Course Description

This course presents a clinical reasoning model for treating children who have unusual and challenging behaviors involving a lack of modulation of sensation. The understanding of treatment for individuals with sensory modulation difficulties (SM) are becoming better identified in the greater body of sensory integration theory. This course will provide an overview of the theoretical foundations of SM from occupational therapy literature and related neuroscience research. A model for planning, implementation, and monitoring treatment will be presented: Sensation, Task, Environment, Predictability, Playfulness, Self-Monitoring, and Interactions or the S.T.E.P.P.S. I.

The STEPPSIⓒ is a principle-based model that breaks down treatment into easily understandable components. The STEPPSIⓒ is an evidence-based model originally devised in the late 1990-s and now updated for a new generation of therapists and for educators and parents.. Participants should have foundation knowledge in sensory integration (Ayres SI (ASIⓇ) in particular) theory and treatment.


2024 Self Paced Course


DATES: The online, self-paced version of The STEPPSI course will be available to enroll in throughout 2024. Please note that learners will have *120 days* from registration to access the course videos and associated learning materials.

ONLINE DISTANCE LEARNING: This course consists of pre-recorded lectures that participants will take at a self-guided pace, integration of learning activities, and a case study assignment to support application in everyday practice. 

EDUCATIONAL LEVEL: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course. Participants would benefit, however, from having foundational knowledge of sensory integration (Ayres SI (ASIⓇ) in particular) theory and treatment.

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Occupational therapists, Occupational therapy assistants

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODSPre-recorded lecture videos, course slides, and a case study assignment.

CONTINUING EDUCATION INFORMATION: Developmental FX is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. PD activity approval ID #0000006421 . This distance learning course will be offered at 1.6 AOTA CEUs, beginner educational level, in the OT service delivery category. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS:  In order to earn continuing education credit for this course, it must be completed in entirety. This includes: watching all of the pre-recorded videos, receiving passing scores (60% or higher) on integration of knowledge quizzes, completion of the case study assignment, and a passing score (60% or higher) on the post-evaluation. At this time, the learner must complete a PD activity in entirety in order to receive credit and associated CEUs. No partial credit will be awarded.

ADA/ Section 504: If you require accommodations or have a request related to accessibility, please email [email protected] for assistance.

Cost: $450 Please note that we have discount codes available for participants that have taken The SpIRiT or previous versions of The STEPPSI course. Email [email protected] if you did not receive an email with the code.

DFX Learning Journeys is an AOTA Approved Provider. Course Approval ID#0000006421 for this course.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define clinical reasoning and summarize why it is important in everyday practice

  • Identify the core underpinnings encompassed within the STEPPSI process.

  • Recognize how the STEPPSI process aligns with Ayres Sensory Integration.

  • Demonstrate the ability to generate a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan based upon the STEPPSI

  • Implement the STEPPSI process to create comprehensive treatment plans across practice settings.

Learning in Community

We recognize the value of shared learning experiences. The STEPPSI model inherently provides a unique opportunity for rich group learning and elevated clinical reasoning discussions. Be on the lookout for " Learning Journey Community meetings" in 2024

If you are an organization or group that would like to take The STEPPSI course together (outside of the general cohort offering in Spring 2024) we would love to support your learning. Please reach out to [email protected] to discuss large group registrations on a case by case scenario. 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • Welcome to The STEPPSI: A Tool for Effective Clinical Reasoning

    • Course Overview

    • Copyright Guidelines

    • STEPPSI Course Slides

    • Section 1: Handout Packet: Larger Slides

    • STEPPSI Selected References

  • 2

    Chapter 1: Introduction to the STEPPSI and Why Clinical Reasoning is Important

    • Chapter 1 Preview

    • Before You Begin: Case Study Prep

    • Chapter 1: Introduction to the STEPPSI and Why Clinical Reasoning Is Important

    • Chapter 1: Integration of Knowledge Quiz

    • Chapter 1: Pause and Practice

  • 3

    Chapter 2: Sensory Modulation & Regulation in the Context of Broader SI Capacities

    • Chapter 2 Preview

    • Chapter 2: Sensory Modulation & Regulation in the Context of Broader SI Capacities

    • Chapter 2: Integration of Knowledge Quiz

  • 4

    Chapter 3: Sensory Modulation and Regulation

    • Chapter 3 Preview

    • Chapter 3a: Coming to an Understanding of Sensory Modulation & Regulation

    • Chapter 3b: Neuroscience Concepts of Sensory Modulation & Regulation*

    • Chapter 3: Pause and Practice

  • 5

    Section 2

    • Section 2: Handout Packet

  • 6

    Chapter 4: Clinical Reasoning Process

    • Chapter 4 Preview

    • Chapter 4: Clinical Reasoning Process

    • Chapter 4: Pause and Practice

  • 7

    Chapter 5: The STEPPSI: What it is and How it Works

    • Chapter 5 Preview

    • Chapter 5a: The STEPPSI: What it is and How it Works

    • Chapter 5A: Pause and Practice

    • Chapter 5b: The STEPPSI: What it is and How it Works

    • Chapter 5c: The STEPPSI: What it is and How it Works

    • Chapter 5: Integration of Knowledge Quiz

  • 8

    Chapter 6: Clinical Application

    • Chapter 6 Preview

    • Chapter 6a: Clinical Application

    • Chapter 6b: Utilizing the STEPPSI as a Clinical Tool/ Pause and Practice

  • 9

    Section 3

    • Section 3

  • 10

    Chapter 7: Identification of SMD: Strategies for Assessment

    • Chapter 7 Preview

    • Chapter 7: Identification of SMD: Strategies for Assessment Part 1

    • Chapter 7: Identification of SMD: Strategies for Assessment Part 2

  • 11

    Chapter 8: Expansion to Other Environments: STEPPSI Beyond the Clinic

    • Chapter 8 Preview

    • Chapter 8: Expansion to Other Environments: STEPPSI Beyond the Clinic

  • 12

    Chapter 9: Reflective Reasoning and Conclusion

    • Chapter 9 Preview

    • Chapter 9: Reflective Reasoning and Conclusion

    • Case Study Application Assignment

    • STEPPSI Course Evaluation Survey

    • Thank you!

Meet Your Instructors

Executive Director, Occupational Therapist

Tracy Stackhouse

Tracy Murnan Stackhouse, MA, OTR is the executive director of Developmental FX (DFX) in Denver, Colorado, a non-profit organization providing clinical and training services to engage and elevate pediatric therapeutic practice. She is a leading pediatric occupational therapist (OT) involved in clinical treatment, research, mentoring, and training regarding OT intervention for persons with neurodevelopmental disorders, especially Fragile X Syndrome and autism. Tracy has a master’s degree in developmental psychology/neuroscience. She received her NDT training with Lois Bly. She is SIPT Certified and was the clinical specialist in sensory integration at The Children’s Hospital in Denver as well as the OT for the Fragile X Research and Treatment Center. Tracy continued her clinical and research work with Dr. Randi Hagerman at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute during its start-up year prior to starting Developmental FX. Tracy has written several book chapters on sensory integration and neurodevelopmental disorders and teaches nationally and internationally on sensory integration, autism, fragile X and related topics. She is the lead author for the SpIRiT & S.T.E.P.S.I. Clinical Reasoning Tools which are leading-edge evidence-based models in pediatric OT. These models are utilized in OT practices around the globe and included in the model at Camp Jabiru in Australia. The tools are shared through the “Spirited Conversations’ Podcast as well as through DFX’s training platform, Learning Journeys. Tracy has ongoing courses offered through Medbridge and iLS/Untyte (remote training use of the Safe and Sound Protocol). Tracy is a member of the National Fragile X Foundation Clinical Research Consortium, the Scientific And Clinical Advisory Committee, and the NFXF Advisory Council and an expert advisor to the CDC and RTI Fragile X Priorities Panel. Tracy is the co-founder of Developmental FX, which is a non-profit organization that is governed according to our mission and bylaws with a board of directors providing fiduciary and general oversight. All proceeds from trainings and publications are paid to the non-profit and not directly to Tracy to ensure that there is no conflict of interest and no disclosure.


Dave Jereb

Dave is an occupational therapist and director of MoveAbout Therapy Services, a paediatric occupational therapy service in the Hills District of Sydney and on the Central Coast of NSW. He has a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Occupational Therapy) and a Masters of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Sydney. Dave has worked in multidisciplinary teams in Sydney and Chicago. He is known for having expertise in working with children with challenging behaviours, sensory processing challenges, regulatory difficulties and difficulties in engaging and relating, including autism spectrum disorders. Dave is the co-author of the MoveAbout Activity Cards, a resource that provides children and families with physical activities to support attention and regulation. He has presented workshops entitled ‘A Dynamic Approach to Regulation & Behaviour’ and ‘Connecting with Kids with ASD’. His professional mission is to inspire, support and challenge paediatric OTs throughout Australia. Dave and the MoveAbout team mentor OTs at all levels, providing support in their career and development. From new grads through therapists seeking to develop their niche and move into leadership positions, as well as practice owners looking to discover how best to nurture and inspire their team.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be submitted in writing to [email protected]  in order to receive a full refund (with the exception of a $25 administrative fee.) Please note that participants will be made aware of their ability to access recordings of the live cohort meetings upon registration if applicable for the course.

DFX Learning Journeys reserves the right to cancel an event with due cause. If a cancellation should occur, participants will be refunded in full and made aware of the cancellation as soon as possible using the provided contact information.

Generosity is a Gift of Spirit! With immense gratitude, we thank Colm Mac Con Iomaire for generously allowing us to utilize his music throughout the courses shared here. It is our hope to share his music and create a special moment of joy and celebration of true artistry and the Irish spirit as inspiration!