Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference Workshops

All AusACPDM 2018 pre-conference workshops will be held on Wednesday 21 March and there is an exciting range of workshops on offer:

Workshop 1: CRE-CP Knowledge Transfer – Dyskinesia Toolkit / Post-Operative Rehabilitation in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Venue: The Langham
Speaker: Dr Kirsty Stewart and Dr Claire Kerr

Dyskinesia Toolkit
This workshop will present the outcomes of a Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy (CRE-CP) Knowledge Translation Fellowship investigating the identification, classification and measurement of dyskinesia in children with cerebral palsy. A “Toolkit” developed as part of the fellowship will be presented.

The workshop will overview current literature, definitions and incidence of dyskinetic CP and how it is currently identified and classified. Currently available outcome measures will be presented as well as use of these outcome measures with other assessment tools across the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Participants will gain an up to date overview of dyskinetic CP
  2. A toolkit, aimed at standardising the identification, classification and measurement of dyskinesia in children with cerebral palsy across Australia and New Zealand, will be presented
  3. Participants will gain some hands on experience in scoring dyskinesia using different scales developed for children with CP
  4. Participants will gain an understanding of how impairment level dyskinesia assessments can be used in combination with other clinical assessments to provide a comprehensive overview of the child with dyskinetic CP

Target Audience
Any professionals involved in the care of children with cerebral palsy including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, nurses, medical doctors and researchers. 

Post-Operative Rehabilitation in Children with Cerebral Palsy
This course will review research evidence and current clinical practice relating to rehabilitation following lower limb orthopaedic surgery for children with cerebral palsy. The information needs of families and healthcare professionals in supporting these children will be discussed. The presenters will then introduce the evidence-based ‘resources toolkit’, developed to address the identified needs of families and healthcare professionals. Exemplar case studies will be presented. Participants will select and apply relevant elements of the toolkit to their own situation and reflect on supports and barriers to implementation of recommendations or practices in their own settings. The course is based on work conducted as part of a Knowledge Translation Fellowship in post-operative rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy, an initiative of the Centre for Research Excellence-Cerebral Palsy that aims to ensure the standard of care for cerebral palsy is uniform and of the highest level across Australia, by progressing the application of new and established evidence into practice.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Describe the evidence underpinning the development of the post-operative rehabilitation ‘resources toolkit’
  2. Select relevant elements of the resources toolkit for participants’ own needs
  3. Evaluate the utility of the resources toolkit for families and healthcare professionals supporting children who have undergone lower limb orthopaedic surgery
  4. Identify strategies to embed the use of the resources toolkit in participants’ own situation

Target Audience
Nurses, occupational therapists, orthopedic surgeons, orthotists, parents and carers, paediatricians, physical therapists, rehabilitation physicians, social workers, service providers and disability funding agencies.

Workshop 2Novel Bioengineering Technologies for Rehabilitation
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Venue: Auckland University
Speaker: Associate Professor Thor Besier

This workshop will present current research from the musculoskeletal modelling group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), a large-scale multi-disciplinary research institute at the University of Auckland. The workshop will include four presentations from experts in the field of biomechanics, computational modelling, and orthopaedic research.

Each presentation will be 20 mins, followed by 10 mins Q&A to facilitate group discussion and interaction. A lengthy coffee break/networking session is also included.

Please see the session outline below:

9.00am – 9.30am – Insights into CP muscle function using novel MR imaging and computational modelling – Dr Geoffrey Handsfield, Aotearoa Fellow, ABI

9.30am – 10.00am – State-of-the-art musculoskeletal modelling for clinical gait analysis –
Dr Thor Besier, Associate Professor, ABI

10.00am – 10.45am – Coffee break/networking

10.45am – 11.15am – Wearable sensors for novel intervention strategies –
Dr Thor Besier, Associate Professor, ABI

11.15am – 11.45am – New bioengineering framework for prescribing ankle foot orthoses, using low-cost scanning, computational modelling and 3D printing – Dr Julie Choisne, Research Fellow, ABI

11.45am – 12.00pm – Closing remarks and Q&A for all presenters

Who should attend?
Physiotherapists and exercise scientists who work with children with CP or like conditions.

Workshop 3: The ABC’s of Improvement of Transition to Adulthood
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Venue: The Langham
Speaker: Dr Jan Willem Gorter

Leaving the family-centred environment of paediatric care for the individual-centred environment of adult services is a difficult challenge for these young people and their families. Poor transition from paediatric to adult health care has been shown to have a negative impact in these conditions with respect to adherence to medical care, health outcomes, and quality of life.

Part 1: The Journey (background information on Transition)

  • General overview of the issue
  • Preparation phase (e.g. teen-transition clinic, self-management)
  • Transfer phase (e.g., age of transition, referrals, role of GP)
  • The Landing phase (Adult care situation)

Part 2: The real life experience of transition

  • Practical examples
  • Strategies
  • Toolkit (e.g. Transition-Q, MyTransition-app, YouthKIT)

Part 3: Strategies

  • 3 cases outlining the issues – including a good example (balances), 1 with challenges and 1 bad example of transition (in which something was not helpful)
  • Exploring action plans (small groups)
    • 2 action plans to optimize the case
    • One in the real world
    • One in the ideal world

This workshop will contribute to raising Awareness, Building capacity and developing Collaborative partnerships (ABC) between young people, families and healthcare providers in both pediatric and adult settings.

Workshop 4: CRE-CP Knowledge Transfer: Supporting Mental Health of Parents / Early Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: The Langham
Speaker: Dr Carmen Pace and Dr Lynda McNamara

Supporting Mental Health of Parents 
Research shows that parents of children with disabilities are at high risk of mental health difficulties, including depression, anxiety and suicidality. However, most do not access professional help, with a wide range of barriers reported including time, ease of access, and not being able to prioritise their needs over those of their child. Health professionals providing services for children are ideally placed to support parents to improve their mental health, yet they report that they often do not feel comfortable broaching the subject with parents, and are hesitant to open up these conversations for fear of not being able to manage parents’ distress. This workshop was created as part of a CRE-CP Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, and aims to build capacity and confidence in having these conversations for clinicians working with children with disabilities and their families.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Provide background information on common mental health difficulties and their presentation in parents of children with disabilities, why this is important, and possible impacts on therapy outcomes
  2. To familiarise clinicians with a framework for addressing mental health and wellbeing with parents, equipping them with a range of strategies for having these conversations
  3. Introduction to ‘The Wellbeing Check,’ a checklist for working with families and prioritising wellbeing in an ongoing manner
  4. To provide clinicians with the opportunity to reflect on and prioritise self-care in recognition of the sensitive and sometimes difficult nature of this work

Target Audience
Clinicians who work with children with disabilities.

Australian Implementation of Early Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy: Perspectives of Clinicians
A national implementation strategy is underway to support and accelerate change in practice as recommended by the International Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) early diagnosis Cerebral Palsy.  The multi-faceted knowledge translation framework has been developed through collaborative partnerships between the Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy Australia (CRE-CP), Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) and the CRE-Australasian Clinical Trials Network.

Evidenced-based knowledge translation strategies for clinician stakeholders have been explored. This workshop will outline the development and implementation of early diagnosis cerebral palsy CME including: (a) results of Australian Physician survey; (b) design and development of a novel e-Learning educational format (c) tailored implementation approaches to overcome local barriers (d) showcase of an early diagnosis CP resource toolkit.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Describe the development and implementation of continuing medical education (CME) to enable change in practice as recommended by the International Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) of early diagnosis cerebral palsy
  2. Discuss the barriers and enablers of clinicians in the implementation of CPG early diagnosis cerebral palsy across Australia
  3. Demonstrate a novel early diagnosis CP eLearning model
  4. Appraise the early diagnosis CP resource toolkit for clinicians

Target Audience
Neurologists, Paediatricians, Neonatologists, General Practitioners, Neuro-Radiologists. Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Nurses and Early Educators.

Workshop 5: The Importance of ‘Managing’ Pain in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: The Langham
Speaker: Professor Darcy Fehlings, Professor Susan Stott, Dr. Ross Drake, Ms. Rachel Byrne

Chronic pain in individuals with CP significantly impacts participation in activities and quality of life.  It is under-recognized, undertreated and opportunities for preventing pain can be missed. This course will guide the clinician to more accurately identify individuals with CP who experience pain, provide an organizational framework for pain assessment, prevention and management and provide a stakeholder perspective on the impact of pain.

Attendees will be introduced to a pain management framework for CP that includes common clinical assessment tools, differential diagnosis and pain management strategies including a focus on the promotion of health and wellness.  Common risk factors and causes of pain will be presented.  Discussion will focus on overcoming the challenge of developing a differential diagnosis for pain in this population given the heterogeneity of potential causes of pain. Attendees will be introduced to evidence-based pain assessment tools that can be implemented in the clinic setting.

Understanding pain in individuals with CP directed at mechanisms of central neural sensitisation syndrome will be highlighted. Intervention options will be discussed for the management of pain with a particular focus on musculoskeletal pain and pharmacologic management of pain. A stakeholder perspective on the impact of pain experienced by individuals with CP will be provided. Workshop attendees will then participate in case discussions centered on individuals with CP who present with pain.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Understand the need to clinically inquire/assess for pain in individuals with cerebral palsy
  2. Have a working knowledge of clinical tools for identifying pain in this population that can be implemented into clinical practice
  3. Be able to identify potential causes or risk factors associated with pain for the development of a thorough differential diagnosis
  4. Have a working knowledge of a pain management framework to assess an individual with CP who is experiencing for children and youth with cerebral palsy


  • Professor Darcy Fehlings– Overview of a pain management framework including assessment ‘tools’
  • Rachel Byrnes OT – Providing a Stakeholder Perspective
  • Professor Susan Stott – Discussion of MSK pain in CP
  • Dr. Ross Drake– Mechanisms and Management of Persistent Pain in C
  • Case Studies

Workshop 6: Novel Interventions: Neuromodulation in Cerebral Palsy- State of the Science
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: The Langham
Speaker: Assistant Professor Bernadette Gillick

Neuromodulation research using non-invasive brain stimulation in cerebral palsy has recently been integrated as accessible tools aiming to explore and induce changes in cortical excitability as well as improve function.

Employing brain stimulation in combination with rehabilitation therapies may reduce costs and burden of care, and these techniques have created a rising surge in clinical, research and public interest. Significant effects of stimulation have been reported for motor, visual, somatosensory, attentional, and cognitive/emotional function as well as for a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

In this symposium, we will focus on studies involving non-invasive brain stimulation in children with cerebral palsy, from neonates to young adults.

Additionally, we will explore the State of the Science from relevant basic and clinical studies in this area and address related opportunities and limitations before translation of these interventions as clinical tools.

This workshop will be presented in an interactive manner with case-study discussion, video-analysis and an engaging  pop-quiz format for active discussion of these novel interventions.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Participants will evaluate the varying forms of non-invasive and their relevance to neurorehabilitation
  2. Participant will assess the physiological mechanisms of  brain stimulation, safety profiles, and how stimulation has been found to affect functional outcomes
  3. Participants will identify the relevant state of the science with potential clinical benefits/limitations of non-invasive brain stimulation in children with cerebral palsy