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CSM was in San Antonio this year and it was awesome! Happily, this SeekFreak was able to attend and re-connected with many old friends and found some new ones. The strength and struggle of this meeting is that all the APTA sections are there. This makes the meeting huge and sometimes difficult to navigate. I was happy to see copies of the SeekFreaks SBPT Guide to CSM 2017  getting good use! I know mine was out, folded and refolded each day. So much to see and learn.One of the big reasons we started this website was so that the great conversations we have at conferences could be continued throughout the year. If you attended CSM 2017, tell us what you thought in the comment section? What was your best session and why? What session made you pull out the work you brought with you from home and why? What session would you like to see at CSM next year? Do you have something to share at a session? The proposal deadline is March 17, 2017. They are accepting proposals for posters, platforms (15 minute sessions) and educational sessions (90 minutes). The program committee is actively seeking submissions from school-based practice. We would be happy to talk to you about your idea! Okay, enough questions…on to the conference experience and my reflections.

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On Thursday, February 16-

Up and at it EARLY at 6am for the Academy on Pediatric PT Breakfast, which was great! Lots of familiar faces, great food and conversation. A fantastic way to kick off the conference and a school-based PT from NC (not me!) won a Rifton bag from the drawing!

From 8-10am, I went to Promoting Motor Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy. They reviewed some basic aspects to intervention (e.g. feedback, task modification, skill progression) and unpacked some of the evidence available, for each intervention that is supported ( CIMT, Bimanual training, Goal directed training, Context focused therapy and Home programs). Goal directed training and context-focused therapy align beautifully with our practice! Also, OT shout out…OT following BoTox is well supported but as this was a PT conference, they did not explore that.

I got my first sighting of the Path Model of Dosing [CP] (Gannotti, 2014); this was referenced in MANY of the sessions I attended. I have to pull that article for a future SeekFreaks review!

The biggest take-away for me was a strong reinforcement of how critical clinical reasoning early in the intervention can be, the effectiveness of intervening early and intensely.

From 11am-1pm, I started out in You’ve Got to Move It! Applications of Technology for Physical Activity but when the ‘cheap’ tech had a $40k price tag, I got my public school rear out of there, checked my handy SeekFreaks Guide to CSM and joined in the Ann Van Sant Global Scientific Writing Lectureship. Dr. Van Sant set a challenge for us all to think more globally about the reach of pediatric physical therapy, encouraging those who volunteer globally to also collect information and data to publish and broaden our scope of thinking for research, interventions and writing.

At 3-5p, I went to Interdisciplinary Fitness, Wellness and Chronic Disease Management for ChildrenVery interesting discussion of wellness, what that can mean, does mean and should mean. Interesting to hear from physician perspective. My take away was some detailed information about microcirculation and the endothelium. Normal functioning endothelium yields: anti‐proliferative and anticoagulant  effects on the vascular wall; controls inflammation by preventing  leukocyte activation and adhesion; maintains oxidative / anti‐oxidative  balance within the vasculature and prevents atherosclerosis. All the things we fight against- hypertension, obesity, sedentary living have negative effect on vascular function/microcirculation by impeding endothelium functions.

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On Friday, February 17 I got to sleep in until 8am!!

At 8-10 am, I attended one of the best sessions I saw Mechanical Lifts in Schools: Who? When? Why? What? Where? This was great, a collaboration between PTs from 4 different states to provide some excellent clinical guidance and practical advice on lifting. I am SO glad these PTs are serving on our School SIG workgroup on lifting!! They summarized NIOSH and OSHA recommendations, relevant evidence, policy from 11 states that have lifting policies (none included public schools!). They then outlined how each of the collaborators’ districts handled lifting; which was eye opening and very helpful! Then they reviewed equipment that is commonly used (or should be) and moved on to a case study to apply this information. My take away was to ensure my state has a lifting policy or at least recommendations/guidelines in place and to alway look to incorporate decreasing dependence for transfers as an IEP goal for our most involved students. Great session, it was just too short. These women ‘did our practice proud’!!

At 11 am-1pm, I went to improve my knowledge base for working with students with Autism and attended Motor Learning Characteristics of Children with Autism. This was all news to me. I found that I have underestimated our role in working with students with Autism for too long! The excellent presenters, primarily Liliane Savard, reviewed the evidence with great insight that comes from years of experience with this population. I learned a lot. In the second part of the session they discussed how to apply some of these principles in intervention with videos which were clearly from real practice. I needed this information and feel better equipped. As a bonus, one of the presenters Karen Tartick shared her experience from a PT’s perspective as a mother of a son with Autism. This part of the session was amazing. I was reminded that we need a perceptive awareness of parents and families and the emotional path they are navigating as we do our work; very moving!

At 3-5 pm, I went to see Transforming Physical Therapy for Children with Movement Disorders. It was interesting to see how the evidence progresses…I remember from last CSM seeing Dr. Palisano’s platform on family-centered practices and saw much of that information fleshed out here! Coolness. This session really demonstrated how participation and the student/family need to be at the center of our assessment, interventions, outcomes and data. The excellent presenters referred to many articles and evidence that I will have to run down to use in moving goals to participation so I can be evidence-based to the extent practicable!!

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Last day! Saturday 2/18 Started off with the School SIG meeting! I love getting all the School-based peeps in one place at the crack of dawn! I always think folks will sleep in but you guys always come through and with amazing ideas and discussions at such an early hour!! Andy Ruff from Iowa even brought a collosal pastry from a local bakery he saw on Man vs. Food. It was over 3 pounds of deliciousness, thanks Andy! We had 38 attending from 18 states! I will be sending a School SIG update out to the members soon…

At 8-10a, I went to see Becoming Content Adults with CP: Recommendations for Easing the Transition. A little too much time went into reviewing various classification scales (GMFCS, MACS) and common assessments; but then it got rolling. The presenters reviewed some physiologic changes expected when aging with a disability, various assessments to employ for participation and strategies to improve engagement and collaboration. Specific cases were presented that helped to bring home points from the evidence and it was great to hear how they had approached some of the challenges. We did run out of time for discussion because the session was packed with information!

At 11 am-1 pm, I went to see Best Practices in Teaching and Learning Pediatric PT. Lots of great strategies and models were shared with the 5 essential core competencies: Human Development, Age Appropriate Patient Management, Legislation, Policy & Systems, Family-centered Care for all Patient/Family Interactions and Health Promotion & Safety. My take home was to reflect on how tests can be used as a teaching tool!

Last day, last session…I have to admit, after reviewing my SeekFreak Guide, I did not get lured into a last session but for the first time left a bit early to meet with colleagues to get a project underway!

It was a tremendous conference and I thoroughly relished my time in San Antonio. I’ll be back!

Part of attending any large conference, like CSM, is evaluating the many sessions that are interesting, committing to one and dealing with any remorse that comes when hearing your colleagues describing the fantastic session you did not choose!

Sessions I would like to have attended: Peds Platform sessions, Measuring Outcomes for Children with CP Across the ICF, Motivational Interviewing and Health Coaching, Targeted Training for Head Control, Use of Mobile Tech to Improve PT Outcomes, the Pediatric & Adolescent Hip, Movement Diagnosis in Neurologic PT: Where are we?, Get Moving, Get Living: Igniting Valued Action in Children with Chronic Pain, Selective Voluntary Motor Control in Patients with Spastic CP, What’s New in Idiopathic Toe Walking? Eccentric Control from Talking to Walking, Harnessed Mobility: A New Paradigm to Expand Lifetime Participation…just one of me. Rats. Did you attend them? Share your takeaways below.

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There are many important meetings held at CSM besides the delicious Academy breakfast; our Academy Board meeting, Academy Business meeting and School SIG meeting. I was divided the night of the Academy Board meeting as UNC PT was also meeting at this time so I was hoofing it between those two hotels in school-based fashion, i.e. saying yes to all (walked 4.8miles that day)! At the Academy Business meeting we celebrated and began separating from Joe Schreiber who completed his second term and was honored with rousing, length applause. There was a peaceful transfer of power to Cindy Miles.  (By the way, if this review gets you primed to attend a national conference for physical therapy, here are your options for 2018: Innovations (the School-based PT Conference) will be at George Washington University this year July 14th & 15th; the Academy of Pediatric PT Annual meeting (APPTAC) from November 17-19 in Cincinnati, Ohio and CSM 2018 is scheduled for February 21-24 in New Orleans). Awards were won, research was celebrated and a good time was had by all!

The Riverwalk was a constant pull away from learning and meetings to stroll and enjoy amazing guacamole and beverages. This city was welcoming and fun. The conference hotels offered a lot and were in nice proximity of each other. Many lovely spots to meet and discuss what you learned, share a drink and talk shop!

One day I extracted myself from the conference and had lunch at Denny’s (reveling in my under $2 coffee!) and caught up with 2 old friends from PT school. My FAVORITE night spot was Esquire Tavern (the oldest bar on the Riverwalk) the staff was fun and friendly, I loved my beet salad and fried pickle pick me up before more meetings!!

Where will we see you? Washington this summer? Cogitation and cocktails in the Capital? New Orleans this fall? Following Marti Gras, burgeoning learning with bagets and coffee? Or Cincinnati next year? Getting down (one of the top 5 underground tours in the US?!) with an underground tour or with Cincinnati style chili?

If you attended CSM, let us know your fav session and your best experience? If not, tell us your future plans or how we can improve these national convention wrap-ups?

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