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The Building Blocks of Movement

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

When babies are in the NICU, they communicate through their movements. They tell us with their movements if they are stressed or if they’re stable. They tell us if they’re in pain or if they’re comfortable. When we learn the language of these movements, we can integrate this knowledge into their care, both in the NICU and at home. In this presentation, we will be identifying different “building blocks” of movement. We will look at what these movements mean and what they can lead to in the future.

As babies leave the NICU and proceed through their first year at home, motor development becomes a major developmental emphasis. We will be taking a close look at issues that may impact on a baby’s development and we will discuss what we can do to facilitate this developmental domain.


Maureen Luther, B.Sc (P.T) MA Paediatric Physiotherapist Maureen has her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and her Master of Arts in Special Education. She is presently a paediatric physiotherapist in the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. She has had the pleasure of working with children and their families all her professional career. Her role as a physiotherapist within the NICU and the follow-up clinic is to observe “how babies and children move” from which to gain some understanding of how their brains are functioning.

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