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    VitalStim Therapy and Beyond: DINES Specialty Certificate Program - Pediatric Focus

    Learning the Options, Mastering the Modality - An ICE Accredited Certificate Program

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    Add to Calendar 02/26/2021 07:30 AM 02/27/2021 03:30 PM America/Chicago VitalStim Therapy and Beyond: DINES Specialty Certificate Program - Pediatric Focus Hotel:
    KidsCare Home Health 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.

Welcome to the UPDATED VitalStim Therapy course!
The VitalStim Certificate Program was introduced to the professional dysphagia community in 2003 as the competency course for the only FDA-cleared NMES device for dysphagia treatment. The program, then known as the VitalStim Certification Program, revolutionized dysphagia therapy! The popular course has gone through multiple revisions since its inception, incorporating the latest findings from the research and clinical communities. This new course update is the most significant to date. It is the result of several converging trends in the field of NMES for dysphagia treatment. The new content reflects significant growth of scientific research, an increase in available treatment protocols and an expansion of available equipment options.

Course Description
VitalStim Therapy and Beyond: DINES (Dynamic Integration of NMES and Exercise for Swallowing) This accredited hands-on competency course will focus on the muscle physiology, kinesiology, and pathology of the normal and abnormal swallowing mechanisms as it changes across infancy, through childhood and into adulthood. The principles of NMES will be taught in tandem with active dysphagia exercise therapy. NMES for Dysphagia protocols, using FDA cleared devices, will be covered against the backdrop of neurophysiology of the swallowing mechanism and available research. Adjustments to NMES parameters – frequency, phase duration, duty cycle, and more – will be incorporated in specific treatment protocols and extensively practiced in hands-on lab sessions. Cases will be evaluated using the impairment model (pathology; symptoms; signs; dysfunctions; and impairments) and treatment planning will be practiced.

Participants will receive one-on-one attention from two experienced instructors, a dysphagia expert and an electrical stimulation expert. Instructors will deliver relevant information on FDA clearance and clinical options relevant to different equipment options available today to better equip clinicians in the ever-changing world of NMES for the treatment of pediatric and adult dysphagia.

Participants who successfully complete this course will leave as a skilled VitalStim Provider and DINES Provider with the confidence and building blocks needed to implement a successful NMES for dysphagia therapy program.

"I learned more about dysphagia in this course than I did in all of grad school!"

Conflict of Interest
None. This is the only NMES for Dysphagia training course not affiliated with the sale of any equipment or electrode. The content and administration of this course is wholly independent of any manufacturer.

Provider Benefits
  • A Specialty Certificate from the only acreditted NMES for Dysphagia course
  • VitalStim Provider designation
  • DINES Provider designation
  • Access to dedicated NMES Clinical Consultant
  • Access to the VitalStim/DINES Provider Facebook group - a private network of THOUSANDS of active Providers
  • Listing on the official VitalStim/DINES Registry
  • Access to the official VitalStim/DINES Provider Document Library
  • Access to continuing education specifically for VitalStim/DINES Providers
  • $50 discount voucher towards the NDC Examination application
This is course is not affiliated with the sale of any equipment or electrode. The content and administration of this course is wholly independent of any manufacturer.

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
DINES Specialty recognition will be awarded to those who:
  • Online Course: pass written assignments. pass multiple choice quizzes with a minimum 80% accuracy
  • Live Course - pass written exam with 80% accuracy. Pass practical labs demonstrating safe and accurate application of NMES for dysphagia therapy as determined by both instructors.
NOTE: If these criteria are not met at the course, additional opportunities to successfully complete the process will be available.

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.
VitalStim Therapy and Beyond is now a Specialty Certificate Program!
This program is the only accredited NMES for Dysphagia program. After successful completion of this program, participants receive their Specialty Certificate as a specialist in the use of NMES for the treatment of dysphagia. 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.
Course Pricing
$350 (Renewal at Live Course - earn 16 hrs. of continuing education credit)

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)
(16 hrs.) 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)"

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

The VitalStim® Therapy and Beyond: DINES Specialty Program - Pediatric Focus includes the online course, MBS - The Clear Picture - Pediatric (12 hrs.) and the two day hands-on "VitalStim Therapy and Beyond" (16 hrs)

VitalStim is a registered trademark of VitalStim, LLC.
VitalStim Therapy and Beyond: DINES Specialty Certificate Program© CIAO Seminars

AOTA Classification Codes
Domain of OT: Client Factors, Context Environment
OT Process: Intervention
Tim Carrigan, Vital Stim, VitalStim, Vital Stem, VitalStim Certification, Vitastim, NMES for Dysphagia, ESwallow, Guardian,

Course Objectives

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

  • Identify and describe the changing anatomical structures relevant to the swallowing function in neonates through adulthood
  • Demonstrate accurate palpation of accessible structures in the head and neck region as relevant to the use of NMES
  • 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
  • Describe relevant neurological and physiological aspects of normal and abnormal swallowing, including cranial nerve function and muscle fiber types
  • Describe the swallowing disorder based on the results of the evaluation in terms of impairments and dysfunctions
  • Formulate the theoretical rationale for using NMES in the treatment of dysphagia
  • Describe the characteristics of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and the influence of electricity on muscle tissue
  • Describe the parameters of pulsed waveforms – pulse duration, phase duration, frequency, duty cycle – commonly used in NMES in dysphagia therapy
  • Describe and demonstrate common problem-solving approaches used in a typical NMES treatment session, including preparing the skin, (re)positioning the electrodes, and adjusting NMES parameters
  • Describe the physiological impact of modifying the various pulsed waveform parameters on muscle fiber recruitment, fatigue, patient tolerance and exercise intensity
  • Describe the main pathological conditions affecting the swallowing function in the pediatric population
  • List precautions and contraindications to the use of NMES in the head and neck region
  • Describe the role of regulatory bodies in clearing NMES devices to market and its impact on clinical use of NMES by dysphagia clinicians
  • Describe the characteristics of typical NMES units and self-adhesive electrodes commonly used in dysphagia therapy
  • Describe, differentiate and demonstrate the execution of common NMES treatment protocols described in the peer-reviewed literature
  • Identify appropriate outcome variables to track and measure patient progress
  • Discuss and demonstrate correct electrode positioning based on patient presentation and anatomical location of target tissues to treat, including the use of one or more stimulation channels and applying electrodes in the facial, suprahyoid and infrah
  • Discuss and demonstrate the use of swallowing exercise during and after the application of NMES
  • Discuss the sensory defensiveness, its impact and strategies in pediatric feeding and VitalStim and DINES therapy.

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 - 08:15
Introduction, program overview, objectives.
08:15 - 08:45
Physiology, anatomy, neurology review
08:45 - 10:00
Palpation of head and neck structures (lab)
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:00
Exercise and Dysphagia
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:30
Electrical stimulation: theory & lab demonstration
02:30 - 02:45
Break (Snack provided)
02:45 - 05:30
Electrical stimulation: theory & lab demonstration continued
05:30 - 06:30
Written Examination

Day 2

07:30 - 08:00
Review of material day 1, Q&A
08:00 - 08:30
Exam review and scoring
08:30 - 10:00
NMES protocols (lab)
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 11:30
NMES protocols (lab) continued
11:30 - 12:30
Lunch (on your own)
12:30 - 03:15
Integration: case studies, problem solving
03:15 - 03:30
Resource Network for Registered Providers
03:30 - 03:45

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
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for ASHA #AAWA (1.6 ASHA CEUs) bubble sheet submission is required
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for AOTA #4119 (1.6 AOTA CEUs)
  • 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