Education Resources Blog

Welcoming New Respected Clinician, Debra Evans Rogers to our Faculty

Debra Evans Rogers

We are thrilled to announce that Debra Evans Rogers, PT,PhD,PCS, internationally known and respected clinician and published researcher is joining the Education Resources faculty. She received her bachelor’s degree in PT from the University of Missouri-Columbia; Master’s of Science in Special Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; and PhD from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah. She is certified as an APTA Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy. In addition to completing the NDTA Certificate course in the Treatment and Management of Children with Cerebral Palsy , she completed the Advanced Baby Course in 1998, and has attended other advanced courses. She has served on the NDTA Board of Directors as the Director of Regions and Past President (appointed). She was an adjunct professor for the Masters PT Program at Old Dominion University from 1992-1995.

She  offers a unique perspective combining clinical expertise with pediatric research knowledge. She has assisted students and presented pediatric courses throughout the United States and abroad including Romania, Nicaragua, India, China, and Chile. She is a pediatric physical therapist with over 30 years of clinical experience specializing in assessment, intervention and research in children with neuro-motor involvement. She is trained in pediatric Neuro-developmental Treatment and baby treatment and is an NDTA PT Instructor and CI candidate.   She has worked in private practice both in the home and clinic settings, schools, early intervention, home health, acute care, NICU and outpatient hospital clinics offering insightful information in a variety of physical therapy settings.

Debbie is currently an NDTA PT instructor. She resides in Houston, Texas with her family and works with the University of Texas-Medical Branch ECI Program.

Look out for her new course coming to Texas, Missouri, Illinois and Oregon in 2017:
Pediatric NDT: Treatment Intensive

This course will address utilizing current NDT intervention strategies for the pediatric client aged 0-18 with neuromotor challenges (eg CP, Down Syndrome, TBI and other syndromes). Information presented will address using the ICF for assessment/evaluation while practicing intervention strategies for improvements towards function. Participants will be assisted to improve their observational and direct handling skills with analysis and problem solving using NDT techniques. Both didactic lecture and hands-on labs will be presented throughout this course.

Click here for full details, dates, venues, to download a brochure or to register.
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Why is this year’s Kindergarten class not developmentally “ready”?


Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece and the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of Education Resources, Inc.

This year has been a tough one. Lots of new referrals. I did more new referral evaluations from September to December than I did all of last year. And most of the kids came on program. These kids are hot messes. The majority in kindergarten (although there were a few needy first graders too). As I travel from school to school in my district (five elementary schools), I heard the same thing. This kindergarten class is tough. Needy. Young. Not ready for kindergarten. The parochial school in district (which I also service) had the same complaint. I flippantly joked, “What was in the water six years ago?”

Then, at the Therapies in the School Conference, I had a similar discussion with a therapist from New Hampshire. And then one from Massachusetts. It wasn’t just me. It wasn’t just here. This class is a hot mess.

I guess it’s good for one teacher to know that others are struggling, but it’s not fixing the problem either. And I like to know why. There are some easy answers. Some of our kids didn’t have preschool experience. Some of our kids are from very poor, disadvantaged homes, which we know impacts education and educational-readiness. It seems a disproportionate number of our kids are super young this year, just making the cutoff date (which, in New York, is December 1st, so we have lots of four-year-olds throughout September and October and into November). We’re still following the developmentally inappropriate guidelines of the Common Core Learning Standards.

All of these things make sense, but they don’t really explain the difference between a class two or three years ago and this class. Why is this class so not ready?

I don’t know the answer, but I have a theory. In addition to the factors listed above, there are two main factors that I think are significantly impacting the development and school readiness of our children.

The container lifestyle and mobile technology.

As therapists, we all recognize the detrimental effect the container lifestyle has on early development. Here are my thoughts on this:

  • The constant position in supine and flexion impacts motoric development that is initiated through prone. Lack of prone positioning and extension through prone impacts visual tracking and development, especially convergence and divergence, which is especially used in education in shifting gaze between the board and the desktop.
  • The reticular activating system, responsible for transitioning between sleep and wake and into periods of high alert and attention, is stimulated through cervical extension. Lack of extensor muscle development fosters poor posture in which capital extension is present but true cervical extension is not, thereby inhibiting activity in the RAS. Babies are stuck in flexion, which impacts the sleep-wake cycle.
  • There is more and more retention of primitive reflexes because babies do not move through the developmental sequence to re-wire the brain to integrate these reflexes. This impacts a child’s ability to cross midline (and therefore have a hand dominance), maintain a seated position especially while moving the head, and maintain emotional regulation, particularly in the case of the retained Moro reflex.
  • Use of standing containers facilitate extensor posturing and an on-toe weightbearing pattern, which can cause tight gastrocs and contribute to toe-walking. It also encourages increased capital extension, scapular retraction with elevation, lumbar lordosis, and knee hyperextension. All the compensations PT’s work diligently to break in adults with postural dysfunction. And we’re causing this as soon as the baby is facing gravity.
  • Poor tolerance to prone causes decreased quadruped crawling, which leads to shoulder girdle weakness. This causes poor development of the palmar aches, in addition to impaired fine motor skills.
  • Plagiocephaly which can lead to torticollis, which can impact visual tracking as well as overall posture and ability to maintain one’s positioning in a chair.

There may be more as well.

Now, the second piece: mobile technology and screen time. The explosion of iPads and smartphones and other mobile devices being accessible in most homes took off approximately six to seven years ago. Just as this year’s kindergarten class was being born. The majority of these children have always had screens in front of their faces. The constantly shifting images, the bright colors, the stimulation from the LED screens, the audio input. From birth. How many times have we seen toddlers working their parent’s phones? One year-olds with their own iPads? Babies with a video playing on a phone while the adults enjoy an uninterrupted dinner? Heck, they even make a potty with it’s own tablet.

Here’s my thought: Kids today can’t function without a screen. They can’t listen and process verbal directions without the ever-shifting visual stimulation. There appears to be a significant underdevelopment of audio skills with an over reliance on visual input (and this could be further impacted by impaired eye development as discussed above). We have a whole grade-level of kids who can’t learn from a person because they’re so used to being engaged by a screen.

If I’m right, this is frightening.

Don’t get me wrong—I love my technology. My kids have tablets and iPods and Chromebooks (although they did not have access to this technology until at least the age of seven). I may be slightly addicted to my phone. But I really worry about five and six year-olds who simply cannot follow two and three-step commands.

Here’s how I figured this out. I watched a class doing a GoNoodle Yoga video (one of the Maximo ones). The class looked great. Then, I had the teacher leave the audio on, but turn the picture off. Initially about half the class continued what they were doing, and even completed the next step. The other half of the class immediately stood up (they had been bent over, stretching to one leg), and seemed paralyzed by the fact that the image had disappeared. The teacher gave the instruction to listen and follow along. At the end of the video, every single child was bent over as they had been when the image was turned off. They should have been standing. Not one single child had been able to listen and follow the directions.

I’m not a researcher, and I don’t have data (although I may start collecting some) to support this. These are my theories and hypothesis of why these kids are struggling so. Try the GoNoodle (or similar video) trick and see if your kids can continue on once the image is turned off. What do they do?

What do you think? How are your kindergarteners this year?

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT


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NEW Online Certification Course – SAEBO UE Orthoses – Improving UE Motor Recovery

Saebo Certification Education Resources


Education Resources, Inc. is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Saebo, Inc. offering a new online course to train and certify therapists to use Saebo’s Functional Dynamic Orthoses:

Saebo UE Orthoses – Improving UE Motor Recovery Following Neurological Injury – Online Course

The certification was developed to provide occupational therapists, physical therapists and assistants with practical experience and training to incorporate the latest evidence based treatment approaches for UE neurological rehabilitation to benefit patients. The course will review current research findings related to the treatment of the hemiparetic UE, teach participants to identify which patients with a variety of diagnoses will benefit, teach participants how to correctly fit and adjust the Orthoses (SaeboFlex, SaeboReach, and SaeboStretch), as well as teach participants to establish patient specific treatment plans that can be immediately incorporated into clinical practice.

Participants may earn eight CEU hours while becoming certified.   

“Our partnership with ERI comes at a very exciting time. As we strive to improve the education experience for our therapists, we recognize the importance of adding an online self-study platform. This new format provides the therapists with an opportunity to access the same effective training that is provided at our Live Certification Courses, but with the increased flexibility and ease of completing the course at their own pace, stated Henry Hoffman, Co-Founder of Saebo.”

The course includes video lecture and lab activities that may be done at the therapist’s convenience. Henry Hoffman, MS, OT/L, the inventor and co-founder of Saebo and Shannon L. Scott, OTD, OTR/L, faculty in the Occupational Therapy Program at StonyBrook University teach the course and facilitate the lab component.

Education Resources, Inc. is an approved provider for Live and Distance Learning-Independent courses by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and has been a long-time provider of continuing education courses to help therapists improve outcomes for patients with neurological diagnoses.

Please click here to learn more about the course, to download a brochure or to register 

Posted in Adult and Geriatric Rehabilitation, Neurology, News, Professional Development, Therapy in The News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Wonderful Endorsement of Mary Massery’s Approach from our Guest Blogger


The year was … well, a long time ago. I was a PT student at Boston University, and Larry Cahalan was teaching a cardio-pulm class. I don’t remember which one exactly, but I know it was the semester before my second clinical. He brought in a guest lecturer, Mary Massery, who talked a lot about postural control and breathing, and the relation of the two.

You know it’s a good lecture when almost twenty years later, you remember what you learned. In the short term, on my second clinical the following semester, I was able to take some of the applications and help a very complex medically involved baby (I think he was about a year old). This baby, whose list of diagnoses was long and complex (and he had a brother with the same mysterious condition), didn’t tolerate therapy. He shut down and pretended to sleep, opening his eyes as soon as the door closed. One of the things I noticed is that he was using his accessory muscles to breathe, making it a very rapid and inefficient breathing process. Calling on the discussion from Dr. Massery’s lecture, after discussion with my C.I., I worked on different positioning and handling techniques to facilitate the more effective and efficient diaphragmatic breathing in this client.

I would say that it wasn’t much. But, as the title of Dr. Massery’s course indicates, “If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function.” This child, facing so many challenges simply on the basis of his anatomy, had to learn how to breathe efficiently. The application of Dr. Massery’s teacher gave him that.

I kept in touch with the family for a few years after I graduated. I went to work at a special education school for medically fragile children because of working with this child (and his fabulous family). In one letter (remember when we actually wrote pen and paper letters?), the mother let me know that they still worked on the positioning to facilitate breathing. She said that there hadn’t been one single intervention that had impacted his life as much as that. Now that he was breathing better, he didn’t shut down for therapy, and was more available to work on new skills.

I often wonder how this family is doing today. My client would be in the tail end of his years in the school process. I do know that the lecture from Dr. Massery shaped my career in terms of working with this family, and I particularly enjoy working with the medically-complex, multiply-involved children to this day. I can’t promise that Dr. Massery’s course, “If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function” will change your life the way it did mine, but I have a feeling it will.

P.S.- This past weekend, while cleaning out the basement, I found Dr. Massery’s business card from that lecture. I’ve kept it in my PT stuff all these years because I knew how valuable it was. While other things went into the recycling pile, I think I’m going to hold onto that for a little while longer.

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT

Don’t Miss Her Courses:

If you Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function – Introductory Course Plus TWO days of Intensive LAB
March 10-12, 2017 – Chicago, IL
March 24-26, 2017 – St. Louis, MO
July 27-29, 2017 – Mountainside, NJ
(an option is available to attend a one day introductory course)


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How to Wrap-up Your In-Service Presentation

Carol Loria, President ERI:


Leaving your colleagues inspired and wanting for more information can be a challenge.

In your final comments, repeat your main points.  Tell your colleagues how they can obtain further and more in-depth information.  If you are so inclined, invite them to observe you treating a patient using this new information or offer to consult on one of their challenging patients.

Don’t forget to share reference materials that colleagues may need to provide evidence and support for this clinical approach.

Good luck! 

Feel free to post any specific questions you may have as you pull together an effective in-service for your colleagues.

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New SOS Feeding Certification

Education Resources, Inc. is pleased to offer courses that therapists may apply toward the Star Foundation’s
new SOS Certification.

The STAR Foundation recently announced a new SOS Certification Program, designed to provide current SOS practitioners with additional training, mentorship and expertise in the implementation of the SOS Approach to Feeding. The SOS Certification Program includes a combination of didactic lecture, case study presentations, written homework and observation of participant videotapes of clinical sessions.

Occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists who fulfill all of the requirements will be awarded with the SOS Approach to Feeding Certification. These requirements include demonstrating competency in the following areas: a global understanding of SOS principles, intervention, parent education, and personal development. The Certification Program is ideal for SOS Trained Therapists who are looking for further training and additional feedback regarding their SOS Feeding Therapy intervention with children and families.

Therapists may become trained by fulfilling the following pre-requisite requirements:

  1. Completion of the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding Course (3.75 Day) within the last 5 years, OR completion of the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding Course (3 Day) Plus the Advanced Topic Online Course = Tools in Your Pantry: Effectively Using the New Oral Motor Steps, both within the last 5 years
  1. Completion of the Advanced Topic Course: Parents as Partners: Helping the “Challenging” Family within the last 5 years
  1. Therapists who attended an SOS Approach to Feeding Course before 2010 would be expected to repeat the Basic course

The Certification was developed to address therapists’ needs for additional assistance implementing the SOS philosophies into their work environment and to receive guidance on specific treatment cases. “The certification program provides participants an opportunity to have individualized coaching and feedback on implementing the SOS Approach to Feeding philosophies into their practice and unique work environments. Certified participants will be placed on our professional referral list for which we are consistently providing to families in need of quality services across the country.” – Bethany C.F. Kortsha, Occupational Therapist, SOS Feeding Solutions at STAR, Director of Clinical Mentorship Toomey & Associates

Education Resources, Inc. has been a long-time supporter of the SOS Approach to Feeding and the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding Course taught by Dr. Kay Toomey.

If you have not taken Kay’s course within the last five years or if you are new to this course, check out the new content and format here:

When Children Won’t Eat: Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders. Assessment and Treatment Using the SOS Approach to Feeding
April 27-30, 2017 – Memphis, TN
June 8-11, 2017 – Sioux Falls, SD
November 16-19, 2017 – New Britain, CT

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions

Posted in Feeding, Professional Development, Therapy in The News | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Refer a Friend and Both Save With Education Resources

Save When Referring a FriendEducation Resources Refer a Friend

Refer a friend to Education Resources and you will both save.

It’s Simple!

When your friend registers they just mention your name,
and $25 is deducted from their registration fee.
A $25 credit is deposited into your account for future use.

Your friend must call the office to take advantage of this offer
And register for a course by February 13th 2017
Can be used for multiple registrations, each time both therapists will receive the $25.


Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.
Not to be used in combination with other discounts or course credits. 
Only one discount may be used per conference. 
Friend must apply discount at time of registration, not for conferences previously registered for. 
Not for online courses.

Please call, 508-359-6533 ● 800-487-6530
email or visit our website with any questions

Please click here for our full listing of courses

Please Click Here to Join Our Mailing List


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10 Words to Use to Enhance your In-Service Presentation to your Therapy Department…..

Carol Loria, President ERI:

Use emotion words and logic words. 

Use some of these words if they are appropriate to your content and comfortable for you:  

 Emotion words such as instinct, felt, reaction, sense, confident. These words are most helpful in describing clinical situations or patient responses.

In Service TrainingLogic words such as research, study, evidence, substantiate, proof. It goes without saying that these words are used to support the theoretical framework or approach that you are presenting.

I hope that you are feeling more confident by now.


Stay tuned; next time we’ll be talking about how to bring your in-service to a thoughtful and inspiring conclusion.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – Holiday Coupon Extended

From Education Resources

To give you a little more time in choosing those valuable CEUs we have extended our deadline for our Holiday Coupon

Wishing our Community of Therapists
Peace Happiness and Joy for the upcoming year
We would like to offer a $50 discount toward any conference fee
Register now through January 3rd 2017
Apply code: Holidays2016

Let Education Resources help you fulfill your professional development and continuing education requirements with our comprehensive selection of dynamic courses in 2017.

Including many NEW courses and distinguished faculty members 

Not to be used in combination with other discounts or course credits. Non-Transferable. Only one discount may be used per conference. Must be applied at time of registration, not for conferences previously registered for. Not for online courses

You can register online, call the office or fax in your registration.
Just mention the code! 

Please call, email or visit our website with any questions 

Please click here for our full listing of courses

Thank you
 Mandy 508-359-6533 ● 800-487-6530

Please Click Here to Join Our Mailing List

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Therapies in the School Conference – Time Well Spent

As the Education Resources team are coming back down to earth from another amazing conference, I wanted to share this wonderful posting I just received from Kathryn, who has attended  the Therapies in the School conference for many years.

It was, yet again, so wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and to hear about what has been happening in your school systems. Wheels are already in motion for 2017!!


For me, the deadline is November 30th. Ever three years, by November 30th, I have to report to the state of New York and indicate that I’ve had 36 hours of continuing education in the past three years. The simple breakdown is 12 hours per year, because, let’s face it, no one wants to try to cram 36 hours into the last few months.

Continuing education is one of those love-hate things that we all have to do. We hate the logistics—time off from work, travel, time away from family. And there’s nothing worse than juggling our daily lives only to go sit in a course that’s a waste of time. On the other hand, I love well-done continuing education. There’s something about learning that I love. I find it invigorating and stimulating. It’s probably no wonder that I’m drawn to working in the schools—I love being a part of the educational environment and want to impart on others the joy that learning brings for me.

For me, the timing of the annual Therapies in the School Conference (the third week in November) falls right into the love-hate thing. This year, my Friday sessions took a hit, and my schedule didn’t allow for make-ups. And, I host Thanksgiving every year, and cleaning my house takes several weeks (cleaning is not a strength of mine).

But for seven of the past eight years, I’ve gotten up freakishly early and driven almost three hours out to the conference. And for seven of the past eight years, I know the logistics, the missed sessions, the planning ahead for the kids, the cleaning to follow—they’re all worth it. What I tell my supervisors (and anyone who will listen, frankly) is that the Therapies in the School Conference is the best conference I’ve ever attended. Even after working in this field for seventeen years, I still learn at this conference. I learn so much. And the best part is that it is 100% applicable to my current job.

After the conference, that purple book accompanies me to treatment sessions and into meetings. I email people about research presented. I educate teachers and principals and parents about the things I’ve learned. I try new things with my kids. As is the purpose of continuing education, I am a better therapist for attending this conference.

If you haven’t yet attended the annual Therapies in the School Conference, you should consider it for next year. If you’ve attended the conference, what is your favorite part? What did you learn? What would you like to learn?

I plan on continuing to review my course materials, as well as view the online course offerings from the break-out sessions I was unable to attend. It sort helps with that now being able to clone myself.

Now if I could just figure out a way to get my house cleaned while I’m at the conference … maybe next year.

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT


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