Mentorship Program Description

Intensive Mentorships

The SPD Foundation provides clinicians with a unique opportunity to receive training in assessment and intervention for Sensory Processing Disorder during intensive, one-week programs at SPD Foundation and its sponsor clinic, the STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center, in Denver.

Intensive Mentorships include a combination of didactic lecture sessions by researchers at the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and mentored clinical experiences at STAR Center.

This program consists of five course levels. Participants begin with the one-week, Level 1 course and may return later for Levels 2, 3, 4, and 5. Participants demonstrating mastery of the program content at each course level receive SPD Foundation competency credentials in SPD. Levels may be completed sequentially or over several years.

Working in a small-group setting, mentees in SPDF Intensive Mentorships learn to apply clinical reasoning through treatment observation and analysis with experienced therapists.

  • Observe children in direct therapy with experienced STAR Center therapists using combined occupational therapy (OT) and listening therapy (LT).
  • Experience active mentoring before, during, and after treatment sessions.
  • Receive group processing/supervision guided by sensory pioneer Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and Dr. Sarah Schoen, clinical services advisor for STAR.
  • Learn about the newest assessment tools.
  • Earn competency credentials.
  • Level 1,2,4,5: $1500 / five days
  • Level 3: $1200 / four days

To read Dr. Lucy Jane Miller's article in S.I. Focus Magazine addressing the value of mentoring for clinicians, .

Mentorship Program Objectives

The objective of Level 1 of SPD Foundation's Intensive Mentorship program is to provide participants with a basic understanding of the latest research in SPD and the ability to:

  1. Differentiate subtypes of SPD
  2. Utilize clinical reasoning tools for intervention and home adaptation developed by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and Dr. Sarah A. Schoen
  3. Recognize realistic and functional goals using Goal Attainment Scaling
  4. Recognize the importance of engaging families in the treatment process
  5. Become familiar with appropriate tools to evaluate children with SPD
  6. Observe client sessions and discuss treatment planning
  7. Address family needs and desires
  8. Synthesize information in an OT assessment, write treatment notes using clinical reasoning approach, and communicate with physicians

Course Level Offerings

The Intensive Mentorship in Diagnosis and Treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder program consists of five course levels. Level 1 is a prerequisite for Levels 2 and 4. Levels 3 and 5 may be taken with no previous mentoring. To learn more about each course level, click the course title below.

Level 1 - Clinical Reasoning in Intervention (five days)
Level 2 - Hands-On Advanced Treatment (five days)
Level 3 - Psychophysiology Training in the Sensory Challenge Protocol (four days)
Level 4 - Family-Centered Care in Pediatric Therapy
Level 5 - Design and Implementation of Applied Research

Primary Faculty

Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, Executive Director, SPD Foundation
Dr. Miller brings a wealth of research and treatment experience to share with participants, having authored more than 75 articles and two books about SPD and sensory issues. Her nine norm-referenced scales include: Miller Assessment for Preschoolers, Japanese Miller Assessment for Preschoolers, First STEP, Primer Paso, Toddler and Infant Motor Evaluation, Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised, Stoelting-Brief Intelligence Scale, Short Sensory Profile, and Miller Function and Participation scale. Two new scales under development include: Goal-Oriented Assessment of Life-Skills and the Sensory Over and Under-Responsivity Scales. She has received the Award of Merit, the highest award given by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and the Martin Luther King Jr., Humanitarian Award by the State of Colorado.

Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR, Clinical Services Advisor at STAR Center and Associate Director of Research at SPD Foundation
Dr. Schoen is an occupational therapist with 30 years of clinical experience and a doctorate in occupational therapy from New York University (2001). She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry, working with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller. During her fellowship she was awarded the Developmental Psychology Endowment Grant from the William T Grant foundation to study the Sensory Processing Scales, which she is co-developing and researching with Dr. Miller. Dr Schoen is currently an Associate Professor at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and has served on multiple doctoral committees.  She also co-developed and teaches the monthly Advanced Mentorship trainings at the SPD Foundation. She is certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment and has advanced training in Sensory Integration Therapy, Therapeutic Listening, and assistive technology. Dr. Schoen received the Recognition of Achievement Award from the American Occupational Therapy Association in 1997 and the Virginia Scardina Award of Excellence from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation in 2011.


SPD Foundation Credentials

SPD Foundation awards competency credentials to participants who demonstrate proficiency at each individual course level. Participants receive credential certificates documenting completion of the specialized training in SPD.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

SPD Foundation awards AOTA Continuing Education credit for successful completion of each of the Mentorship program levels.*

Level 1 - Program dates

The Level 1 course, Clinical Reasoning in Intervention, is conducted in sessions of five consecutive days (Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday). Click on the registration button below to view currently scheduled courses:

2013 Dates:
March 18-22
June 10-14
July 8-12
August 12-16
November 4-8

Dates & Registration
For Level 1

Level 2 - Program dates

The Level 2 course, Hands-On Advanced Treatment, is conducted in sessions of five consecutive days (either Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday).

Since only 2-4 candidates will be accepted per session, our selection process is quite stringent. We do this to insure the best possible paring of mentees and skill sets and to establish a setting conducive to learning in this intensive program format.

2013 Dates:
February 25-March 1
June 17-21
August 19-23
November 11-15

Dates & Registration
For Level 2



Program Cost

The cost for five-day programs (Levels 1,2,4 and 5) is $1500. The cost for four-day programs (Level 3) is $1200. Program applicants must submit a registration form and attach a current CV or resume. There is a non-refundable registration fee of $250 (applicable toward the $1,500 tuition). For those accepted into the mentorship program, this fee is not refundable should you cancel your registration. However, if for any reason we are unable to accept your application, your deposit will be fully refunded.

Who Should Attend

This mentored program is designed for designed for therapists at all levels to enhance diagnostic and clinical reasoning skills. Therapists will be paired with other clinicians of similar experience and training level during the program. Applicants must currently work with children with Sensory Processing Disorder. Applicants must provide a copy of a recent CV or resume detailing specific SPD work experience and training. Courses will be limited to 10-14 participants so each person can receive individualized training. A minimum of two years pediatric experience is preferred.

Registration/Application Process:

Complete your registration on-line attach a copy of your current curriculum vitae or resume and submit a $250 administrative fee. We will notify you by email within 5 business days regarding your acceptance into the program. Participant selection will be based on priority of applications received and previous work/educational experience. If you are not selected to participate in the mentorship program at this time, your initial $250 administrative fee will be refunded to you in full. Once accepted into the mentorship program, this $250 fee becomes non-refundable.

PLEASE NOTE: We require a minimum of 7 participants to run each Level 1 Mentorship session. Thus, we reserve the right to cancel or postpone a scheduled session up to 5 weeks before the beginning date of each course. For this reason, we ask that you refrain from making any non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive confirmation that the session is taking place.


View a list of local hotels & suites where we have arranged special pricing for SPDF Mentees.

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* The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.