OTSH 71: The Eighth Sense - Interoception with Dr. Kelly Mahler, OTD, OTR/L



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Welcome to the show notes for the Episode 71 of the OT School House Podcast.


In today's episode, we have Dr. Kelly Mahler on to introduce us to Interoception. Very few people have ever heard of interception and even less know what it means. This may even be the first time you hearing the word interoception. Well, whether it is or is not, you're going to want to listen to this episode. Dr. Mahler is a true genius when it comes to interoception and she has so much to share with us today. Press play to learn how you can assess your client and understand whether or not they have difficulties with interoception.


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OTSH 71_ The Eighth Sense - Interoceptio
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Jayson Davies 00:00

Alright, let's see if I can do this. interoception, interoception interoception. That actually wasn't too bad, better than when I practiced it. Anyways, today we are talking about interoception and we have Dr. Kelly Mahler on to talk about it. Very few people have ever heard of interoception and of course, even less know what it means. I can only imagine what they might think when they first hear the word. And maybe this is your first time hearing the word interoception. Well, whether it is or isn't, maybe you've heard it several times, you're gonna want to stick around for this episode. Dr. Mahler is a true genius when it comes to interoception. And she has so much to share with us today, like little tidbits on how you might even be able to look at your kid and understand whether or not they have an interoception difficulty. Alright, so stick around, put your phone in your pocket, it's time to enjoy the OT school house podcast. We'll be right back after the intro.


Amazing Narrator 00:53

Hello and welcome to the OT schoolhouse podcast, your source for school based occupational therapy tips, interviews and professional development. Now to get the conversation started. Here is your host, Jayson Davies. Class is officially in session.


Jayson Davies 01:10

Hello, hello and welcome back to this episode of the OT school house podcast where we are doing a deep dive into interoception with Dr. Kelly Mahler. We're going to get into this pretty quickly I'm going to go ahead and introduce Dr. Kelly Mahler and then we will go ahead and get started. So I am excited for this. I hope you are as well. Dr. Mahler has served kids and adults as an occupational therapist for 18 years. She is the winner of multiple awards, including the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association, AOTA emerging and innovative practice award and a mom's choice gold medal. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of OT at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, and is actively involved in several research projects pertaining to topics such as interoception, self regulation, trauma and autism. Kelly is an international speaker and the author of eight different resources for interoception and kids with autism. So we are very fortunate to have her without any further ado, here is Dr. Kelly Mahler.


Jayson Davies 02:12

Hey, Kelly, welcome to the OT school health podcast. How are you doing today?


Dr. Kelly Mahler 02:16

I'm doing good, Jayson. Thanks. How are you?


Jayson Davies 02:19

I'm doing fantastic. I am loving it here in Southern California. We have some springtime weather and it is just amazing. Remind me again. Where are you located?


Dr. Kelly Mahler 02:28

I am in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And so I'm very jealous that you're having spring already have snow on our ground. Although I think it's like 40 degrees today. So hey.


Jayson Davies 02:40

Nice. So I mean, you're in Hershey, Pennsylvania, obviously that is known for being like the birthplace of Hershey, right?


Dr. Kelly Mahler 02:47

Yeah, that's right, like so on good days. You can smell chocolate in the air. And our streetlights are in the shapes of Hershey Kisses. Like, it's like the sweetest little place on earth to live.


Jayson Davies 03:01

That's awesome. And have you been like a lifelong Hershey Pennsylvania resident? Or how's that work?


Dr. Kelly Mahler 03:07

So I grew up in the next town over. It's called Elizabeth town, Pennsylvania. So my whole family still lives there. And so we're very close to help with lots of babysitting and you know, being a big part of my family's life. But we're also a little bit closer to like the Hershey Park amusement park and lots of good restaurants and stuff like that.


Jayson Davies 03:28

Well, I had no idea there was an amusement park.


Dr. Kelly Mahler 03:31

Oh, yes. My daughter's think that every small town has or has an amusement park, which is obviously not true. Very handy to have it in our back yard.


Jayson Davies 03:42

That's awesome. Yeah, I missed when we used to have like community fairs in my old town. And now like, it doesn't happen anymore. You know, that little Carnival just never. They don't do it anymore, miss those. But all right. Well, I am so glad to have you here. As you know, I actually recently attended a training that you did, actually, last week, it was a two day six hour training or so. And it was great. So much practical information for school based OTs. But unfortunately, I know not everyone has the opportunity to hear you speak to that manner. And so I'm just excited to have you here today. So how did you become? What's your background in the OT world? And how'd you get where you are now?


Dr. Kelly Mahler 04:18

Yeah, so I always knew that I wanted to work in pedes. Um, and when I got out of school, I graduated OT school in 2002. So I'm in my 19th year in the biz. And I didn't get a pedes job right away. It took me a few months, but I finally landed my first job and it just happened to be in school based OT. So I've been that's been the biggest part of my job ever since as being a school based OT. And I really love it. I've worked in so many different niches like I've been in like I've been the like primary OT for a whole school district. I've also worked in Pennsylvania, we have intermediate units, and so those are like staffing for a variety of different special education classrooms out there. So I've been in IU classrooms. And then I've also which came in super handy six years ago, I started contracting with a cyber school. And so I was hired originally to provide OT school based OT services to the cyber school students that were not benefiting from telehealth the telehealth model. So I got to go into their homes and provide OT in their educational setting, which was their health, which was such a different experience for me as a school based OT because I didn't have such interaction with families. So you know, we have a little bit, but like, I was immersed in a family culture, and it was so exciting. And then as I got to know these students, sometimes we did a hybrid model where we were doing work in the home. And but then I was also doing supplementing with a telehealth model. So I got my feet wet with telehealth before all of this COVID. So I just have always been really passionate about working with school aged children. I've done preschool school age, and I do have some young adult clients now as well. Oh, wow.


Jayson Davies 06:07

Yeah, you know, that's interesting. I mean, so many things that you said, I have questions I could go on just on that alone. But the last thing you said is having some young adult clients, and I've been getting a lot of questions. One is about interoception. And another one is, what do I do with, you know, those in between students, the transition periods, students, the high schoolers and the young adults? What do I do with them. And so I think that's a growing area for OT. Obviously, that's not exactly what we're here to talk about today. But I think it's going to be a huge emerging area for Occupational Therapy.


Dr. Kelly Mahler 06:39

I agree with you. And I think sometimes as a pediatric OT, it can be really intimidating to start working with adults, because you feel like maybe you don't have the skill set. But when we're talking about especially like the clients, I&#x