Managing Challenging Behaviors in Pediatric Therapy: Answers to Common Questions

presented by Renee Watling

Accreditation Check:

Despite having knowledge in behavior theory and skill in intervention approaches, therapists can have difficulty managing challenging behaviors in the context of pediatric therapy sessions. This course uses a question and answer format to apply the theoretical and practical content from preceding courses to specific questions around challenging behaviors that commonly arise in pediatric therapy. In addition, a novice therapist joins Dr. Watling to discuss management of challenging behaviors in a case example.

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. How Behavior is Developed

    1. How Behavior is Developed

    This chapter examines how behavior is developed for children starting from infancy. The role of boundaries is discussed as a key factor in shaping behaviors a child exhibits. It’s important parents and adults establish and enforce boundaries to help shape a child’s behavior, as children will often test the boundaries for consistency.

  2. Frequently Asked Questions About Challenging Behaviors in Pediatric Clients

    2. Frequently Asked Questions About Challenging Behaviors in Pediatric Clients

    This course uses a Q & A format to pose questions that make behavior management particularly challenging in pediatric therapy and provide answers to those questions. A series of 11 questions from occupational and physical therapists is presented and answers are discussed. Answers include theoretical foundations as well as practical strategies recommended for the particular situation.

  3. Addressing the Challenging Behaviors of Aniyah: A Case Example

    3. Addressing the Challenging Behaviors of Aniyah: A Case Example

    This chapter involves presentation of a case example by a novice therapist. Dr. Watling examines the case and discusses how to understand the child’s behaviors, develop the treatment plan, and provide intervention strategies.