Hi there, I’m Moira!

 

I am a speaker, occupational therapist & educator with over 20 years of experience working in the field of occupational therapy with children and youth on the autism spectrum who experience sensory processing differences.

Through my workshops, I help occupational therapists become confident and effective in their use of sensory-based interventions (SBIs) to support a person’s ability to participate in meaningful daily activities and improve their quality of life.

Services

 

I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience through the delivery of interactive,  research-informed & fun online & in-person workshops.

The following is a sample of the types of workshops I offer:

Sensory Processing & Child Development

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New Perspectives in Our Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A Primer for Occupational Therapists & other Healthcare & Education Professionals (1 Day Workshop)

This workshop provides an overview of DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, prevalence, sex differences and early markers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Associated & co-occurring developmental disabilities, medical and mental health conditions, relevant research trends as well as new strength-based perspectives in interpreting the duality of autism will be discussed. My BEST (Body, Emotional, Sensory, Thinking) framework of evidence-based interventions to support kids and youth on the spectrum will also be included..

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions For Children & Youth (2 Day Workshop)

This interactive workshop explores sensory processing, sensory assessments, sensory-based interventions & strengths-based coaching approaches that therapists can utilize with children who experience sensory processing differences (including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) to support function and participation in daily tasks.

The first day of the workshop highlights the different sensory systems, relevant research & best practice for sensory processing assessment & intervention. You will also learn core concepts of solution-focused coaching (SFC) to improve your communication in effectively coaching parents and caregivers.

The second day focuses on my BEST (Body, Emotional, Sensory, Thinking) framework of evidence-based interventions to support children’s skill development in the areas of play, feeding, sleep, self-care, school readiness and participation in family routines & leisure activities.

Autism & Sensory Processing: Concepts, Evidence & BEST Strategies (2 Day Workshop)

This 2-day interactive workshop explores sensory processing, recommended sensory assessments, Sensory-Based Interventions (SBIs) and strengths-based coaching approaches that therapists & others can utilize with children and youth on the autism spectrum to support function and participation in meaningful daily activities.

This workshop highlights the different sensory systems, relevant research, new perspectives in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) & my BEST (Body, Emotional, Sensory, Thinking) Strategies to support autistic children & youth & their families.

This course will be tailored to meet your audience’s needs & includes a selection of the following modules: BEST Guide to Picky Eating, BEST Guide to Sleep, BEST Guide to Play, BEST Guide to School (with a focus on self-regulation) BEST Guide to Self-Care, BEST Guide to Leisure, BEST Guide to Work & Solution-Focused Principles for Healthcare & Education Professionals. 

Sensory Processing & Autism Across the Lifespan

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A Comprehensive Introduction to Sensory Processing & Autism: Towards the Development of a Strengths-based & Neurodiversity-friendly Occupational Therapy Practice (2 Day Workshop)

As our understanding of autism and co-occurring conditions continues to evolve, occupational therapists need to adopt strengths-based, neurodiversity-friendly and trauma-informed best practices to support function and participation in meaningful daily occupations.

This two-day interactive workshop explores sensory processing, recommended assessments, evidence-based sensory-based interventions (SBIs) and strengths-based coaching approaches that you can utilize with neurodivergent children, teens and adults who experience sensory processing differences* (including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as well as anxiety and other mental health conditions) to support engagement in daily activities.

The first day of the workshop will highlight the different sensory systems, relevant research on sensory processing as well as an update on our current understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) including the neurodiversity perspective and common co-occurring conditions. Recommended assessments and outcome measures will be explored and applied to case studies (child, teen and adult).

The second day will focus on specific solution-focused communication (SFC) strategies that support the therapeutic process when working with neurodivergent people & their families. The presenter’s BEST (Body, Emotional, Sensory and Thinking) strategies framework will be explored in detail and you will have the opportunity to consider how to develop an intervention plan using this framework.

Small group activities, case studies, practice opportunities, ongoing reflection and discussion will be utilized throughout the two days. 

Sensory Processing & Neurodiversity Affirming Approaches 

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BEST Strategies for Self-Care, Productivity & Leisure Using a Strengths-based & Neurodiversity-friendly Lens (2 Day Workshop)

Occupational therapists need to be knowledgeable of emerging trends in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities and feel confident with implementing strengths-based & neurodiversity-friendly best practices when working with neurodivergent people and their families.

This two-day interactive workshop explores the presenter’s BEST (Body, Emotional, Sensory and Thinking) evidence-based interventions framework to support function and participation in meaningful self-care, productivity and leisure occupations. These occupations will be explored in depth through a combination of teaching, video presentations, demonstrations, ongoing interactions with workshop participants, case studies and small group work that will explore the lived experiences of neurodivergent children, youth and adults who present with sensory processing differences* (including, but not limited to autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as well as anxiety and other mental health conditions).  

There will be a strong focus on the use of strengths-based and neurodiversity-friendly approaches throughout this workshop.  The following occupations will be addressed to best support neurodivergent children, youth and adults: self-care (eating, sleep and personal hygiene), productivity (play, school and work), and leisure. 

About Moira

 

Moira Peña, BScOT, MOT Reg. (Ont.) is an occupational therapist, speaker & educator with training credentials from the STAR (Sensory Therapies and Research) Institute for Sensory Processing. She is also a certified Solution-Focused Healthcare Facilitator & Coach (C-SFHCF).

Moira works at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with children and youth on the autism spectrum and is the creator & host of Holland Bloorview’s Autism Summit.

Moira is an Expert Hub Team member of the ECHO Ontario Autism Program which aims to further develop paediatricians’, school psychologists’ & teachers’ skills to screen, diagnose and best support children and youth on the autism spectrum and their families. She is a published author and researcher in The Manual of Pediatric Balance Disorders and The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Moira is also a Lecturer (Status Appointment) in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto and an Authorized Provider of Professional Development by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)..

Todos los talleres pueden ser presentados en Español.


Workshops

2022


February 1oth  & 11th, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Online Workshop

A Comprehensive Introduction to Sensory Processing & Autism: Towards the Development of a Strengths-based & Neurodiversity-friendly Occupational Therapy Practice

Registration Link


April 1st & 2nd, Guelph, Ontario. In-person, 2-Day Workshop hosted by Kids Can Shine

Autism & Sensory Processing: Concepts, Evidence & BEST Strategies

Registration Link


April 7th & 8th, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Online 2-Day Workshop

BEST Strategies for Self-Care, Productivity & Leisure Using a Strengths-based & Neurodiversity-friendly Lens

Registration Link


 

2021


 March 5th & 6th, Virtual Event

Sensory Processing & Sensory-Based Interventions for Children (2 Day Online CAOT Workshop)

Event Ended


April 29th, Virtual Event

International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference (IPFDC) Lightning Talks- A Therapist’s BEST Guide to Picky Eating

Event Ended


 May 18th, 20th & 21st, MY NEW ONLINE COURSE!

Autism & Sensory Processing: Concepts, Evidence & BEST Strategies

Registration Is Closed


 October 7th & 8th, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Online Workshop

A Comprehensive Introduction to Sensory Processing & Autism: Towards the Development of a Strengths-based & Neurodiversity-friendly Occupational Therapy Practice

Registration Link


 November 18th & 19th, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Online Workshop

BEST Strategies for Self-Care, Productivity & Leisure Using a Strengths-based and Neurodiversity-friendly Lens

Registration Link


December 11th, Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network (POND) Family Day

BEST Strategies to Help your Picky Eater (& You!)

Registration Link

2020


March 5th & 6th, Winnipeg, Manitoba-Canadian Conference on Developmental Disabilities and Autism

Autism & Sensory Processing: Concepts, Evidence & BEST Strategies (2 Day Workshop)

SOLD OUT 


March 27th & 28th, Markham, Ontario

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Online CAOT Workshop)

SOLD OUT


April 3rd & 17th, Holland Bloorview Kids, Toronto, Ontario

Sensory Processing Challenges: Strategies That Help! (Intensive 3-Hour Parent Coaching Module)

Link to Registration


April 8th

CAOT-British Columbia Paediatric Practice Network: Sensory Processing & Integration: Concepts, Evidence & BEST Strategies (Webinar)

SOLD OUT


April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20 & 27, Holland Bloorview Kids, Toronto, Ontario

Practical Sensory Strategies To Support Your Family Through The Covid-19 Pandemic (Online Parent Coaching & Support Sessions)

SOLD OUT


April  30, May 7, 14 & 21, Holland Bloorview Kids, Toronto, Ontario

Practical Sensory Strategies To Support Families Through The Covid-19 Pandemic (Online Sessions For Canadian Occupational Therapists)

SOLD OUT


May 8th, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Virtual Conference 2020

The Impact of a Parent Education Workshop on Parental Sense of Competence

Download Poster


May 19th, Autism Ontario LIVE Webinar

Sensory Processing in Autism: The Neuroscience & Practical Strategies For Home

SOLD OUT


May 28th, Final ECHO Ontario Autism Occupational Therapists & Other Allied Health Professionals Conversation

Practical Sensory Strategies To Support Families During The Covid-19 Pandemic

SOLD OUT


May 29th & 30th, Vancouver, British Columbia

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Online CAOT Workshop)

SOLD OUT


June 2nd, 9th, 17th, 16th, 25th & 26th, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Autism Programs Presents: Autism Topics with Moira & Team (Online Sessions For Health Care Professionals & Support Staff)

Link To Registration


June 18th & 19th, Laval, Quebec

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Online CAOT Workshop)

SOLD OUT


September 18th & 19th, Edmonton, Alberta

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Online CAOT Workshop)

Link to Registration


October 2nd & 3rd, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Autism & Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Online CAOT Workshop)

Link to Registration


October 16th & 17th, Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT)

Autism & Sensory Processing: Concepts, Evidence & BEST Strategies  (2 Day Online OSOT Workshop)

Link to Registration


October 26, AIDE CANADA

Sensory Processing in Autism: The Neuroscience & Practical Strategies For Home (Webinar)

Link to FREE Registration


December 1-5th, Holland Bloorview’s FREE 5-Day Autism Summit

Autism Insights: Research Innovations, Strategies & The Lived Experience

Link to FREE Registration  

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January 24th

Holland Bloorview Workshops: A Parent’s BEST Guide To Extreme Picky Eating.

Download PDF

 

February 13th

Holland Bloorview No Boundaries Presentation: Understanding Motor Learning Challenges in Children & Youth- Optimizing Success.

Download PDF

 

April 4th

Holland Bloorview ASD Parent Talks: Sensory Processing Challenges- Strategies that help!

Download PDF

 

May 23rd

Holland Bloorview Parent Workshops: BEST Strategies To Support Self-Regulation Skills!

Download PDF

 

May 25th

Autism in the Early Childhood Education Setting: BEST Strategies To Support Preschoolers!

SOLD OUT

 

June 15th, July 19th, August 9th, October 25th & November 22nd

A Therapist’s BEST Guide to Picky Eating (Parent Coaching Module)

Link to Registration

 

June 21st, July 26th, August 23rd, November 8th & 29th

Sensory Processing Challenges: Strategies That Help! (Parent Coaching Module)

Link to Registration

 

August 20th

New Perspectives In Our Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Primer for Occupational Therapists (CAOT Webinar)

Link to Registration

 

September 3rd

The Importance of Teaching Self-Regulation: Tips for Parents (Webinar for Ontario Pediatricians)

Link to Registration

 

October 4th & 5th, Vancouver, British Columbia

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Workshop)

SOLD OUT

 

November 13th

Is It Sensory Or Is It Behaviour? (Webinar for Ontario School Psychologists)

Link to Registration

2019


January 24th

Holland Bloorview Workshops: A Parent’s BEST Guide To Extreme Picky Eating.

Download PDF


February 13th

Holland Bloorview No Boundaries Presentation: Understanding Motor Learning Challenges in Children & Youth- Optimizing Success.

Download PDF


April 4th

Holland Bloorview ASD Parent Talks: Sensory Processing Challenges- Strategies that help!

Download PDF


May 23rd

Holland Bloorview Parent Workshops: BEST Strategies To Support Self-Regulation Skills!

Download PDF


May 25th

Autism in the Early Childhood Education Setting: BEST Strategies To Support Preschoolers!

SOLD OUT


June 15th, July 19th, August 9th, October 25th & November 22nd

A Therapist’s BEST Guide to Picky Eating (Parent Coaching Module)

Link to Registration


June 21st, July 26th, August 23rd, November 8th & 29th

Sensory Processing Challenges: Strategies That Help! (Parent Coaching Module)

Link to Registration


August 20th

New Perspectives In Our Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Primer for Occupational Therapists (CAOT Webinar)

Link to Registration


September 3rd

The Importance of Teaching Self-Regulation: Tips for Parents (Webinar for Ontario Pediatricians)

Link to Registration


October 4th & 5th, Vancouver, British Columbia

Sensory Processing & Sensory-based Interventions for Children (2 Day Workshop)

SOLD OUT


November 13th

Is It Sensory Or Is It Behaviour? (Webinar for Ontario School Psychologists)

Link to Registration

2018


January 24th

Holland Bloorview No Boundaries Presentation- Is It Sensory Or Is It Behaviour?

Download PDF


May 9th–12th

International Society of Autism Research Meeting (INSAR). Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Parent perspectives on Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) Input For Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Download PDF


June 7th

Holland Bloorview Workshops: Extreme Picky Eating: Strategies that help!


June 19th–23rd

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Conference. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Autism Spectrum Disorder & Sensory-based Interventions.


November 10th

Ontario Medical Association Conference (OMA- Pediatrics Section): A Pediatrician’s BEST Guide to Extreme Picky Eating.

Download PDF


November 15th

Holland Bloorview Parent Workshops: BEST Strategies To Support Self-Regulation skills!

Download PDF

2017


April 6th

Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (RSI). University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. Beyond Picky Eating: Feeding Challenges in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


May 4th

Holland Bloorview ASD Parent Talks: Sensory Processing Challenges- Strategies that help!


June 22nd

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Conference. Prince Edward Island, Canada. The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach Intervention in Treating Limited Food Repertoire in Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Download Poster


November 4h

Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Research Family Information Day. Feeding Challenges and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Watch Video


November 10th–11th

Child Development Update Conference. University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. Autism Spectrum Disorder & Sensory-based Interventions.

Download Powerpoint


December 7th

Holland Bloorview ASD Parent Talks: Sensory Processing Challenges: Strategies that help!