25-Feb-2021 8:30 AM - 26-Feb-2021 4:30 PM - Online

Raising resilience in children with neurodevelopmental symptoms: Beyond behaviour

Online Delivery

Thursday, February 25, 2021 & Friday, February 26, 2021  
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

The World Health Organization (WHO) now advises that genetic susceptibility, in combination epigenetic factors like exposure to toxins, can contribute to neurodevelopmental symptoms in children.  This workshop will explore an environmentally-informed intervention model that uses factors of occupational performance (promoting sustainable lifestyle choices) to enhance sensory processing/neuromotor skills in children.

This interactive workshop offers family-centred strategies to raise resilience in children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Participants will explore the science behind the symptoms to discover epigenetic factors that contribute to this modern epidemic. The WHO's Children’s Health and the Environment Policy will be applied to occupational therapy practice to create an environmentally-informed lens for assessment, goal development, intervention, and outcome measures. The evidence-based SENSE of Regulation Program (Stress Management; Environment; Nourish mind, body, microbiome; Sleep; and Exercise) will be introduced as a performance model to enhance neurodevelopmental potential for children. This workshop includes group activities, discussion, case studies, and practice.

Preliminary Workshop Agenda:
Day 1

8:30-10:00 a.m.

Define behaviour and resilience through an environmentally-informed lens 

Epigenetics: nature and nurture interconnected 

Incidence and implications of modern epidemics (autism, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sensory processing/neuro-motor issues

10:00-10:15 a.m.

Morning break

10:15-12:30 p.m.

Explore the World health Organization's Health and the Environment policy and apply it to occupational therapy practice guidelines for assessment, goal development, intervention and outcome measures

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.


1:30-3:15 p.m.

Discover the science behind the symptoms of attentional issues, dyspraxia, anxiety, dysregulated mood/behaviour, hyperactivity, and/or learning disorders

Understand root factors and common metabolic threads (cumulative toxic exposures, immune dysregulation, dysbiotic microbiome) 

3:15-3:30 p.m.

Afternoon break

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Raising resilience in children with neurodevelopmental conditions through an eco-informed, family-centred practice (video case study reviews)

Day 2

8:30-10:00 a.m.

Allostatic load defined 

SENSE of Regulation Evidence-Based Model

10:00-10:15 a.m.

Morning break

10:15-12:30 p.m.

Stress management as an immune-based response (lighten the allostatic load)

Environment for capacity (who, what, where, and when; relationships and the family system)

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.


1:30-3:15 p.m.

Nourish mind, body, and microbiome. Understanding gut-brain connections and how food can impact mood

Defining the occupational performance measures for eating 

Sleep hygiene practices for cognitive development, cellular detoxification, and repair 

Exercise for immune regulation, cognitive development, emotional management

Rhythm regulates and structure stabilizing

3:15-3:30 p.m.

Afternoon break

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Putting it all together for our children and their future

Learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Define epigenetic factors and the modern epidemics facing Canadian children in the 21st century.
  2. Understand the World Health Organization's Children's Health and the Environment Policy in relation to occupational therapy practices. 
  3. Develop an environmentally-informed lens with occupational therapy assessment, goal development, intervention and outcome measures.
  4. Identify the root factors and common metabolic threads of neurodevelopmental symptoms in children. 
  5. Apply the evidence-based SENSE of Regulation Model to raise resilience in children with chronic neurodevelopmental conditions. 

Target audience:

Occupational therapist clinicians, occupational therapist educators, occupational therapist researchers, students in occupational therapy programs, teachers, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists and family members/caregivers who wish to develop their skills in facilitating resilience in children with neurodevelopmental conditions.  A foundational knowledge of pediatric intervention techniques is recommended.

Please note: Each participant is responsible to ensure they apply the information within the context of their licensure, provincial/territorial legislations, institution regulations, scope of practice, etc.

Workshop level:

Intermediate (3-5 years of experience in this specific practice area) 


Michelle Riddle, Reg. OT (BC)

Michelle Riddle is a pediatric occupational therapist, registered holistic nutritionist, faculty member with Vancouver Island University, and community adviser with University of Alberta's Neuroscience Division. She has provided more than 25 years of community-based rehabilitation services, is a Queen's University graduate, and an internationally acclaimed speaker.  She develops client-centered programs that target the roots of function to empower mental, physical and emotional balance for the clients she serves.

Michelle is the director of Resilient Health, founder of the Global Alliance for Our Children's Future (launching spring, 2020) and collaborates with leading international scientists on a mission to reverse the rising tide of chronic neurodevelopmental conditions experienced by our children.

Registration fees:

Early bird rates: Registration and payment completed by December 2, 2020

CAOT Member and Associates

Non member*



Plus applicable taxes

Regular rates: Registration and payment completed between December 3, 2020 and February 10, 2021 

CAOT Member and Associates

Non member*



Registration deadline : February 10, 2021 

Please note that for the 2020-2021 workshops, CAOT has reduced the registration fee for all registrants instead of offering a group rate. When available, CAOT offers late registration for workshops at the regular rate plus a $50 administration fee. We will only be able to accommodate if there is sufficient space.

*In many cases it would be more cost effective to become a CAOT Member or Associate rather than pay the non-member rate. See “Can a non-member register for a Workshop?” in our Workshop FAQ to know which membership category you are eligible for. 

Included in your registration fee:

Two-day workshop, electronic copy of presentation slide handouts, opportunity to network and make connections with other occupational therapists interested in this topic, electronic certificate of attendance.

Maximum number of registrants:   


Cancellation/refund policy:

All cancellation/refund requests must be sent in writing to education@caot.ca. All cancellation requests received prior to February 10, 2021 will be given a full refund minus a $50.00 administrative fee. All cancellation/refund requests after February 10, 2021 will be given a 50% refund. Substitutions are permitted, subject to a $50.00 administrative fee.

CAOT reserves the right to modify the workshop title, description, registration dates and information on the workshop webpage. CAOT will notify participants on or before January 15, 2021 if there is insufficient registration by that date and reserves the right to cancel a Workshop due to insufficient registration up until January 29, 2021. CAOT reserves the right to modify the offering, interrupt Workshops, change the timing of a Workshop, cancel a Workshop or change the technology for the Workshop due to the presenter no longer being able to present the Workshop, severe weather, power failure, building closures or other special circumstances that are beyond the control of CAOT by notifying participants as soon as possible. If the Workshop is cancelled by CAOT, registrants will receive a full refund of the registration fee. CAOT will not be responsible for other costs or expenses incurred by registrants as a result of any such changes.

Additional questions?
If you would like to inquire on accessibility options available to you, please contact education@caot.ca or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 222.  

We invite you to consult the Workshop FAQ for an immediate response to the most frequent questions we receive regarding Workshops. Please do not hesitate to contact us at education@caot.ca or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 222 should you have additional questions or concerns.

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