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    VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Program - Pediatric Focus

    An ICE Accredited Assessment Based Certificate Program

  • RESOURCES & DISCIPLINES       Bring This Course to You!


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    Add to Calendar 09/13/2019 08:00 AM 09/14/2019 03:30 PM America/New_York VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Program - Pediatric Focus Hotel: Delta Hotels Detroit Metro Airport
    Phone: 734-721-3315
    Delta Hotels Detroit Metro Airport CIAO Seminars, Inc mail@ciaoseminars.com false MM/DD/YYYY

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    Appropriate Disciplines

    • Occupational Therapist
    • Speech Language Pathologist

Course Description

This is a PEDIATRIC FOCUSED COURSE. Click HERE for Adult Focus.
Scroll down for Renewal Information

VitalStim Therapy is now a Specialty Certificate Program!
On April 3, 2015, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) granted accreditation to CIAO Seminars' VitalStim Therapy Specialty Program for demonstrating compliance with ICE 1100 - Standard for Assessment-Based Certificate Programs. ICE 1100 was first published in January 2009 to ensure that assessment-based certificate programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the credentialing industry. More information about ICE is available online at www.credentialingexcellence.org.

This dynamic and innovative program has revolutionized dysphagia therapy! Dysphagia Therapists will bring their facilities to a state-of-the-art-level with their Specialty Certificate from this course. VitalStim® Therapy is the original FDA cleared treatment approach to successfully combine Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and traditional dysphagia techniques. This hands-on competency course will focus on topics such as muscle physiology, kinesiology of the swallowing mechanism and on pathological swallowing mechanisms and processes. The basic principles and concepts of NMES will be taught and the VitalStim® Therapy protocol will be extensively reviewed and practiced. The participants will receive one-on-one attention from two instructors, a dysphagia expert and an electrical stimulation expert. Through extensive hands-on labs; attendees will apply the theory of neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the treatment of dysphagia. This program is the ONLY accredited NMES for dysphagia program and provides participants with the building blocks and confidence to implement a successful VitalStim® Therapy program. Becoming a VitalStim Provider will add value to your practice, your facility, and most of all your patient's outcomes!
NOTE: Successful completion of the pre-requisite online MBS: The Clear Picture Pediatric and this 2-day VitalStim® Therapy Pediatric Course will train the participant to utilize VitalStim® technology in the treatment of dysphagia.
Disclosure: This course will only cover information that pertains to the effective and safe use of VitalStim.

This is an intermediate level course. Requirements for the course are as follows:
  • Successful completion of online anatomy and MBS review course (click link for more details) MBS Course Instructions
  • Prior knowledge and experience in dysphagia management
  • Dysphagia as a significant portion of active caseload
  • SLP or OTR with current licensure in state of practice
  • SLP or OTR in compliance with state and national practice acts
VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Certificate recognition will be awarded to those who:
  • Complete the written post-test.
  • Demonstrate the accurate practical application of VitalStim® Therapy
NOTE: If these criteria are not met at the course, additional opportunities to successfully complete the process will be available

Click for VitalStim Therapy Specialty Certificate Program Press Release

Course Pricing
$725 (Group - 10-24)
$675 (Group - 25-99)
$575 (Group - 100 or more)
$350 (Renewal 1.6 CEUs)
The VitalStim Therapy Manual will be issued at the live course.

CIAO offers the VitalStim Specialty course for two populations (adult and pediatric). Either course may be taken to become a VitalStim Provider. VitalStim Providers may treat either or both populations.

The VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Program includes the online course, MBS: The Clear Picture-Pediatric for 1.2 CEUs (12 contact hours) and the two day hands-on "VitalStim® Therapy Course" for 1.6 CEUs (16 contact hours)

Renewal Options (Maintain your Specialty Certificate by completing a renewal course once every 3 years)

Live Renewal
Attend the live 2 day VitalStim course again (no online MBS required for renewal)
1.6 CEUs (16 contact hours) will be awarded for successful completion of course.
Entire live course is required for this option.
Register above by selecting the date/city and clicking register.
Choose the price option labeled "Renewal (no online MBS course required)"
You may also renew by attending the Adult Focus course.

Online Renewal
0.7 CEUs (7 contact hours) will be awarded for successful completion of course.
Activate course within 6 months of purchase
30 days to complete once activated

Live Stream Renewal
Get the best of both worlds by taking your VitalStim Renewal course via Livestream.
Enjoy the benefit of having an instructor-led course where you can interact and ask questions - while sitting in the comfort of your home or office!.
Course locations listed above are NOT offered via Live Stream, click the Live Stream link above for available dates.

VitalStim is a registered trademark of VitalStim, LLC.
VitalStim Therapy Specialty Program© CIAO Seminars

AOTA Classification Codes
OT Process: Intervention, Outcomes
Domain of OT: Client Factors

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify normal infant and pediatric anatomy
  • Palpate the structures mentioned under objective 1 that are accessible to palpation
  • Identify normal infant and pediatric physiology as it changes with the maturing swallow
  • Describe the neuro-physiological processes involved in normal swallowing, neural pathways controlling swallowing, positive and negative feedback occurring during swallowing
  • Discuss the psychological aspects involved with and their impact on swallowing
  • Describe the main pathological conditions affecting the swallowing function in the pediatric population
  • Interpret the results of a modified barium swallow study
  • Categorize the swallowing disorder based on the result of the evaluation
  • Describe the characteristics of electrical stimulation and the influence of electricity on muscle tissue
  • Identify the pathological conditions for which electrical stimulation is indicated
  • Describe the characteristics of the VitalStim® Therapy electrical stimulation unit and the electrodes used
  • Discuss and demonstrate the application of VitalStim® Therapy technology in the treatment of pediatric dysphagia
  • Discuss and demonstrate the use of swallowing exercise during and after the application of VitalStim® technology
  • Discuss the use of other interventions to maximize the impact of VitalStim® Therapy
  • Discuss the sensory defensiveness and its impact in pediatric feeding and VitalStim® Therapy
  • Discuss strategies for using VitalStim® Therapy with patients with sensory defensiveness
  • Discuss and demonstrate correct use of documentation
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills regarding VitalStim®? therapy with other members of the healthcare team

Kim Clemens


Kim Clemens PT, MPT, CWS, OMS received her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Chapman University in California in 1993. She has spent the majority of her time since 1996 working as a Pediatric Physical Therapist at CHOC Children’s Hospital in California. Kim is a member of the APTA as well as two Special Interest Groups, Pediatrics and Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management. Clinically, her specialties include Wound Care, Ostomy Management, Developmental assessment and treatment in the NICU with medically fragile infants, and treatment of children with neurologic impairments. She utilizes electrical stimulation in her treatment of Pediatric Wound Care. Additionally, she spent two years as a guest lecturer at California State University Long Beach teaching Burn and Wound Care in the Master’s program for Physical Therapy. In her treatment of the medically fragile NICU baby she works side by side with Speech and Occupational Therapists who regularly use Vital Stim Therapy to treat Pediatric Dysphagia. She is very passionate about teaching and enjoys sharing her knowledge of NMES as a Vital Stim instructor.

Financial Disclosure: Kim receives an honorarium from CIAO for the presentation of this course.
Non-financial Disclosure: Kim uses VitalStim Therapy in her practice.

Karin Mitchell


Karin Mitchell is a worldwide respected Speech Language Pathologist specializing in the care and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing, developmental care of the medically fragile infant and child, and pediatric traumatic brain injury. Her love of teaching and helping others drives her to create and deliver fun and empowering continuing education courses across the nation and internationally. Areas covered are Developmental Care in the NICU, Cue Based Feeding, pediatric feeding and swallowing analysis and treatment, including the use of VitalStim, swallow studies, enhancing decision making and clinical analysis, breast feeding the medically fragile infant and child, and developmental milestones supporting feeding skill acquisition. Beginning her practice in 1995, Karin sought out learning opportunities and creative ways to teach others. She now serves as a lead therapist for the NICU and Feeding Teams at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA. With a clinical practice formed by a strong theory base in NDT and SI therapies, Karin is also NOMAS trained and VitalStim certified. She provides ongoing education in-services and hands-on labs for appropriate developmental care, positioning, handling, and feeding skills for clinical staff including medical residents, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Karin was a key player in the development of unit protocols and care plans for evidence-based developmental care in the highly specialized Small Baby Unit (ELBW) at CHOC which includes an ongoing education series required by all medical and support personnel. She is an active committee member for multiple qualities of care committees including Skin to Skin Care, Developmental Care, Infant Driven Feeds, Breast Feeding Coalition, Palliative Care, Neuro NICU Team, Trauma Team, and Family Centered Care. A dedicated leader, Karin devotes much of her time to the support and development of clinicians, serving as a mentor committed to building therapist's skills in clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness with medically fragile patients. She is a strong advocate for her patients and their families and speaks at local associations, community centers, local universities, and school districts to support medically fragile infants and children.

Financial Disclosure: Karin receives an honorarium from CIAO for the presentation of this course. She also receives royalties for the purchase of her recorded course(s)
Non-financial Disclosure: Karin uses VitalStim in her clinical practice.

Day 1

07:30 - 08:00
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
08:00 - 08:30
Introduction, program overview
08:30 - 10:00
Review swallowing physiology, anatomy
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 10:45
Swallowing kinesiology
10:45 - 11:00
Palpation of head and neck structures (lab)
11:00 - 12:00
Abnormal swallow (dysphagia)
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:30
MBS interpretation
02:30 - 02:45
Break (Snack provided)
02:45 - 04:00
Electrical stimulation: basic theory
04:00 - 05:00
Electrical stimulation: lab
05:00 - 06:30
Written Examination

Day 2

07:15 - 08:00
Review of material day 1, Q&A
08:00 - 10:00
Electrical stimulation for swallowing: theory
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:00
Electrical stimulation for swallowing: application – lab
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:30
Electrical stimulation for swallowing: application – lab (continued)
02:30 - 03:00
Treatment progression, diet progression, case studies
03:00 - 03:30
Integration of electrical stimulation into treatment plan – lab and testing

Delivery VIA:

  • Live On Tour - This course is now being offered live on location throughout the United States.
  • Live By Request - This course is available to come to you! Contact us to see how easy that can be.

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 16 Hours (1.6 CEUs)
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for ASHA #AAWA (SLPs) bubble sheet submission is required
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for AOTA #4119 (OTs)
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (20 PDUs Clinical Lab Assessment)
  • CIAO is authorized by IACET to offer 1.6 CEUs for this program
  • This course is approved by the CA Board of OT for Advanced Practice:
  • - 11.25 hrs Physical Agent Modalities CABOT#25-P4
  • - 7.0 hrs Swallowing CABOT#25-S1
  • 16 hrs. OTs in FL (CE Broker #20-515992)

This course is offered for 1.6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

CIAO is recognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)

CIAO is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). CIAO complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, CIAO is accredited to issue the IACET CEU.


"Karin and Kim provided a wealth of information and I feel confident that I will start using VitalStim Therapy with some of my kiddos within the next two months."

- Plano, TX / Feb 2019

"Awesome course! Presenters were highly knowledgeable! Location was great. Thank you, Ciao for refreshments. Not all course providers do this. Thanks!"

- Plano, TX / Feb 2019

"Thank you very much for this highly informative course. I particularly appreciated the positve, non-judgmentsl environment you created"

- Philadelphia, PA / Dec 2018

"I learned more from Karin and Kim in 30 minutes than I did in my grad school courses. Thank you for being engaging, personable and giving so much knowledge to myself and my peers. I walked in comfortable in Vital Stim positioning and now I walking out extremely confident in my Vital Stim skills and placement. THANK YOU!! I would not come back to this hotel. They were not user friendly to the conference, hotel guests and definitely not to the city as well."

- Philadelphia, PA / Dec 2018

"Karin and Kim were a great team! As an adult therapist I learned so much about how to use this modality Case studies were very helpful to bring the information presented during the course together in a meaningful way. Lynas was super helpful in making the course run as smooth as possible despite a less than ideal conference room space (very small room) and a sometimes less than responsive hotel staff. I would not recommend this hotel for future conferences because they do not appear to be staffed well enough to handle a larger group. Maybe consider locations closer to downtown Philadelphia. "

- Philadelphia, PA / Dec 2018

"I was VitalStim certified & took this course as a Renewal. I felt capable to treat patients & now feel capable to treat peds. Thank you for an excellent course!"

- Austin, TX / Jul 2018

"This course was so informative & very well organized. Karin & Kim kept the class very entertaining, were very knowledgeable, and approachable. I'm excited to take these new skills to my therapy sessions."

- Austin, TX / Jul 2018

"I learned so much! The instructors were approachable and conveyed the information in an easy to digest way. I have a great foundation to now build a new skill."

- Austin, TX / Jul 2018

"This course was excellent! The presenters' passion for the information made me feel excited to apply everything I learned! I will be taking another CIAO course in the future!"

- Austin, TX / Jul 2018

"Very informative! Very interactive. I appreciate the instructors' knowledge and genuine passion for teaching! Thank you!"

- Corpus Christi, TX / May 2018

"Amazing, knowledgeable presenters. CIAO Chique was also amazing, welcoming and efficient."

- Corpus Christi, TX / May 2018

"Wonderful speakers & presentation; kept everyone engaged - very knowledgeable, thorough & approachable instructors; I would highly recommend it."

- Corpus Christi, TX / May 2018

"Karin is probably one of the most wonderful teachers I've had the opportunity to learn under. A somewhat overwhelming course, but a GOOD kind of overwhelming. :)"

- Corpus Christi, TX / May 2018

"Amazing course! Presenters broke concepts down to practical terms and kept the audience engaged."

- Corpus Christi, TX / May 2018

"Fabulous instructors who really know the material and made it easy to learn as well as challenging clinical problem-solving!"

- Phoenix, AZ / Jan 2018

"The review of anatomy and physiology was a great refresher and humbling. I've also appreciate the safe learning environment. "

- Phoenix, AZ / Jan 2018

"This course definitely met my expectations. I feel like I took away a lot of information that I can apply to a variety of patients. "

- Phoenix, AZ / Jan 2018

"It is a lot of information but they manage to cover the whole manual to give me comfort in language the information as a reason to help when planning appropriate treatment. "

- Phoenix, AZ / Jan 2018

"Thank you! Start the course just like you did always! I felt so comfortable because of you both and your "real talk"! "

- Phoenix, AZ / Jan 2018

"More case studies and opportunity for personal patient questions. "

- Phoenix, AZ / Jan 2018

"Great presenters, valuable info & audience questions. Realistic about use of modality. Really enjoyed the course."

- Newport Beach, CA / Nov 2017

"Really enjoyed this course. Presenters were highly knowledgeable, motivated & their love for children was evident."

- Newport Beach, CA / Nov 2017

"Best course I have ever attended!"

- Newport Beach, CA / Nov 2017

"Instructors have in depth knowledge about this topic; therefore, they presented well rounded information. Representatives from CIAO provided helpful assistance & ensured the course ran smoothly. Thank you all."

- Houston, TX / Sep 2017

"The VitalStim course was amazing! Karin and Kim were very knowledgeable about the anatomy and the why/how it is beneficial to each patient. They were great with problem solving different issues and concerns. The treatment manual is a wonderful resource with color pictures!"

- Houston, TX / Sep 2017

"Course was very interesting and informative. I feel I have a stronger understanding of the use of the modalities as well as the purpose of NMES in general. "

- Houston, TX / Sep 2017

"Very good course! I've taken two classes with Karin and I love her expertise and teaching style."

- Dallas, TX / May 2017

"Kim and Karin were more effective instructors than my previous instructors. They addressed functional skills."

- Dallas, TX / May 2017

"Kim and Karin were both extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They both brought lots of energy to the course to help facilitate our learning."

- Dallas, TX / May 2017

"The instructors were both highly knowledgeable and each brought a unique perspective. It was clear they were not out to sell a product (so refreshing!) and they were realistic about NMES uses. "

- Dallas, TX / May 2017

" I've practiced for 15 years and have attended hundreds of workshops, this is by far the very best in terms of presenters and clarity of informatio. I can't wait to attend more cources led by these two wonderful women! "

- San Antonio, TX / Oct 2016

" Such a wonderful course!! Presenters are so knowledgeable passionate about this modality and it's benefit to pediatric population. "

- San Antonio, TX / Oct 2016

" Extremely knowledgeable professional who guide you through hands-on labs and practical application of newly acquired skills. "

- San Antonio, TX / Oct 2016

"Both Karin and Tom were great! Thank you so much for coming to Michigan!"

- Detroit, MI / Aug 2016

"The information presented was challenging but practical. I love the hands on training with feedback."

- San Antonio, TX / Oct 2015

"Great course! Excellent instructors, labs, and information!"

- San Antonio, TX / Oct 2015

"The best training I have ever been to. Kathy and Karin have a teaching/training style very conducive to learning new material. Very worth the $ spent."

- Westlake, TX / Jun 2015

"Always love CIAO presenters and the organization of the conference. Wonderful material with top notch presenters Thank you CIAO for another great CEU experience!"

- Westlake, TX / Jun 2015

"This is a great course, not only for learning a treatment modality, but also to learn swallow anatomy & physiology. Instructors are knowledgeable and engaging. "

- Oklahoma City, OK / Sep 2013

"Amazing. Full perspective on NMES information. I can't wait to implement this new technique at my facility. "

- Oklahoma City, OK / Sep 2013

"Terrific delivery. Never talked over our heads but instead explained it in a way that was memorable and easy to understand."

- Oklahoma City, OK / Sep 2013

"Great course, great presenters! Information is highly useful- hands on labs were very good. Handbook is full of great information that is highly user friendly. Very excited about my new skills and knowledge!"

- Oklahoma City, OK / Sep 2013

"WOW! Amazing presenters! Very Knowledgeable and engaging! Made fun. Exited to use in my practice! so glad I took the course. "

- Houston, TX / Sep 2013