This course teaches pediatric therapists how to connect the neurobiology of the various parts of the brain with the sensory-motor development and function they work on in their pediatric population. In this one-day course, therapists will learn about how the brain develops, the neurobiology of cerebral cortex, limbic system, cerebellum, basal ganglia, and brain stem, as well as the sensory systems (visual, vestibular, and tactile systems).  In each section, the instructor applies neurobiology to both function and application to treatment, allowing therapists to synthesize and understand the material to bring it into functional application in creative and appropriate treatment activities.

Learning Objectives
Participants completing this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the stages of development of the central nervous system in utero.
  1. Explain the functions of the brain stem, cerebral cortices, thalamus, and insula.
  2. Recognize the role that the cerebellum and basal ganglia have on sensory processing and motor control.
  3. Summarize the autonomic nervous system’s role in the regulation of emotion and behavior.
  4. Recognize the role that the somatosensory system, visual, and vestibular systems have on motor control, emotional regulation, and behavior.
  5. Analyze and treat somatosensory and visual-vestibular skills in the pediatric population.
  6. Demonstrate five specific treatment activities integrating the concepts presented in this course.

Course Level 

This course could apply to all levels – there will be new perspectives for advanced therapists and introductory therapists will be able to grasp initial concepts to start incorporating smaller pieces into their practice.

Target Audience

This course has been presented to PT, OT, and SLP over the past 15 years working in various treatment  facilities including hospitals,  schools, and outpatient. The video demonstrations and treatment  techniques are geared more toward children with higher levels of mobility as well as ability  to follow directions. However, the information  has been applied to lower functioning children as we discuss how to correlate the neurobiology  to a variety of populations.  Speech therapists who work in environments that allow for them to be dynamic and utilize movement in their treatment sessions may find the class more relevant than speech therapists who focus more specifically on seated desk work and language skills. Therapists who are curious about the brain and it’s connection to treatment will benefit from the class.

This course applies to Speech Therapy by providing an understanding of cognitive development in applying treatment concepts. At the end of this course, therapists will have a functional knowledge of neurobiology,  the somatosensory and visual-vestibular systems in the pediatric population. They will be able to utilize this knowledge immediately to augment their current practice.



Apr 2, 2024, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM PDT


Instructor: Janine Wiskind, MS, OTR/L