Management of Neurological Disorders Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Allied Health Building, Room 122

Office Hours

Tuesday 2:00-3:00 pm or by appointment


Course Information

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PTHA-2431-001 Management of Neurological Disorders


Prerequisites: PTHA 1260, PTHA 1301, PTHA 1405, PTHA 1413, PTHA 1431, PTHA 2301, and PTHA 2409. Corequisites: PTHA 1321 and PTHA 2435.

Course Description

Comprehensive rehabilitation techniques of selected neurological disorders.

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Department Expectations

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Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(4 sem hrs; 3 lec, 3 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Physical Rehabilitation: Assessment and Treatment by O’Sullivan and Schmitz, 7th ed.

Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques by Kisner and Colby, 6th ed.

Neurologic Interventions for Physical Therapy by Martin and Kessler, 4th ed.


 Laptop computer

Student Performance

COURSE DESCRIPTION:    Advanced course integrating previously learned and new skills/techniques into the comprehensive rehabilitation of selected long-term neurological pathologies. In order to successfully complete the Amarillo College Physical Therapist Assistant Program, the student must achieve a score of 600 (out of a maximum score of 800 points) on the Capstone exam. Successful completion of the Amarillo College PTA Program and achievement of a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination allows the graduate eligibility for licensure as a physical therapist assistant in all 50 states of the United States.

PTHA 2431 Management of Neurological Disorders

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Given the course textbooks, personal notes, handouts, and other material, the student should be able to do each of the following on a written and/or practical examination with accuracy of 76.0% or higher as evaluated by faculty of the department:

  1. Outline the impairments, activity limitations, and participation limitations utilizing the ICF model for a patient with a neurological diagnosis.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to perform muscle strength and muscle tone assessment techniques for a patient with a neurological condition.
  3. Develop a physical therapy treatment session and progression for a scenario study utilizing interventions from within the physical therapist's plan of care, supported by at least one peer-reviewed journal article.
  4. Assess the statistical and clinical significance of peer-reviewed journal articles regarding treatment interventions for neurological patient populations.
  5. Demonstrate appropriate teaching strategies for a patient with a neurological diagnosis regarding disease/condition, treatment interventions, and home exercise program in a role play situation.
  6. Identify stages for exercise progression within the established physical therapy plan of care for a given example of a patient with a neurological diagnosis..
  7. Identify situations where the supervising physical therapist should be consulted due to change in status or lack of progress of a neurological patient.
  8. Recognize when the direction to perform an intervention for a patient with a neurological condition is beyond that which is appropriate for a physical therapist assistant.
  9. Describe the safety, status, and progression of patients with neurological conditions while engaged in gait, balance, wheelchair management, and mobility activities.
  10. Identify methods to produce or relieve trauma to the skin that may be caused by assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, supportive or prosthetic devices and equipment for a patient with a neurological diagnosis.
  11. Compose a home exercise program for a patient with a neurological disorder utilizing interventions from within the supervising physical therapist's plan of care.
  12. Demonstrate the ability to perform NDT techniques related to basic neurodevelopmental sequencing and identify abnormal patterns of movement
  13. Demonstrate the ability to perform common PNF interventions for patients with neurological conditions
  14. Demonstrate the ability to modify treatment from within the physical therapist’s plan of care due to changes in patient status and accurately document these changes for a patient with a neurological diagnosis
  15. Demonstrate appropriate education techniques for a patient with a neurological disorders while addressing safety and functional issues
  16. Compose a clear and concise SOAP format note documenting various physical therapy interventions from within the physical therapist’s plan of care
  17. Recognize orthopedic disabilities common to pediatric and adult patients with neurological conditions
  18. Recognize the common use of orthotic devices and assistive devices for pediatric and adult patients with neurological conditions
  19. Recognize common balance, gait, and functional instruments used by physical therapists to assess patients with neurological conditions.
  20. Recognize common strategies for the treatment of a patient with a Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
  21. Demonstrate the ability to progress a mock patient through a basic treatment progression as stated in the physical therapist’s plan of care for a patient with a CVA
  22. Identify the eight levels of recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as identified in the Ranchos Los Amigos Cognitive Rating Scale and how these levels effect physical therapy treatment
  23. Recognize common strategies for the treatment of a patient with a TBI
  24. Recognize common strategies for the treatment of a patient with a spinal cord injury (SCI) including therapeutic exercise and activities of daily living training.
  25. Demonstrate the ability to educate a patient with a spinal cord injury on balance, bed mobility, home exercise, transfers, range of motion, skin care and respiratory management
  26. Compare the different theories of treatment related to upper and lower motor neuron lesions
  27. Recognize common assessment techniques and treatment interventions used for patients with neurological conditions
  28. Recognize activities, positioning, postures, assistive devices, and adaptive devices that can produce associated skin trauma in patients with neurological conditions
  29. Identify changes in a patient’s arousal, attention, mentation, and cognition
  30. Demonstrate the ability to assess arousal, orientation, cognition, attention, and memory.
  31. Identify common pediatric conditions treated in physical therapy
  32. Recognize common physical therapy assessment tools and interventional strategies used for the treatment of pediatric patients
  33. Given a case scenario, create a functional training program for domestic, education, work, community, social, and civic life
  34. Outline the disabilities associated with lesions at various segments of the spinal cord
  35. Identify characteristic signs/symptoms of various mental health disorders
  36. Identify characteristics and physical therapy implications of dementia

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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Expected Student Behavior

Students shall read the Amarillo College "Student Rights and Responsibilities" information with emphasis placed on the Academic Information, Student Conduct and Responsibilities, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Education/Prevention Program sections.
Students will not use cell phones in the classroom, unless the instructor allows use for a specific activity. All such devices must be placed on silent mode and kept stored. If a student expects that there may be some type of emergency situation, the student should inform the instructor prior to the beginning of class. Unauthorized use of cell phones in class will result in the student being asked to leave the class and being counted absent for the lecture/lab.
Student participation is a required element during Lecture and Lab classes. If a student refuses to participate actively or is disengaged in a discussion or activity, the student may be asked to leave class and will be counted absent for the day. Students do have the right to refuse the application of any specific treatment or activity for medical or personal reasons. This does not constitute a reason for absence from class. Alternate activities or assignments will be required.
Students in the PTA Program are expected to dress conservatively and professionally, as expected in the clinic.  Upon request of the faculty, the student will attend class in professional dress including black, navy, or khaki pants and cobalt blue polo shirt with the PTA logo. Clean, closed-toe, closed-heel shoes with non-slip soles in good condition should be worn during all class and lab activities. Amarillo College Badge/ID's should also be worn during all off-campus class and clinical activities.
Jewelry and cologne are to be kept to a minimum. All jewelry should be conservative and limited to a minimal amount. The student's professional dress is subject to approval by the course instructor. If professional dress code is not followed, the student may not be able to participate in the scheduled activity, may receive a grade penalty for the day, and/or may not have the option to makeup the assignment. This decision is at the discretion of the instructor. 
Courtesy and respect are expected between the student and instructor. Students are expected to be attentive to instructor, guests, and other students during presentations. Students are required to extend highest respect to patients/clients/others when making off-campus contact. Lack of regard to this expectation at any time by any single student or group of students may result in immediate dismissal of the student/s from the situation by the instructor, guest lecturer, or patient/client/other.
Dishonesty in the classroom or in completing any assignment will not be tolerated. Students demonstrating academic dishonesty as defined in the "Student Rights and Responsibilities" publication will receive a grade of "F" in the course and will be subject to all PTA Program policies regarding course failure.
Student Grievance: A student who has an issue with the course or course instructor should make every attempt to resolve the problem with the course instructor. If that is not successful, the student may appeal the decision of the instructor to the program director, Allied Health Dean, Dean of Instruction, and the Amarillo College President - IN THAT ORDER.

Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria

Assignments/Quizzes                      5% 

Neuro Project                                  10%

Lecture Exams                                45%

Final Exam                                       20% 

Lab Practicals                                  15%

Attendance                                        5% 

  • The class average must be at least 76.0% for the student to successfully pass the course. The student must successfully complete all assignments and meet course objectives in order to pass the course.
  • Students who do not meet minimum proficiencies during a lab practical, scoring a 75.9% or below, will be given one opportunity to re-test before the course is completed. If the practical is repeated to achieve competency, the highest grade that can be achieved is 76.0%. Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in ALL critical safety elements before being allowed to pass the course. If a student is absent on the day of a practical exam, the highest grade that can be achieved is 76.0% except in extenuating circumstances as determined by the instructor. 
  • Assignments may be in the form of a quiz or submission and may be graded on a check-mark system for satisfactory completion. If unsatisfactory work is submitted, the assignment is returned to the student for correction and edits. FAILURE TO COMPLETE ANY SINGLE ASSIGNMENT TO A SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE WILL RESULT IN A ZERO FOR ASSIGNMENTS GRADE TO BE CALCULATED INTO THE FINAL GRADE AS WEIGHTED BY THE INSTRUCTOR. 

Any student scoring a 79 or lower on an exam or practical is REQUIRED to contact the instructor to discuss remediation. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO SCHEDULE THIS SESSION. The student will be required to schedule and attend tutoring at one of AC’s tutoring centers. Locations for tutoring can be found at The required number of tutoring sessions will be determined at the discretion of the instructor. The student will be required to bring verification of attendance at tutoring to the instructor.

A = 100 - 92.0
B = 91.9 - 84.0
C = 83.9 - 76.0
F = 75.9 - 0

Note: A grade of C or better is required to complete the PTA major.

MAKE-UP POLICY FOR LECTURE EXAMS: There will be a penalty for make-ups on exams. Any unexcused absence from an exam results in a 10-point deduction from the earned grade. The make-up exam will vary in format from the original exam. The student must present verification for the absence in order to take a make-up exam without a penalty The instructor may choose what type of verification is needed. 
The student should expect to take the make-up exam on the day the student returns to class, unless otherwise notified by the instructor.


Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement. Therefore, the student is responsible for class attendance. The student is expected to be seated and prepared to begin class at the designated time. At the beginning of each lecture and lab, attendance will be recorded in Blackboard.  A sign-in sheet may be available for tracking purposes. 

The student's attendance score is based on 100% for each on-time attendance and 50% for each tardy attendance. Habitual tardiness (at least once weekly event) will be addressed with the instructor. The attendance grade is calculated in the course grade as weighted by the instructor. 

Full attendance of class time is also expected. A student will be counted as "absent" if the student is out of class more than 20 minutes of a class time. For example, if in any given day a student arrives 15 minutes late to class, takes an extra 5 minutes for break and leaves class for 5 minutes for any reason (phone calls, appointments, bathroom breaks, illness), that is considered an "absence" for the day. This type of absence counts in the total number of absences resulting in lowering of the final course grade.

If a student is asked to leave a class due to disruption or lack of participation, the student will be counted absent for that entire class.

The rules above apply to all unplanned absences. Prior approval of planned absences and approval of excused absences are solely at the discretion of the faculty based on the circumstances and reasons for absence. Written validation is required for any absence that is considered excused and exempt from this policy. 

Following an absence, the student is responsible for getting missed notes/assignments/copies of handouts, etc. from classmates. The student is also responsible for getting any needed clarification of missed information from the course instructor.



Management of Neurological Disorders – Fall 2021

Lecture meets on Monday and Wednesday from 10:30 am -12:00 pm. Lab meets on Thursday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

112 Contact Hours

Week 1



Neurologic Disorders

Week 2

The Neurologic Examination

Neurologic Gait

Week 3

Motor Control and Motor Learning

Neuro Imaging


Development of the Nervous System

Week 4

Exam 1

Motor Development

Cerebral Palsy

Treatment Rationales

Week 5

Developmental and Genetic Disorders

Positioning and Handling

Week 6


Autonomic Nervous System

Peripheral Nervous System

Week 7

Central Somatosensory System


Blood Supply, Stroke, Fluid Dynamics, and Intracranial Pressure

Week 8

Exam 2

CVA cont.


Week 9 Fall Break

Week 10

The Cerebellum and Cerebellar Pathways

Basal Ganglia

Parkinson's Disease

Week 11

Peripheral Region


Week 12

Clients with Spinal Cord Injury

Motor Tracts

Week 13

Exam 3

Blood Supply, Stroke, Fluid Dynamics, and Intracranial Pressure

Clients with Stroke

Week 14

Other Degenerative Neurological Diseases

Week 15

Clients with Degenerative Neurological Diseases Cont.

Week 16

Memory, Consciousness, and Intellect

Behavior and Emotions


Week 17

Final Exam

Additional Information

Instructional Methods include: lecture and Lab activities.  

LAB DRESS CODE: Appropriate dress is required during scheduled lab times.

Females: shorts, sports bra, halter, or swimsuit top (fasteners need to be in the back), athletic clothing as a cover-up

Males: shorts, T-shirt, athletic clothing as a cover-up

LAST DATE TO DROP/WITHDRAW:  November 23, 2021. Any student not withdrawn by November 23, 2021 will receive the grade earned.

SAFETY PROCEDURES: In case of an emergency, the student needs to call the Safety and Security department at 9-371-5163.  In an emergency situation, use the nearest phone that is available.  The student should also know in case of a medical emergency, the following procedure should be performed and in the order written:

  1. call 9-911 for an ambulance
  2. call safety and security


Syllabus Created on:

08/13/21 6:58 PM

Last Edited on:

08/30/21 8:19 AM