Here at the Barbara Olson Center of Hope we believe that training our staff with the most current, evidence based, information is critical to provide the individuals we serve with the best programming and care possible. Our Occupational Therapy department provides trainings to our staff on:

  • Sensory Processing Disorders and their effects.
  • Sensory Environments and how to create an environment that is conducive to working and learning.
  • Sensory Therapy and the modalities that our facility utilizes.
  • The TEACCH system of learning.
  • Therapeutic Yoga
  • Make and Take Days (Developing sensory based activities for the classroom and home)

Because of our commitment to individuals with Autism and other related developmental delays, we feel it is important to share this information and offer many of the same workshops to the public. We have developed workshops that are one hour to three days based on the needs of the audience. Check our “Upcoming Events” tab for upcoming workshops. We also are able to put together a workshop that is specific for your group or staff. We have a facility here to run the workshops or in some cases we can come to you. Please do not hesitate to ask us about this option. CEUs/CPDUs are available on specific workshops.

Following is an example of the workshops we have to offer.

Therapeutic Yoga for All

The calming affects and improved movement of Yoga can be made available to all people with disabilities. The presentation demonstrates our techniques and strategies for teaching Therapeutic and Chair Yoga, specifically designed to meet the many needs of adults with Developmental Disabilities and Autism. Complete program with visual supports and video for training available for purchase.


  • Review of sensory influences of yoga
  • Improve understanding of therapeutic yoga
  • Review of Yoga for All Program

Sensory Processing & The Effects on Learning and Behavior

This workshop is designed to support all staff working with individuals with Autism or Sensory dysfunction.

The first day is set up for both the professional and direct care staff. This day will offer a review of theory. This will include a brief review of neurology, with a more intensive look at the sensory systems, and what it looks like when everything is working well as well as dysfunction. Time will be spent on lecture, slide show/video and hands on learning.

Day two and day three are offered to professional staff with day one as a prerequisite.

  • We will review the sensory systems and their relationship to behavior and learning
  • We will review strategies on how to achieve functional skills
  • We will review strategies on how to achieve purposeful interactions
  • You will complete an analysis of a presented case study
  • Develop a treatment plan for a specific individual

Sensory Processing Differences in Adolescents and Adults with ASD

We will explore sensory processing and what it looks like to be integrated as well as what is atypical. We will consider how this affects learning. We will draw a comparison between atypical sensory processing and Autism. This presentation will introduce the audience to what it might feel like for a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder to have sensory processing differences. We will look at behavior through their perspective in personal interviews with adolescents, anecdotal information and direct references from authors diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Understanding sensory differences can give us another perspective in dealing with common behaviors and may help explain participants’ reactions to events we don’t even notice. It can lead us to a better understanding of strategies to help these individuals cope in a sometimes overwhelming world.

  • We will review the sensory systems and their relationship to behavior and learning
  • We will review strategies on how to achieve functional skills
  • We will review strategies on how to achieve purposeful interactions

Where Do We Go From Here?

Support for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

This presentation looks at adults with Autism and related developmental disabilities and what their needs are. Equipment is evaluated and matched up appropriately to specific needs.

  • Resources for Assessing Adults with ASD
  • Evidenced based treatment ideas for adults with ASD
  • Resources for equipment for Adults with ASD

Make and Take Day

For this workshop, participants are taught the basics of making activities that can be used at home, in the classroom, or work area. All items to make the activities are supplied.