NEURODEVELOPMENTAL THERAPY (Based on the Bobath Concept) COURSE PROFILE 8-WEEK BASIC FOUNDATION PAEDIATRIC COURSE
This is a Basic Course in the assessment and treatment of children with cerebral palsy/cerebral-motor disturbances, presented under the auspices of the South African Neurodevelopmental Therapy Association (SANDTA). It is an intensive fulltime course presented at postgraduate level and is based on the curriculum suggested by the European Bobath Tutors Association (EBTA). It has been modified to some extent to meet local conditions. SANDTA courses are recognised internationally.
Who is the course for?
The Basic Course is open to qualified physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech-language therapists with at least two years full-time/equivalent postgraduate experience in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy (CP).
This course includes treatment and practical handling sessions in which you are expected to participate. If you have a medical condition which will affect your ability to 'move and handle' children and adults (practical sessions), it is your responsibility to assess the risk and inform us when you apply for the course.
Are there any pre-requisites for the course?
It is recommended that course applicants should have first attended the five-day Introductory Course in the assessment and management of children with CP. However, this is not compulsory, but simply a recommendation.
For the course to be more meaningful and to develop the skills acquired during the course, it is essential for therapists to be working with children with CP before and immediately after the course. SANDTA Tutors reserve the right to postpone the offer of a place on the course if the therapist has ceased working with children with CP or does not intend to work with this clinical group immediately following the completion of the course.
How is the course structured?
The course is presented over a period of eight (8) weeks, often split into two four (4)-week blocks to enable therapists to attend with greater ease. The course is full-time. Lectures and practical work take place from Monday to Friday and for 7 hours each day. Although some therapists may prefer a modular course, it is difficult to present the course in this format due to the geographical spread of participants and tutors.
Who presents the course?
The course leader is a qualified Neurodevelopmental Therapy/BobathTutor. An Occupational Therapy Tutor and Speech Therapy Tutor present the discipline specific parts of the course during the eight weeks. In most cases the tutors on a Basic Courses are SANDTA-qualified, but there may be occasions when international tutors with equivalent qualifications contribute to parts of the course. The course leader is assisted on a full time basis by another Bobath/NDT qualified therapist, also experienced in the treatment of children with cerebral motor disturbances. Additional part time assistants help out during clinical and practical sessions. Specialists in orthopaedics, paediatrics, neurophysiology, seating and orthotics may also present relevant parts of the course when this is possible to arrange. Social and family aspects are also included.
All Tutors work under the direction of the Education Sub-Committee of SANDTA, and this committee is responsible for developing and updating course content and material.
What is included on the course?
The course is designed to:
• Develop an understanding of Neurodevelopmental therapy (based on the Bobath concept) and relate this to the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and best available evidence for the treatment of children with cerebral palsy
• Provide theoretical knowledge of neurosciences, child development, classification of movement disorders, and the principles of assessment and treatment
• Advance clinical reasoning and handling skills in the assessment, treatment and management of children with cerebral palsy across all areas of functioning in daily life
To enable therapists to:
• Apply the knowledge of neuro-anatomy, neurophysiology and neuropathology to understand the variety of movement disorders of cerebral palsy and to be able to classify them
• Understand typical development and atypical sensorimotor development and its application to the treatment of children with cerebral palsy
• Develop skills in assessment and analysis of the functional limitations in a child with cerebral palsy
• Develop handling skills to effectively improve functional outcomes for children with cerebral palsy
• Plan and implement integrated programmes of management with hands-on practice through supervised clinical practice by course tutors
• Provide support to families in managing the needs of their children in home and social contexts
• Design programs of intervention for other contexts –school, recreation, etc.
The curriculum includes a comprehensive study of typical child development; the different types of CP and their impact on development; and analysis of movement – both theoretical and practical. Other aspects covered include – aetiology, neuropathology, neurophysiology, surgery, splinting and positioning.
A variety of tutors, including SANDTA tutor trainees, present lectures and do demonstrations on assessment and treatment, and the participants receive supervised instruction in the principles of assessment and treatment during interactive practical and clinical sessions.
This is a multi-disciplinary course and therefore the content of the courses includes specific aspects of the problems encountered by children with CP that are typically dealt with by Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists.
What else do I need to know?
• There will be occasions when home study is required over evenings and weekends.
• Course participants treat the children at the venue where the course is being presented, during one or two hour long clinical sessions a day. The children therefore benefit by having more treatment than is normally possible.The participants generally work in multidisciplinary pairs.
• Some clinical practicals with children may take place at other venues, e.g. special needs schools. The final week of the course usually takes place in a community setting. Course participants will need to make their own travel arrangements to these venues (usually course participants organize this amongst themselves and assist those course participants who do not have their own transport).
• Many of the participants are required to work alone in the community and the transfer of skills to parents/caretakers/teachers can only be achieved from a position of confidence in their own abilities to assess and analyse the presenting problems. Full-time attendance and participation is required to attain this standard.
What are the certification criteria?
Please note that FULL attendance of the course is a requirement for certification. A maximum absence of 3 days will be granted (at the course leader’s discretion) upon submission of a doctor’s note, or for unforeseen personal emergencies.
During the 8 weeks, participants will be evaluated on their written work, practical work and verbal presentations.
Evaluation focuses on the following:
a. Understanding and application of the concept as observed by clinical supervisors during clinical and practical sessions.
b. Handling skills
c. Clinical reasoning skills
d. Professionalism, punctuality, interaction (with fellow colleagues and children) and general work ethic
Details of the criteria for certification will be included in the pre-course package sent to participants prior to the course.