Skip to main content

All questions on the exam relate to the competencies outlined in  "Description of Specialty Practice: Pediatric Physical Therapy."

Based on demographic data related to practice settings, the survey frequency data, and the DSP categories, the subject matter expert group used a consensus-building process to develop the examination blueprint.

The blueprint is based on approximately 200 questions in the exam. Questions are written to avoid use of negative stems and may include graphics. Examination questions represent both a practice expectation and a knowledge area associated with that expectation.

A case scenario may have more than one question; however, the questions are written independently so that incorrectly answering one question should not jeopardize answering other questions correctly.

Following is a summary including the percentage of exam questions for each of the major components of the DSP.

Outline Summary

A. Foundation Sciences (4%)
B. Clinical Sciences (4%) 
C. Behavioral Sciences (4%) 
D. Critical Inquiry Principles and Methods (4%)

A. Professional Behaviors/Core Values (2%) 
B. Leadership (2%) 
C. Education (2%) 
D. Administration (2%) 
E. Consultation (2%)
F. Evidence-Based Practice (4%) 
G. Research (2%)

A. Examination (20%) 
B. Evaluation/Diagnosis/Prognosis (20%) 
C. Intervention (20%) 
D. Outcomes (8%)

TOTAL 100%

The medical conditions that may be represented on the examination include (but are not limited to) the following:

A. Physical fitness during typical childhood and adolescence

B. Fitness and health in populations with lifelong disability

C. Prevention and management of impairments, functional/activity limitations, and participation restriction in infants, children, adolescents, and adults whose impairments and limitations arose in childhood due to:

  • Conditions of the musculoskeletal system, including:
    - juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
    - other arthritic diseases
    - spinal conditions
    - arthrogryposis
    - osteogenesis imperfecta
    - sports injuries (school and team athletes, Special Olympics)
    - torticollis/plagiocephaly
    - fractures
    - spinal malalignments including scoliosis/kyphosis/lordosis
    - limb deficiencies
    - hypotonia/hypermobility leading to joint injury
    - osteopenia
    - other orthopedic conditions (Legg-Calve-Perthes, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, tibia varum, skeletal dysplasia, osteosarcoma-limb salvage, etc.)  
  • Conditions of the neuromuscular system, including:
    - cerebral palsy
    - spinal cord injury
    - myelodysplasia (spina bifida)
    - traumatic brain injuries, including brain tumors
    - developmental coordination disorders
    - developmental disabilities
    - intracranial hemorrhage
    - inflammatory and infectious disorders of the CNS
    - autism spectrum disorders
    - peripheral nervous system injuries (brachial plexus injuries, etc.)
    - cerebral vascular accident
    - anoxic events
    - sensory processing disorders
    - other neurological conditions  
  • Conditions of the cardiovascular/pulmonary system, including:
    - neonatal cardiovascular/pulmonary conditions (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, etc.)
    - sequelea of long-term ventilator use
    - cystic fibrosis
    - asthma
    - congenital heart defects (atrial septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, heart transplant, etc.)
    - other cardiac and pulmonary conditions  
  • Conditions of the integumentary system, including:
    - burns
    - wounds

    D. Management of impairments and functional limitations in infants, children, adolescents, and across the life span arising from other diseases and syndromes, including:

  • Genetic disorders and syndromes such as:
    - Down syndrome
    - hemophilia
    - Rett syndrome
    - Prader-Willi syndrome
    - muscular dystrophy  
  • Metabolic conditions such as:
    - diabetes
    - mitochondrial disorders  
  • Hematology and oncology  
  • Drug/alcohol/HIV or other teratogen exposure  
  • Obesity  
  • Malnutrition/failure to thrive

   E. Management of impairments, functional/activity limitations, and participation restriction in infants, children, adolescents, and adults whose impairments and limitations arose in childhood, in special practice settings, including:

  • neonatal intensive care unit  
  • pediatric intensive care unit  
  • burn unit  
  • early intervention and family-centered care intervention  
  • educational environment