10 Contact Hours

This course provides a guide to occupational, physical, and speech therapists, teaching each learner how to successfully work with children with disabilities using specific clinical strategies.  This course is appropriate for entry level and intermediate level therapists.


This was a great course!  I learned so much and was able to apply it to my job daily!  So much good and important information.  -RM

It was very organized and gave excellent infomation! -AW

I enjoyed the course very much and found it to be very beneficial. -WH

I loved this course! I think the instructor is an awesome OTR and his clients/parents are so lucky to have him as their therapist! -JR

I found the information to be better than any pediatric course I have ever paid to sit and listen to a speaker. Great Job! -SP

Instructor: Joel Desotelle, MS OTR/L

    Joel is an occupational therapist who specializes in neurological disorders in children and adults.  He received his Bachelors of Science (B.S) degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College (Keuka Park, NY) in 1995 and his post-graduate Masters of Science (M.S.) degree from Misericordia University (Dallas, PA) in 2010.  He holds a post-graduate certificate in pediatrics from Misericordia University (2006) and has worked in a variety of settings from out-patient pediatrics to in-patient adults.

Audience: OT, OTA, PT, PTA, ST

Skill Level: Entry Level, Intermediate

Contact Hours: 10

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA

Teaching Methods: Text-Based learning modules, course activities, and interactive forum

Criteria for Passing: Each learner must complete all online activities/handouts, pass each section quiz, and pass a final exam to receive credit.

Method of Delivery:

    • Interactive Online Classroom, or...

    • Home Study Course - Printed course manual mailed to your door.

  • Download and Print - Download and print the manual from your printer.

Certificate Options:

    • Online Certificate - Receive a signed certificate automatically online after completing all online activities, quizzes, and the final exam.

  • Mailed Certificate - Recieve a printed, signed certificate in the mail.

Availability: 24/7
Course Objectives: By the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Identify behaviors that can disrupt a therapy session;
  2. Apply strategies to neutralize behaviors;
  3. Demonstrate how the affordances of an activity can be used to neutralize behaviors and facilitate therapeutic outcomes;
  4. Demonstrate how the affordances of an activity  can be used to create a just-right challenge;
  5. Demonstrate how to creatively expand the affordances of an activity.
  6. Apply, through the analysis of case studies, appropriate strategies to bring a child into compliance.


  Classroom Tips
  Gems Poll


  Setting the Stage for Success
  Understanding Thresholds
  Case Study
  Challenging the Child
  Window of Optimal Outcomes
  Course Objectives

Neutralizing Behaviors

  II. Neutralizing Behaviors
  A. Behavioral Barriers
      Behavioral Issues
         Personality-Specific Behaviors
         Situation-Specific Behaviors
      Behavioral Indicators
         Poor Body Language
         Emotional Stability
      Cause of Behavior
      Managing Behaviors
         Managing Activity Levels
         Using Rewards
         Internalizing Skills
  B. Psychological Barriers
      Low Self-Esteem/Poor Self-Perception
         Empowering the Child
         Keeping it Positive
      Anxiety and Fear
  C. Cognitive Barriers
      General Intelligence
      Problem Solving
  D. Therapist Barriers
      Building Rapport
      Establish Good Communication
         Communicate Behavioral Limits
         Verbal Communication
         Non-Verbal Communication
      Therapeutic Use of Self
         Being a Role Model
         Using Cues
         Establishing Authority
      Setting Boundaries
         Physical Boundaries
      Avoid Complacency
      Weaning the Child
  E. Environmental Barriers
  F. Concluding Remarks
  Section II: Activity 1
  Section II: Activity 2
  Section II: Activity 3

The Just Right Challenge

  III. The Just Right Challenge
  The Just Right Challenge
      Transitional Activities
         Transition Into and Out of Therapy
         Stretching Attention
         Buying Time
      Motivating the Child
         Engaging the Child
      Improving Compliance
         Adventures and Themes
         Dramatizing Play
      Concrete vs Abstract Tasks
      Using Music
      Timing and Duration of Activities
      Reading Cues
      Repetition and Habituation
         Duration and Distance
      Modifying Tasks/Creativity
      Implementing a Home Program
  Section III: Activity 1
  Section III: Activity 2

Putting It All Together

  IV. Putting It All Together

Concluding Comments

  V. Concluding Comments

Final Exam

  Final Exam

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction


2. Course Objectives

Click to view course objectives.

3. Coursework

Reading materials and the course activity to complete are found in the coursework section.

4. Course Final and Survey


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion