Gilbert Thomson, PT

Gilbert Thomson, PT

I’ve been a physical therapist since 1996 when I graduated from the University at Stony Brook, and I’ve always enjoyed working with children. I have been involved in product design with Rifton on a number of different projects including tricycles, seating, and toileting products.

Another area of interest for me has been the MOVE program and how it relates to our current understanding of neuroscience and movement. In fact I wrote a book on this called Children with Severe Disabilities and the MOVE Curriculum which was published in 2005. Information regarding my book can be found here.

More recently I spent six years in Australia with my family, doing clinical work and conducting trainings in the use of the MOVE Curriculum. In addition to physical therapy and my work designing new products for Rifton I enjoy spending time with my four children, especially outdoors birding or fishing.

PT/OT Teamwork in a Task-Oriented Approach December 01, 2015 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
Task-oriented therapy approaches are used widely in school systems across the country. This is because students with disabilities learn and respond to their greatest potential when motor learning is incorporated into functional and meaningful tasks throughout the school day. One of the most successful and recognized task oriented methodologies is the MOVE Program. Within the MOVE curriculum, as in all task...
PT/OT The MOVE Curriculum as a Task-Oriented Approach October 02, 2015 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
Children with severe disabilities have many complex needs. One of the most evident is a lack of motor control that prevents them from accomplishing functional movement needed for activities of daily life. Therefore, an urgent need for this population is to develop therapeutic approaches that emphasize functional movement and promote a higher quality of life. I suggest that a task-oriented approach is...
Stories Opportunity with a New Set of Wheels June 17, 2014 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
Patrick received his first trike over two years ago because of the difficulty he was having with walking. His endurance was poor, he tended to use a crouch gait and his feet frequently hurt after any ambulation. He started with a small red Rifton Tricycle and it soon became one of his main options for outdoor mobility. Since using the trike over the past two years, Patrick’s lower extremity strength...
Evidence Based Practice Three Principles of Neural Plasticity to Apply in Your Rehabilitation Practice December 03, 2013 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
There has been a great deal of interest in recent years in the study of plasticity in the nervous system. Plasticity simply means the capacity of the central nervous system to adapt and change. Changes in the structure and function of the nervous system accompany improvements in motor skills that happen with learning and with rehabilitation after neurological damage. Although much of the work on neural...
News MOVE ing Forward January 08, 2013 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
An update on the MOVE Curriculum As many of you will know, we at Rifton have worked with MOVE International over many years. For those who don’t know, the MOVE program is an activity-based curriculum designed to teach students with disabilities basic functional motor skills of sitting, standing, walking and transitions needed for life within the home and community environments. The last fifteen years...
PT/OT Compensation and Recovery September 18, 2012 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
Should PTs train for compensation or recovery? Clinicians today are debating whether interventions should focus on teaching whatever is required to accomplish a task (compensation) or promote the neuroplasticity needed to allow the task to be accomplished “normally” (recovery).There is a great dialogue on this topic posted on the Journal of Neurologic PT (JNPT) discussions page which I highly...
Evidence Based Practice Motor Learning Practice part III July 17, 2012 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
Today’s post concludes our discussion on Motor Learning and Practice. The introductory post defined motor learning terminology, discussed the MOVE Curriculum (as an example of applied motor learning) and emphasized the importance of practice.  The second post looked at transfer-appropriate training and practice scheduling and leads into today’s evidence-based discussion on the difficulty...
Evidence Based Practice Motor Learning Practice part II June 26, 2012 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
This post continues our discussion begun last week, Motor Skills Learning & Practice part I, where we defined motor learning terminology, discussed the MOVE Curriculum (as an example of applied motor learning) and emphasized the importance of practice.   Transfer-Appropriate Training One question that we must address is, “What should we practice?” This question clearly relates to...
Evidence Based Practice Motor Learning & Practice June 19, 2012 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
Today’s post is the first in a series of articles on motor learning and practice. You’ll notice that I make frequent reference to the MOVE Curriculum. For those unfamiliar with this, MOVE is an activity-based program designed to teach children with severe disabilities the functional motor skills needed to sit, stand, and walk as independently as possible. There’s a great video...
PT/OT Children With Severe Disabilities and the MOVE Curriculum February 04, 2005 by Gilbert Thomson, PT
This book introduces the theory and foundations of the MOVE curriculum and offers a useful reference for all rehabilitation professionals who work with children with neurological disabilities. Making the connection between theory and practice, the major premise is that MOVE provides a practical framework to implement concepts from the motor control / motor learning literature for severely disabled children...