Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started

Featuring: Dr. Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
originally recorded May 23, 2016

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. This LiveTalk is part of the Advances in Autism bundle.

Description: Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder receive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services.  Historically, there is little communication between occupational therapists using a sensory integration approach and BCBA’s and often there is friction and disagreement about intervention approaches among the professional involved.  Collaboration and understanding among professionals working with children with ASD is needed to best meet the needs of the child.  This talk will discuss how occupational therapists using a sensory integration frame of reference can understand behavioral principles, collaborate with BCBA’s and integrate principles of behavior analysis in their intervention programming to address challenging behavioral needs of children with ASD.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this LiveTalk listeners will be able to:

  1. Describe positive reinforcement and how it may be used to manage challenging behaviors in children with ASD.
  2. List 3 ways that occupational therapists can integrate strategies from applied behavioral analysis into their sensory integration-based intervention.
  3. Identify 3 strategies that occupational therapists and educators can use to promote collaboration with BCBA team members.

Course Level: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Suitable For: Occupational Therapists, OT Assistants, Physical Therapists, PT Assistants, Psychologists, Parents, Teachers, ABA Specialists

Domain: Contexts
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.0 contact hours or 0.1 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the recorded LiveTalk in its entirety, and complete the accompanying assessment.

About the Speaker: Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L has been a pediatric occupational therapist in Washington State since 1992. She has worked in clinic, school, and private practice settings. Dr. Watling has lectured extensively at state, regional, and national conferences on the topics of sensory processing, sensory-based occupational therapy intervention, and issues related to services for children with autism and has many publications on these topics. She is the lead author of the AOTA Practice Guideline for Children and Adolescents with Challenges in Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration and the co-editor for Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach. Dr. Watling received her BS and MS in occupational therapy from the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and her PhD from the College of Education at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on understanding the relationship between sensory processing and behavior, especially among children with autism spectrum disorders. She has served on various committees for the American Occupational Therapy Association, including holding the positions of Chairperson and Education/Research liaison for the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section and participating in the Autism Workgroup. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been on select advisory panels for the organization. She is past Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Washington – Seattle and is now Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound where she teaches in the entry-level Master’s program and post-professional doctoral program.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969-4410 ext. 231.

Continuing Education:


Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


The Spiral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such your donation is tax deductible.