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Trauma Processing with Neurodivergent Youth: Adaptive strategies to support communication, sensory needs, cognition and more

Aditi Mehra
Approx. 6 Hours
Jan 16, 2024
PESI, Inc.
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Seminar | Live Webinar  2

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Each child’s path to healing is as unique as their fingerprint.

But when kids with autism, ADHD, and developmental delays are also facing trauma, the way forward can seem impossible to find.

Communication impairments. Concrete thinking. Sensory needs.

It can start to feel like a puzzle you’ll never solve. A door you can’t unlock.

Often, the trauma gets overshadowed by the more visible needs, becoming an unseen barrier preventing progress.

Watch Dr. Aditi Mehra, occupational therapist and trauma expert, to gain the specialized knowledge to provide the comprehensive support these children need:

  • Easily adapt ACT, EMDR, and CBT approaches based on each child’s unique needs
  • Differentiate trauma-related behaviors from disability-related behaviors
  • Skillfully apply communication strategies, sensory techniques, cognitive resources, and assistive technology within trauma treatment
  • Actively engage kids of all abilities

Return to work tomorrow with dozens of tools for your toolbox, including an extensive resource list for worksheets, social stories, visual supports, art therapy, and sensory activities you can implement immediately.

Purchase today for this crucial training to help the most vulnerable children on their path to healing.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**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.


Aditi Mehra's Profile

Aditi Mehra Related seminars and products

Dr. Aditi Mehra, is a pediatric occupational therapist with a Doctorate in health sciences who is leaving an indelible impact across diverse therapeutic settings. Dr. Mehra serves as adjunct professor at Lewis University and is the director at the esteemed Chicago Fit Learning Lab. Dr. Mehra has over 25 years of experience working with children and teens with ASD, ADHD, learning disorders, and other neurodevelopmental conditions. She is passionate about improving trauma-informed care and cultural competency across therapeutic settings. In addition to her work as an occupational therapist, Dr. Mehra holds a certification in behavior analysis and has obtained certificates in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Trauma-Focused ACT. She provides continuing education presentations for various allied health groups in her community and across the nation.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Aditi Mehra has an employment relationship with Northern Illinois Association and receives compensation as a continuing education content creator and presenter. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Aditi Mehra has no non-financial relationships.


Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Identify the significance of trauma-informed care when working with children with special needs, including its impact on their well-being, development, and therapeutic outcomes.
  2. Identify the impact of trauma on the brain and its unique impact on the behavior of neurodivergent children.
  3. List practical techniques and interventions to recognize trauma in children with disabilities and differentiate it from their disability-related behaviors.
  4. Choose effective strategies for implementing trauma-informed care for children with developmental differences and their parents/ caregivers.
  5. Examine trauma-informed strategies and interventions within the scope of counseling, psychology, social work, and occupational therapy to improve function in children with disabilities.
  6. Utilize strategies to protect the mental health of clinicians when working with clients with special needs and complex trauma to promote overall health and wellbeing.


Neuroscience and Resilience

  • Signs of trauma in neurodivergent children
  • Trauma-related behaviors vs disability-related behaviors
  • Impact of neurodivergence on trauma processing
    • Communication impairments
    • Sensory processing disorder
    • Physical disabilities
    • Medical needs
    • ASD-related behaviors
  • Brain change through EMDR, ACT, CBT, somatic therapies
  • Limitations of research and potential risks

Navigate Communication Challenges

  • Apps and tech to support 2-way communication
  • Psychoeducation using social stories and video modeling
  • Visual supports for emotion identification
  • 5 art therapy techniques to communicate without words
  • Defusion techniques for non-verbal children
  • Case study: CBT for autistic teen engaging in self-harm

Meet Sensory Needs

  • Create a sensory-friendly space
  • Quick & easy calming sensory strategies
  • Sensory routines for emotional regulation
  • In-session use of proprioceptive and vestibular strategies
  • Interoception: its BIG role in emotions
  • Left-right stimulation strategies
  • Case study: Play therapy to address trauma in child with FAS

Move Beyond Physical Limitations

  • Modifications for play therapy techniques
  • Positioning to support interaction
  • Help kids set value-driven goals despite disability-related challenges
  • Deal with disability-related identity issues
  • Assistive technology in trauma work
  • Case study: EMDR with child with CP and history of abuse

Engage the Hard-to-Engage Child

  • Movement before mindfulness
  • Capitalize on routines and rituals
  • Play-based trust-building strategies
  • Puppets, sand trays, and doll houses
  • Case study: ACT with autistic child in foster care

Support Cognitive Processing

  • Strategies to build sense of self
  • Dramatic play for perspective-taking
  • Resources for emotional identification and processing
  • Visual supports for understanding and acceptance
  • Building psychological flexibility through role-play
  • Case study: CBT and child with Down syndrome

Build the Child’s Dream Team

  • Co-regulation strategies for caregivers
  • Support attachment
  • Routines-based intervention for the home
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration for success

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers


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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