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Development of Pediatric Independent Gait

presented by Kathy Martin, PT, DHSc

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Accreditation Check:

In order to understand how to appropriately plan interventions for children with gross motor delays, physical therapists must first understand typical development. Peer reviewed data regarding the maturation of typical gait will be discussed. Contemporary motor learning theory related to skill practice will be discussed as a framework for consideration of interventions to improve gait maturation in children with gross motor delays. Several intervention activities will be demonstrated that may improve gait skill.

Meet Your Instructor

Kathy Martin, PT, DHSc

Dr. Martin received a BA in Athletic Training from Purdue University in 1987, an MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1990, and a Doctor of Health Science from the University of Indianapolis in 2003. She joined the faculty of the Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis in…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Characteristics of Immature Gait

This chapter will review gait lab data on the characteristics of gait in toddlers and young children. Key differences from adult (mature) gait will be described. General time lines for maturation of gait will also be reviewed.

2. Key Changes with Maturation

This chapter will review the key differences between immature toddler gait and mature adult gait. This will include gait lab data on spatial temporal characteristics and EMG data for muscular activities. Sutherland et al's statistical analysis of the characteristics of mature gait will also be discussed.

3. Motor Learning and Gait Development

This chapter will review several theories on motor development and motor learning and apply them to the development and maturation of independent gait. The work of Dr. Karen Adolph (with typically developing children) will be reviewed for context on the role of practice for development of gait.

4. Implications for Clinical Practice

The first 3 chapters discussed typical development of independent gait, and in this chapter that information will be applied to clinical practice. Intervention activities will be suggested for children who are delayed in achieving independent gait.

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