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Check Out The Expert Exchange

As physical, occupational and speech therapists working with children with complex needs (and too often) exhausted families and disconnected teams that don't always see eye-to-eye, we recognised the need for clinical discussions that go beyond what we can gather from textbook and published guidelines.

Kelly Mahler: Interoception in Neurodevelopment for occupational and phyical therapists

An image of Kelly Mahler with a background of headphones. Text on the image says Kelly Mahler, OTD, OTR/L Occupational, Therapist and lists Behavior, Sensing and understanding body cues, Emotional Regulation and Mind Body Connection

Kelly Mahler OTD, OTR/L, earned a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. She has been an occupational therapist for 20 years, serving school-aged children and adults. Kelly is winner of multiple awards, including the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging and Innovative Practice Award & a Mom’s Choice Gold Medal. She is an adjunct faculty member at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA as well as at Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. Kelly is a co-principal investigator in several research projects pertaining to topics such as interoception, self-regulation, trauma & autism.

Interoception is a key sense that has been widely studied for decades but is only now making its way into clinical applications and Kelly Mahler is an amazing occupational therapists who is leading the way both clinically and academically in understanding the role of this key sense for occupational and physical therapists working in neurodevelopment.

Don't miss this practice changing conversation on how we should think about interoception in our clinical work.

It's jam packed with practical ideas and actions that we can take back to the clinic right now.



Scroll down to the podcast player to listen or find us on Spotify, iTunes or Stitcher.

For handy links to things we've discussed in this interview,  scroll down to the Resources Section at the bottom of the page.

Listen, enjoy, share...

Podcast Highlights

  • 05.42 minutes Interoecpetive Questions

  • 06.46 minutes Defining Interoception - The Neglected Sense

  • 10:54 minutes Interoception and Homeostasis

  • 11:58 minutes The two branches of Interoception

  • 12:35 minutes The three parts of interoceptive awareness

  • 14:40 minutes A case example

  • 18:37 minutes Why you need to start here

  • 20:57 minutes Behavior based strategies & Interoception

  • 22:11 minutes Balancing sensory needs with safety and social acceptability

  • 23:47 minutes Differentiating Interoception from other senses

  • 29:27 minutes Interoceptive activities

  • 35:58 minutes Measures of interoception

  • 39:32 minutes Research

  • 43:35 minutes Red flags

  • 48:16 minutes Feeding and interoception

  • 51:47 minutes The power of I wonder statements

  • 53:47 minutes Mistakes to avoid

  • 56:09 minutes Advice for new to pediatrics therapists


clickable links to take you right to the information you're looking for

Facebook group: Interception: The Eighth Sensory System

An image of the research section of Kelly Mahler's website listing her research papers. Click to access website

An image of the shop section of Kelly Mahler's website listing her products for sale. Click to access website


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