Nature Brain: The Developing Brain and Nature Deficit Disorder

This class has ended.

Date: Monday, September 23, 2013

Course #: W753

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Brookfield Zoo

Cost: $150.00

Credit Available: 0.5 CEUs; 5 SWCEUs; 5 CPDUs; Approval pending by the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program


This session takes place at Brookfield Zoo

Today’s children are suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder, a social trend that describes the developmental cost of alienation from nature which includes diminished use of the sensory systems, higher rates of physical and BZLargeCemotional illness including obesity, depression, and decreased attention. The good news is that there is a growing body of research evidence that is demonstrating the ways in which nature is not only good for the developing child’s brain but vitally important.  In this workshop we’ll examine the research with an emphasis on the practical ways in which we can harness the power of nature to facilitate all domains of a child’s development.  We’ll explore some intriguing concepts such as why dirt is good for the body. Participants will have the opportunity to learn by doing as we break the indoor habit and get back to nature ourselves. Together we will design activities that can be used with young children that utilize nature and materials from the natural world.

After the session, feel free to wander around Brookfield Zoo at no extra charge!


Jennifer Rosinia, Ph.D.

Rosinia has more than 25 years of experience in pediatric occupational therapy. A specialist in serving the needs of children birth to age three and their families, she also has extensive experience working with school-aged children and young adults. An Erikson alumna, she holds a master's degree in early childhood education and a doctorate in child development. Her expertise is in neuroscience with a particular interest in sensory processing, the role of emotions, and the impact of relationships on the developing child. She enjoys a national reputation as a speaker and consultant. She is president of Kid Links Unlimited, Inc., a company whose mission is to link theory to practice, parents with professionals, and kids with their optimal potential.

This class has ended.