Hello all APTA Pediatrics Members,

It seems improbable that just 5 weeks ago (prior to CSM) I wrote:

“2020 will be a new beginning for all of us. As we embrace our past and look forward to the future - REMEMBER we are all in this together! Let’s continue the vision and passion for the families and the profession WE SERVE.”

None of us could ever have imagined or predicted that new beginning would be a pathway into one of the most unprecedented and extreme challenges that anyone in our lifetime has experienced. In the coming weeks, as we forge ahead into the unknown, REMEMBER we are all in this together! I urge all of us to focus on what we know as opposed to what we don’t know. Focus on what we can do as opposed to what we can’t.  Look for the facts and ignore the fear.

COVID-19 is sprinting across the globe, facilitating fear, holding us hostage, and making us question if life and the world will ever return to the way it once was. Realistically, we are all experiencing apprehension, anxiety, anguish, and despair. 

During this rapidly changing environment and time of uncertainty, APTA Pediatrics leadership and APTA have worked collaboratively to provide our membership with resources and information related to practice areas, telehealth, legislation, and advocacy.  APTA Pediatrics has enlisted volunteers to check the website for accuracy, as things change constantly. The Private Practice Section of APTA (https://ppsapta.org) has opened its resourceful site to members and nonmembers. 

Remember, we are facing these uncharted challenges as pediatric physical therapists. We are individuals that are optimistic with a permanent sense of wonder:

    • A sense that doesn’t allow us to give up on anyone.
    • A sense that seeks new solutions.
    • A sense the bolsters the strength we possess to forge forward with vision and passion, push boundaries, reject fear, and find a pathway to that optimistic new beginning.

We are in this together as a profession, as a community, as a nation, as one world. Now more than ever, our APTA President Dr Sharon Dunn’s belief that we are “Better Together” is imperative to lead us through this chaotic uncharted territory. THANK YOU, President Dunn, you have APTA Pediatrics support and appreciation for your leadership. We vote “aye" to Private Practice Section President, Sandra Norby’s second to your call for us to each do "our best to make a positive impact on society in a moment in time where there are no easy solutions.” I hope you have all taken a moment to read Dr Dunn’s letter on the impact of COVID-19

Whenever I am struggling to find answers or to sort out what I know or do not know, I find myself listening to John Denver and thinking of how appropriate his words are:

“It's about time we realize it, we're all in this together.

It's about time we find out, it's all of us or none.

It's about time, it's about changes, and it's about time.

It's about time we start to live it, the family of man.

It's about peace and it's about plenty and it's about time,

It's about you and me together and it's about time.”

Wishing you and your families health and wellness. I urge you to take this gift of time together, embrace one another, keep your sense of wonder, and always be safe. Hugs to you all.


Take a moment, put on your headphone or blast it with your family and listen to two of John’s poplar songs to lead us along this unknown, unfamiliar pathway.

Perhaps Love - John Denver

Perhaps love is like a resting place

A shelter from the storm

It exists to give you comfort

It is there to keep you warm

And in those times of trouble

When you are most alone

The memory of love will bring you home...


Heart to Heart - John Denver

There's another side to sorrow

As there is to everything

Like the other side of lonely

Is falling in love again

And then you know that there's an answer

To the suffering we see

And though it isn't easy

It's still as simple as you and me

And you'll know that love is everywhere

Always safe, always true

And exactly where it comes from

Is where it's going to....


You and all the families we serve are in my thoughts.


Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

Board-Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist

APTA Pediatrics President








CSM 2020 is here! I hope to see many of you in Denver. In November of 2019, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of APPTAC (SoPAC) in Disneyland with record attendance; 10 years of MAGIC! At the same time we “kicked” off the celebration of the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy’s 45th Anniversary; 45 years of VISION! We will continue our Academys Anniversary celebration at the Denver Center Performing Arts (DCPA) on Friday February 14th, with over 400 attendees.


CSM 2020 will provide 2 opportunities to serve our host community: http://www.apta.org/CSM/CommunityService/

  1. Join the APTA Step Challenge!! If CSM attendees, APTA members and staff reach the group goal of 150 million steps in 7 days, APTA will donate $10,000 to help LuBird's Light Foundation. build a wheelchair swing in a Denver park. START STEPPING!!


2. Impact the lives of individuals living in the Denver area, with an emphasis on school-aged children and the homeless population. Donate via the PT in the Community GoFundMe page.


45 years of VISION: APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy has a wonderful history of accomplishments, thanks to the vision and passion of previous leaders and members. I am grateful to all that believed in this adventure from the beginning and understood that we must “keep swimming!” Now, I have so excited to see where our Academy’ new structure will lead us! A change in bylaws was approved unanimously by APTA Pediatric’s membership at CSM 2019. Immediately following CSM several task force were formed to began the restructuring and serving to drive academy initiatives forward. The Leadership Development Task Force has worked extensively throughout this year to ensure a seamless transition of the Board of Directors from Regional Directors to Directors.


The 7 newly elected Directors will assume their role at our CSM 2020 member business meeting. As part of a special election in November 2019, directors were elected into staggered terms, with all 7 non-officer Directors beginning their terms in 2020; 2 Director terms ending in 2021, 3 Director terms ending in 2022, and 2 Director terms ending in 2023. Terms for Executive Committee members remain the same.


The structural change will NOT eliminate communication with members at the state level. In fact the goal is to increase communication and advocacy at the state level. 26 former State Representatives will transition to State Pediatric Advocacy Liaisons (SPALs). Recruitment has begun for open positions within the new network. Our goal is to empower State Pediatric Advocacy Liaisons to collaborate and advocate at chapter levels for all members.


I have been pleased with the change in our call for volunteers over the past 3 years. We are now collaborating with APTA and the volunteer engage platform they developed. All APTA Pediatric committees will call for volunteers through the engage platform. My goal is to include and engage all members in our wonderful academy.


Have you checked out NEWLY DESIGNED WEBSTE!! Please join and engage with academy members on our community forums: https://forums.pediatricapta.org


If you are heading to Denver be sure to join the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup on Thursday February 13th @ 8 am as they present Hot Topics in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Pediatric PTs and PTAs

APTA Pediatrics along with the APTA has completed a second CPG! The Management of Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: An Evidence-Based CPGwill be presented Friday February 14th @ 8 am


2020 will be a new beginning for all of us. As we embrace our past, 45 years of VISION! and look forward to the future - REMEMBER we are all in this together! Let’s continue the vision and passion for the families and the profession WE SERVE. Let’s make the next 45 years the best yet as we serve in our own unique capacity within APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy!


Thank you all for your commitment to the academy, the profession & the families we serve.

Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

ABPTS Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist

What a great way to jump into 2019 - attending the second largest Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in Washington, DC, with our colleagues from across the country! It was wonderful to meet new members, reconnect with current members and old friends, and participate in the wonderful pediatric content our CSM program committee planned.


Saturday, January 26, 2019, offered a unique opportunity for attendees to participate in multi-section programing, cosponsored by all 18 APTA specialty sections/academies and APTA’s Frontiers in Rehabilitation, Science, and Technology (FiRST) Council. Eric Green, MD, PhD, director of the Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, and Richard Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA, whose 2017 Mary McMillan Lecture focused on precision physical therapy guided by genetic data, steered our profession into the genomic era. FiRST Council cochair Steven L. Wolf, PT, PhD, FAPTA, reports “All physical therapists, no matter their area of practice, must understand the Human Genome Project’s profound influence on the advancement of biological and medical science, and how it will enable physical therapists to provide better and more personalized care.”


The Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy had record attendance at our annual business meeting. The bylaw amendments that were proposed in the fall were voted on and approved at the business meeting by our membership, which will allow the Academy the flexibility to better support our strategic plan as we continue to play a crucial role in optimizing development and movement.


Since the Academy’s formation almost 45 years ago, our leaders and members have played a significant role in district, state, academy, and national leadership. Throughout those years, we have expanded our role, and today we are recognized on both a national and international level. Our diverse Academy membership reaches across the lifespan in multiple environments to serve individuals and families. What a wonderful position to be in!


We will kick off our Academy’s 45th anniversary celebration in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of our annual conference(November 15-17, 2019) at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. We hope you can join us for inspiring pediatric programming (and a magical evening event on Saturday, November 16).


Keep an eye out for our renovated website, coming your way this spring! The new website will include exciting technology updates and a new and improved community forum for increased member and community engagement. I am excited to continue on our journey together as we explore the heights we can achieve as we engage through advocacy, education, and research!


Thank you all for your commitment to the Academy, the profession, and the families we serve.

Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

ABPTS Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist




APPT Mission: Advance pediatric physical therapy through excellence in advocacy, education, and research

Four Goal Areas of the APPT Strategic Plan: ADVOCATE, EDUCATE, ELEVATE, LEAD


Members of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting many of you at CSM, APPTAC, and throughout my travels about the country for other activities. I marvel at your commitment to the families and communities we serve, our profession, our academy, and to moving practice forward. Thank you all for your positive energy. I am so excited to leap with all of you into the next decade and the endless possibilities of what lies ahead.


APTA’s 2019 Combined Section Meeting in Washington DC had more than 17,000 attendees, including international therapists and leaders. The Academy’s CSM Program Committee did a wonderful job of bringing members cutting-edge speakers and programming, as well as several networking opportunities.


The Academy’s record-breaking Business Meeting gave members the opportunity to vote unanimously on a bylaws update. The change in bylaws included changing “regional director” to “director,” removing dues information, adding an indemnification clause, and several edits for clarity.


This flexibility in the “director” title will allow the 7 directors not on the Executive Committee to represent areas of responsibility related to APPT goals as opposed to our current structure of representation based on regions. This structural change positions the Academy to align with member priorities, while moving us forward to fulfill our mission, vision, values, and goals. I am especially excited the plan includes increased resources for leadership development, advocacy, communication, and marketing.


Academy leadership will spend the next few months finalizing the new director job descriptions in preparation for a one-time special election in the Fall of 2019 to elect all 7 goal-based directors. All 7 goal-based directors will begin their terms at CSM 2020, with 2 Director terms ending in 2021, 3 in 2022, and 2 in 2023; terms for Executive Committee members will remain the same (the position of President will also be elected in Fall of 2019, as regularly scheduled). Current Regional Directors will continue to serve in their current roles during the year-long transition.


State representatives will continue as well, and will serve as a conduit and resource between states and APPT, sustain and build relationships that we have with states, and position pediatrics as integral to the chapter.


After the unanimous vote, I shared a quick synopsis of academy accomplishments in 2018. The highlights, updated bylaws, and minutes from the Business Meeting can be found on our web site under About Us (https://pediatricapta.org/about-pediatric-physical-therapy/academy-pediatric-physical-therapy.cfm). The newly renamed Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (https://foundation4pt.org/) and PT-PAC (http://www.ptpac.org/home.aspx) both presented at the Business Meeting as well. Click here to see APTA’s new policy initiatives (http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2019/02/08/PublicPolicyPriorities/?_zs=BR9fV1&_zl=DUfW5), which have a focus on underserved children, chronically ill children, children with disabilities, and wellness issues in children through the lifespan and demonstrates support for IDEA. We’re pleased support APTA in these endeavors.

Other news from CSM:

  • During CSM, we collaborated with the American Academy of Sports Therapy and the APTA Council on Health Promotion and Wellness to support Leveling the Playing Field equipment drive for youth in Washington, DC.
  • APTA’s step challenge was very successful. APTA members and staff stepped a total of 180,364,119 steps over 7 days, more than over 45 million steps over the goal! APTA will be donating $10,000 to the Adaptive Sports Program at the Medstar NRH and APPT has pledged to contribute $1,500 as well.
  • APTA’s new strategic plan, which stresses community building, engagement, and alignment can be found on their web site (http://www.apta.org/VisionStrategicPlan.
  • APTA board members and select staff had a ceremonial ground-breaking at the new headquarters building in Alexandria. APTA anticipates a move-in date of 2021, just in time for our centennial celebration and upcoming unified APTA branding.
  • I had the privilege of attending APTA’s Component Leadership Meeting, which included US Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, as the keynote speaker. The Vice Admiral Adams was very engaging and supportive of physical therapy, especially in light of the opioid crisis. I encourage you to visit his website https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/ for information and check out his digital postcard https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/sites/default/files/SG-Postcard.jpg).


The CSM 2020 Call for Proposals closes March 20! Visit www.apta.org/csm under Programming, then CSM 2020 to submit a proposal for CSM 2020 in Denver (February 12-15, 2020). As pediatric physical therapists YOU ARE the starting point to “Optimize Lifelong Meaningful Participation.” #choosept




Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

ABPTS Board Certified Pediatric Physical Therapist