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On-Demand Inner Ear, Inner Drive: Unlocking the contributions of the auditory & vestibular systems  
Sheila Frick
Course Level:  Beginner
Audience: OTs, PTs and interested others
Course Description

The inner ear plays a critical role in forming the “felt sense” of ourselves relative to the world around us, which is a necessary foundation for emotional regulation, praxis, and higher level cognitive skills. This felt sense and its associated perceptions helps us to develop a working map of our bodies and our physical environment, as well as a foundation for connection. Furthermore, the development of the vestibular-postural-ocular connections support both stable and dynamic positioning of our body relative to the salient events around us.

Starting from the sensory and neurophysiological roots, we will explore the vestibular and auditory portions of the inner ear and their relationship to our innate drive to adapt and gain mastery over our environment. Beyond the role of the inner ear in the development of our physical mastery over our body in space, this course will discuss the relationship of vestibular and auditory sensory processing to our innate drive to connect with another. Ultimately, at the highest level, our innate inner drive contributes to the development of the sensory motor foundation for social engagement, play, and learning.


Course Objectives:

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

  1. Describe at least three contributions of the vestibular and auditory systems to the development of our body scheme and/or environmental scheme

  2. Recognize how difficulties with vestibular and auditory processing can impact social engagement through case study

  3. Discuss three suitable assessment measures for evaluating vestibular and auditory functioning, including standardized assessments, clinical observations, and occupational performance concerns 

  4. Identify at least three therapeutic activities that support optimal inner ear (vestibular-auditory) functioning which underlies participation


45 minutes - Structure and function of the vestibular-cochlear mechanism

30 minutes - The neurological substrates of inner drive in relationship to inner ear

1 hour 20 minutes - Assessment & treatment strategies - clinical problem solving demonstrated through case presentation

10 minutes - Question and Answer

Course Requirements

Following the passing score of 80% on the post-course quiz, the participant will be sent a course completion certificate.

Continuing Education

Sheila Frick, On-Demand

Originally Recorded on October 20, 2020

CEUs: 3 contact hours (.3 AOTA CEUs)

Recording available for 30 days following your purchase

AOTA-Approved Provider Program.jpg


3 Contact Hour (.3 AOTA CEUs) awarded if course requirements are met. Integrative Education is an AOTA Approved Provider, number 11607, for Distance Learning - Interactive, Distance Learning - Independent Self-Study, and Blended/Hybrid courses that include both interactive and independent study aspects.  Course approval number: 00637. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.​ For additional continuing education information for PT, SLP, and social work, click  here to access our CEU policy information.

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