a woman sits with a friend and explains her lived experiences to them

Learning From Lived Experiences

Hi, everyone. Kelly Mahler, occupational therapist. And I have a question for you. That question is: Where do you go for your learning, for information, when you’re seeking to update yourself? This is a really important question to consider. 

I was in occupational therapy school over 20 years ago. Back then, the emphasis was on learning and updating ourselves based on the newest evidence, published research, or science. And while science is extremely important in helping us move and shift forward and grow, there is also lived experience and learning from the experience of people. 

There is a really important shift happening right now, and that is using this lived experience to help us grow, to help us learn, to help us update ourselves. For me personally, I’m updating myself in my own life, but also professionally as an occupational therapist. 

So, it’s not just about this published literature, this science, it’s also, and maybe even more importantly, about learning from experts of lived experience. We should be curious, ask questions, seek to understand. My clients are some of my best teachers, but I’m also continually reading blogs, Facebook posts, anywhere I can get my hands on information about the unique human experience to learn directly from various people. 

So, that leads me back to the question: Where are you going to seek information and to learn and update? 

I have collaborated with a lot of really knowledgeable and amazing teachers that have co-presented various on-demand courses that are hosted on my website, and I can’t express enough just how much I have learned from each of these co-presenters. 

Those on-demand courses are linked below if you’d like to check them out!

Until next time.

The Links Between Interoception the Language of Emotion, and Human ConnectionsThe Links Between Interoception, the Language of Emotion, and Human Connections

There is a lot of outdated or mis-information about the experience of emotions, emotion language, emotion regulation, emotion reciprocity and emotional empathy. This is especially true when it comes to understanding the diverse experience of emotions within people of a variety of neurotypes. This course will discuss some of the recent updates regarding our understanding of human emotions, supported by the latest science and reports of lived experience. 


Implementing a Neuro Affirming Model: Come Get Your Shift Together!Implementing a Neuro Affirming Model: Come Get Your Shift Together!

If you are seeking to learn, grow, stay current in the supports you provide, this course is for you. The neurodiversity field is rapidly changing, and we all have a responsibility to evolve and keep pace with the latest evidence and neurodivergent voice. This course will discuss important aspects of a neuro affirming model and invite us all to shift together.


Interoception Through the Lens of an Autistic Adult

Interoception Through the Lens of an Autistic Adult

Very frequently, in an effort to promote self-regulation, autistic learners are subject to approaches that do not account for their inner interoceptive experience. In this live online course, we explore interoception through the lens of an autistic adult, Chloe Rothschild. Chloe will share all about her life-changing interoception journey, including the ups and the downs. Several concrete, evidence-based interoception strategies will be shared.


Unsafe, Unheard and MisunderstoodUnsafe, Unheard and Misunderstood

Many times, traditional trauma viewpoints do not fully capture the experience of neurodivergents resulting in many children and adults being misunderstood and many underlying needs overlooked. This course will encourage you to think beyond the traditional understanding of trauma and consider causes of trauma that are not typically considered within traditional trauma framework.


Interoception and the Non-Speaking Client

Interoception and the Non-Speaking Client

Do you need ideas on how to adapt The Interoception Curriculum for neurodivergent clients that are non-speaking? If so, this course is for you. Given the important role that interoception plays in self-regulation, health management and safety, providing a process of inner self-discovery in accessible ways becomes an important mission.


The 5 Keys to Behavior Regulation: How to Support ‘Challenging Behavior’ in a Kinder, More Effective MannerThe 5 Keys to Behavior Regulation: How to Support ‘Challenging Behavior’ in a Kinder, More Effective Manner

For way too long, behavioral regulation needs have only been viewed at the surface level resulting in many children and adults being misunderstood and many underlying needs overlooked. As an autistic self-advocate and someone that has been subject to surface behavioral approaches, Chloe will share first-hand accounts about the long-term detrimental impact that these approaches have had on her life. This course provides a practical, evidence-based framework for offering strategies that respect and support the underlying regulation needs in children and adults with a variety of learning needs.

Autism and Eating Disorders: Dying to be Thin

Autism and Eating Disorders: Dying to be Thin

Autism traits are high amongst people with Eating Disorders (ED) and many people that experience EDs may have diagnosed or undiagnosed autism. Despite the high prevalence, autistic neurology is not often accounted for in the ED treatment process. This results in many autistics being misunderstood and underlying needs overlooked—ultimately leading to unsuccessful treatment outcomes. This course will provide attendees with an overview of what the most current literature says about the intersection of autism and eating disorders and why understanding the autistic neurology is vital to successful ED treatment outcomes.