GMA2018 – Basic Course

The Association is hosting the 4-day training programme Prechtl’s Method on the Quanlitative Assessment of General Movements (Basic Course) in Port Elizabeth from 27 to 30 August 2018.

Course Title:
Prechtl’s Method on the Qualitative Assessment of General Movements (Basic Course)
Monday 27 August to Thursday 30 August 2018 Please note new dates!
The Beach Hotel, Port Elizabeth South Africa
Dr. Christa Einspieler, Medizinische Universität Graz, co-creator of the GMA assessment method
Course Fee:
R 8,000.00 per person (excludes travel and accommodation costs, which are for the participant’s own account)
NOTE: Places are limited, and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis for confirmed (paid) registrations.
Registrations now open – please download documents below

Download documents:

Feedback from participants in the previous BASIC courses:

“Thank you! It’s a dream come true.” – Gina Rencken
“Awesome course; I have been waiting for years to do it.” – Linda Goldberg
“Thank you for an incredibly well organised course. The presenter was dynamic, extremely well prepared and assisted learning in a compassionate way.” – Anonymous
“Excellent course and excellent organisation. Thank you soo much for this wonderful opportunity!” – Selmari Potgieter
“A BIG thank you for giving us this amazing opportunity to attend this course! Thank you also for organising the book for us, much appreciated! Overall job WELL DONE!” – Lecia van der Merwe
“Dr. Einspieler’s knowledge and presentation style was of an excellent level making the course so enjoyable and very informative” – Donne Descroizilles
“10/10” – Susan Lotz
“The course was AMAZING and inspiring! It makes me excited to start. Dr. Einspieler is an amazing presenter – professional, very patient and entertaining. This is the best course I’ve ever attended. I’m so grateful for the opportunity.” – Miena Combrinck
“Thank you for a well organised course. This course is 100% applicable to my job! The presenter is of such a high standard! We are privileged! “ – Adri Crafford

Who should attend:

Health care professionals working in the field of infant neurology, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, general pediatricians, developmental and behavioral pediatricians and physical and occupational therapists.

Basic Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the theoretical basis of Prechtl’s Method of Qualitative Assessment of General Movements;
  • Be able to:
    • Assess typically developing infants using the Qualitative Assessment of General Movements.
    • Assess infants with brain lesions using the Qualitative Assessment of General Movements.
    • Incorporate this technique for clinical and research purposes.
    • Reliably distinguish typical versus atypical general movements.


Participants in the Basic Course will be required to undertake a Reliability Test on the final day of the course. Participants who successfully complete the Reliability Test will receive a Certificate of Reliability in Qualitative Assessment of General Movements, issued by the General Movements Trust.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD):

Participants in the Basic Course will receive an Attendance Certificate and 28 CPD points based on their attendance.

Special offer to participants:

As an add-on, participants can order the reference book (co-authored by Dr. Christa Einspieler), which will be bulk-ordered and then available at registration on the first day of the programnme. The cost of the book is R1,100.00 including VAT.


Authors: Christa Einspieler; Heinz FR Prechtl; Arend F Bos; Fabrizo Ferrari; Giovanni Cioni

Prechtl's Method on the Qualitative Assessment of General Movements in Preterm, Term and Young Infants
About the book: A quick, non-invasive, non-intrusive and cost-effective method with high reliability and high validity is much in demand for the early detection of neurological anomalies which point to cerebral palsy and developmental deficits later on in life. Over his years as a distinguished developmental neurologist, Heinz Prechtl has devised such a method; a qualitative assessment of general movements (GMs) as a specific predictor for neurological impairments. His method is described in this book. GMs form part of a distinct pattern of movements in preterm babies, term newborns and young infants. They are complex, frequent, and usually of sufficient length. Changes in the normal quality of GMs are a reliable indicator of brain dysfunction. Includes a CD-ROM giving 15 cases selected from the book. Each is of about one minute in duration and demonstrates the different age-specific movement patterns.
If you would like to order your copy, please add the number of copies you require in the Course Registration Form. The cost of the book (R1,100.00 including VAT) will then be added to the registration fee.

About your trainer:

Christa Einspieler, Dr., PhD Professor of Physiology

Christa Einspieler received her degree in Physiology and Psychology at the University of Graz, Austria. She has been working in behavioural analysis for over 20 years and received special training inter alia at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands (Heinz Prechtl). She is currently Professor of Physiology at the Medical University of Graz. Her main research topics are the ontogeny of behaviour, fetal movements, motor development in preterm, term and young infants, age-specific neurological assessments, and neurolinguistics. She is author or co-author of more than 100 scientific papers in indexed journals (SCI/SSCI/PUBMED), has contributed to more than 25 books from international publishers, and published two monographs on fetal and early motor behaviour (Clin Dev Med 167, Clin Dev Med 189).

Dr Christa Einspieler

Dr Christa Einspieler

What is the General Movements Assessment (GMA)?
The General Movements Assessment is a non-invasive and cost-effective way to identify neurological issues which may lead to cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. The assessment can be undertaken on children from birth to 20 weeks of age (corrected for prematurity).

“General movements (GMs) are part of the spontaneous movement repertoire and are present from early fetal life onwards until the end of the first half a year of life”
Einspieler & Prechtl, 2005 p.61

General movements develop according to a distinct pattern in three phases in all humans, and their quality is linked to the integrity of the nervous system. Because of this, the quality of these movements can be observed in young infants in order to assess for neurological damage.

  • Phase 1 of the general movements (preterm GMs or fetal GMs) starts at 9-12 weeks gestational age and persist through to term age (approximately 40 weeks).
  • Phase 2 of the general movements, characterised by writhing movements, starts at term age and persists during the first two months of life, until they start to disappear at about 6 – 9 weeks of age.
  • Phase 3 of the general movements, characterised by fidgety movements, starts at about 9 weeks and continues to age about 20 weeks.

Absence of these fidgety movements in infants 9-20 weeks in particular has been identified as a marker for the presence of neural damage and cerebral palsy
Adde et al., 2009 and Einspieler & Prechtl, 2005

Based on observations of these movements, the General Movements Assessment (GMA) was developed, which relies on skilled and trained observation of the fidgety movements in infants, and assessment against the expected normal pattern of the movements.

Although the GMA could be particularly useful in the developing world due to the low cost and low technology requirements, in the South Africa context the implementation is constrained by the lack of trained and skilled human assessors. Due to the complexity of these movements and the sensitivity required to observe changes, health care professionals need to undergo standardised training in order to be able to perform this assessment.

After completing the training, the professional undergoes a certification process – in line with specifications set out by the General Movements Trust.