Train the Brain! Motor Learning Strategies to Promote Neural Plasticity in Children & Youth

Event Phone: 646-269-9039

  • Train the Brain!
    January 9, 2018
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm

with Carlo Vialu, PT, MBA

Generalization of skills allows the children to succeed in their various occupations as students, peers, and members of the family and the community. What treatment approaches have been shown to facilitate generalization?  

The brain is a dynamic organ that is capable of changing throughout the lifespan in response to internal and external stimuli. Termed neural plasticity, the brain’s ability to change is linked to the learning and generalization of motor skills. Adherence to motor learning principles (MLPs) has been shown to facilitate neural plasticity and, thus, generalization.  However, initial research on motor learning focused on adults, especially athletes. Since children are not merely “little adults,” there has been questions about the applicability of MLPs to children and youth with disabilities.

Training the Brain! will provide the latest evidence in utilizing MLP as they apply to children. The presenter will discuss the research findings and rationale behind such principles as the provision of verbal instruction, demonstration, feedback, variability, reducing difficulty, frequency, specificity, self-controlled practice, motor imagery, whole vs. part practice, and salience. The presenter will translate these evidence into the real-life practice of pediatric OTs and PTs. The presenter will explain the use of MLPs in addressing home, community and school goals. Participants will learn how to incorporate these principles in the individual with disabilities’ therapeutic intervention. To maximize the benefits of MLPs, the presenter will promote the increase of opportunities for practice of motor skills during their daily routine at home, in the school and the community. To this end, participants will also learn how to collaborate with families, caregivers and educators to design a motor-learning-principle-rich home, community and school environment.

This course is just the start of a shared learning experience with Apply EBP’s True Continuing Education Model! Every participant gets an exclusive membership to an online discussion group with the speaker, your co-participants, and other Apply EBP faculty members.


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Describe how adhering to certain motor learning principles can lead to neural plasticity and generalization of skills.

2. Identify motor learning principles that can be applied to children and youth with disabilities.

3. Develop an intervention plan that incorporates at least 5 motor learning principles.

4. Design a motor-learning-principle-rich home, community and/or school environment that addresses the child’s goals.


OTs, PTs, COTAs, PTAs, APE and PE teachers serving children and youth with disabilities


AM Session

  • Neural plasticity
    • Definition
    • Implications for Therapists
  • Motor Learning
    • Dynamic Systems Theory
    • Influencing Factors
    • Acquisition, Retention and Generalization
  • Motor Learning Principles (MLPs)
    • Specificity, Salience, Frequency
    • Verbal Instructions, Feedback, Demonstration
    • Reducing Difficulty, Variability
    • Whole vs. Part Practice

PM Session

  • Motor Learning Principles (MLPs), continuation
    • Motor Imagery Practice
    • Self-controlled Practice
  • MLP and Common Diagnoses
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Developmental Coordination Disorder
    • Autism
    • Others
  • Practical Toolkit: MLP Quick Guides
  • Clinical Reasoning: Case Studies
    • Using MLPs to Address Home, School, Clinic and/or Community Goals
  • Creating an MLP-rich Home, School or Community Environment

Click here for the 1-page brochure.


Train the Brain! qualifies for 6 hours of continuing education training. For details, email




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Registrants may cancel up to 14 days prior to the course for a refund minus a $75 administration fee. There will be no refund for canceling less than 14 days prior to the course. Substitution is allowed with an email notification to  ApplyEBP reserves the right to cancel a course up to 21 days prior to the course due to insufficient registration, with a full refund to registrants. Please do not  arrange non-refundable travel arrangements until 20 days prior to the course, as ApplyEBP is not responsible for such expenses.

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2 Replies to “Train the Brain! Motor Learning Strategies to Promote Neural Plasticity in Children & Youth”

  1. very interested in your ceus especially train the brain/neuroplasticity. how much does this class cost and is it onsite or online?

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