BOBATH/ NEURODEVELOPMENTAL THERAPY BASIC 8 WEEK PAEDIATRIC COURSE PROFILE

The Basic Course in the assessment and treatment of children with cerebral palsy /cerebral-motor disturbances is presented under the auspices of the South African Neurodevelopmental Therapy Association. It is an intensive course presented at postgraduate level and is based on the course presented by EBTA (European Bobath Tutors Association). 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 available to physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech therapists with a least two years full-time/ equivalent postgraduate experience in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy.
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 the tutor/course leader accordingly.
 
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 Cerebral Palsy. This is not compulsory, 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 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 work with children or does not intend to work with them immediately following the completion of the course. 
 
How is the course structured?
It is difficult to present this course on a modular basis, due to the geographical spread of participants and tutors. The course is presented over a period of 8 weeks, often split into two 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.
 
Who presents the course?
The course is presented by a qualified SANDTA Tutor. The Tutor will have undergone a training process to be certified by the Neurodevelopmental Therapy Association. The course leader is usually a physiotherapist, and is assisted on a full time basis by another therapist, also experienced in the treatment of children with cerebral motor disturbances. Additional part time assistants help out during clinical and practical sessions. Specialist in such fields as orthopaedics, paediatrics, neurophysiology, seating and orthotics also lecture to the students when possible. Social and family aspects are also included.
Additional lectures by experts in certain fields (e.g. neonatology; neurophysiology; seating) may be included.
 
All SANDTA Tutors serve on the Education Committee which keep the courses updated with current knowledge
 
What is included on the course?
The curriculum includes a comprehensive study of typical child development, the different types of cerebral palsy 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 give demonstrations on assessment and treatment and the participants, during interactive sessions, are instructed in the principles of assessment and treatment and supervised during practical and clinical sessions.
The course also covers the specific Occupational therapy and Speech therapy aspects of the problems encountered by children with cerebral palsy.
 
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 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, and a maximum absence of 3 days, with a doctor’s note or under emergency conditions and at the course leader’s discretion, will be admissible
During the course participants will be assessed on their written work, practical work and verbal presentations.
 
You will be evaluated 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

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