New Guidance Reaffirms Importance of Full Implementation of IDEA Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

From OSERS Office of the Assistant Secretary 8/24/21:

Today, the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) sent a letter to its state and local partners reiterating its commitment to ensuring children with disabilities and their families have successful early intervention and educational experiences in the 2021–2022 school year.

This letter outlines a series of question and answers (Q&As) as children and students return to in-person learning. The Q&As focus on topics to help ensure that — regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic or the mode of instruction — children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and that infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services.

The Q&As document on Child Find Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the first Q&A in the series and reaffirms the importance of appropriate implementation of IDEA’s child find obligations, which requires the identification, location and evaluation, of all children with disabilities in the states. An effective child find system is an ongoing part of each state’s responsibility to ensure that FAPE is made available to all eligible children with disabilities.

Read the Press Release

Read the Letter to OSERS State and Local Partners

Read the Q&A on Child Find Under Part B of IDEA

Additional resources below:

CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools

ED COVID-19 HANDBOOK Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools

AAP COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools

APTA Pediatrics Research Grants Announced

The APTA Pediatrics Research Grants Committee has selected the following research projects for funding this year:
  • Research 1 grants ($30,000): Rachel Hawe: Examining Visual Strategies in Motor Planning and Execution in Children with Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy; Swati Surkar: Remote Ischemic Conditioning to Enhance Bimanual Skill Learning and Corticospinal Excitability in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy; Heather Feldner: Use of a Dynamic Partial Body Weight Support Play Environment to Encourage Upright Mobility and Exploration in Infants with Down Syndrome
  • Research 2 grants ($10,000): Monica Rivera: Interaction between Self-Propelled Mobility and Spatial Cognition in Infants and Toddlers with Spina Bifida
  • Mentored grant ($10,000): Kari Kretch (mentor: Stacey Dusing): Effects of posture and seating on learning opportunities in infants at risk for cerebral palsy
  • Critical Synthesis of Literature Grants ($2,500): Judy Zhou: Effect of motor intervention on cognition, communication, and social interaction in children with autism spectrum disorder; Corri Stuyvenberg: Efficacy of Rehabilitation Professional-Provided Parenting Interventions for Families with Young Children with Developmental Disabilities, Ages Birth to Three Years
Congratulations to the recipients! The next application deadline for APTA Pediatrics Research Grants will be June 1, 2022. More information can be found on the APTA Pediatrics Research page.

Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal Online-only Beginning in 2022

Earlier this year, the APTA Pediatrics Board of Directors voted to follow the lead of PTJ, the APTA journal, and move Pediatric Physical Therapy to online-only beginning in 2022. The upcoming issue will be the last print issue. This decision was made based on usage trends, environmental impact, and cost savings (primarily because print advertising has all but disappeared). You will continue to receive the same great high-quality content – and even more with an increase in digital pages!
 
PPT will continue to publish its valuable, not-to-be-missed content on a quarterly basis. It will continue to be easily accessible through the link on the APTA Pediatrics website that takes members to the journal, optimized for viewing on any device. If you are not already familiar with accessing PPT online, please take a moment to follow the instuctions in this how-to document. Download file
 
Please sign in HERE and log in to start reading! If you need assistance, please email LWW Member Service at memberservice@lww.com or call 1.866.489.0443.
 
Cindy Miles, PT, PCS
President, APTA Pediatrics
 
Linda Fetters, PT, PhD
Editor, Pediatric Physical Therapy

Update on APTA Pediatrics Centennial Scholars

The APTA Centennial Scholars Program, part of APTA's Centennial Celebration, is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders at both the chapter/section/academy and national levels. APTA Pediatrics has sponsored two individuals to participate in this 12-month long leadership development program. We are excited to share the update below with our members to formally introduce our scholars and highlight the impressive work they are doing with their capstone projects.

Erin Bompiani, PT, DPT

Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy

Director of Leadership Development, Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy

LeadershipDevelopment@pediatricapta.org 

Emily Quinn, PT, DPT

Emily Quinn is a graduate of Ithaca College and currently works in an outpatient pediatric clinic. She has experience working in a variety of settings: hospital-based outpatient, inpatient, and acute care, as well as school-based. As a Chinese adoptee, she has had an interest in diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice work from a young age, and her lived experiences through her intersecting identities has only increased this interest into a passion. It is through this passion that she found the APTA Pediatrics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee where she serves as a member. Emily is looking forward to increasing her knowledge of leadership and how she can increase representation in APTA leadership, as well as increasing opportunities for underserved and unserved communities through the Centennial Scholar program, as well as increasing her own connections with other colleagues from a variety of settings. 

For Emily’s capstone project, she has chosen to explore how pediatric PTs can better serve children in out-of-home care (more commonly known as the foster care system). The purpose of this project is to increase members’ awareness of health disparities and health risks that are or may be present and provide education regarding how clinicians can better serve this population, including possible collaboration with other health professionals. Additionally, the project will provide individuals in the out-of-home care with knowledge regarding pediatric wellness and the role of Pediatric Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. 

Emily is currently working on reviewing data to create a glossary of important terms to know when working with children in out-of-home care, and she is obtaining general population statistics of this population. She also has created this survey for you all to fill out and share with other Pediatric PTs and PTAs to obtain baseline data on how pediatric PTs are currently serving children in out-of-home care to fill out by June 15, 2021.  

Josie Kautsky, PT, DPT

Josie is a pediatric physical therapist who graduated with her DPT from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. She recently completed her pediatric residency at the University of Miami. During school she was involved with APTA ND and began working with the Students and New Professionals group (now SNP SIG) for APTA Pediatrics. She currently works in a pediatric outpatient setting in Billings, MT. She is part of the SNP SIG leadership and serves as the Communications Chair. 

For her capstone project, Josie is working collaboratively with leadership throughout APTA Pediatrics to develop and implement a Volunteer Engagement Toolkit. The purpose of this project will be to optimize the engagement with all volunteers across APTA Pediatrics, to help support and connect with members who are interested in volunteering, and to  celebrate the work of the current volunteers vital to our organization. Ultimately, our hope is that the project will enhance member connection to the academy which coincides with APTA Pediatrics dedication to developing the next generation of leaders in pediatric physical therapy

Statement from APTA Pediatrics on Transgender Legislation

Dear American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Pediatrics members,

In the last few weeks, several USA states have passed legislation that will significantly impact the healthcare of gender-diverse and transgender youth. The laws limit access to medically necessary health services including gender-affirmation surgeries, medications for transgender individuals.1,2,3 Additionally, the laws impacting the health and well-being of gender-diverse and transgender youth will prohibit them from participating in sports teams according to gender identity. These states’ decisions have been widely opposed by medical organizations, as gender-affirming care has been shown to significantly decrease the risk for considering suicide.4 These acts demonstrate healthcare discrimination that negatively affects the individual, the LGBTQ+ community, and our larger communities. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that, “youth who identify as transgender have access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally-appropriate healthcare that is provided in a safe and inclusive clinical space. We also recommend that playing on sports teams helps youth develop self-esteem, correlates positively with overall mental health, and appears to have a protective effect against suicide.”5

We, the members of the APTA Pediatrics DEI Committee, support the AAP’s opposition to this legislation. We as pediatric physical therapists follow our APTA Code of Ethics to respect the inherent dignity, and rights, of all individuals and present ourselves as trustworthy and compassion in addressing the rights and needs of patients and clients.⁶ We also  demonstrate the core value of social responsibility by promoting mutual trust between the profession and the larger public to respond to societal needs for health and wellness.⁷ We stand with our colleagues, families, patients, and communities who may be affected and continue to support the rights and inclusion of people who identify as gender-diverse and/or transgender, as well as the LGBTQ+ community.6,7,8

We have included resources below to help provide education and assist with advocacy.

In Solidarity,

APTA Pediatrics DEI Committee with the support of APTA Pediatrics Board of Directors

Resources:

Call to Action: The Equality Act (H.R. 5) passed the House and has moved to the Senate.

  1. Visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5 to read the bill
  2. Visit https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm to find your U.S. Senators and their contact information. Phone numbers are provided on the main page; Email can be accessed by clicking on “Contact.”
  3. Contact your U.S. Senators by phone or email to provide comments/feedback about the bill.

Legislative Resources: https://freedomforallamericans.org/legislative-tracker/anti-transgender-legislation/

Education Resources: Microsoft Word - Full Handout LGBTQIA-doc (filesusr.com)

Introduction to LGBTQ+ Competency Handbook for Physical Therapy

About OutCare Health - Improving LGBTQ+ Healthcare

Provider LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency Training - OutCare Health

LGBTQ+ Healthcare Resources Near You (outcarehealth.org)

Allyship Actions: LGBTQ+ Healthcare Cultural Competency Training - OutCare Health

PT Proud: Provider Directory | pt-proud

References:

  1. SB289 as engrossed on 03-09-2021 11:54:58 (state.ar.us)
  2. https://trackbill.com/bill/arkansas-house-bill-1570-to-create-the-arkansas-save-adolescents-from-experimentation-safe-act/2049877/
  3. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/arkansas-passes-bill-ban-gender-affirming-care-trans-youth-n1262412
  4. Transgender Identity and Experiences of Violence Victimization, Substance Use, Suicide Risk, and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — 19 States and Large Urban School Districts, 2017 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics Speaks Out Against Bills Harming Transgender Youth (aap.org)
  6. https://www.apta.org/apta-and-you/leadership-and-governance/policies/code-of-ethics-for-the-physical-therapist
  7. https://www.apta.org/apta-and-you/leadership-and-governance/policies/core-values-for-the-physical-therapist-and-physical-therapist-assistant
  8. https://www.apta.org/apta-and-you/leadership-and-governance/policies/standards-of-ethical-conduct-for-the-physical-therapist-assistant

Statement from APTA Pediatrics on Violence Against AAPI

Dear APTA Pediatrics members,

The increasing incidents of violence and hate crimes against Asians/Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) or the pan-Asian community have been both disturbing and appalling. The Stop AAPI Hate advocacy group has recorded Asian-American hate incidents and discrimination, of which there have been a reported 3,795 cases this past year,1 and reports of Anti-Asian sentiment have increased by 1,900%.2 The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and APTA Pediatrics condemn any such behavior (violence, bigotry, racism) directed toward any person based on their color, race, or gender. These events send a profound message to the community that the continued fight for equity and belonging is not over. We must stand as one people and face these ongoing adversities. Our committee charges everyone to take part in preventing hate crimes in your community by getting involved to create a safe and inclusive community. Listed below are resources and suggestions for involvement to help those you know who may be impacted by acts of racism.

In Solidarity,

APTA Pediatrics DEI Committee

Ways to help out:3

  • Check in with the people you know in the AAPI community.
  • Spread awareness on social media: Speak out against acts of racism, including online harassment, and stand in solidarity with the AAPI community. If you do not know what to say, consider reposting/sharing the work of AAPI activists. Please use the following hashtags that are currently being used by the AAPI activist community: #StopAsianHate, #TheyCantBurnUsAll, #ProtectAsianLives, #Racismisavirus, and #AsiansAreHuman.
  • Report hate crimes witnessed or experienced to the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center and/or your local reporting center.
  • Bring awareness of anti-Asian harassment without being anti-Black: While some of the incidents against the AAPI community have involved other people of color, it is not a time to pit one community against another. Instead, educate yourself and others about the policies, stereotypes, and histories that have increased white supremacist ideals against the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
  • Donate to community organizations that are advocating for these communities.
  • Support local Asian-owned businesses with compassion.
  • Speak up against racism and harassment when you see it.

Resources

Education Resources:

Allyship actions:

Reporting Resources:

Other Resources:

Save Chinatown Initiatives:

Other Area-Specific Resources

References

1 210312-Stop-AAPI-Hate-National-Report-.pdf (secureservercdn.net)

2 The U.S. Is Seeing a Massive Spike in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes (thecut.com)

3 Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Are On The Rise Due To COVID-19. Here’s How To Help. | HuffPost

Letter from APTA Pediatrics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup

Dear Member of APTA Pediatrics,

Recent events confirm that we are living in unprecedented and disturbing times. The Diversity Equity and Inclusion workgroup strives to create an equitable place for all within APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. We promote creating a safe space for dialogue and action. APTA President Dr Sharon Dunn’s has presented a clear message against racial disparities, systemic inequality and violence (http://www.apta.org/PresidentLetter/2020/5/31/), and APTA Pediatrics President Cindy Miles, during last week’s town hall meeting, challenged pediatric therapists to imagine the possibilities where we can make a difference. She went on to say that “for centuries a systemic virus has caused generations of death, anguish, fear, economic disparities, education disparities, health disparities, horrifically separated families. Are we as Americans finally ready to face, to acknowledge, to defeat racism? Has the death of George Floyd, a Black man, and what has followed as Americans united in solidarity responded to the latest act of unwarranted violence against people of color, been the catalyst for us to finally say enough is enough?“

We believe that the APTA Pediatrics membership should stand strong against inequity, racism, violence, and any form of authoritative abuse, including police brutality against Black people. The members of this committee do not tolerate such behaviors. We vehemently oppose the recent brutal killing of several African American individuals at the hands of the local police authority and civilians, to include but not limited to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

The mission of Black Lives Matter is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene against violence inflicted on African-American communities. Their goal is to combat and counter acts of violence, creating space for imagination, innovation, and centering Black joy. We all must stand up against racism and violence targeted at individuals based solely on the color of their skin, race, or gender. We must realize that white privilege is real and exists. We must realize that many African-American families worry daily if a family member will be inappropriately stopped by police, targeted by a complete stranger based on skin color, or killed for no other reason except they came in contact with a person who was threatened by their very existence. And truth be told, this may be a novel notion to many of us, as these thoughts may never enter our consciousness based on one's background.

It is time to stand up peacefully and work with all our resources and spirit to show authorities, politicians, and your neighbors that violence against Black people is not moral, ethical, or correct in any way and is totally unacceptable. It is also time to stand for health equity. As we have seen, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the Coronavirus. COVID-19 does not affect people of color exclusively, but it does affect people with comorbidities that are directly related to disparities in health care access and other social determinants of health. APTA and APTA Pediatrics denounce racism, violence against people based on skin color, and lack of access to healthcare based on skin color and income level. We encourage our membership to peacefully protest demanding action, new policies, and practices. Become involved in your community, local, state and national levels to rewrite discriminatory policies and laws. Demand that health access is more available and that barriers preventing access to health care for underserved and underrepresented are eliminated. We especially support our members who are from underrepresented or under-resourced groups to become involved in APTA Pediatrics committees and leadership positions.

In addition to acting as a group, we can also act as individuals and make changes at the micro-level which will eventually impact the macro level. Consider the following activities (there are many more, these are just to get you started):

1. Watch the Sesame Street production, Sesame Street for Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, a town hall for kids and families about racism with your family and your friends and have meaningful discussions with young and old about the negative impact of racism on all of us. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/app-news-section/cnn-sesame-street-race-town-hall-app-june-6-2020-app/index.html and https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/app-news-section/cnn-sesame-street-race-town-hall-app-june-6-2020-app/index.html

2. Contribute to various legitimate organizations/ funds that work to improve equity for all people:

a. The American Academy of Physical Therapy: Http://Www.Aaptnet.Org

b. The Bail Project: www.Bailproject.Org

c. Rolling Stone Provides A Nationwide List of Groups to Contribute to: Https://Www.Rollingstone.Com/Culture/Culture-News/George-Floyd-Protests-Bail-Funds-Police-Brutality-Black-Lives-Matter-1008259/

d. 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

Together we can and will improve society. Now is the time to say enough is enough, now is the time to demand equity and inclusion for all. We leave you with the words of APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist There is nothing healthy about racism. Its a disease of the heart and mind that has infected not just people but customs, systems, and laws. There is no vaccine. We must be the cure.”

Sincerely,

APTA Pediatrics Diversity Equity and Inclusion Workgroup

(Members: Robbie O’Shea, PT, DPT, PhD; Mica Mitchell, PT, DPT, C/NDT; Ron Meade PT, DPT; Nia Mensah, PT, DPT, PCS, C/NDT; Eunice Shen, PT; Lori Glumac, PT; Erin Butler, PT, DPT; Cheryl Kerfeld PT, MS, PhD; Yassar Salem PT, PhD, MS, NCS, PCS; Julie Tan, PT; Emily Quinn, PT, DPT; Nicholas Kelly, PT, PCS; Mathew Raters PT; KT Jones, PT, DPT; Sara Montgomery, PT, DPT)