Proven and Effective Self-Regulation Tools and Strategies

Presented by Varleisha Lyons, Ph.D, OTD, OTR/L

Live Streaming June 6, 2024


6 Hours  |   Pre-approved for CEUs


This workshop will be live streaming to online participants on June 6, 2024 from 8:30am – 4:00pm PT (Vancouver, BC)
Please adjust your start time according to your specific time zone. 

Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until July 6, 2024. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances.
Please allow 3 – 5 business days after the course airs for recorded footage to become available.

Registration will close on June 5, 2024. 

Sought after occupational therapist, Dr. Varleisha Gibbs PhD, OTR/L guides you on a journey. Dr. Gibbs walks you through the foundations for selecting appropriate interventions for children displaying challenging behaviors such as hyperactivity, aggressiveness, self-stimulatory, and inattentiveness amongst other concerns. You will leave ignited by revelations exposed in Dr.

Gibbs’ presentation. While the content is evidence-based, the workshop provides a simplistic connection of research based and clinically proven neurological approaches to addressing self- regulation. We will navigate the connections between neurobiology and the various sensory strategies, techniques, and equipment to use when working with children with challenges with self-regulation. This content provides approaches related to diagnoses such sensory processing disorder, Trauma, Autism, and ADHD diagnoses. Treatment techniques to be analyzed include: mindfulness, social skill programs, music and movement, and respiratory-based techniques.

To start, we will review the underlying neurological components to connect neuroanatomy to practice through:

  • Virtual brain dissection with video wet labs, Basic neuroanatomy, pathways, and function are explored
  • Reviewing the Autonomic Nervous System and its connection to stress, fear, and primitive reflexes
  • Video examples of children in a sensory clinic will be used to demonstrate what happens when interventions are used appropriately.


Next, we devote analysis of specific treatment techniques:

  • Activating the Vagus nerve and the system for regulation
  • Addressing primitive reflexes
  • The Self-Regulation and Mindfulness Program developed by Gibbs
  • The ACTION from Trauma Approach developed by Gibbs and Co-Author Nikki Harley
  • Applying your knowledge with intervention planning and goal writing for case examples of children displaying challenging social, eating, and sleeping behaviours
  • Gain knowledge relating to the neuroscience behind self-regulation and sensory processing
  • Summarize characteristics of sensory processing disorder, ADHD and autism and how the neurological
  • Understanding the neurological components related to diagnosis and treatment
  • Review primitive reflexes and the connection to function
  • Understand the cause and effect of intervention techniques as they relate to neurological components
  • Describe the evidence behind current intervention techniques
  • Identify appropriate strategies that work for treating children with ASD, SPD and ADHD
  • Introduce the Self-Regulation and Mindfulness program
  • Explore the implementation of the ACTION from Trauma program

Education and Clinical Professionals: All education and mental health or healthcare professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers and Community Police Officers.

Varleisha Lyons, Ph.D, OTD, OTR/L is the Vice President of Practice Engagement and Capacity Building at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Prior to joining AOTA, she served as the Scientific Programs Officer at the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr. Gibbs is an international lecturer, researcher, and author. Along with being a tenured associate professor, she was the inaugural chair at Wesley College’s Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy, the first in the State of Delaware. Her areas of expertise include neuroanatomy, self-regulation strategies across the lifespan, health disparities, and paediatric therapeutic interventions. Dr. Lyons founded and operated a private therapy firm for over 10 years.

Dr. Lyons began her career after receiving her baccalaureate degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware.  She continued her studies in the field of Occupational Therapy receiving a Master’s of Science degree from Columbia University and a clinical doctorate from Thomas Jefferson University.  Dr. Lyons completed her Ph.D. program in Health Sciences Leadership at Seton Hall University.

As an occupational therapist, Varleisha has a passion for designing strategies to support individuals in their journey to live their most independent and fulfilled lives. In addition to being a licensed occupational therapist, she is an author, renown international speaker, and expert in the areas of the neurological connections for self-regulation, sensory processing, trauma responsive care, and health and wellness.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this presentation belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.  Varleisha D. Lyons Phd, otr/l is employed by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). This work is independent of her role and not affiliated with AOTA,inc.


Twitter: @ DrVarleisha

Facebook: @drvdg

LinkedIn: Varleisha Gibbs


RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$269.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

Group rates and student discounts are available. Please contact for more information.

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits