APTA Pediatrics Education Hub

Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Clinical Reasoning Theater: Cerebral Palsy 9/20/2023

  • Registration Closed

This module will provide APTA student members with written case information, resources/readings, and learner assignments as preparation for engagement in a live virtual session where a pediatric physical therapist will present video footage of a physical therapy session of a child with Cerebral Palsy in the home setting. The physical therapist and learner will engage in dialogue to link patient and family goals to interventions, determine progression or regression of activities, discuss movement analysis, project future needs in multiple environments important to the child and family, and discuss child and family education. The learner will determine various tests/measures/interventions appropriate for this case prior to and during the clinical reasoning theater and the physical therapist will justify why they chose various measures. Following the live virtual session, the therapist will upload patient documentation and further explain various intervention and family education.

Learner Objectives:

Following the clinical reasoning theater, the learner will be able to:

  • 1)Identify pertinent data from the video case information to inform questions to ask and educational interventions to be provided during the child/family session.
  • 2)Justify the selection of tests and measures in determining the most appropriate measures for the particular video case including relevant case context and the ICF framework.
  • 3)Justify the rationale for each intervention utilizing evidence-based practice strategies and effective clinical reasoning skills.
  • 4)Determine future needs of the child and family to participate in identified, valued environments (e.g., home, community, school).
  • 5)If viewing multiple clinical reasoning theaters, compare and contrast the differences in the physical therapist examination and selected interventions across clinical practice settings. 

Lindsay Sawyer, PT, DPT

Dr. Sawyer earned her bachelor's degree in human biology with minors in nutrition and Spanish from North Carolina State University in 2013. She went on to graduate from Wingate University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2016. Since earning her degree, she has treated in adult inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient pediatrics and home health pediatrics settings. She is NDT certified and utilizes other specialized techniques such as TMR and aquatic therapy with her clients.

Marisa Birkmeier, PT, DPT, DHSc

Dr. Birkmeier is an Associate Professor and Program Director in The George Washington University (GW) Physical Therapy Program. She is a board-certified clinical specialist in pediatric physical therapy and currently practices at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC. Nationally, she serves as the APTA Pediatrics Clinical Reasoning Theater Committee Chair and Academic and Clinical Educator SIG Vice Chair. She co-directs a stand-alone pediatric physical therapy course in the GW Physical Therapy Program in addition to teaching a complex patient management course. Her scholarly activities focus on pediatric physical therapy education, clinical education, and assessment. Dr. Birkmeier earned her Master’s of Physical Therapy (2001) and Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy (2005) from Saint Louis University and her Doctorate in Health Sciences, Leadership in Clinical Practice and Education (2022) from The George Washington University.


Student Guide - Intervention Cerebral Palsy
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Lexi PT Evaluation Document
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Clinical Reasoning Theater 9/20/2023
09/20/2023 at 7:00 PM (EDT)  |  90 minutes
09/20/2023 at 7:00 PM (EDT)  |  90 minutes