Combined 11th Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and the 3rd International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disabilities 'Better Together' Conference 2022

Pre-Conference Sessions

Pre-conference sessions are being held on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd March 2022. The format of these sessions will be either hybrid or virtual and available for purchase through the online registration form.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Full Day Pre-Conference Sessions

All full day pre-conference sessions will run from 9:00am – 5:30pm (AEDT) and are available for both in-person and virtual registration.

Improving the health and wellbeing of adults with cerebral palsy

Mark Peterson, Edward Hurvitz, Jan Willem Gorter, Elisabet Rodby-Bousquet, Sarah Reedman, Dinah Reddihough, Sevastine Katsakis, David Coghill, Prue Morgan, Rob Carter

This workshop will include international experts discussing how we can meet the medical, rehabilitation and participatory needs of adults with cerebral palsy. This will include the role of physical and mental health and prevalence and risk factors for cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease. We will integrate knowledge translation: embedding the priorities of adults living with cerebral palsy with a focus on building supportive health and disability service environments and incorporating health economics into research to drive policy and practice.


Muscle in cerebral palsy

Richard Leiber, Sudarshan Dayanidhi, Tandy Hastings-Ison

This workshop across seven different sessions will focus on structural, functional, and adaptive changes in muscle for people who live with cerebral palsy. Multi-disciplinary speakers will address a range of topics affecting muscle including Botulinum toxin, from basic science research to clinical management, with audience participation regarding optimal muscle health


Early Intervention for infants with cerebral palsy or born preterm

Cathy Morgan, Iona Novak, Ann Christian Eliasson, Stacey Dusing, Ros Boyd, Alicia Spittle, Laura Prosser, Regina Harbourne

This workshop will outline the current state of the science in 2022 on early intervention for cerebral palsy. This pre-conference symposium will include a multidisciplinary global panel of experts and present the key ingredients and results of novel early intervention clinical trials. The day will include discussion on implementation strategies, statistical challenges and future research opportunities.


Half Day Pre-Conference Sessions

There are two half day pre-conference sessions, delegates can select to attend both the AM and PM session to create a full day program if they wish.

This pre-conference session will run from 9:00am – 1:00pm (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and virtual registration.

International CP Genomics Consortium

Michael Fahey, Michael Kruer, Joseph Getz, Sarah McIntyre, Yana Wilson

This pre-conference workshop will discuss the latest evidence, current controversies and potential solutions related to genetics and cerebral palsy. The workshop includes international experts in the field from a variety of clinical specialties to provide a global view on current clinical and research experiences.


This pre-conference session will run from 2:00pm – 5:30pm (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and virtual registration.

International CP Registers

Hayley Smithers-Sheedy, Sarah McIntyre, Kate Himmelmann, Guro L Andersen, Gulam Khandaker and Michael Shevell.

The 5th World CP Register and Surveillance Congress will be held in conjunction with the IAACD conference. This is a great opportunity to meet those who are defining the Epidemiology of CP and learn together! This interactive workshop is suitable for anyone interested in CP registers and surveillance including establishment, methods, operations, utility, training and recent findings.

Wednesday 2 March 2022

¾ Day Pre-Conference Sessions

This pre-conference session will run from 8:30am – 2:30pm (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and virtual registration.

Let’s get strategic about physical activity participation for people with disability across the lifespan

Sian Williams, Gaela Kilgour, Olaf Verschuren, Sarah Reedman, Nora Shields, and Jan Willem Gorter

This symposium will focus on a lifespan and all abilities approach to promote 24 hour activity guidelines including sleep in people with disability. Panellists will discuss health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity, behaviour change as relevant for clinicians, and participation as a key to achieve sustained lifelong benefits.


This pre-conference session will run from 8:30am – 2:30pm (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and virtual registration.

Preclinical studies, neuroprotection, prevention and neural repair

MinYoung Kim, Suzie Miller, Iona Novak, Kylie Crompton, So Yoon Ah, Atul Malhorta, Madison Paton, Megan Finch Edmonson,

Cell-based therapies have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative potential for perinatal brain injury. This symposium brings together international experts to provide a status update on clinical trials for cell therapies, and how neuroprotective efficacy might be enhanced. We will also examine what is on the horizon for novel therapies particularly aimed at the preterm brain


This pre-conference session will run from 8:30am – 2:30pm (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and hybrid registration.

Early Detection of cerebral palsy - experiences and challenges

Cath Morgan, Iona Novak, Atul Malhotra, Esther Tantsis, Dr Samanmali Sumanasena, Sian Williams

International Guidelines on early detection of cerebral palsy have been available for the past 5 years and have seen changes in practice globally. In this workshop, global experiences of translation will be discussed. Examples of clinical conundrums and implementation challenges faced by clinicians in the early diagnosis of CP will be presented.


This pre-conference session will run from 8:30am – 2:30pm (AEDT) and is available for virtual registration only.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy experiences around the world

Nelleke Langerak, Tom Novachek, Nico Enslin, Kristian Aquilina, Simon Paget, Marcie Ward

This will be a global, multidisciplinary course reviewing selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) including: spasticity management overview, SDR techniques, practices and experiences, post-operative management, policies and services, short-and long-term outcomes, and future of SDR. We aim to help clinicians and caregivers of children with spastic CP with their management plan.


Short Pre-Conference Sessions

The below pre-conference sessions are 90-minutes long, mix and match one AM and one PM to make your own custom half-day pre-conference session.

AM Symposia

The following AM Symposia will run concurrently from 8:30am – 10:00am (AEDT), please select to attend only one from the online registration form

This pre-conference session will run from 8:30am – 10:00am (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and virtual registration.

Exploring inequities in service provision for Indigenous and First Nations women, their babies and children with cerebral palsy

Alexandra Sorhage, Danny DeLore, Tan Martin, Juanita Sherwood, Michael Shevell, Anna Mackey, Sian Williams, Hayley Smithers-Sheedy, Sarah McIntyre, Sue Woolfenden

This symposium will identify success stories and areas of continuing inequity for First Nations’ people with cerebral palsy (CP). Participants will be encouraged to discuss and reflect on reasons for and approaches to addressing potential inequity within their own work, and will leave with ideas to apply within their own context.


This pre-conference session will run from 8:30am – 10:00am (AEDT) and is available for virtual registration only.

Implementation, challenges and impact of four parent-delivered training programmes for children with developmental disabilities in lower and middle income countries (LMIC)

Hans Forssberg, Gillian Saloojee, Rachel Lassman, Katherine Benfer, Pamela Dixon

This symposium focuses on the implementation of four parent-led training programmes for children with developmental disabilities living in resource-constrained settings. Presenters will describe the training, implementation and outcomes of each programme. This will be followed by a discussion how challenges common to all programmes were addressed.


PM Symposia

The following PM Symposia will run concurrently from 10:30am – 12:00pm (AEDT), please select to attend only one from the online registration form

This pre-conference session will run from 10:30am – 12:00pm (AEDT) and is available for both in-person and virtual registration.

Cultural influences on early screening and intervention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants at risk of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Kath Benfer, Marjad Page, Dianne Shanley, Leann Ramsamy, Carly Luke

Little is known about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander construct of disability. This understanding has significant implications for how First Nations communities engage with child development and disability services, including screening and ‘intervention’ programs. With greater awareness of the importance of earlier screening and intervention based on the International Clinical Practice Guideline (Novak 2017), combined with increasing availability of disability services under NDIS, it is pertinent to focus on the role of culture in such programs.


This pre-conference session will run from 10:30am – 12:00pm (AEDT) and is available for virtual registration only.

Better Research Together: Conversations with Researchers and Young People

Linda Nguyen, Bente van Oort, Eline van der Meulen, Hanae Davis, Samantha Bellefeuille, Jordan Matthews, Christopher Morris, Jan Willem Gorter, Anita Franklin, and Marjolijn Ketelaar

This symposium, co-presented by young people and researchers, aims to: Share the experiences, opportunities, and challenges of research partnerships from Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom; and cultivate awareness of different models to guide engagement with young people in health research.


Key Dates
Call for Abstracts
Closes 30 April 2021
Scholarship Applications
Closes 6 June 2021
Early Bird Registration
Closes 1 November 2021
Late breaking abstracts
Opens September 2021
Better Together 2022
Pre-conference Sessions, 1 - 2 March 2022
Conference dates 2 - 5 March 2022
Acknowledgement of Country

Better Together 2022 acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land and sea in which we live and work, we recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and culture and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.