This course was built in partnership with The Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy.

This session will explore the application of the ICF framework and dynamic systems theory to working with a student with a severe cognitive and physical disability. Current research findings will be applied to the domains of the ICF as they impact the school-based PT practice setting and student programming. A brief review of the International Classification of Function and the dynamic systems theory will be included. The shared research evidence of this course will focus on the detrimental outcomes of inactivity and immobility, as well as current findings in motor learning with task-oriented, participation-based intervention. Programming for functional motor skills development, based on a participatory framework, and suitable under IDEA, will be discussed. The rationale for physical therapy assessment and intervention will be interwoven throughout.

Meet our Presenters:

Susan (Sue) Cecere, PT, MHS, is the physical therapy instructional specialist for Prince George’s County Public Schools, a large, culturally diverse district in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. A graduate of the University of Delaware physical therapy program, she also has a master’s degree in health science from Towson University and holds an administrative certificate in educational leadership from McDaniel College. Cecere has worked in school-based practice since 1994, both as a service provider and as a program administrator. For 10 years she was co-chair of the Maryland State Steering Committee for Occupational and Physical Therapy School-Based Programs, a Maryland State Department of Education subcommittee. She is a coauthor of Occupational and Physical Therapy Early Intervention and School-Based Services in Maryland: A Guide to Practice and several fact sheets for the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. Cecere is a former vice president of the academy and an active member of the School-Based Physical Therapy Special Interest Group. Together with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and American Occupational Therapy Association, she wrote a joint document on workload and presented on the topic through a webinar for the IDEA Partnership.

Lori Potts, PT, works in private practice with Esopus Medical PC in pediatrics and orthopedics. She graduated from the physical therapy program of the Upstate Medical University College of Health Professions in Syracuse, New York. Potts is a certified MOVE International trainer, participating in MOVE training and education, and implementing MOVE principles with patients in physical therapist practice. Since 2005, Potts has been working with Rifton, consulting for product design and providing physical therapy resources for consumer and client education. She is a regular contributor to the Rifton Adaptive Mobility and Positioning blog and conducts equipment-related workshops throughout the United States, and in Canada, England, Germany, and Russia. She is a member of the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy.

Course Code:




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Completion Instructions

Review the recorded course and follow along with the handout; complete the assessment with at least a 70% score; provide feedback; claim certificate and CEUs.

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Delivery method



Susan Cecere, PT, MHS; Lori Potts, PT

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define the purpose and relevance of the International Classification of Function and the dynamic systems theory in regards to the student with severe disabilities.
  2. Describe the detrimental effects of inactivity and immobility for the student with significant physical disabilities, based on current research.
  3. Explain current findings in the field of motor learning with task-oriented intervention and begin the application to programming for the student with cognitive and physical challenges.
  4. Use concepts from the ICF and current research to contribute to the IEP process for the student with severe disabilities.
  5. Plan school-based interventions based on a participatory framework and current research regarding activity, participation and motor learning.
  6. Apply these concepts to the present day clinical approach in school-based physical therapy practice.


Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy

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2Assessment_ICF School-Based
Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Lori Potts, Sue Cecere, pediatrics, ICF
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Pediatrics
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar