Interoception and Monotropism: Paying Attention to Autistic and ADHD Experiences

$69.00 USD

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Interoception and Monotropism: Paying Attention to Autistic and ADHD Experiences


Registration Fee: $69

When is this course:

  • April 29, 2024 @ 12:00pm-2:00pm EST/ 17:00-19:00 BST
  • Can’t make it? No problem! 2-weeks of unlimited access to the course recording is available to all that register

This live course includes:

  • 2-hours live instruction with Kieran & Kelly (approximately 90 minutes of content + 30 minutes of Q&A)
  • 2-weeks unlimited access to the recorded version
  • Access to 3 exclusive downloadable handouts
  • Personalized certificate of completion

Course Description:

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This is part one of a two-part series featuring the latest insights into the intersection of interoception, monotropism and masking.
Join us for one or both parts!

If you want to learn about the important intersection of monotropism and interoception, this interactive course is a great place to start. Monotropism, which is a common experience for many Autistics and ADHDers, is a term used to describe a thinking and processing style that utilizes a deep attentional focus on a few things at once that are intrinsically motivating or interesting, as opposed to a polytropic experience of attention that allows a person to focus on a more broad range of things, though less deeply.

When a monotropic brain finds a hook, or something that pulls its attention, it can be with such immense force that it hurtles the brain through a tunnel of attention—the object of that attention is all-encompassing. This process can at times lead to a state of flow, and enables a monotropic person to explore topics at great depths and complete tasks with high degrees of proficiency. It can also create dissociation from the world outside of the attention tunnel.

While there are many benefits to monotropism, there can be some costs, usually from external factors, but from some internal factors too. For example, if the monotropic experience is not understood or validated by supporters (e.g., family, educators, therapists), it can negatively impact interoceptive felt-safety as well as result in chronic conditioning to override or mask the processing style that the body needs to feel safe and regulated. This course seeks to improve understanding about monotropism, honoring sensory needs, and help supporters get one step closer to providing affirming care that promotes felt-safety and body listening.

This course will also discuss additional impacts of monotropic processing on interoception, including limited attentional resources for internal sensations, especially if they are not a strong enough hook, resulting in missed learning about the inner condition of the body (e.g., noticing and understanding when the body needs sensory regulation or hydration). Additionally, explanation of a deep state of flow and how many interoception needs might not fully reach a noticing level (e.g., noticing the need for toilet, food or sleep).

Several practical strategies for validating monotropic processing, nurturing interoceptive awareness using monotropic strengths and supporting gentle shifts in attention from a current hook to internal needs will be shared.

What you’ll learn:

  • What is monotropism? What is interoception? What is the intersection between these two topics?
  • The difference between monotropism (deep attention) and polytropism (surface attention)? What do these thinking styles look like, what are the strengths of both, and what does this mean across domains of communication, behaviour, movement, perception, and sensory and emotional processing?
  • The interoception impact of living with a monotropic processing style in a world that is not set up to honor this experience (including impact on interoceptive felt-safety and body listening).
  • The traumatic impact of a “Monotropic Split” including the energy levels needed to manage the impact of environments that only cater to and require polytropic attentional styles.
  • The influence of monotropic processing on interoception, including impact on attention to internal sensations.
  • The relationship between monotropism and potential missed learning about bodily cues and needs, such as sensory regulation, hydration, food, sleep, etc.
  • Understand the concept of flow state and its implications for interoception benefits and costs, including the potential decreased attention for basic physiological needs.
  • Practical strategies to include:
    • Identifying and challenging rigid polytropic practices. What are they and what are the alternatives?
    • Validating and supporting monotropic processing
    • Nurturing interoceptive learning within the context of monotropic strengths.
    • Methods for gently shifting attention from current hooks to internal bodily needs.

Who this course is for:

  • You are serving clients of any age that are, or you consider to be, Autistic and ADHD
  • You are an Occupational Therapy Practitioner, Speech and Language Pathologist, Mental Health Provider, Educator or Caregiver who wants to help clients be better understood and supported
  • You want to remain on the cutting edge of practice and serve in ways that are in line with the most current science and lived experience
  • You want to feel empowered with information you can use to create buy-in for a modern, affirming approach
  • You are a neurodivergent person, perhaps a monotropic processor, who wants to understand the most current and affirming supports available in the field

So, who are we?:

KieranMore about Kieran: With a background in education, Kieran Rose is an Autistic international public speaker who provides consultancy to Autism-related organizations globally, advising on policy, services and practice. A faculty member for the US-based non-profit: The STAR Institute, a world-leading organization in Occupational Therapy practice and research; he is also an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Sunderland. Kieran delivers various specialist Autism training online and in-person to Autistic people, parents and carers, academics, and professionals across the world, focused on deconstructing and reframing the autism narrative. Specializing in the relationship between stigma, mental health and identity development in Autistic people, Kieran has co-authored ground-breaking academic papers on Autistic Masking, Interpersonal Victimisation, and Intimate Partner Violence; and is currently working on studies looking at monotropism; mental health practice; Autistic burnout; and suicidality. You can find out more about Kieran’s work and Kieran’s bestselling latest book here:

Kelly MahlerMore about Kelly Mahler: I earned a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA and have been an occupational therapist for 20 years, serving school-aged children and adults. I’m winner of multiple awards including the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging and Innovative Practice Award & a Mom’s Choice Gold Medal. I am an international speaker and enjoy presenting on topics related to the twelve resources I’ve authored including: