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Developmental Trauma and Sensory Processing Challenges in Adopted Children

1 May, 2024 at 10:00am - 4:00pm


Expert-led training session delivered by Helen Stringfellow, Occupational Therapist at Adoption Matters

6 hrs
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Who this is for

Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Authorities, and independent social workers), children’s social care services, children and family social workers, foster carers, kinship carers, designated teachers, and other professionals working with children and families.


Sensory processing refers to the neurological process of how the brain receives, organises, and helps us respond to the world we live in. It is fundamental to how we survive and thrive in the world. Developmental trauma refers to adverse experiences that can interfere with healthy development, including that of the sensory systems. These experiences can disrupt the development of the nervous system, leading to sensory processing difficulties.

In this expert-led training session, together with occupational therapists from the Centre for Adoption Support, we will explore how adopted children may have experienced developmental trauma and how this can impact their sensory modulation. Using a bottom-up approach, we will consider how to best help adoptive parents to support their child’s sensory development.

“It was extremely informative and the presenters had a great deal of knowledge and experience in this area” – Attendee, 2023

You will have an opportunity to learn what Centre of Adoption Support are doing in terms of specific aspects of this work, whilst at the same time having the opportunity to deepen your understanding of sensory modulation, sensorimotor development and sensory-attachment approaches.

“There was a wealth of information that was shared along with examples which was really helpful to put it into context” – Attendee, 2023

You will be able to network with practitioners from other agencies, share best practice and glean new ideas.

Learning outcomes

  • Explore the importance of Sensory Modulation: a bottom-up approach
  • Understand what sensory processing challenges may look like for our adopted children
  • Learn about strategies that may be useful in supporting general nervous system regulation
  • Consider the possible impacts of pre-natal experiences upon the developing sensorimotor systems of the child
  • Explore approaches to develop under-mature sensory systems, including sensorimotor development and sensory-attachment-intervention approaches

About the trainers

This training will be co-delivered by Helen Springfellow, Aeron Gates and Hannah McNulty, Occupational Therapists at the Centre for Adoption Support (CfAS). Gleaning upon both professional and personal experience in the world of sensory processing and adoption, they support families with adopted children, and other professionals involved in their lives, to understand the impacts of sensory modulation upon children’s regulation and daily functioning. The team have developed bespoke packages of support for families; focusing on sensory modulation, sensorimotor development (using the BUSS Model, Sarah Lloyd) and Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI) approaches.


A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack. If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

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