In 2015, the SCCO launched the paediatric osteopathy diploma (POD). The Diploma has been developed by SCCO Faculty, led by Hilary Percival who has 26 years Paediatric practice experience and Mark Wilson who has spent 15 years working in neonatal units in London hospitals. As an alternative to other diplomas available, the POD will utilise the vast paediatric experiences of the SCCO faculty and is designed to accommodate osteopaths nationally.
The paediatric osteopathic diploma takes two years of course directed and self- motivated study. A four day introductory course is followed by six study weekends and supported by self -study and paediatric practice visits. The course aims to build and deepen the knowledge you have and challenge thinking in all aspects of the osteopathic treatment and care of children, from conception, to birth throughout the child’s cognitive, physical and social journey to adulthood.
The years through childhood to adulthood are exciting and challenging. Intrauterine and subsequent experiences, alongside their genetic constitution, shape a child’s physical, mental and moral journey. We grow not only by our own genetic programme, but by our experiences in life. Osteopathy holds a unique potential to support the health, growth and fulfilment of each child. Sutherland said, "As the twig is bent so doth the tree incline".
During critical growth periods, osteopathy has increased potential to enhance healthy anatomical development. "To unbend the twig so the adult grows straight’’, requires understanding of the normal phases and many influences upon skeletal growth. The normal and variant are then more readily recognised in the young patient. Osteopaths practising in the paediatric field need a thorough knowledge of those diseases that occur only during childhood.
To study paediatrics from the osteopathic perspective is both rewarding and demanding. The paediatric osteopath needs constantly to increase their wealth of knowledge of embryology, anatomy and pathology, osteopathic techniques, and alongside this the ability to stick to the primary respiratory mechanism in a wriggly child, as well as a lot of patience and humour.
This initial course is the compulsory gateway to to the diploma which serves as an introduction to the field of paediatrics and also forms part of the SCCO Fellowship Pathway. In line with Pathway requirements, you must have taken the Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (Module 2) course to be eligible for Module 9.
The four days are intense. On each of the first three days there are four lectures and four practical sessions. This will give you an overview of embryology, an understanding of different forms of birth and how these influence the baby musculo-skeletally. Adaptations and changes that occur in the foetal and perinatal period are discussed. There is also an informal presentation on breast and bottle feeding and you will be included in a lively debate on the issues of vaccination. The introductory four days will include a demonstration of treating a child which is a highlight of the course during which anything can happen! Common conditions seen in childhood are introduced such as colic, glue ear and asthma.
The fourth day studies the red flags of conditions seen in childhood. Babies and children do not always exhibit the symptoms of illness in the same way as do adults. For this reason it is intended that the fourth day is led by a medic as it is vital that we recognise when a child is acutely ill and needs medical intervention.
This part of the course will study the systems of the body as the child develops. The basic osteopathic tenet of accessing the physiology through the child’s developing anatomy will be explored. All the weekends will cover clinical methods, applied pathology, applied osteopathy, case study presentations, red flags and points on case history taking.
A child’s immunity changes from conception to teenage years. It is as varied and complex in its connections and responses as the nervous system.
As the immune system develops and pervades the whole body, each of the six weekends will discuss the immune development and the disease processes that are pertinent to the system being covered.
Each weekend takes place at Hawkwood College, Stroud.
Friday 27 October - Sunday 29 October 2017 (3 days to allow for setting up systems for practice visits, peer reviews and taking case histories, palpatory exercises, introductions to meeting patients and examining babies, as well as meeting your mentors)
Conception and pregnancy commences an intimate relationship between the mother and child. Any influences upon these processes, may directly, or via the mother alter the child’s capacities and destiny. Osteopaths need to understand these influences and relationships. Safe guarding and consent needs to be understood and carried out so all children in our care are protected.
Saturday 3 February - Sunday 4 February 2018
Familiarity with neurological developmental milestones and their interpretation enables assessment of age-appropriate development and alerts to the possible warning signs. More commonly encountered neurological 'conditions' will be explored.
Saturday 28 April - Sunday 29 April 2018
The developing skeleton is plastic. Vulnerable growing points are open to distortion yet it is these that can give valuable access to the knowledgeable osteopath to relieve disharmony and stress. Balance of the musculo-skeletal system and optimal function of the peripheral joints is essential to establish neurological balance and wellbeing: for example - unresolved congenital dysfunction in the cervical spine may result in asymmetry palpable throughout the whole body, with lasting influence on development and co-ordination.
Saturday 15 September - Sunday 16 September 2018
The second neurology weekend considers possible osteopathic explanations to the aetiologies of behavioural/sociological problems encountered in childhood. You will look at how osteopathy can make a difference to behavioural responses and capabilities. It is not possible to know all the many genetic syndromes intimately. Common principles of osteopathic support will be considered while looking at a few of the common ones we see in osteopathic practice.
Saturday 2 February - Sunday 3 February 2019
The respiratory system adapts to the post natal environment and grows in proportion to the rest of the body. The whole system makes huge changes peri-nataly and in the first few years of life. This is also the system that gets sick frequently with colds and viruses, so understanding how we can access the anatomy and therefore the physiology may be of great importance to a child’s comfort and health. Significant changes in the respiratory system continue for the first few years. During this time it is vulnerable to infection. Osteopathic understanding of the changing anatomy and physiology facilitates access with frequent benefit to the child.
Saturday 6 July - Sunday 7 July 2019
Osteopaths find the gut to be a well-developed weathervane of the health in babies and children. A good example is the colicky baby. It is as though the gut is the system of staying in touch with our inner self, affected by what we eat, our emotional state and any disease state we are going through. The osteopath can be well equipped to deal with the vagaries of this system that is interconnected with all the other systems studied on the course. Problems with the urinary tract are relatively common in children. As osteopaths we need to recognize the symptoms of acute urinary tract infection as well as the knowledge of how to support the genito urinary system that is developing and changing into puberty.
To integrate your learning into your osteopathic thinking and clinical practice we require you to:-
To complete the Paediatric Osteopathic Diploma it is a requirement to attend all six of the weekend workshops and to complete the required number of clinic visits and assignments. The clinic visits and course work can be arranged with a degree of flexibility, however the POD weekends are pre-planned and attendance is an essential requirement in order to receive your diploma.
Any POD weekends that are missed will need to be made up in the next POD cycle which will run from 2017 to 2018. Your diploma will not be awarded until you have fulfilled the compulsory attendance obligations.
Places are limited to 24 to allow for dedicated academic and personal support for Diploma students.