Toe Walking Expert Liesa M. Ritchie-Persaud Offers NEW Live Webinar!

Here at ERI we’re excited to announce a NEW, live webinar taught by THE toe-walking expert, Liesa M. Ritchie-Persaud, PT, DPT, PCS, CKTP.

Toe Walking: In-Depth Clinical Applications Using an Etiological Approach
Friday, February 24, 2023
9:40 am EST • 8:40 am CST • 7:40 am MST • 6:40 am PST (US)
1-Day Course – Earn 7 Contact Hours

This new course is the next step in your learning with Liesa! In this new course, clinicians will apply “The Act!” to identify an etiology-based problem list, choose suitable and feasible interventions and develop a plan of care specific to each child (further enhancing information previously learned in “Therapeutic Evaluation and Management of Toe Walking (Pediatric Equinus Gait)

Hear what Liesa has to say in this quick video: 

This course is appropriate for pediatric PTs, PTAs, OTs, OTAs and Early Interventionists working with patients 0-3 or students aged 3-21 in Home Care or Outpatient settings. 

Registration is open-reserve your spot!

NEW! In-Person Course in Washington, DC with Presenter Amanda Hall

Ambulation, Activity, and AFOs 2: Advanced Hands-On Course in Washington, DC

Amanda Hall, PT, MPT, PCS, has developed a framework for pediatric and neuro intervention including casting and orthotic design based on developmental kinesiopathology, differential diagnosis, manual therapy, and alignment for therapeutic gait.

She has presented internationally and given dozens of lectures, and has even caught the eye of mainstream media. Dubbed the “Madcaster”, Hall has been featured in MTV, UsWeekly, NBC and ABC, and will soon be sharing the stage as the primary speaker with Mary Massery at APTA Combined Sections Meeting at the end of February. 

On March 11 and 12, 2023, Hall will be presenting, Ambulation, Activity and AFOs 2: Advanced Hands-On Course, an in-person course in Washington, DC, that will focus on evaluation and treatment of the foot and ankle to improve gait and function for patients with pediatric, neurologic, and orthopedic health conditions.

During this intensive course, multiple labs will include the latest evidence-based interventions to improve foot and ankle function for individuals across the movement spectrum. This includes joint and soft tissue mobilizations, improving strength and motor control of the “foot core”, and addressing pain. Participants will also learn hands-on skills for orthotic design as well as foot/ankle taping techniques.

Who should take this course?

This course is for those who have taken Amanda Hall’s Ambulation, Activity, and AFOs: Addressing the Ankle to Improve Gait and Function, either online or in-person, OR with other prior experience or training for foot/ankle and ankle-foot-orthotics.

Registration is now open! Complete both days for 14 contact hours (1.4 CEUs). Please reach out to ERI with any questions at or call 800-487-6530.

Attention Feeding Therapists! NEW Complex Feeding and Swallowing Course Now Available

Looking for support when working with infants, toddlers, and children with pediatric feeding disorders and pediatric dysphagia? We have you covered. 


ERI has partnered with faculty members Dana Kizer, OT and Anais Villaluna, SLP to offer a new CEU course to help therapists bridge the gap when it comes to problem solving complex feeding and swallowing cases. The BRIDGE Approach: Critical Thinking in the Management of Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders will be offered as a live webinar on March 18 and 19, 2023. Therapists can earn 11.5 contact hours (1.15 CEUs) upon completing this course.

Instructors Kizer and Villaluna bring extensive experience in assessing and treating feeding and swallowing disorders across the lifespan. In this course, therapists will learn tools and strategies to guide their clinical decision-making process for assessment and treatment of a child with complex feeding issues.

Dana Kizer, OT

We know that managing pediatric dysphagia can be challenging as practices evolve, new protocols are implemented, and multiple developmental as well as anatomical factors can impact an infant or child’s ability to eat or drink safely and efficiently. By identifying, assessing, and treating the multiple factors causing or contributing to pediatric dysphagia, BRIDGE provides a multifaceted assessment and treatment approach that provides therapists the tools to think critically when working through difficult cases.

Anais Villaluna, SLP

 Over the course of this two-day webinar, therapists will be given strategies to implement immediately when working with children with dysphagia as well as discuss questions, cases, and concerns with the presenters in real-time.

Registration is now open! The registration page offers more information as well as a detailed agenda. If you have any questions, please contact ERI at or call 800-487-6530. 

Pediatric Vestibular Rehabilitation: Helpful Considerations for Clinicians Diagnosing Vertigo in Adults vs. Pediatric Patients

Inger Brueckner, MS, PT, ERI’s esteemed faculty member and vestibular rehabilitation expert, is eager to share with our community of therapists an informative article recently published in Italian Journal of Pediatrics that could be helpful when looking at a child vs. adult complaining of dizziness:

Neurological Vertigo in the Emergency Room in Pediatric and Adult Age: Systematic Literature Review and Proposal for a Diagnostic Algorithm: Pellegrino et al.  Italian Journal of Pediatrics (2022) 48:125

Inger says: 

This article uses a systematic review to describe the
differences between
adults and pediatric patients
presenting to the Emergency Room with vertigo. 

It highlights the difference in presentation based on age. They have developed an algorithm to help clinicians and I find it very useful to keep the different presentations in mind when looking at a child vs. adult complaining of dizziness.

Taking age into consideration when trying to determine causes for dizziness is important, but often over-looked. The summary of conditions is also a helpful review if you see patients of all ages.

Dive deeper into this important subject with Inger Brueckner, MS, PT at her upcoming live webinar with ERI: 
Pediatric Vestibular Therapy: Young Children Through Adolescents 
February 3 and 10, 2023
9:40 am EST • 8:40 am CST • 7:40 am MST • 6:40 am PST (US)

A hands-on lab, evidence-based lecture, videos, and case presentations are tailored to assess and treat
children 5-18 years old while maintaining their application/relevance for the adult population.

This course is appropriate for PTs, PTAs, OTs, OTAs and health practitioners that work with school-aged children and adolescents age 5-18. 

Browse course details, CEU information, download a brochure and register HERE. 

Join the ERI Facebook Discussion Group – Pediatric Vestibular Rehabilitation

Executive Function and How COVID Has Impacted Learning Executive Function Skills

Executive Function and How COVID Has Impacted Learning Executive Function Skills

If you are a physical, occupational or school-based therapist, you may have noticed your patients or students struggling with executive function skills. These might include procrastinating more and having trouble managing time effectively. The COVID-19 impact on executive function has been noticed across the board, mainly due to the shift to remote learning. 

Learn more about executive function during COVID-19 and how therapists can help their patients and students at this time.

What Is Executive Function?

Executive function refers to the cognitive and mental abilities that help people engage in goal-oriented actions. Executive function directs our actions, self-regulations, behavior and motivation to achieve goals and prepare for future events.

We begin developing executive function skills by age 3 and develop them fully in adulthood. Studies show that people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are 30% to 40% behind in executive functioning development, making them more likely to be motivated by short-term rather than long-term goals, impacting their overall functionality and progress. 

The loss of executive function has been noticed in relation to COVID-19, as well, which can affect skills like:

  • Working memory
  • Flexible thinking
  • Following directions
  • Solving problems
  • Managing long-term projects 

Students with executive function problems might have difficulties organizing their materials, setting schedules and sticking to tasks. They might misplace worksheets, reports and other school materials. They might also have trouble keeping track of personal items, regulating their emotions or keeping their bedrooms organized. 

How Has Executive Function Been Impacted by COVID-19? 

During the pandemic, many children began struggling with executive function in school, including difficulties studying, completing tasks and focusing on learning.

The COVID-19 impact on executive function can stem from: 

1. Disrupted Learning Routines

When students enter their classroom, their brains decide that it’s time to focus and learn. That’s why it’s no surprise that remote learning during the pandemic has become troublesome by disrupting the development of vital executive function skills.

State-dependent memory (SDM) refers to the scientifically observed phenomenon that memories are retained more effectively when conditions are consistent. Meaning humans are more likely to remember something when we’re in the same state of mind, location and time of day as when we first learned it.

That’s why the routine-heavy aspect of in-person learning is beneficial. To study most effectively, a defined study location can be explicitly designated for schoolwork. Studying in the bedroom, playroom or dining room won’t be as effective since the brain associates these spaces with relaxation. 

Children will especially struggle to force their brains to associate their homes with a place for learning. These new routines can make it difficult for the brain to develop as students attempt to recognize their homes as learning spaces.

2. More Steps for Turning in Homework

Students who struggle with executive functioning often have difficulties turning in homework. Completing tasks can be stressful for these students, and many forget to turn in assignments. During lockdown, this was incredibly challenging since so many schools were fully or partially remote. 

Students don’t get a built-in reminder of the teacher collecting homework in these cases. Instead, most schools require online submission that typically involves:

  • Completing the assignment
  • Taking a picture of it
  • Emailing the image to yourself
  • Downloading the picture
  • Uploading the photo to the school’s online portal

For people with fully developed executive function skills, the task is easy. But for children still developing executive function, it requires several steps, which increases the chance of getting distracted. As a result, many teachers during the pandemic have seen a loss of executive function skills, with many assignments going missing in the completion stage. 

3. Stress and Anxiety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has seen a significant increase in depression, stress and anxiety across all age groups throughout COVID-19. Children are far from immune to this surge. In fact, as many as 29% of students had increased anxiety symptoms during COVID-19. Stress and anxiety have a massive impact on cognition and executive functioning.

Since anxiety is the brain’s reaction to a perceived threat, it’s no surprise that it gets in the way of executive functions. While the brain’s response to threats may help us run away, it’s not as helpful for completing tasks. With remote schools and a constant cycle of uncertainty in the news, stress has disrupted children’s brains from developing executive function skills.

therapists can learn more about executive function with courses from ERI

Therapists Can Learn More About Executive Function With Courses From ERI

COVID-19 and executive function have been a struggle for children around the world. Whether your school year begins online or in person, there are several ways to support your students or patients after the pandemic.

At ERI we care about the empowerment of therapists and their patients. Our courses can help you learn more about executive function and how to support your student’s development of these essential skills. Our faculty consists of experts in the field. We provide dynamic, passionate and engaging courses that teach new strategies and tools to help improve the daily lives of your patients. 

Learn more about our courses or contact us today.