Online via Zoom - 29 November 2024

Workshops run 9 am - 3.30 pm

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

Important – please note:
This training is open to Occupational Therapists as well as those who have attended Elen’s other workshops with Grow on Understanding Sensory Needs and Understanding Sensory Needs in the Classroom.

If you are not an OT or have not attended the previous training but possess foundational knowledge of the 9 sensory systems, please contact us to indicate your interest.

 ***See below for Special Offer***

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. 

Not all people sense interoception or neuroception the same. What feels safe for one person, feels dangerous for another. One person may feel hungry all the time, while others may not feel hunger or thirst at all. Our emotional regulation is built from an understanding of the internal senses within our body, so no amount of sticker charts, behaviour plans or toilet plans will work if the person has sensory differences which have not been accounted for in the plan. Neurodivergence, sensory processing differences and trauma are all areas where a person may experience the sensory world differently from others, and we must understand and make space for these differences if we are to support them effectively and respectfully. 

As we move away from behavioural approaches which reward or punish survival responses, towards relationship and connection approaches, this training weaves together the neurosciences of  Trauma Informed Care, Neurodiverse Affirming Care, Polyvagal Theory and Ayres Sensory Integration, as we take a deep dive into the two sensory systems which underpin these approaches. 

This workshop will build on the foundational concepts Elen presented in the Understanding Sensory Needs: Introduction to Sensory Processing one-day training. It is the next step for people who have already attended the 1-day Understanding Sensory Needs in the Classroom: Introduction to Sensory Processing or have an understanding of these two sensory systems.

Learning Outcomes:

You will learn:

 1. 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. 

2. Interoception: The 8th Sense

  • What is Interoception?

  • How it is experienced by different people.

  • What supports development of this sense.

  • What can disrupt development of this sense.

3. Neuroception: The 9th Sense

  • What is Interoception.

  • How it is experienced by different people.

  • What supports development of this sense.

  • What can disrupt development of this sense.

Please note: some of the material covered in our workshops may be sensitive or triggering to certain participants. We encourage everyone to practice self-care and reach out to us, or directly discuss any concerns with our presenters.

What others have said about Elen's presentations

“Impressed - I usually find it hard to engage in online training all day but couldn't believe it was time to finish!”

“Some new areas to try and assess for sensory challenges”

“I'm excited and wanting to share my new learning”

"Best PD I have attended in a long time!"

"Have done a few grow workshops now and Elen in my opinion was the most successful at giving user friendly and practical knowledge"

"Feel like I have lots of key takeaways that will be helpful to have in my tool box'

"I left this workshop feeling well informed - it linked well to my whakaro about how children are and how they learn"

"I got lots of new ideas... from recognition of sensory needs to how to assist my students to cope with them"

"So many new insights of what questions to ask whānau to investigate more into the child's sensory need. Great resource suggestions. Reminding and expanding on my current knowledge"

"Brilliant workshop, engaging and well paced!"

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is suitable for 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.

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.

*Special Offer*

**SPECIAL OFFER: Booking both this and the 1st workshop - Understanding Sensory Needs: An Introduction to sensory processing?   Contact us and we'll send you a special link reducing the price from $320.00 pp to $288.00 pp inc gst.**

Understanding Sensory Needs

An Introduction to sensory processing, and how to support individuals effectively

Sensory processing difficulties are very real, though often hidden or confusing. As a teacher, teacher aides, RTLB, speech and language therapist, SENCO, occupational therapist, psychologist or counsellor, 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.

It will provide an in-depth exploration of the 8 sensory systems, plus an introduction to Neuroception - the bodies sense of safety or danger, examine 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, and much more.

Click here for more information

Elen's Other Workshops

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.

Date and Time

Friday, 23 August
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

$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