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Digital Seminar

Motivational Activities Using Everyday Materials for Children with Special Needs

  • Effective, inexpensive and fun activities that you can use immediately
  • Develop cognitive, communication, sensory and fine-motor skills
  • Integrate iPad® apps and animal-assisted therapy
  • Improve deficits in visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic sensory systems

Discover an array of innovative and ‘ready to use’ strategies to increase children’s functional skills in the areas of:

  • Cognitive/communications abilities
  • Functional vision and visual processing skills
  • Sensory processing and motor skills
  • Social emotional skills
  • Executive functioning (i.e. attention, persistence, organization, problem solving skills)

Through hands-on activities, activity demonstrations, case studies, and video clips you will walk away with evidenced-based strategies and motivational activities that will facilitate your student’s unique growth patterns in all areas of learning, at all skill levels. Learn how to integrate animal-assisted therapies (with a focus on hippotherapy) and iPad® technologies to promote engagement, communication, and motor skills. You will leave with a collection of intervention tools that increase student engagement and motivation in order to promote therapeutic/ educational objectives as well as adaptations that make the activities accessible for children with physical disabilities.

Because having fun is a critical aspect of all learning, be prepared for a multi-sensory experience that will activate your smile muscles. It is very rewarding and gratifying to know that you will be able to take these ideas back to the members of your team to implement and effectively serve children. Please come prepared to participate, so dress comfortably!


Product Details
Average Rating:
Barbara A. Smith
6 Hours 23 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jun 03, 2014
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Barbara A. Smith's Profile

Barbara A. Smith Related seminars and products: 1

MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapy, resources, books, and activity information

Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L, is a highly experienced occupational therapist, author and national presenter who has over 30 years of experience working with children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities in a variety of settings including public schools, educational collaborative, group homes, early intervention and hippotherapy programs. She is the author of four books, including The Recycling Occupational Therapist; From Rattles to Writing: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills, which won a 2012 National Association of Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) (Therapro, Inc., 2012); and The Almost Complete Plastic Bottle Activity Book (Amazon Kindle, 2012). She is also the designer of the patent pending fine motor activity, Weavable Toys: Basic Shapes.

Barbara earned her B.A. in English from State University of New York at New Paltz and her M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University. She is certified in Sensory Integration evaluation and interventions and certified by the American Hippotherapy Association in hippotherapy.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  • Describe key types of activity adaptations that promote cognitive, sensory-motor, social-emotional, communication and play skills.
  • Explain the benefits of various evidence-based and anecdotally supported interventions when working with developmentally delayed children.
  • Discuss the use of iPad® apps to promote cognitive, motor, communication and daily living skills.
  • Determine the role of animal-assisted therapies in supporting children with disabilities and its role in various therapies.
  • Design supports, adaptations and activities for students with functional vision challenges.
  • Plan age-appropriate pre-vocational activities for older students.


Diagnoses & Types of Assessment Tools

  • Multiply Handicapped with Profound/Severe Delays
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Other Developmental Disabilities (i.e. Down Syndrome)
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities/Mild Fine Motor Delays
  • Functional Vision Deficits

Typical Early Child Development Activities/Adaptations

  • Cognition
  • Communication/Play Skills
  • Sensory-Motor Skills
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Classification of Evidenced-Based Interventions

  • Play-Based
  • Direct Skills Training
  • Behavioral Approaches
  • Sensory-Based

Teaching Strategies

  • Adaptations for Visual Deficits and Visual Motor Activities
  • Adapting/Simplifying Activities for Success
  • Integrating Movement into Academics
  • Movement Break Activities
  • Behavioral Techniques Based on ABA Guidelines
  • Forward Chaining
  • Backward Chaining
  • Hand Over Hand Techniques
  • Creating Success Only Activities
  • Developing Pre-Vocational Skills (in Students with Developmental Disabilities)
  • Adding Sensory Components to Behavioral Based Interventions
  • The 80/20 Rule to Build Competence
  • Apps That Engage Sustained Attention and Eye Contact, Basic Learning Concepts and Motor Skills

Adaptations for Older Students (4th- 8th Grade)

  • Team Approach to Improving Communication and Writing Skills
  • iPad® Apps for Organization, Social/Emotional Function and Communication Skills
  • Meet the Older Students’ Sensory Motor Needs

Types of Animal-Assisted Therapies

  • Dolphins
  • Dogs (Therapy Dog vs. Service Dog)
  • Horses (Therapeutic Riding vs. Hippotherapy)
  • Small Animals (Bunnies, Cats)

Skill Areas Address (Animal-Assisted Therapies)

  • Sensory Processing
  • Cognitive/Visual Perceptual Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Postural Control, Strength, Muscle Tone, Motor Planning
  • Social Emotional Skills
  • Fine-Motor Skills

Contraindications and Information on Training/Certification

Resources for Continued Learning

Target Audience

Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Speech-Language Pathology Assistants, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Special Education Teachers & Staff, Early Interventionists, Head Start Staff, Hippotherapy Facilities, Sensory Clinics/Hospitals, General Education Teachers & Staff, School-Based Personnel



Overall:      4.3

Total Reviews: 34

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Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or email

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