PESI live seminar update: Due to concerns with COVID-19, all seminars have moved online. Click here for Online Learning Options.

Seminar Detail

2-Day: Attachment & Emotional Regulation Techniques for Kids: Calm the Nervous System & De-Escalate Difficult Behaviors AND Yoga to Improve Sensory, Self-Regulation and Motor Skills in Kids: Autism, ADHD, Developmental Disorders, Down Syndrome and CP

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - Friday, January 24, 2020

Course Description:

Day 1: Attachment & Emotional Regulation Techniques for Kids

Frustratingly, therapy and educational goals are often derailed by children becoming instantaneously dysregulated in emotion, thought and behavior.

While it only takes a few seconds for a child to throw a blood curdling tantrum it can take 45 minutes to deescalate – by then your time together is almost up.

Now imagine a reserve of practical strategies to deal with difficult behaviors in children. Interventions that will quickly empower children to make good choices, think before they act and choose their best behavior, most of the time.

Join Kathryne Cammisa, MHE, OTR/L, for this interactive seminar and learn effective strategies to teach children crucial self-regulation skills that will help them to:
  • resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli
  • calm themselves down when they are upset, and
  • consciously adjust to changing expectations and frustrations without a tantrum or outburst.
You will walk away with techniques such as relaxation, mindfulness, social stories, video modeling, visualization and affirmations for children of a variety of ages and abilities, including Sensory Processing disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities, behavioral or emotional deficits and other special needs.

Learn strategies that are necessary for children to sustain self-regulation so that they can become more independent and successful in all areas of their lives!

Day 2: Yoga to Improve Sensory, Self-Regulation and Motor Skills in Kids

Are you struggling to gain the interest and cooperation of kids who have difficulty with motor skills, sensory processing, or behavior/emotional problems during your therapy sessions or in your classroom? Would you like to have some fun and effective new techniques to add to your bag of tricks?

Join Kathryne Cammisa, MHE, OTR/L, as she shows you the powerful and positive impact yoga can have on the kids you work with who face challenges with sensory processing, motor incoordination, neurological disorders, ASD, ADHD, emotional/behavioral issues and learning disorders. You will learn to integrate poses and techniques into your classroom or clinic regardless of your level of yoga experience.

You will learn new, interactive yoga practices to enhance:
  • Motor skills
  • Muscle length and strength
  • Focus for learning
  • Body and self-awareness
  • Nervous system regulation
  • Cooperation with others
Through hands-on exercises, case studies and videos – you will leave fully equipped to implement simple, fun & effective techniques to improve physical, sensory and self-regulation skills in the kids you work with in therapy or the classroom!

This is an interactive workshop. Please dress comfortably and we encourage you to bring a yoga mat or towel, but it is not mandatory.
Register for one or both days:

Day 1: Attachment & Emotional Self-Regulation Skills for Children

Day 2: Yoga to Improve Sensory, Self-Regulation and Motor Skills in Kids

Day 1: Attachment & Emotional Regulation Techniques for Kids
  1. Articulate how attachment style impacts children’s self-regulation and its effect on behavior and learning.
  2. Communicate the neurophysiological and social impact of anxiety and stress in children.
  3. Implement customized strategies that sustain self-regulation in children of a variety of ages/abilities.
  4. Demonstrate techniques that calm the nervous system in children such as alternate muscle contraction and progressive muscle relaxation.
  5. Design interventions including social stories, video modeling, mindfulness, visualization and affirmation techniques to promote positive behavior in children.
  6. Create and implement programs to deal with a variety of challenging behaviors in children including tantrums, sensory issues and sleep and elimination problems.
  7. Integrate behavior modification techniques to reduce challenging behaviors in children.

Day 2: Yoga to Improve Sensory, Self-Regulation and Motor Skills in Kids
  1. Communicate therapy goals reflecting each of the five components of well-balanced yoga practice.
  2. Implement yoga poses/techniques to improve strength & balance and range of motion.
  3. Select yoga poses/techniques to improve self-regulation and social & emotional skills.
  4. Design simple, well-balanced, yoga routines for children with special needs.
  5. Adapt yoga poses & techniques for a variety of settings, abilities & age levels.
  6. List the 5 components of a well-balanced yoga practice.

Day 1: Attachment & Emotional Regulation Techniques for Kids

The Neurobiology of Attachment to Empower Interventions
  • Neurological basis of attachment and emotional regulation
  • How relationships can reshape our brains
  • Mirror neurons, empathy and connecting with others
  • Oxytocin and the individual self
  • How attachment style impacts your client’s relationships
  • Attachment and attunement in the therapeutic relationship
Impact of Anxiety and Stress on Self-Regulation
  • Stress response patterns as survival strategies
  • Nervous system implications – Fight, Flight, Fright, Freeze to Rest and Digest
  • Impact of stress on mental and physical functioning
  • Anxiety and brain research
  • Quick stress busters
Support Strategies to Sustain Self-Regulation
  • By age/developmental level including infants and low level functioning kids
  • Routines for regulation
  • Responsive, predictable care for teaching emotional intelligence
  • Imitation strategies for engagement and communication
  • Self-soothing strategies for independence
  • Language for positive results
  • Environments to support cognitive and language development
  • Responsive guidance techniques to support self-control
  • Play to stimulate development of regulatory skills
  • Scaffolding to expand and develop social skills
Calm the Nervous System
  • Techniques for little ones and older children
  • Quick relaxation breaks, alternate muscle contraction and social rituals
  • Progressive muscle relaxation, guided relaxation, sweeping breath
  • Stress reduction lab: Breath work
Empower and Motivate Kids to be Emotional Independent
  • Creative interventions that positively change behavior
  • Mindfulness
  • Social stories
  • Video modeling
  • Visualization
  • Affirmations
  • Build confidence
  • Develop autonomy and intrinsic motivation
Address Tantrums & Other Difficult Behaviors that Impede Outcomes
  • Strategies and techniques to minimize
  • Elimination problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Eating problems
  • Transition problems
  • Sensory problems
Apply Behavior Modification Techniques and Interventions
  • Positive discipline techniques: Case example
  • Alternatives to punishment: Case example
  • Gradual exposure to broaden tolerance: Case example
  • Self-management to empower kids: Case example
Self-Regulation Problem Solving Lab
  • Case study analyzation: Linking what we’ve learned to symptomology
  • Aligning symptoms and characteristics with appropriate interventions
  • Therapeutic use of self with difficult kids

Day 2: Yoga to Improve Sensory, Self-Regulation and Motor Skills in Kids

  • Current research on yoga for children
  • LAB: Alignment, warm up & basic poses
Yoga Poses and Techniques For: Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Breathing exercises for awareness & regulation
  • Poses to calm & relax the nervous system
  • Partner poses for facilitating dyadic cooperation
  • Meditation for strengthening attention
  • LAB: Practice techniques
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
  • Breathing exercises for calming the nervous system
  • Centering exercises for reigning in attention & bringing energy levels down
  • Facilitating focus via balance & core strengthening poses
  • Relaxation for calming the body & mind
  • Meditation to improve attention span
  • LAB: Practice techniques
Behavior and Emotional Problems
  • Address resistance
  • Precautions for dealing with childhood trauma, abuse and neglect
Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Breathing exercises for assisting with focus
  • Promote motor planning via sequenced poses
  • Relaxation for relieving anxiety
  • LAB: practice techniques
Special Needs: Cerebral Palsy & Increased Tone
  • Breathing exercises for awareness & strengthening the diaphragm
  • Elongate flexors/adductors for improved range of motion & movement
  • Stretch hamstrings for improved posture
  • Relaxation for increasing body awareness
  • Mediation for assisting with focus & visual motor skill
  • LAB: Practice techniques
Downs Syndrome & Low Tone
  • Breathing to invigorate the nervous system
  • Body awareness activities
  • Poses for strengthening core muscles
  • Meditation for focus & awareness
  • LAB: Practice techniques
Yoga Games
  • Body awareness
  • Creativity
  • Gratitude
  • Trust and cooperation
  • Quiet games
  • Listening and focus
  • Partner poses
  • LAB: Practice techniques
Adapt Yoga for Different Age Groups:
  • Infants, toddlers & preschoolers, school age
Adapt Yoga for Different Settings:
  • Clinic, classroom, home
Target Audience

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Special Education Teachers
  • General Education Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Educational Paraprofessionals
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapy Assistants
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • School Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Case Managers
  • Nurse
  • Other Helping Professionals who Work with Children ages 0-21


Kathryne Cammisa, MHE, OTR/L, is an SI/NDT certified occupational therapist, American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer, Pranakriya certified yoga therapist, Radiant Child/Family 200 hour certified yoga teacher and Mindful Schools certified mindfulness teacher. Kathee has over 25 years of experience working with children with special needs in home, school, child care and clinic settings. She works with children and their families through her private practice and at Children’s Place, a therapeutic child care center. Kathee has extensive teaching experience throughout the country, with Georgia State’s Project SCEIS, and the Medical College of Georgia where she served as assistant professor of occupational therapy. She has been published by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy in Mental and has taken yoga and occupational therapy to children in China, Vietnam, Costa Rica and Ghana.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Kathryne Cammisa maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Kathryne Cammisa has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclosure.
Breakdown for Continuing Education Credits by Event
[+] [-] Registration: Day 1
[+] [-] Registration: Day 2
Credit Card Required for online registration | Contact us to redeem Gift Certificates