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Early intervention (EI) service providers are expected to form cohesive teams to build the capacity of a family to promote their child’s development. Given the differences in personnel preparation across disciplines of service providers, the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) is creating integrated and comprehensive professional development models for those who provide services for young children with disabilities and their families. To help guide this process it is important to identify inter-disciplinary competencies as well as the unique knowledge and skills that each discipline contributes to the development and implementation of effective intervention plans. This paper describes personnel preparation of pediatric physical therapists from entry-level to ongoing professional development. Topics include licensure requirements, specialist certification, and EI competencies. This paper explains the unique knowledge and skills that pediatric physical therapists offer to the team as movement specialists. It also highlights particular challenges to professional development faced by novice and experienced physical therapists who work in natural environments. Finally, recommendations for personnel development including structured mentorship, interdisciplinary and team based learning, and strategies for knowledge translation are suggested.

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Originally published in Infants & Young Children, 28(2), 133-149. This is an accepted manuscript and not the final version. doi:10.1097/IYC.0000000000000034



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