Looking at Children with New Eyes: The Influence of Sensory Processing on Infant Toddler Development and Behavior


9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Course #:
Erikson Institute
Credit Available:
CEUs; Social Work CEUs; Early Intervention approval pending
All behavior has meaning! Understanding the ways in which very young children take in, process and respond to sensory information enables providers and parents an alternative lens through which to observe and interpret behavior, as well as to enhance care giving and  intervention strategies.   In this workshop participants will learn about the “lesser known” sensory systems, the interrelated components of sensory processing and the concepts of sensory modulation and sensory threshold.  Time will also be spent discussing the possible meanings of specific behaviors and, more importantly, how to help the children who demonstrate these behaviors. The role of the stress response system will be introduced as a means to support alternative interpretations of behavior from a neuroscience perspective.   The importance of cue reading will be examined as a window into understanding each child’s unique sensory-neurological profile.  The day will conclude with an interactive discussion of the practical ways in which this information can be utilized to modify and adapt environments (which include interpersonal relationships), individualize intervention and care giving strategies in the service of fostering optimal development in young children. Participants in this workshop will be able to:
    • Identify and describe the eight sensory systems
    • Explain the interrelated components of sensory processing
    • Behaviorally describe the four basic types of sensory thresholds
    • Identify autonomic nervous system signs of stress
    • Consider the impact of stress on the developing child who experiences sensory processing differences
    • Design intervention strategies using a  sensory processing perspective in the service enhancing their work with very young children.


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