PTA-168: Development Across the Lifespan for PTAs

Health and Human Services
Health Careers
Physical Therapy Assistant
Academic Level
Course Subject
Physical Therapist Assistant
Course Number
Course Title
Development Across the Lifespan for PTAs
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Admission into the PTA Program
Catalog Course Description

Examines the normal gross motor development of humans from infancy on. Relates early developmental sequence and reflexive maturation to rehabilitation techniques utilized with adult patients. Discusses the development of adults, the aging process, and death and dying. Psychosocial and cognitive issues throughout the life span are integrated in human development.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Mental function/Culture/Lifespan Communication
  2. Prenatal Development and the Newborn
  3. Infancy
  4. Preschool, Middle Childhood
  5. Adolescence
  6. Transition to Adulthood
  7. Adulthood
  8. Aging and Disablement in Adulthood
  9. Death and Dying
  10. Environmental Contexts and Wellness
  11. Public Policy and Health Care
  12. Assessment of Human Performance
  13. Disability Throughout the Lifespan
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Identify the concepts and principles of growth and development.
  2. Identify the causative factors in congenital anomalies.
  3. Identify and describe developmental milestones including postural, righting, and equilibrium reactions.
  4. Report infant’s basic performance level and attainment of developmentally appropriate reflexes through observation of instrumental activities of daily living, adaptive skills, and play.
  5. Identify the sequence and function of motor development.
  6. Explain the relationship of normal reflex movement to gross motor development.
  7. Describe the acquisition of language and cognitive abilities.
  8. Discuss the theories of growth, development, and aging.
  9. Describe the psychosocial aspects throughout the lifespan.
  10. Describe the physical changes associated with aging.
  11. Discuss the impact of the special problems facing the elderly including chronic illnesses, long-term care, and victimization.
  12. Discuss communication modification required due to aging and chronic illness.
  13. Describe the stages in death and dying as outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.
  14. Develop an awareness and better understanding of his/her own feeling toward death and dying.
  15. Compare the “Life Span” perspective of development to more traditional approaches to development.
  16. Recognize the impact of disability on individuals and their family/social relations throughout the lifespan.
  17. Evaluate a journal article for conciseness, accuracy, and effectiveness of research and application to physical therapy practice.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

The assessment standards will consist of quizzes and written exams, a midterm and final written exam, individual and group projects incorporating written information and presentations, classroom and online assignments and discussions.

General Course Requirements and Recommendations

Students must pass this course with a “C” or better to remain in the PTA Program. The student must pass either the midterm or the final exam with at least an 80% in order to pass this course. For each written exam the student does not pass, he/she will also be required to complete a written review of the exam to be submitted to the instructor prior to taking the final exam. Instructors (or their designees) reserve the right to require students to provide picture identification for test taking, graded papers or projects or other appropriate purposes.

To be determined by program faculty.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2019
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Fall 2019