CE Article: Sensory Processing and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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SKU: CEA1121

Publisher: AOTA Continuing Education

Published: 2021

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Product Overview

Lauren Andelin, OTD, MS, OTR/L
Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA

Lisa Johnson, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor, University of Findlay
Findlay, OH

Amanda Wiles, OTD, OTR/L
Pediatric Therapy Partners, LLC
Middletown, DE

Aimee Piller, PhD, OTR/L, BCP
Piller Child Development LLC
Phoenix, AZ

Alexandra Achord, OTS
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ

Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)

This CE article was developed in collaboration with AOTA’s Sensory Integration and Processing Special Interest Section.

Occupational therapists are important members of the team in assessing and intervening for children and adults with mental health challenges. Many children and adults with mental health diagnoses may also have sensory processing difficulties. As we continue to see effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, OTs have a crucial part in helping clients who may have additional needs. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the implications for OTs working in various settings and how they can apply different frameworks to effectively evaluate and intervene with clients across the lifespan having both mental health and sensory differences.

After reading this article, you should be able to:

1. Recognize the potential relationship between sensory processing difficulties and mental health.

2.  Explain the importance of evaluating for sensory differences in mental health practice and vice versa.

3. Describe the Person Environment Occupation (PEO) model as applied to structure occupational therapy interventions for clients with sensory processing differences and potential mental health impacts. 

4. Identify a variety of sensory tools, strategies, and/or occupations that can be used when working with clients with mental health difficulties resulting from potential sensory processing differences.

Learning Level: Intermediate

Target Audience: Occupational Therapy Practitioners and Occupational Therapy Assistants

Content Focus: Category 2: Occupational Therapy Process; Evaluation, Intervention, and Outcomes

Reference Information: Andelin, Lauren OTD, MS, OTR/L; Johnson, Lisa OTD, OTR/L; Wiles, Amanda OTD, OTR/L; Piller, Aimee PhD, OTR/L, BCP; Achord, Alexandra, OTS

(CEA November, 2021) Sensory Processing and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic