Calming Strategies for Autism - Marti Smith, OTR/L

Duration 2 h


£ 65


About Course

The purpose of the course is to provide understanding for the “why” behind some of the self-harm and alerting behaviors people with autism often engage in. Using developmental neuroscience and a case-based approach, participants will better predict which activities are most likely to calm during the various actions. Focus will be on environmental modifications to decrease over-stimulation as well as ways to safely and compassionately diffuse aggressive episodes. (Intermediate Level)

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Marti Smith, OTR/L graduated from Indiana University in 1996 and has over 25 years of clinical work in the school setting, outpatient, home health, and mental health services. Her focus upon graduation became the study of Autism and neurodevelopment. In 2010, she became a Fellow with Child Trauma Academy and was one of the first people to have access to the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics developed by Dr. Bruce Perry. She holds additional certification in Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, NMT, TBRI, and The Wilbarger Deep Touch Protocol. A lifelong learner, she enjoys learning of new advancements in the treatment of Autism and creative ways to help clients with self-regulation. In 2014, she co-founded Simple Sparrow Farm near her residence in Austin, Texas to provide a space for utilizing the land and animals to help people feel connected and cared for. In 2017, she and some colleagues from Norway developed an on-line assessment tool for activity selection based on the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics called KALMAR. She continues to consult internationally with Human Trafficking Survivors, schools, residential facilities, and youth correction facilities to decrease the use of restraints and find effective and creative ways to calm escalated youth.


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

1. Understand the clinical differences in brain structure between people diagnosed with Autism and those without an Autism diagnosis.

2. Identify the different ways sensory stimuli is interpreted based on brain structure development and past history

3. Identify several of the “Whys” behind escalated behaviors

4. Gain access to a free on-line tool to better match regulatory activity based on developmental neurology.


Pre-Study: 30 Minutes Plan to read the course materials, references and review the post test before the start time. Please be prepared to share patient case study and related question during the discussion time.

Time - Increment - Topic - Instructional Method

0-5 - Background Review of Learner Outcomes - Lecture

30 - How the brain of someone diagnosed with Autism develops - Interactive Discussion/Case Study

30 - How sensory input is perceived based on experience - Interactive Discussion/Video

30 - Creative ways to influence sensory input through activity selection - Lecture/Interactive Discussion/Case Study

20 - Introduction to the KALMAR App - Case Study

5 - Q and A, Summary - Interactive Discussion

Post-test: Research, identify, and submit your post test question answers on the online form. This is an open book test you can take multiple times if needed to obtain the 70% score.

Motivation Inc 2

Course Instructor

Motivations Inc. provides training courses for medical rehabilitation professionals, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and athletic training. We focus on innovative evaluation and treatment approaches to facilitate patient recovery from accidents, illnesses and developmental delays—in dynamic settings taught by the industry's finest.