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Interventions for Challenging Behavior for Pediatric Therapists

presented by Renee Watling

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This course will discuss a range of intervention strategies that can be used to address challenging behaviors. Strategies include three primary approaches to intervention: preventing problem behavior, promoting positive behavior, and intervening when challenging behavior already exists. Specific intervention ideas in each of these areas will be discussed.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

    Dr. Watling has been a pediatric occupational therapist in Washington State since 1992. She has worked in clinic, school, and private practice settings; has lectured extensively at state, regional, and national conferences; and has published extensively on the topics of sensory processing, sensory-based occupational therapy intervention, and issues related to services for children with autism. She is the lead author of the AOTA Practice Guideline for Children and Adolescents with Challenges in Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration and the co-editor for Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach. Dr. Watling received her BS and MS in occupational therapy from the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and her PhD from the College of Education at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on understanding the relationship between sensory processing and behavior, especially among children with autism spectrum disorders. She has served on various committees for the American Occupational Therapy Association, including holding the positions of Chairperson and Education/Research liaison for the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section and participating in the Autism Workgroup. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been on select advisory panels for the organization. She is a past Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington – Seattle and is now Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound, where she teaches in the entry-level Master’s program and post-professional doctoral program.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Introduction to Intervention Concepts

    1. Introduction to Intervention Concepts

    This chapter lays the foundation for the rest of the course and highlights important considerations about changing behavior that must be addressed before beginning an intervention program.

  2. Preventing Challenging Behaviors

    2. Preventing Challenging Behaviors

    This chapter describes the importance of establishing a context that prevents challenging behaviors from emerging. Strategies to accomplish this aim are identified and described, enabling participants to customize and implement them in their own practice settings.

  3. Promoting Positive Behavior

    3. Promoting Positive Behavior

    This chapter describes the importance of intentionally establishing a context that supports positive behaviors. Strategies to accomplish this aim are identified and described, enabling participants to customize and implement them in their own practice settings.

  4. Intervening for Persistent Challenging Behavior

    4. Intervening for Persistent Challenging Behavior

    Existing and persistent challenging behaviors can be particularly difficult to modify. This chapter addresses strategies for approaching more extreme behaviors and those that are well-established. Strategies are identified and described, as are the principles of behavior management that must be considered when designing and implementing programs to modify behavior.