Interoception, The 8th Sense: Impact on Self-Regulation

Date/Time: June 22, 2021 8:30-11:30AM
Location: Zoom
Registration required.
Presented by Kelly Mahler, OTD, OTR/L
Hosted by: UF-Gainesville CARD

Interoception is an important sensory system that helps us to feel internal body signals like a full bladder, growling stomach, tense muscles, or speeding heart. Research indicates that our ability to clearly notice and interpret these internal body signals enables us to accurately identify and manage how we feel: Are we anxious? Getting frustrated? Hungry? Full? In pain? Needing the bathroom?
Many people including some autistics, have unclear inner experiences, making it difficult to understand their body signals and emotions. Given this, it is beneficial to use supports that help each person gain an awareness and understanding of their own unique inner experiences.
This presentation will provide participants with an overview of what research tells us about interoception as well as how this sense influences self-regulation, behavior, and mental health. Evidence-based strategies to assess and improve interoception will also be included.


About the Presenter
Kelly earned a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. She has been an occupational therapist for 18 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 in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA and is actively involved in several research projects pertaining to topics such as interoception, self-regulation, trauma & autism. Kelly is an international speaker and presents frequently on topics related to the twelve resources she has authored.

Regional Trainings are hosted by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, through the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA), a program funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.