2023 Live Talk Series: Mentoring in the Art of Therapy – Deciding Where to Begin Intervention



Susanne Smith Roley, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Moderated by Robyn Carreras, MS, OTR/L

Originally Recorded March 2023

LiveTalks are hour long discussions between an expert speaker and SPIRAL moderator.

SPIRAL Members: This LiveTalk is lesson 2 in the 2023 LiveTalk Series: Mentoring in the Art of Therapy course

Description: Deciding where to begin occupational therapy intervention is a complex and multifaceted process that lies in the therapist’s ability to synthesize information gathered from evaluation, apply theoretical and scientific frames of reference, hypothesize which areas of dysfunction contribute to problems in occupational performance, predict how behavior will change as a result of intervention, and skillfully implement a well-constructed intervention plan. In this Live Talk we will discuss sensory integration theory and applying clinical reasoning to practice in Ayres Sensory Integration®. Specific focus will be given to choosing what to target first in therapy. Resources for current research will be shared. Time for question and answer will be provided.

Learning objectives: By the end of this LiveTalk participants will be able to:

  1. Describe core concepts of Ayres Sensory Integration.
  2. Understand the relationship between sensory and motor foundations of behavior and occupational performance.
  3. Identify various considerations for choosing what to target first in therapy

By the end of this series participants will be able to:

  1. Describe what it means to be child-led.
  2. Identify ways to establish safety and trust with clients using a sensory integration-based framework.
  3. Define the ‘just-right’ challenge
  4. Identify when a therapeutic activity requires modification.

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

Suitable For: OT, PT, SLP, OTA, PTA, Educators, Parents

AOTA Areas: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery: Evaluation, Intervention and Outcomes. Foundational Knowledge: Human Body, Development, and Behavior.

Contact Hours: This conversations is worth 1 contact hour or 0.1 AOTA CEUs.  To earn contact hours or AOTA CEUs for each Live Talk, participants must attend or view the online session in its entirety (accessible via a Zoom link), and successfully complete the accompanying quiz.

About the Speaker: Susanne is an occupational therapist with over 40 years of experience in pediatric practice, specializing in child development, sensory integration, learning difficulties, visual impairment, and autism. She obtained her BS in OT at Indiana University, her MS in Allied Health Sciences at Boston University, and her doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD) at the University of Southern California.  Susanne is in private practice in Orange County, California serving children and families through evaluation and consultation services. She was certified in sensory integration in 1977, studied under Dr. A. Jean Ayres in 1981, and in 1998 co-founded and then directed the USC/WPS sensory integration certificate program for 14 years. She is currently the co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization, Collaborative for Leadership in Sensory Integration (CLASI), providing a sensory integration certificate education program, offered in many countries around the world. She is a past chair of the Commission on Practice and the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section for AOTA and a contributing author of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework Domain and Process, 2002 and 2008. She is an internationally recognized author and lecturer and co-editor of the book, Understanding the Nature of Sensory Integration with Diverse Populations and Sensory Integration:  Applying Clinical Reasoning to Diverse Populations.  She is a fellow of the AOTA and recipient of the AOTF Virginia Scardina Award of Excellence and the AOTF A. Jean Ayres Award.

Disclosure: No disclosures.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at admin@thespiralfoundation.org or (617) 969-4410 ext. 282.

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.


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