Online - 2 August

Workshops run 9.00am - 3.30pm

If you are waiting on funding approval - we strongly recommend you contact us to pencil book a place as these workshops do sell out.

An introduction to Sensory Processing, and how to support individuals effectively.

The strategies explored in this training are applicable in a wide range of settings, not just the classroom and are family friendly, with evidence-based theory that aligns to the New Zealand context being explored across the day.

Sensory processing difficulties are very real, though often hidden or confusing.
As a teacher, teacher aide, RTLB, OT or counsellor, or other professional working with and supporting our tamariki, if you feel like typical strategies are not enough, or feel there is a bit more to the concerns you are seeing at school or in other settings, this day will help you to explore those concerns further and respond to sensory needs in an appropriate and meaningful way.

Many behaviours of concern have a foundation in emotional regulation difficulties, which require effective strategies to manage this, starting in the registration and regulation of the sensory system.

  • Emotional regulation and sensory meltdowns - when the body becomes so overwhelmed by sensory and social-emotional input it responds with an autonomic fight, flight or freeze response.

  • Anger that seems to go from 0-10 in a second!

  • Sensory sensitivities such as sensitivity to noise or sensitivity to the touch of others which can be amplified by modern learning environments, typical everyday activities such as birthday parties, family trips out, swimming or sports days.

  • ADHD or Sensory? Hyper-activity can be a sensory seeking behaviour, or attentional difficulty- learn classroom-friendly and family-friendly strategies to manage both.

  • Less sensory-rich childhood experiences such as climbing trees and exploring risky play, are resulting in more accidents in schools or fear of everyday play equipment, and less resilience to everyday playground challenges.

This practical online training is delivered by Elen Nathan, Paediatric Occupational Therapist and Sensory Integration Practitioner from The Playful Place, who has specialised in neurodiversity, autism, sensory processing disorders, dyspraxia, and communication-of-need behaviours.

Elen has practical knowledge of the classroom environment as well as being a Mum to 2 wonderful boys with 2 very different sensory systems, bringing an understanding of the everyday life of a busy working family with school aged children.

Learning Outcomes:

This Training will cover:

  • An in-depth exploration of the 8 sensory systems, plus an introduction to Neuroception - the bodies sense of safety or danger.

  • Sensory Seeking & Sensory Avoiding - the patterns to look for and what they mean.

  • What can trigger sensory meltdowns at school, home and the community & how to help effectively.

  • The impact sensory systems have on learning, relationships and self-esteem.

  • How to answer the question - Is it Sensory or is it Behaviour?

  • How to create low cost, effective regulating sensory spaces.

  • How to effectively plan proactively, and how to respond reactively when needed

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is suitable for education and non-education professionals and those wanting a deeper understanding of this topic.

  • Medical and Allied health practitioners - Occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, paediatricians, nurses and GP's.

  • Educational professionals - Teachers, principals, RTLB, Practice leaders, TA's, SwiS, school counsellors.

  • Social service professionals - Social workers, youth workers, community leaders. 

NOTE - If your school or organisation is interested in having Elen present face-face as a private workshop to 15 - 40 of your team, please contact Faye Johnson for more information.

If you do not have sufficient numbers within your team, you could open the training up either to other Branch’s of your organisation or other region-based community agencies you work with. We have worked with many organisations this has worked well for - contact us for further information.

What others have said about Elen's presentations

"Elen's down to earth training style made the day fun and practical, the course content was easy to understand, relatable with not too much jargon weighing it down"

"This workshop has renewed my passion that I think I lost in the stress of not understanding the condition, or knowing how to respond appropriately"

"I really enjoyed every moment of it, I was totally captivated and feel inspired for Monday!!"

"Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, the day had so much meaning to it"

The following peak bodies and organisations recognise that the training we offer is of a high quality, evidence based and relevant for their members CPD.

Elen's Other Workshops

Interoception & Neuroception. A deep dive into the 8th and 9th Sensory Systems

Interoception is the sense of our internal messages from the body. Feelings of hunger, thirst, fullness, messages from organs like the bladder & bowel to tell us if we need to go to the toilet now, or if we can wait, and messages from our cardiovascular system like an increased heart rate that may indicate stress or excitement are just some of the experiences we might have from our interoceptive sense.

Neuroception is our sense of safety and danger. How we decide if we want to walk down that dark path or not. If we choose to pat the dog we are walking past or not. How we feel safe in someone else's home, our own home, or our classroom.

This workshop is a deep dive into the 8th and 9th Sensory Systems. You will learn supportive relationship-based practices for working alongside people with unique Neuroception and Interoception, based on the principles of trauma informed care, neurodiverse affirming care, and sensory integration.

Click Here for more information

LEGO-Therapy Facilitator Training

LEGO-Based therapy is an evidence based social skills program developed for people on the Autism Spectrum. It is an excellent therapy model for clinicians and professionals with existing skills and knowledge in group theory, clinical reasoning and Autism. 

 This workshop is ideal for people working with individuals on the autism spectrum who want to set up and facilitate LEGO-Based Therapy groups: Psychologists, Counsellors, Teachers, Teacher Aides, RTLB's, Speech and Language Therapists, clinical and allied staff, key workers, SENCOs and occupational therapists.

Click Here for more information

Therapeutic Use of LEGO® 2024

Connecting with diverse populations.

This Therapeutic Use of LEGO® workshop expands on the previous workshop - LEGO®-Based therapy, exploring the wider application of LEGO® in developing social emotional skills in tamariki and young adults –  including those with language processing difficulties, learning differences, autism, anxiety, trauma backgrounds and applications for family therapy.

Across the day we will explore principles of therapeutic relationships and learning processes - play based therapy, proximal zone of development, positive guidance, positive psychology, group therapy process, coaching through conflict, trauma informed practice, neuro-diverse affirming practice, social model of disability, flow theory and more!

Click Here for more information

Understanding Developmental Handwriting Challenges

Foundation skills for handwriting, assessment, and fun ways to develop the skills needed for those aged 5-13 yrs.

One or two-day interactive workshops that will suit educational professionals such as teachers, RTLB, and teacher aids, as well as therapists such as occupational therapists or speech and language therapists working in or with Primary and Intermediate Schools.

The aim of this workshop is to provide an understanding of the foundational skills required for handwriting to develop, how to perform and interpret assessment data to inform interventions, and to explore a range of fun, engaging ways to develop the skills needed for our tamariki to thrive.

Click Here for more information

About the Presenter:

Elen Nathan is a NZ registered Occupational Therapist in Napier and is a qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner (Ayres Sensory Integration). With 20 years experience in NZ and abroad working with children and adults who have diverse needs, she has specialised in Autism Spectrum Disorder which has led her to work in peak body organisations including Autism New Zealand, The National Autistic Society (UK) and Autism Victoria (AUS).

Elen is passionate about working with neuro-diverse children to build their self-esteem and self- worth through understanding themselves better, the intrinsic strengths they have, and the gifts they have to offer the world.

As the Mum of 2 busy young boys, they have taught her that often children come with their own plan and need an understanding team in their corner coaching them through life's challenges.

Meeting Dates & Times

Zoom Meeting Date & Time

Friday, 2 August 2024
9.00am - 3.30pm

You will be sent the details to access ZOOM after you have registered. 

This is an interactive workshop with breakout room activities and we therefore ask all participants to have their own computer / laptop with a working camera and mic as this makes interaction with the breakout room activities and discussions easier and enhances the learning for all.

We also encourage participants to email their questions to us prior to the workshop, or via the chat at the meeting - email

Please note this webinar will not be recorded.

Price & Registration Information

23 February - Online Workshop
$320.00 inc GST

The price stated is per person.
If you are sending 5 or more delegates, please email us for a discounted rate.

Registration process

Payment online is by VISA, Mastercard or American Express only and there are 3 easy steps to complete the online booking process.

Our registration platform is hosted by Lil Regie, our NZ based booking agent.
Upon completing your registration by hitting the blue 'Confirm Booking' button, you will receive an automated email from Lil Regie confirming the booking and amount paid by credit card. This will appear on your statement as from LIL REGIE LTD WELLINGTON.

A GST Tax Invoice showing your payment in full will also be emailed to you.

If you have any issues or questions about your booking, please contact Faye Johnson on 027 607 3000 or email:

Can't pay online and require an invoice?

We work hard to ensure that all workshops are cost effective by automating our systems. If your organisation is unable to use our automated booking system and pay by credit/debit card and therefore require an invoice instead to pay by direct bank credit, there will be a $25.00 inc GST surcharge for this, and you will need to supply the following please:

  1. The full organisation name and postal address required to appear on the invoice.

  2. The contact name and email of the person(s) responsible for authorising this expense and approving payment.

  3. Any purchase order references required on vendor invoices.

Please email this information to Brian - and , and along with the Invoice we will also send you a special booking link which will come up as free of charge. Through this link you will need to complete your registration. 

Our workshops fill quickly so if you would like to reserve a place, please contact

What happens if you have to cancel?

We know that sometimes your plans can change for many different reasons. Should you be unable to attend, a substitute delegate is welcome to attend at no extra cost. If a substitute delegate is not available and you need to cancel your registration, please be aware of the following:

Up to 7 days prior to the event you will be provided a refund of your registration cost, less a $20.00 inc GST per attendee service charge.

If you cancel within 7 days of the event, you are not eligible to receive a refund. 

Please note: should your registration not be paid by the time of the event, you are still liable to make the payment.

Unpaid accounts may be passed over to our debt collection agency and additional costs may be incurred. 

All cancellations must be received in writing (email). 

Training is cancellable by GROW with 3 days’ notice if a minimum number of attendees is not met and full refunds will be provided

Please note: GROW Ltd reserves the right to make any amendments that we may deem to be in the best interest of the forum – it is however very unlikely and we will notify you as soon as possible should this occur.

For more information see our full Terms of Trade.

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For further details, please contact:
p: 027 607 3000