4 Contact Hours

Children experiencing, or at risk of mental illness can particularly benefit from occupational therapy to promote participation in everyday life, support the development of healthy family and peer relationships, and minimize emotional distress. This entry-level course provides occupational therapists and assistants a comprehensive overview of mental illness in children. Specific mental health disorders will be reviewed as well as its affect on the child's family. Lastly, specific occupational therapy interventions will be discussed, including prevention strategies to promote mental health.

Audience: OT, COTA

Skill Level: Entry-level

Contact Hours: 4

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

Teaching Methods: Course content includes text from, "Kids Can Be Kids: A Childhood Occupations Approach (2012)" Edited by Shelly J. Lane, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA and Anita C. Bundy, ScD, OTR, FAOTA.  Copyright 2012 FA Davis.  All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

Criteria for Passing: Each learner must complete all learning activities/handouts and pass a final exam to receive credit.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, each learner will be able to:

1. Describe the differences between mental illness in children and normal developmental phases or reactions to developmental crises.

2. Define the main characteristics of mental illnesses commonly seen in children: attachment disorders, anxiety disorders (including phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder), mood disorders, impulse control disorders (including oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder), and eating disorders (i.e., bingeing, anorexia nervosa, bulimia).

3. Describe sociocultural issues that contribute to the complexity of childhood mental illness.

4. Describe common occupational therapy approaches used in intervention with children who have mental illness, including sensory supports, cognitive approaches, and social stories.

5. Identify community-based programs that can promote mental health in children.

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction

Please read the introduction to provide you with important information and tips about your course.

2. Course Objectives - Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: An Overview for Pediatric Therapists

Click to view course objectives.

3. Coursework - Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: An Overview for Pediatric Therapists

Click to view course materials. Completion of all coursework is required to access the final exam and pass the course.

4. Course Final and Survey - Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: An Overview for Pediatric Therapists

Click to take the final exam.


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion