Infants Born Pre-Term: Identifying & Addressing Their Special Needs in Early Infancy to Support Development

April 1-3, 2022

8-5 PM Friday CST

8-5 PM Saturday CST
8-4 PM Sunday CST



[Click Here to Register on our Partner's Site]

Course Description

Have you ever felt “at a loss” when treating a one-month-old or an infant whose chronological age hasn't yet reached term? Have you ever assessed an infant born preterm and seen movement issues that weren't reflected in the norm-referenced tests and checklists? In this course, you will learn how to assess and treat movement dysfunction in infants born preterm beginning at NICU discharge. We will assess movement pattern differences on which to build effective treatment interventions and address the challenges unique to the population of infants born preterm. Assessment skills will be appropriate for clinic follow-up as well as for use in early intervention programs. Intervention handling and facilitation techniques will be introduced for use during functional activities with infants born preterm. You will learn to prioritize and adapt baby treatment techniques to accommodate for the special energy, respiratory, visual, and medical needs of infants born preterm. Interventions and techniques will be appropriate for in-home early intervention and parent coaching.

The instructor will use lecture, video, lab, and problem-solving formats. During the lab components, you will learn to treat by working with other class participants and with dolls. You should bring a beach town (or yoga mat), a 20” Raggedy Ann-type doll, and wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to move in.

Practitioners will refine treatment skills of infants born preterm through effective facilitation techniques to be used during functional activities. Labs will guide treatment training that can be used in clinics and early intervention.

Course Objectives

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

· Compare and contrast developmental movement components in infants born full-term and preterm from birth.

· Identify insufficient and atypical movement components seen in infancy that will interfere with the development of functional activities and development of coordination as the child reaches school age.

· Apply knowledge gained about respiratory, visual, auditory, and physical challenges to effectively enhance infant treatment techniques to better meet the needs of infants born preterm and their families.

· Identify strengths and weaknesses of assessment tools commonly used for very young
infants born preterm.

About the Instructor

Jan McElroy, PT, Ph.D., graduated from the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Missouri, completed a Master's of Science in Physical Therapy and a PhD in Pediatric Science from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. She draws from over 40 years of pediatric experience with the 0-3 year old population in a wide range of settings, including NICU, acute care, Early Intervention, outpatient, and inpatient rehabilitation. Jan owns a private pediatric PT practice in Columbia, Missouri. Her teaching experience includes clinical, classroom, and continuing education settings. She served as the primary physical therapy faculty on the Maternal-Child Health, LEND grant at the University of Missouri for 20 years. Currently, Jan serves on the national developmental care panel to publish developmental care guidelines for the NICU. Her continuing education teaching focuses on baby treatment, assessment, and treatment of infants born preterm, serial casting and temporary foot supports, and gait. Jan is co-director of the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Continuing Education series in Neonatology and Infants Studies. She is currently conducting research in lower extremity movement patterns in infants born full-term and preterm, gait, hypotonia, and movement in children with autism.


Day 1

08:00-08:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast

08:30-09:30 Applying Synactive, Neuronal & Dynamic Systems Theory to
interventions and outcomes

09:30-10:15 Problem-Solving Home Care Activities based on Synactive Theory

10:15-10:30 BREAK

10:30-11:30 Theories of Neuronal Group Selection & Dynamic Systems

11:30-12:00 Problem-Solving Home Care Activities (continued)

12:00-01:00 LUNCH (on your own)

01:00-03:00 Comparing Developmental Outcomes of infants born term &

preterm…are the differences important?

03:00-03:15 BREAK

03:15-05:00 LAB: Handling Skills – Impact of COM/BOS, gravity & biomechanics

on infant movement

Day 2

07:30-08:00 Sign-in/Continental Breakfast

08:00-10:30 LAB: Handling Skills – Balance between trunk flex/ext, postural

control & the complexity of weight shifts

10:30-10:45 BREAK

10:45-12:00 The Challenge of Breathing for Infants Born Preterm

12:00-01:00 LUNCH (on your own)

01:00-03:00 LAB: Respiration, impact of positioning on movement &


03:00-03:15 BREAK

03:15-05:00 Effect of vision, auditory, GI & MS systems on movement &


Day 3

07:30-08:00 Sign-in/Continental Breakfast

08:00-10:30 Putting it all Together: Techniques, Equipment & the Systems

10:30-10:45 BREAK

10:45-12:00 Evidence-based assessment tools – choosing the right tool: AIMS,


12:00-01:00 LUNCH (on your own)

01:00-02:45 Synthesis Activity – case analysis, video analysis &/or discussion

02:45-03:00 BREAK

03:00-04:00 Synthesis Activity (continued)


Texas Children's Hospital Feigin Center


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

Click here for directions


Coming soon....

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Who Should Attend

Audience: Designed for PTs, PTAs, OTs, OTAs, SLPs, PAs, EI Specialists, and Physicians working with infants born preterm in the 0-3 population.


21 contact/CEU hours