Defying Gravity: Understanding and Treating Children with Hypotonia
$250 – $449
Defying Gravity: Understanding and Treating Children with Hypotonia

Defying Gravity: Understanding and Treating Children with Hypotonia

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Allegany College of Maryland

12401 Willowbrook Road, SE

Cumberland, MD

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Event description


Dates: October 21-22, 2016

Instructor: Shelley Mannell, PT, BSc, BHSc, C/NDT

Who should attend:
Pediatric Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapist Assistants, Speech-Language Pathologists 

Course Description:
Hypotonia is a common denominator for many children presently referred for Physical and Occupational Therapy. This course focuses on the integration of different treatment approaches when providing services for children who display the clinical signs of low tone. The nature of postural tone will be explored with emphasis on research regarding the vestibular system and the contributions of gravity. The search for stability and motor development for the child with low tone will serve as a basis for understanding the challenges that life presents to such a child. Using a systems frame of reference, we will examine how difficulties impact postural stability and independent functional movement, including a discussion of diastasis recti in children. Techniques in Neuro-Developmental Treatment, soft tissue elongation, sensory processing and Dynamic Core for Kids will be presented within a clinical problem-solving model for assessment and treatment. The course will feature a combination of lectures, videos, handling labs and group problem solving.

Course Level: Beginner to intermediate

Method of Instruction:
Lecture, practical lab sessions, videotape demonstrations, case presentations

CEUs/State Approvals: 15 hours/1.5 CEUs
Applications have been submitted to the following state boards:

Occupational Therapy
Maryland - Approved by the Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy Practice for 15.0 Hours; Approval #:2015:221
Delaware - Approved by the State of Delaware Board of Occupational Therapy Practice for 15.0 Hours

Physical Therapy
Maryland - Approved by the Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 15.0 Hours.
Pennsylvania - Approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy for 15.0 Hours.Approval #:PTCE007411
Ohio - Approved by the APTA Ohio for 15.0 Hours; Approval #16S1617
New Jersey - Approved by the New Jersey State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 15.0 Hours. Approval #NJBPTE 2016-100
West Virginia - Approved by the West Virginia Board of Physical Therapy for 15.0 Hours. Approval #:CRES-F16-05
North Carolina - Approved by the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association for 15.0 Hours. Approval #NCPTA16-007

The Pennsylvania OT Board, Virginia PT and OT Board, and the Delaware PT Board accept board approval from any other state. Care Resources (Epic Developmental Services) is an Approved Provider for the New York PT Board.

Course Objectives:
Upon completion of this workshop the participant should be able to:
1. Identify the vestibular systems contributions to muscle tone and postural control.
2. Identify the anticipatory core musculature, postural stability and the contribution of IAP in typical development.
3. Identify and analyze the biomechanical movement compensations that a child with hypotonia develops
4. Identify diastasis recti and understand the possible implications of this condition for postural control.
5. Review major postural muscle attachments in relationship to anatomy of the spine, rib cage and identify the implications of soft tissue restriction on functional motor activities.
6. Assess the alignment of pelvis and rib cage in children with hypotonia during static and dynamic movement using Dynamic Core principles.
7. Describe the interconnections between emotional arousal and postural control that occur in children with hypotonia.
8. Apply basic soft tissue release techniques.
9. Demonstrate the NDT concepts of facilitation, key points of control, speed of movement and depth of touch as they can be applied in children with low tone.
10. Describe activities that promote hip extension connected to shoulder girdle activation using Dynamic Core principles.

Timed Agenda:
Day One
7:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 Welcome to gravity
8:15 The vestibular system and the development of muscle tone
9:00 Lab: development of the tonal base
10:00 Break
10:15 Systems view of development
10:45 Alignment – how many systems can you impact?
11:15 Lab: alignment
Noon Lunch
1:00 Postural stability and IAP
1:30 Pressure, Diastasis Recti and kids
2:00 Lab: alignment and handling
2:45 Break
3:00 Lab: alignment and handling part 2
4:30 Case presentation
5:00 Adjourn

Day Two
7:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 Q & A
8:15 Emotional arousal and postural control
8:45 Tone, alignment and soft tissue restriction
9:00 Soft tissue release: theory and practice
10:00 Break
10:15 It’s all connected: alignment, vestibular, proprioception & vision
11:00 Lab: integration
Noon Lunch
1:00 An ode to hip extension
1:30 Lab: hip extension
2:30 Break
2:45 Vive la résistance
3:00 Lab: resistance and handling
4:15 Case presentation
4:45 Wrap up
5:00 Adjourn

About the Instructor:
Shelley Mannell, PT, BSc, BHSc, C/NDT, has 25 years of experience in pediatric rehabilitation, serving babies, children and adolescents across a spectrum of neurological and developmental disabilities, and their families. She owns HeartSpace PT for Children, a private clinic offering a full range of services, in St. Catharines, Ontario. Shelley utilizes available research to inform the development of her clinical skills across multiple sensory and motor domains, to better serve children as they mature through the lifespan. She began teaching as a clinical faculty member in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Since 2002, Shelley has been an invited instructor at hospitals and children’s rehab centers across Canada, as well as the 2012 and 2013 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, discussing the development of postural control and treatment for children with motor challenges. Shelley is committed both to supporting therapists in their clinical development and assisting families in their journey to independence.

What Therapists Say About the Course:
“Shelley is awesome! She provided a lot of clear, useful info that was evidently based on a lot of experience and research.”

“Shelley has a great sense of humor and really connects with her audience”

What to Bring/Wear: Participants should bring a pillow and yoga mat. Please wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move in.

Meals: Continental breakfast will be provided; lunch is on your own.

Location/Directions: Continuing Education Building;

Parking Information: Parking is free and available in front of and behind the Continuing Education building.


Please check with Epic Developmental Services before making airline reservations. Epic Developmental Services cannot be responsible for non-course fee charges incurred by participants due to course cancellation.

Ramada Cumberland Downtown
100 South George Street, Cumberland, MD 21502, 301.724.8800
Ask for the Allegany College of Maryland rate of $101.46 (includes tax).

Rocky Gap Resort & Casino
Exit 50 off Interstate 68, Cumberland, MD, 16701 Lakeview Road, Flintstone, MD 21530, 301.784.8400
Ask for the Allegany College of Maryland rate of $120.00 (plus tax).

Fairfield Inn & Suites Cumberland
21 North Wineow Street, Cumberland, MD 21502, 301.722.0340
Ask for the Allegany College of Maryland rate of $119.00 (plus tax).


Questions about this course or your registration?

Please call us at 1.888.613.2275 or email us at

Can I update my registration information?

Yes, you can update your registration information in Account Settings.

What is the cancellation policy?

To cancel your registration, please send a written request via email or fax to or 410.583.9670, at least 21 days prior to a one/two-day course and 14 days prior to an hourly course. If you cancel after this date, and prior to the start of the course, you may receive a rain check (less the administrative fee) for a future Epic Developmental Services program. Refunds and rain checks will be issued within 15 business days. No refunds are possible after this time. If you are registered for a course and do not attend, you are still responsible for the course fee and no refunds or credits will be issued. Please review the refund policy below for applicable administrative fees based on course type.

What is the refund policy?

• One-day and Two-day Courses
Tuition, less a $50 administrative fee, is refundable with a written request and must be received at least 21 days prior to the start of the course. No refund is possible less than 21 days prior to a course.

• Hourly Courses (less than 7-hours)
Tuition, minus a $20 administrative fee, is refundable with a written request received at least 14 days prior to the start of the course. No refund is possible less than 14 days prior to a course.

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Allegany College of Maryland

12401 Willowbrook Road, SE

Cumberland, MD

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