PTY5103 - Principles of paediatric physiotherapy - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Physiotherapy


Dr. Adrienne Harvey

Unit guides




This unit will introduce principles underpinning physiotherapy assessment and treatment for paediatric conditions. It will cover common assessment tools, principles of family-centred practice, and introduce age-appropriate interventions for infants and children. Case-based examples will illustrate key components of paediatric physiotherapy practice and facilitate the achievement of learning objectives. Learning will be experienced in the online classroom environment.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify key milestones of motor development across infancy and childhood.
  2. Describe key elements of motor development during infancy.
    • Postural control
    • Transitions between postures
    • Acquisition of upper limb dexterity
  3. Identify and describe key elements of the acquisition of locomotion skill.
  4. Identify common causes of developmental motor delay.
  5. Critique some commonly applied tests of infant and child motor development.
  6. Analyse the key elements of family-centred practice.
  7. Describe key members of a multidisciplinary paediatric team and their roles.
  8. Formulate a treatment approach to facilitate motor skill acquisition in a child with developmental delay.


  • Online quizzes x 3 (30%)
  • Online exam (MCQ and short answers) (1 hour) (20%)
  • Paediatric assessment tool activity (1,500 words) (20%)
  • Guided paediatric case study (2,000 words) (30%)

Workload requirements

40 hours interaction with online lectures and course material, completion of online assessment tasks and participation in online communications with other students and tutor (online delivery only), additional self-directed study time.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Paediatric physiotherapy


Must be enrolled in course M60013.