Jenny Clark


Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds: Sensory Strategies for Promoting Wellness in Children

Course Chapters & Learning Objectives:

Identifying Occupational Wellness Needs in the Pediatric Population Through Evidence-Based Practices

Occupation-Based Wellness Interventions for Children and Youth Part One: Nature and Nutrition

Occupation-Based Wellness Interventions for Children and Youth Part Two: Deep Breathing, Meditation, and Mindfulness

Yoga Poses as Therapeutic Intervention for Children and Youth

Course Description

In this course, therapists learn innovative ideas on how to integrate health and wellness interventions and strategies into the daily lives of youth struggling with childhood disorders that impact emotional regulation, attention span, problem solving skills, social interactions, and physical health. The American Occupational Therapy Association’s ‘Vision 2025’ identifies health and wellness as a focused key practice area for therapists in the 21st century. Because health is an important component of both physical and emotional well-being, there is an increased need for wellness-related services. Research studies examining health-related interventions indicate promising results for children’s well-being. Implementing these interventions into daily life improves a child’s neurophysiological symptoms resulting from SPD, ADHD, ASD, and decreased exposure to nature. As the number of children with SPD increases and the correlation between nature-deficit disorder and prevalent childhood disorders is established, it is imperative for therapists to incorporate wellness interventions into their therapeutic strategies. This course identifies a decrease in physical activity as a key problem in children with sensory processing disorder (SPD), attention deficit disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and nature-deficit disorder. Therapists are introduced to a variety of wellness strategies focusing on meaningful occupations, including outdoor activities in nature, therapeutic gardening, yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness activities. These wellness interventions teach children many important skills that can be applied to daily life experiences.