Problems at School: Is it Behavior or is it Praxis?


This Livetalk will explore the complex, and sometimes misinterpreted, behaviors related to praxis difficulties, with a focus on ideational praxis.


Featuring: Teresa A. May-Benson, Sc.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
originally recorded March 9, 2020

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. This LiveTalk is part of the Complex Cases: Applying Clinical Reasoning to Challenging Clients bundle. Click to preregister for the 2020 series!

Description: Children who demonstrate resistive and non-compliant behaviors can be difficult to treat. Did you know that many of these types of behaviors can be a sign of praxis difficulties? Using a case study, we will explore the complex, and sometimes misinterpreted, behaviors related to praxis difficulties, with a focus on ideational praxis. By the end of this talk you will be able to address the following questions: What does ideational praxis look like? How can you assess it? How can you treat it?  The discussion will center around a case of a young woman who often feels misunderstood by her instructors and her medical professionals. She would like them to understand and see how hard she is working every day and not interpret her behavior as avoidance or non-compliance. Could you be mistaking challenging behaviors for praxis challenges? Join us to find out.

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

  1. Describe behaviors that may indicate ideational praxis challenges
  2. Identify Assessments for ideational praxis
  3. State treatment strategies for individuals with ideational praxis challenges.

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

Suitable For: Occupational Therapists, OT Assistants

Domain: Client Factors
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: 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 has a diverse background as a clinical practitioner having worked in private and public school settings as well as private practice. She is active in conducting research related to sensory integration through the non-profit Spiral Foundation’s Sensory Processing Research Center. She has collaborated with well-known researchers such as Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Dr. Shelly Lane and Dr. Roseann Schaaf as a member of the Sensory Integration Research Collaborative (SIRC). In her role of educator, she serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Indianapolis and part-time faculty at Tufts University. She has a special interest in, and extensive experience with autism, particularly older students and adults. Dr. May-Benson received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and her master’s degree from Boston University with a concentration in sensory integration and school system therapy. She was a Maternal and Child Health Fellow in the Doctoral Program in Therapeutic Studies at Boston University. 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.



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