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 Featuring: Sarah Sawyer, MA, OTR/L, Erin Flynn MS, OTR/L and Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA

originally recorded April, 6th 2020

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. This LiveTalk is part of the 2020 bundle. Click to preregister for the 2020 series!

Description: In the new world that surrounds COVID-19, telehealth is becoming the new way to deliver out-patient occupational therapy. AOTA produced a position paper on this in 2017. Since then OT services via telehealth has become an emerging field. Until now, very few OT’s have had to implement Sensory Integration using this platform. Sarah Sawyer, clinical director at OTA The Koomar Center and Erin Flynn, Education Coordinator at The Spiral Foundation will join Teresa May-Benson, Director of the Spiral Foundation, in a discussion on how to facilitate sensory integration therapy from a distance. They will discuss the challenges — of which there are several — the most impactful one being reimbursement for private clinicians, as well as ethical considerations. Once they have addressed those hurdles, they will outline how to organize a session and give examples of what can you do to prepare your families for this new platform. They will also explore using sensory integration with the coaching model, as they believe coaching will be an integral part of these telehealth sessions. Throughout the discussion they will provide specific examples of treatment strategies.

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

  1. Identify challenges to implementing Sensory Integration therapy via telehealth
  2. Describe how to organize a telehealth session to include Sensory Integration principles
  3. Define ways to implement coaching into telehealth sessions.
  4. Select treatment strategies to use during telehealth sessions

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

Suitable For: Occupational Therapists, OT Assistants

Domain: Context and Environment
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.0 contact hour 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 Speakers: Sarah Sawyer is the President, Co-Owner, and Clinical Director at OTA The Koomar Center. Sarah has broad experience evaluating and treating individuals with SPD and has specialized training in Listening Therapies, Trauma and Visual Vestibular difficulties.  Sarah regularly trains and presents to educational facilities and other professionals broadening understanding of Sensory Processing Dysfunction and Sensory Integration Therapy.

Erin is the Spiral Foundation’s Education Coordinator, as well as a practicing occupational therapist at OTA The Koomar Center. Erin is a certified and licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of Massachusetts. She received her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Sacred Heart University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from College of the Holy Cross. She has worked with children in a variety of settings including public/private schools and Boys & Girls Clubs. Prior to moving to Massachusetts, she was on the Board of Directors of the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club in Fairfield, CT where she was the Vice President of Programming. While there, she helped develop and run the girls lacrosse program and facilitated staff education on accommodating the needs of club members with Autism. Erin is committed to developing innovative ways for children to participate in their desired activities.

Teresa A. May-Benson, Sc.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Executive Director of the Spiral Foundation at OTA-Watertown is a well-known lecturer and researcher on sensory integration theory and intervention. She has authored numerous book chapters and articles on praxis and sensory integration, and completed her doctoral dissertation on ideational praxis. Dr. May-Benson is active in conducting research related to sensory integration through the non-profit Spiral Foundation’s Sensory Processing Research Center.  She has received the Virginia Scardinia Award of Excellence from AOTA for her work in ideational praxis. The Alice Bachman Clinician Award from Pediatric Therapy Network and the Catherine Trombly Award from the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapists for her work as a research, clinician and instructor. She is a fellow of 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.