at least 3 cases from provided International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) exam data using ASIA Guidelines.
  • All participants will be able to correctly describe 5 common medical complications associated with spinal cord injury and how they impact patient care, treatments and outcomes.
  • All participants will design a treatment intervention plan to promote increased independence of clients with cervical and thoracic levels of injury based on videos of functional activities as well as discussion of case studies and practice of handling skills.
  • All participants will be able to independently suggest at least 1 intervention to promote upright sitting posture in a manual or power wheelchair.
  • All participants will be able to effectively assess the learning of another participant while attaining and maintaining a wheelie in an ultralight manual wheelchair for progression of community mobility skills.
  • Following review of a video case study, Physical Therapy participants will properly analyze 3 common gait deviations.
  • Occupational Therapy participants will be able to identify and apply at least 1 hand splinting technique for those with SCI.
  • Occupational therapy participants will cite 2 preparatory skills necessary to independently manage lower extremity dressing.
  • Occupational therapy participants will task analyze a hand-to-mouth pattern for feeding and grooming.

About the Instructors

Laura Wehrli, PT, DPT, ATP, NCS, graduated from Temple University with a Master's Degree and later a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She began her career in spinal cord injury rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY in 2000. In 2004, she transitioned to Craig Hospital near Denver, CO as a staff PT, supervisor, and currently, serves as the Director of Physical Therapy. She teaches as associated faculty for the University of Colorado's DPT program, is a past-president of the Therapy Leadership Council (TLC) of ASCIP and a current member of the Academy Program Committee. Laura has been a professional educator with SCI Seminars since 2008.


Rafferty Laredo, OTR, MA, is the Executive Director of United Spinal Association of Houston, providing resource education, medical supplies, peer support, and community-based health and wellness opportunities to his local community. Additionally, Rafferty is a community-based occupational therapist for patients living with complex neurological involvement. Prior to these current roles, Rafferty served an 11-year career at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) as clinical staff OT, manager, and clinical coordinator. He has been a professional educator with SCI Seminars since 2011.


Rachael Houtman, PT, DPT, NCS, ATP, graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Medicine, with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her career in spinal cord injury rehabilitation began at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA in 2012. She transitioned from the acute care setting to inpatient rehab at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital where she worked as a member of the leadership team on the spinal cord injury service for 7 years. While she continues in both hospital settings per diem, her current practice is in outpatient and community-based environments where she works primarily with individuals who have experienced SCI/D and other neurologic injury assisting patients as they transition home and navigate life within the community. Rachael is a member of the APTA, a current board member of the Therapy Leadership Council (TLC) of ASCIP, as well as a current board member of the United Spinal Association's Greater Philadelphia Chapter. She has given national and local presentations through these organizations and is an adjunct faculty member for Thomas Jefferson University's DPT program.


Day 1, 8-5 pm CST
7:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 Introduction, goals and objectives
8:15 International Standards for Neurological Classification of SCI (ISNCSCI) - formerly ASIA testing and classification
9:15 Functional outcomes by level of injury
10:15 Break
10:30 Mobility progression for individuals with paraplegia (video demonstration)
11:45 Sexual function after SCI
12:15 Lunch (on your own)
1:15 Lab break-out session (lab time may be changed depending on facility restrictions)

  • OT – UE taping and modalities
  • PT – Mobility progression for paraplegia

2:30 Management of shoulder dysfunction
3:15 Break
3:30 Bowel and bladder management

4:30 Advance transfers and wheelchair skills (video demonstration)
5:00 Adjourn

Day 2, 8-4 p.m. CST
7:30 Course Sign-in/Continental Breakfast

8:00 Durable medical equipment and home modifications
8:45 Treatment progression for C6 level of injury (video demonstration)
10:00 Break
10:15 Wheelchair seating and positioning
11:15 Psychosocial considerations
11:45 Lunch (on your own)

OT Sessions
12:45 OT Intervention (lecture/video demo) ADLs, splinting, UE considerations (lab)

PT Sessions
12:45 Treatment considerations for motor incomplete injuries (lecture)
2:00 C6 Mat progression lab
3:15 Advanced wheelchair skills lab

4:00 Questions, Discussion & Wrap Up



Texas Children's Hospital Feigin Center

1st Floor Conference Room A
1102 Bates Street
Houston, TX 77030

Click here for directions

Hotel Accommodations


1709 Dryden Road
Houston, TX 77030

United States


+1 346.388.0412

Book your corporate rate for Texas Children's Project Rate

Nightly rate: $122.00 (price varies based on room availability)

For More Information


Send us an email


Who Should Attend

Course is most appropriate for physical therapists (PTs), physical therapy assistants (PTAs), occupational therapists (OTs), and occupational therapist assistants (COTAs), but any health care discipline is welcome. Day 1 may be helpful for nursing professionals, but CMEs are not typically pursued.


Beginner-to-intermediate level course.


14.25 contact hours or CCU's.