Utilizing Nature-Based Programs to Provide Sensory and Self-Regulation Strategies for Children

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
8:30am - 3:30pm

The Leir Retreat Center, Inc.
220 Branchville Road
Ridgefield, CT 06877

Nature has a calming effect on most of us, and many of us seek nature and animals to comfort us when we are in distress or sad. How does this help children who have difficulty in the school environment? 

The Sam and Myra Ross Institute will host a one-day symposium to address sensory and self-regulation challenges students may experience in schools and residential programs and illustrate how nature-based activities and interventions can support the development of key coping skills in children.

  • To identify common challenges faced by children who have difficulty with sensory modulation and self-regulation.
  • To understand how these challenges impact students, and what it looks like within the school setting.
  • To understand how nature, animals, and outdoor environments can provide a sensory-rich and motivating place to increase self-awareness leading to self-regulation.
  • To share strategies and steps to help young people develop coping skills around sensory and self-regulation.
  • To provide examples of how skills developed utilizing nature and animals can be transferred to coping skills used inside the classroom.

Symposium Info Packet

8:30-9:00am Registration and morning coffee
9:00-9:15am Welcome & Introduction
Dr. Ed Placke, Executive Director, Green Chimneys
Michael Kaufmann, Director, The Sam and Myra Ross Institute Director
9:15-10:15am Keynote
Dogs, goldfish, bugs, and horses: mystery, magic and science
10:15-10:30am Break
10:30-11:15am Neuropsychology basics applied to animal-assisted therapy
Sabrina Donalies-Schell, LMHC
11:15am-12:00pm Sensory regulation on the farm
Rachael Chiulli, MOT, OTR/L
12:00-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-1:45pm Why nature? Connecting our personal coping skills and our work with children with sensory and emotional regulation challenges
Miyako Kinoshita, MS. ED
1:45-2:00pm Break
2:00-2:45pm Self-regulation and nature-based interventions
Shauna McWilliams, LMSW
2:45-3:30pm Facilitated group session
Be a part of the solution, innovation, and changes.

Teachers, clinical staff, paraprofessionals, residential care staff, educators in other settings may benefit from the workshop. Individuals who are interested in how nature, animals, and outdoor environment can help children in school settings, as well as anyone interested in sensory integration and self-regulation are also encouraged to attend.

This event is FREE; but space is limited.
Secure your place before Nov 1.

Registration is now closed. 


This meeting is made possible with generous support provided by
Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Foundation.