The 2015 International DIRFloortime
® Conference:
Embracing Individual Differences
September 20 & 21, 2015

Bally's Atlantic City
Atlantic City, USA

Bally's Atlantic City
Hotel and Casino
On the Boardwalk in Atlantic City


Bally's Atlantic City
The block of rooms for our conference is now full, but there are still rooms available at Bally's and nearby hotels. 
Book a Room at Bally's (click here).

Other Hotel Options
The room block at Bally's has limited space available.  However, there are many other great hotel options within walking distance of Bally's including Caesar's, Claridge, Resorts, Trump Taj Mahal, Best Western Envoy Inn, Tropicana, Days Inn, and more.  You can view a list on Expedia or simply search online.  We recommend booking soon - the hotels in Atlantic City often operate at capacity on weekends and the longer you wait, the less convenient your options may be.

2-Day Registration Fee $249
Parents & Self Advocates $149
ICDL Graduate Students and Other Students $199
One Day Registrations Also Available!!!

Spirit Airlines
Serving the Atlantic City Airport

Spirit Airlines offers seasonal non-stop flights to Atlantic City
from cities such as Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Myrtle Beach,
Miami, and Orlando with connections to many other
US cities such as Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix. 
Flights are also available to Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Many additional airlines serve Philadelphia International Airport which is a 60 minute drive from Atlantic City.  There is frequent bus/motorcoach service from New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC via all major carriers, including Academy, Greyhound, Shoreline Express, Saddle River Tours and NJ Transit. 

Atlantic City Transportation Information


Sunday, September 20, 2015
8:00 - 9:00AM  Registration
9:00 - 9:30AM Welcome
9:30 - 11:00AM  Keynote
11:00 - 11:20AM  Break
11:20AM - 12:15PM  Plenary
12:15 - 1:00PM  Lunch (served)
1:00 - 2:30PM Workshops
2:30 - 3:00PM  Break
3:00 - 4:30PM  Workshops

Monday, September 21, 2015
8:30 - 9:00AM  Registration
9:00 - 10:00AM  Keynote
10:00 - 10:50AM  Plenary
10:50 - 11:00AM  Break
11:00AM - 12:00PM  Workshops
12:00 - 1:00 PM  Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 2:30PM Workshops
2:30 - 3:00PM  Break
3:00 - 4:30PM  Workshops

Tuesday September 22, 2015
8:00 - 11:00 AM Closed Session for ICDL Training Leaders

Detailed Agenda

Learning Objectives/Outcomes of Conference:

  1. Participants will demonstrate the ability to identify and understand the various types of individual differences and developmental levels that contribute to an individual's unique developmental profile. 
  2. Participants will demonstrate the ability to describe concepts of self-advocacy and self-determination, including but not limited to, ethics, trends and decision making. 
  3. Participants will demonstrate the ability to identify challenges in sensory integration and processing that may lead to challenge in other areas of development, including but not limited to: executive functioning and learning
  4. Participants will demonstrate the ability to identify multiple aspects of musical therapy and musical play in order to support the individual needs and developmental levels of children and young adults. 
  5. Participants will demonstrate the ability to describe how a developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based approach is utilized in a multi-disciplinary fashion to promote positive development for children and young adults.  
  6. Participants will demonstrate the ability to apply techniques and strategies from the DIRFloortime model (Developmental, Individual-difference, Relationship-based) to intervene, treat, and promote positive development in children and young adults with developmental challenges.
Day One Keynote Presentation: "Being Different"
with John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison is the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He is an active participant in the ongoing discussion of ethical and legal issues relating to autism therapy, services, and intervention. He is particularly interested in improving quality of life for those people living with autism today—both autistic people and family members. He’s been a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and he serves on other boards for the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and private organizations. He’s co-founder of a high school program for teens with developmental challenges in Springfield, MA. In his younger days Robison worked as an engineer for KISS and Pink Floyd’s sound company, and worked on some of the original electronic games at Milton Bradley. Later on he founded J E Robison Service—a restorer of Land Rover, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes motorcars.

Robison’s books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, and Raising Cubby are the most widely read accounts of life with Asperger’s in the world. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages, and they are sold in 60+ countries. His newest book—Switched On—will be published in fall 2015. Robison has also authored or contributed to over 100 autism-related articles.
Atlantic City Events
Come early, stay late, or just make the most of the evenings while you are at the conference.  DO AC!!!

Day One Plenary Session: "Ethics in intervention: self-advocate perspectives on trends, quality, and ethics in autism services" with Julia Bascom, Deputy Executive Director, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Julia Bascom is an autistic woman, writer, and self-advocate. She serves as the Deputy Executive Director for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and when she has time, she writes over at Just Stimming…

Her presentation will be a must see!  What do ethics have to do with services? How can a rights-based framework benefit clients and providers alike, and what does that mean? Who are we really helping? Julia Bascom breaks down trends in autism services from a self-advocate perspective, and offers some guiding principles providers, educators, and families can use to support autistic people across the lifespan.

Day Two Keynote Presentation: "Does DIR Work?  Evidence to Support the Theory and Practice of DIR" with Devin M. Casenhiser, PhD. 

Dr. Casenhiser is an Assistant Professor, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee. Dr. Casenhiser's research explores functional (i.e., communicative) and cognitive factors that affect language learning in neurotypical and autistic populations. He has published research investigating the effects of homonymy on lexical acquisition, how the distribution of lexical input affects children's ability to learn grammatical constructions, and together with colleagues in Canada, Dr. Casenhiser has developed and tested a social-interaction based intervention designed to improve the social-communication abilities of children diagnose with autism spectrum disorders.

Day Two Plenary Session: "The journey of my 20s: how music has gotten me this far, and what I wish I'd been told as a kid." by Sunny Cefaratti & C. J. Shiloh, MT-BC from the Musical Autist. 

Sunny Cefaratti will share firsthand experience as a self-advocate and musical autist, with a passion and determination to inspire professionals to do everything they can to keep transitioning-aged clients out of sheltered workshops. Her sighted guide and nonprofit co-Director, CJ Shiloh, MT-BC, will share new developments in the music therapy field and how certain techniques can be useful to all parents and professionals.

DIR 101 Track: A track of sessions in the conference will be available to meet the ICDL requirements for completion of DIR 101: An Introduction to DIR and DIRFloortime. 

This track will be coordinated and led by Rae Leeper, MA, Expert DIRFloortime Training Leader and Educational Supervisor at the Rebecca School in New York City.  There is no additional fee to complete DIR 101 during the conference.  Just attend the designated sessions and you'll receive an additional Certificate of Completion for DIR 101!  DIR 101 is the first course in the DIRFloortime training program and required to be completed before beginning the DIRFloortime certificate courses.   

DIR 101 Track: No additional CEU credits will be awarded for this track.  However, you will be eligible for the conference CEUs just like all the other sessions.  The DIR 101 track sessions will be open to all registrants.  These sessions will be focused on introductory level DIRFloortime material.   

Registration Cancellation and Refund Policy: The individual registration fee for the conference includes a non-refundable processing fee of $50.  All cancellations must be made by e-mailing at least 15 days prior to the first day of the conference to qualify for a full refund (less the $50 processing fee).  Cancellations after that period and before the conference begins are eligible for a 50 percent refund (less the processing fee).  No refunds will be issued once the conference has begun.