Digital Seminar

Motivational Activities Using Everyday Materials for Children with Special Needs

Faculty :
Barbara A. Smith
6 Hours 22 Minutes
Audio and Video
Copyright :
Jun 03, 2014
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar


  • 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 the day 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!


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


  • 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.


To order the book, The Recycling Occupational Therapist: Hundreds of Simple Therapy Materials You Can Make, please visit our product store.

To order the book, Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance, please visit our product store.

ADA Needs

We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.


Satisfaction Guarantee

Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.



NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after completing and passing the on-line post-test evaluation). 

Continuing Education Information:  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards

Educators (Self-Study)

This course consists of 6.25 self-study clock hours. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from this self-study activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements. 

Educators - Illinois (Self-Study)


6.0 ISBE Professional Development (PD) Clock Hours have been made available through Quincy University. Those requesting ISBE PD Clock Hours will need to complete additional steps in order to receive the ISBE “Evidence of Completion for Professional Development” form.


After completing and passing the post-test/evaluation you will also need to complete the ISBE required “Evaluation for Workshop, Conference, Seminar, Etc.” form. Please contact to have this evaluation form emailed to you. You will then need to submit the completed ISBE evaluation form, plus the ISBE $20 application fee, a copy of the PESI CE Certificate, your ISBE license number and your name within two weeks from receiving your CE certificate. You will then be emailed the “ISBE Evidence of Completion for Professional Development” form.

Educators - Indiana (Self-Study)

6.0 Professional Growth Points are available for full attendance of this self-study package per the Indiana Department of Education standards.

Educators - Montana (Self-Study)

This self-study package is offered for 6.0 Renewal Units. PESI, Inc. is an Approved Renewal Unit Provider with the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Educators - Texas (Self-Study)

PESI, Inc., has been approved as a CPE Provider #500-981 for Texas Educators by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBED). This self-study package qualifies for 6.0 CPE clock hours.

Educators, Administrators & Education Services Personnel - New Jersey (Self-Study)

6.0 Actual Professional Development Hours (self-study). MEDS-PDN, powered by PESI, Inc., is a registered New Jersey Professional Development Provider with the NJ Dept of Education.  

Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants - Florida (Self-Study)

CE Broker

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy. Provider Number BAP #77. This course qualifies for 6.3 self-study continuing education credits.

** Florida Participants Only: To automatically be reported to CE Broker, after completing and passing the online post-test/evaluation, please contact to have your Florida credits reported to CE Broker. You will need to provide the full title of the activity, speaker name, date of live broadcast, your name and your license number in the email.

Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants (Self-Study)

This self-study course consists of 6.25 clock hours of instruction that is applicable for physical therapists. CE requirements for physical therapists vary by state/jurisdiction. Please retain the certificate of completion that you receive and use as proof of completion when required.

Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants - California (Self-Study)

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approval agency to approve providers. This self-study lecture qualifies for 6.25 continuing competency hours.

Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants - Illinois (Self-Study)

PESI, Inc. is a Registered Physical Therapy Continuing Education Sponsor through the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation. License #: 216.000270. This self-study course qualifies for 6.0 CE credit hours.

Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants - New York (Self-Study)

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department, State Board for Physical Therapy as an approved provider for physical therapy and physical therapy assistant continuing education. This self-study course qualifies for 7.6 contact hours.

Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists (Self-Study)

This course contains 6.0 hours of self-study continuing education. It was not offered for ASHA CEUs. Please retain your certificate of completion. If audited for ASHA Certification Maintenance, you can submit this certificate of completion at that time. For state licensure, teacher certification renewal, or other credential renewal, contact those agencies for information about your reporting responsibilities and requirements.

Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists - California (Self-Study)

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board, #PDP 319. This course meets the qualifications for 6.0 hours of self-study continuing professional development credit for Speech-Language Pathologists or Audiologists, as required by the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board.

Θ Other Professions (Self-Study)

This self-study activity qualifies for 6.25 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



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


Click here to purchase the DVD or CD recording from our product store.

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

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:     4.4

Total Reviews: 30

Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs

We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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