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Structure and Visual Supports for Children with Extensive Needs

Webinar Length (Hours):



Nicole McGrath, MEd


Structure and Visual Supports for Children with Extensive Needs

Supporting Learners with Extensive Needs Series

Visual strategies have been employed as a regular practice when supporting individuals who require generalized and ongoing assistance to engage in functional skills. They include but are not limited to daily living activities, interpersonal and social abilities, as well as educational and academic achievement. These skills are intended to be utilized to increase understanding and engagement, and to support independence and the generalization of skills. However, it can be a challenge to select and implement supports that appropriately meet learners’ needs with fidelity. Designed for occupational therapists and other pediatric professionals, this 2-hour webinar is designed to increase the effectiveness of selected strategies while working with learners with extensive needs.

Although course content in this series is related, courses may be viewed together or separately. This course is also in the series: Fostering Joint Attention and Engagement in Children with Extensive Needs

Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish two to three ways in which extensive needs (including autism spectrum disorder) may impact the functional, social, behavioral, and academic skills of learners.
  2. Self-evaluate the use of evidence-based and best practices currently implemented during push-in and pull-out therapy sessions.
  3. List visual and organizational strategies/practices to integrate when working with learners with extensive needs.

Course Information

  • Target Audience: intermediate- to advanced-level OTs, COTAs, educators, and other pediatric professionals
    Note: While many professionals may benefit from the course content, we can only guarantee acceptance of continuing education credit as described in the following CEU section.
  • Course Instructor: Nicole McGrath, MEd
  • View Agenda
  • CE Broker course code: 20-909190

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

AOTA-Approved Provider Program Sensational Brain LLC is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. PD activity ID# 04631. This distance-learning, independent format is offered at 0.2 CEUs, Intermediate Level, OT Service Delivery. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


Nicole McGrath, MEd, in curriculum and instruction, has been working with children and families impacted by developmental, mental health, and learning differences in a variety of roles since 2005. She has a passion for creating intentional collaboration among home, school, and community settings to create lifelong systems of support. Incorporating a problem-solving approach focused on skill development and ongoing growth, she aims to honor existing and future needs, skills, and experiences of all individuals involved.

In her current role as a teacher consultant, she works with school districts to implement tiered intervention support through effective teaming and evidence-based practices. Nicole is certified to teach special education across a variety of needs. She has experience in the classroom with students impacted by autism spectrum disorder, behavioral and learning disabilities as well as other extensive needs. Over her 15-year teaching career, she has taught birth through middle school in local, center-based, and homebound programs. In each setting, she has been able to learn from a variety of talented educators, therapists, service providers, and families that allowed her to create supportive environments focused on functional and communication skills. Nicole is a Tier 1 trainer of content for the Statewide Autism Resources and Training project, and Tier 1 implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports through the Michigan Department of Education. She is also a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer.

Outside of work, you can find Nicole at one of her three sons’ sporting events with a bag of snacks and fidgets, outdoors in the summer, or under a blanket in the Michigan winter, probably listening to music or an audiobook on one earbud because she lost the other.


  • Financial: Nicole McGrath receives a speaking fee from Sensational Brain LLC.
  • Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

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