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Featuring: Dr. Heather Miller Kuhanek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
originally recorded July 25, 2016

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

Description: It is well known that children with autism spectrum disorder demonstrated decreased play skills compared to typically functioning peers, yet occupational therapists still do not often emphasize play in their intervention. However, occupational therapists using a sensory integration frame of reference routinely use play activities to develop sensory processing and praxis skills in these children. This talk will present the current understanding of the relationship among sensory processing, praxis and play skills in children with ASD and will discuss intervention strategies to address play deficits in these children.

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

  1. Describe the relationship between sensory processing, praxis and play skills in children with.
  2. List 3 play characteristics common in children with ASD.
  3. Identify 3 intervention strategies for addressing play deficits in children with ASD

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: Dr. Heather Miller Kuhanek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is an associate professor of occupational therapy at Sacred Heart University. Her professional interests include pediatric occupational therapy with a specialty in autism and sensory integration and working with families and siblings of children with autism. In 2014 she received a service commendation from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

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.