Theory of OWN Mind: How to Help Neurodiverse Learners Become the Manager of Their Own Emotions

$59.00 USD


Registration Fee: $59

This live course includes:

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


  • April 21, 2021 @ 10:00-12:00 EST
  • Can’t make it? No problem! 2-weeks of unlimited access to the course recording is available to all that register

What you’ll learn:

  • Why it is important to provide supports that nurture the development of Theory of Own Mind (in other words helping them understand their own feelings, strengths, etc.)
  • The issues with current methods of social programming that have an over-emphasis on considering the thoughts and feelings of other people and not enough emphasis on understanding own inner experience
  • A summary of research that that supports the developmental sequence of understanding your own feelings and thoughts first, before you are developmentally ready to understand the thoughts and feelings of others
  • Why it is vital to provide supports that help learners explore their own inner experiences in a way that is validating and strength-based
  • How interoception, the eighth sense, underlies the ability to identify your own emotions and thoughts
  • Many practical strategies for immediately nurturing Theory of Own Mind for a variety of neurodiverse learners
  • Information shared will be applicable to learners of a variety of ages, backgrounds, diagnoses & learning styles

Course Description:

Very frequently, neurodiverse learners are taught to figure out what other people are thinking and feeling. For instance, we show them pictures of faces and ask them to identify how someone feels. Training their Theory of Mind may have a certain benefit, but shouldn’t we rather start helping them to understand their own mental and emotional life first?

Research indicates that in order to understand the inner life of other people, including their thoughts, their emotions, their intentions, you need to understand your own inner experience first. This Theory of Own Mind is very important yet is rarely emphasized in the supports provided. How much sense does it make to teach a child to say ‘happy’ when we present them with a happy face, if that child does not concretely understand what ‘happy’ means and how it feels? Or is it really fair to emphasize the impact the neurodivergent learner has on the feelings of others, when they don’t have the underlying skills to understand and manage their own emotions first. Interoception lies at the base of understanding our own body and mind, so becomes an important consideration in the development of Theory of Own Mind.

In this live online course, we explore the challenges for neurodiverse learners in developing a Theory of Own Mind. And we’ll present several concrete, evidence-based strategies to support them in learning to read their own minds and ultimately increasing a stronger level of self-understanding and self-appreciation.

If you are ready to enhance your ability to better support the needs of the learners you serve, register today. We look forward to seeing you in the course!

Who this course is for:

  • You are serving learners that have difficulty understanding their own feelings as well as the feelings of others.
  • You are an Occupational Therapy Practitioner, Educator, Mental Health Provider, Speech and Language Pathologist, Behaviorist, or Caregiver who wants to help learners be better supported.
  • You know there is a better way at providing regulation and social supports, but you aren’t sure where to start or you need more ideas.
  • You want to remain on the cutting edge of practice and follow what the research states as the best evidence-based approach for supporting neurodiverse learners.
  • You want to feel empowered with information you can use to create buy-in for a different approach to supporting regulation and social success.

Featured review

Alexis T. I am so grateful for Peter and Kelly to bring awareness to this important topic. All too often we are focused on teaching our clients to consider the thoughts and feelings of others, but we don’t stop to think about if our clients have a firm understanding of their own thoughts and feelings first. This course challenged my thinking and got me excited to provide supports that help my clients understand themselves in better way. Thank you, Peter and Kelly!

So, who are we?:

We are Peter Vermeulen and Kelly Mahler and have been friends for 5 years after meeting at an autism conference in the US. It didn’t take us long to discover that we share a lot of common passions including educating others about the provision of more kind and effective supports.

pete headshot

More about Peter:  Peter has a MSc and PhD in Psychology and Educational Sciences and has worked with people with ASD and their families for more than 30 years. He is founder of “Autism in Context”, where autism is understood in context. Peter is an internationally respected lecturer/trainer and he presents all over the world. Peter wrote more than 15 books and several articles on autism. For his 30+ years of work in the field of autism, he received in 2019 a Lifetime Achievement Award.


More about Kelly: Kelly earned a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA and has been an occupational therapist for 18 years, serving school-aged children and adults. She is winner of multiple awards including the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging and Innovative Practice Award & a Mom’s Choice Gold Medal. Kelly is an international speaker and enjoy presenting on topics related to the 12 resources she’s authored including: