International Keynote Speaker, Paediatric
Professor, Cape Town University, South Africa
Prof. Dr. Bouwien Smits-Engelsman is an internationally recognized authority on neuromotor rehabilitation and neuromotor disorders. She is currently leading research on motor control deficiencies and treatment (evaluation) in children with DCD, genetic syndromes and CP. Between 2005-2015, working in the Motor Control Laboratory Research Center for Movement Control and Neuroplasticity (KULeuven, Belgium), she extensively researched motor control deficit due to brain damage and also put in place an extensive research line whereby skills are studied using a clinical, cognitive and neurological approach.
She is co-developer of the major motor performance tests used for children with developmental disorders (Movement Assessment Battery for children; Bayley scales of infant development; Functional Strength Measure, and Systematic Detection of Handwriting Problems). Recently she focused on developing tools for skill-related physical fitness (Ladder Agility Test, CRISP and PERF-FIT test).
In 2014 she accepted an honorary professorship at Cape Town University, to set up a new line of research and supervise postgraduate students studying developmental disabilities in low resourced areas in Africa. Projects have been running (or are still running) in South Africa, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Ghana.