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PSIG Event: "Autism Moves"
Thursday, April 07, 2022, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM MDT
Category: SIG Events

“Autism Moves”: The Impact of Gross Motor Ability in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and What We Can Do to Optimize Health, Participation, and Overall Quality of Life

Join the APTA Colorado Pediatric SIG for this virtual event. 

When: Thursday, April 7, 2022 | 6:30pm MT

As of December 2021, 1 in 44 children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is a complex, multidimensional, neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication skills and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Most research and interventional strategies have historically been focused on these two areas, despite motor impairment being a documented co-morbid feature of ASD for many years. Qualitative research shows that both parents and primary care providers do not view motor impairments as a priority, and even some Physical Therapists report being unsure of their role in the management of children with ASD. However, there is mounting evidence that motor impairments are not only highly prevalent in children with ASD, but also contribute to the aforementioned deficits in social communication and behavior, as well as poorer health outcomes, such as obesity, decreased function, participation, and overall quality of life. This presentation will highlight the ways in which documented motor impairments, such as decreased coordination and motor planning, impaired balance, generalized weakness/hypotonia and abnormal gait patterns lead to decreased function and participation in children with ASD. This presentation will also discuss what we can do as parents, teachers, advocates, and health care providers to promote improved health outcomes and optimize function and participation, thereby improving overall quality of life for this population of children.

Speaker: Ariann Neutts, PT, DPT graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA with her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2020. Upon graduation, she worked at a neuro outpatient clinic where she treated both adults and children with neuro and developmental disabilities. She moved to Colorado in May of 2021 after being accepted into the University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program as the program’s 2021-2022 pediatric resident and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellow. As part of this post-doctoral clinical training opportunity, she provides clinical services in a variety of pediatric physical therapy settings including Early Intervention on the ENRICH transdisciplinary team through JFK Partners, Cherry Creek School District, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. As a LEND fellow, she is afforded the opportunity for extended learning and research in the areas of early childhood development, developmental disabilities, and policy/advocacy for those populations with a special focus on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Through the fellowship, she participates in an interdisciplinary cadre of professionals who are prepped for leadership roles in providing services and improving systems of care for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Ariann has also enjoyed working at Adam’s Camp Colorado and is excited to provide clinical services at a newly established interdisciplinary therapy intensive program for children with disabilities in underserved communities in the Denver area called Therapies for Hope.

Cost: FREE (Suggested Donation to APTA Colorado Pediatric SIG of $10.00)

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