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Conference Agenda

Friday September 23, 2016
8:00 - 9:00AM Registration and Continental Breakfast (Sun Lobby)
9:00 - 9:30AM Welcome (Sun A)
            Jeffrey J. Guenzel, ICDL Chief Executive Officer
            Christopher M. Gauthier, ICDL Trustee, Self-Advocate, and Parent
            Virginia Spielmann, ICDL East Asia Training Director and 2016 Conference Moderator
9:30 - 10:40AM Opening Keynote (Sun A)
Steve Silberman, Author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
10:40 - 11:00AM Break & Book Signing with Steve Silberman (Sun Lobby)
11:00AM - 12:00PM Ballroom Presentation (Sun A)
The Importance of Social Connections as the Fuel for Brain Development and Learning with Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP, Director, Educational Outreach Program, Marcus Autism Center.  Description: Research in the neuroscience of social emotional engagement fosters our understanding of the critical importance of social connections and relationships.  These interactions are critical for the neurodevelopment that enables children to develop early attachment, creative language, and social conventions.  Social emotional engagement in the classroom setting is also the fuel that drives a child to develop a passion for learning.   Implications for classroom instruction will be shared along with video examples.
12:00 - 1:00PM Lunch and Film Presentation (Sun A)
12:30 – 1:00PM Lunch Film Presentation and Discussion (Sun A)
“Play Time: A Short Floortime Documentary”
1:00 – 1:15PM  A Self-Advocacy Message (Sun A)
            Ari Ne’eman, President, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
1:15 - 2:00PM Ballroom Presentation (Sun A)
Early Intervention to Higher Education: Engaging Autism through Art-making with Christopher M. Gauthier, Assistant Professor of Art, Photography at Illinois Central College.  Description: This presentation will introduce Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism, a long-term photographic project documenting individuals, families and professionals fighting back against disability. It includes the origins of the project, the use of Floortime principles, and stories of the fascinating people encountered as a result. The presenter will discuss the benefits of open ended art making and how the process can be harnessed to increase Functional Developmental capacities 1-6 and beyond. Expect a highly interactive and experiential workshop from the unique perspective of a father, artist, college professor and self-advocate, demonstrating how art-making engages the body, mind and heart.
2:00 - 2:15 Break
2:15 - 3:15PM Ballroom Presentation (Sun A)
Understanding, Partnership, and Challenge: What DIR Can Offer Families and Their Clinicians with Kathy Platzman, PhD, Floortime Atlanta and ICDL Clinical Director.  Description: Unlike most models, DIR offers more than a passing recognition of the whole family as a therapeutic focus. It considers the parents/caregivers as the cornerstone for implementing change. This presentation will review DIR family “basics” as well as more complex challenges.  It will present several issues that families and their clinicians often face. It offers a look into what a DIR-inspired family of the future might look like! 

3:30 - 5:00PM Workshops
  1. Not Lost in Translation: Lessons Learned From Disseminating DIR/Floortime In Different Cultural Groups with Milagros Cordero, Ed.D, OTR/L and Galina Itskovich, LCSW-R, Psychotherapist (Sun A)  Description: When DIRFloortime travels around the world, new issues emerge and old ones re-emerge. Challenges such process presents are not limited to linguistic, but spread into cultural beliefs on child rearing, disability, education and policy. Cross-cultural commonalities and differences, lessons of applying the model in different parts of the world and questions for further research are discussed. Based on the presenters’ experience of bringing DIRFloortime to Russian and Spanish speaking countries, issues of idiomatic and culturally relevant translation, cultural competency in work with families and practitioners, application of principles of reflective supervision and parallel process are identified among significant factors.
  2. For the Love of Speech®: An Emerging Coaching and Education Model to Support Developmental Growth in Infants and Toddlers with Melanie Feller, M.A., CCC-SLP and Marla J. Souder, Psy.D., HSPP (Sun 1-2)  Description: This presentation will discuss the history, development and importance of parent coaching and education as they relate to supporting healthy developmental growth in the very young.  Specific focus will be placed on the importance of psychological/mental health development and communication development for both neurotypical and neuro-diverse children. An emerging program – For the Love of Speech® will be introduced. This program is a developmentally based model that seeks to coach and educate parents through the use of respectful, evidence based, effective tools and strategies.
  3. Floortime™ and Young Adults: Supporting Individual Differences in an Interdisciplinary Model with Bridget Henn, M.S., OTR/L and Ashley Lyons, M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD. (Sun 3-4)  Description: This presentation will discuss the DIR® model and specifically functional emotional developmental capacities, individual differences, and fostering relationships within the young adult population; specifically when working within an interdisciplinary model. Through video analysis and discussion, participants will discuss discipline specific concepts related to sensory reactivity, processing, and motor planning development, receptive and expressive language, and visual spatial development. Discussion will also include the three components of a young adult program as outlined by Greenspan and Mann (2000). This includes using motivating and age-appropriate interests, working developmentally, and creating meaningful learning experiences. Videos will highlight working in various contexts including individual and group work as well as play-based and community settings. This presentation will also discuss the importance of attachment and relationships within the young-adult population as well as challenges that may arise within the therapeutic context
  4. Recent Research Session: Two researchers in the area of communication disorders in children with autism will present their most recent studies. Amanda Binns, M.A., SLP-CCC, Reg. CASLPO  and Melissa Grosvenor, PhD, CCC-SLP (Sun 5-6)  Description:
    • The first study examined the concurrent relationship between preverbal and verbal communication acts in young children with and without ASD using the Lahey and Bloom model of language development. Findings revealed a concurrent relationship between preverbal communication acts and verbal communication acts in children with ASD and typically developing children. Implications of such findings and future research considerations are explored.  
    • Parents and primary caregivers provide a key source of linguistic input early in the developmental process. The second study shares preliminary results from a new analysis of the York University MEHRI data revealing how a DIR-based treatment model impacts how parents communicate with their child. Results of this study offer support for parent coaching treatments suggesting that parents have the potential to apply strategies obtained from coaching in the facilitation of communication with their child. Implications and clinical application of the findings, as well as future research considerations will be explored.
  5. DIR 101 Track Session: Individual Differences - Sensory Motor Integration with Virginia Spielmann, Occupational Therapist, SPOT Interdisciplinary Children's Therapy Centre in Hong Kong  (DIR 101 Registrants Only in Tallahassee)  Description: Each child has a unique capacity to take in, integrate, manage, and react to sensory input from the environment, from others, and from his or her own body. This presentation will focus on sensory integrative function and how this can differ from child to child. This presentation will be predominantly organized from an Ayres Sensory Integration framework
Saturday September 24, 2016
8:30 - 9:00AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
Saturday Keynote Addresses (Sun A)
9:00 – 10:00AM
Floortime Thailand: A Journey from One Person’s Vision to a Multi-Site Floortime Program with Kingkaew Pajareya, MD and reflections from Gerard Costa, PhD and Jeffrey Guenzel, MA, LPC.  Description:  Dr. Pajareya as built a multi-site Floortime program providing services throughout much of Thailand with an interdisciplinary team of over 40 professionals.  Dr. Pajareya is the lead researcher of several published research studies on Floortime including a compelling randomized controlled trial study on DIR/Floortime.  Learn how Dr. Pajareya has accomplished so much and brought Floortime to hundreds of families in Thailand and learn about her cutting edge research. 

10:00 – 11:00AM
Eek! Treating Fears and Phobias in Young Children: Integrating a developmental relationship- based conceptualization and treatment model with a gradual exposure paradigm; An innovative, practical and engaging approach with Karen Levine, Ph.D.  Description: Fears of various sounds (e.g. lawn mower; blender; gym buzzer), and other sensory experiences (e.g. band aids; crowds) as well as every day life experiences (e.g. haircuts; doctor; dentist;) and then various emotional experiences (e.g. change in schedule; losing in game) are common in young children with developmental challenges including ASD. This workshop illustrates how phobias can be conceptualized and treated within a developmental relationship based model.  Developmentally, while most infants become very easily dysregulated, typically developing infants and young children use their social, communication and symbolic systems for coregulation with caregivers. Young children with ASD have limited access to these means of coregulating, and many early common sources of fear remain or expand as children with ASD develop. In this treatment model the adult renders these social tools accessible to the child in affectively attuned interaction.
11:00 - 11:15AM  Break and Book Signing with Karen Levine (Sun Lobby)
11:15AM - 12:00PM 
Ballroom Presentation: Supporting Resilience in Young Children Living in Regions Impacted by Major Conflict: A DIR Approach with Joshua Feder, M.D.  (Sun A)  Description: DIR was developed with high risk families. Recent findings about the impact of adverse childhood events (ACES) lend themselves to a DIR approach to treatment. We are offering DIR support to families and professional in a number of regions impacted by conflict, to help caregivers work with children so that they are more resilient, less likely to be traumatized or radicalized. We will look at the work done previously, how we apply DIR in this process, and how any clinician might participate in this effort, including in the research about how it is working.


DIR 101 Track Session: Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities with Lyn Bennett, OTR/L (DIR 101 Registrants Only in Tallahassee) 
Description:  An overview of the "D" of DIR.
12:00 - 1:00 PM  Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 2:30PM Workshops
  1. A Teenager and His Fascination with Pokemon, RapBattles, and Paronomasia: A Case Study with Eunice Lee, MSW,RSW,MS, Ed.  (Sun A)  Description: This longitudinal case presentation will outline the adolescent’s role in a DIR treatment process and demonstrate how dialogue and conversation are used to expand abstract thinking and reflection while simultaneously addressing gaps in the lower functional emotional developmental capacities. This presentation will also address how to establish a cohesive team of professionals that can nurture the adolescent’s strengths and provide needed scaffolding as he transitions through high school. Video clips will be shared highlighting this adolescent’s progress over 10+ years of relationship-based treatment.
  2. FEAS & Floortime®: The Foundation for a Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation with Nicole Briceno, M.S. and Alicia Westbrook, Ph.D.  (Sun 1-2)  Description: To ensure a cohesive comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, a transdisciplinary team utilizes the Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS) and employs Floortime® techniques. This presentation will review the diagnostic evaluation process and highlight the impact of conducting the FEAS while using Floortime® techniques on young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Clinical video excerpts will be used throughout the presentation and participants will compare FEAS results and Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS) results.
  3. Animal Assisted Therapy In DIRFloortime: The Why and How to Increase Engagement and Regulation with Marla J. Souder, Psy.D., HSPP. (Sun 3-4)  Description: There is increasing research about animals, how they impact the human experience, and how Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) can help people with a variety of needs in many situations.  DIRFloortime is a wonderful platform to incorporate animals. This presentation will review the current research on why animals help and how AAT is effective. Examples of DIRFloortime and AAT will be provided through case examples and participants will experience the engagement of an AAT canine during the presentation.
  4. Don’t Forget the “R”: How to Build Intentional, Authentic Relationships with Clients and Students (and Support the Growth of that Capacity in Others) with Beth Champ, M.S., M.B.A., LPC and David Nelson, LPC.  (Sun 5-6)  Description: Many practitioners have learned the specifics of the functional emotional capacities (the D) and individual differences (the I) of the DIR Model. Sometimes, the “R” might be taken for granted or over-simplified to “being loving.” In fact, developing authentic, therapeutic relationships is an intentional and thoughtful process. This process becomes increasingly complex as clients grow into adolescence and adulthood. Practitioners must address issues of agency and self-determination in their clients. Using examples from our work in a therapeutic high school and young adult transition program, we will show the value of supporting participants in building and maintaining complex, reciprocal relationships.
  5. DIR 101 Track Session: The Gleam in the Eye: What it is, Why it is Important, and How to Get it!  with Colette Ryan, MS, Ed. (DIR 101 Track Registrants Only in Tallahassee)  Description: We have all heard it over and over, “go for the gleam in the eye”! But what is the “gleam in the eye” and what is so important about it? This presentation will look to answer these questions and also to look at what goes into getting the gleam. The concept of mindfulness will be discussed along with how our own individual differences effect our abilities to “go for the gleam”. A mini case presentation and video clips will be included in the discussion, along with practical ideas to get the gleam in the eye.
2:30 - 3:00PM  Break
3:00 - 4:30PM 
  1. Building Bridges Between DIR/Floortime and Public Education Practices: Research, Instructional Practices, and Ports of Entry with Christine Harkness, PhD/ABD.  (Sun A)  Description:  The presentation will demonstrate the alignment between DIR/Floortime concepts/practices and mainstream educational initiatives including current research, teacher evaluation frameworks, and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. In general, it will focus most heavily on relationship based practices, affective engagement, adaptability, and the reflective process as they relate to learning. It will also include curricular and instructional recommendations that prioritize individual strengths and passions. These ideas will be explored from the point of view of the student and the practitioner. Finally, the presentation will describe local ports of entry that have been effective in broadening the use of DIR/Floortime in one school district.
  2. Watering the Roots: Working within relationships to foster social and emotional development in a life skills program with Laura De Gennaro, Psy.D. and Michael Kelliher, MT-BC.  (Sun 1-2)  Description: This presentation, conducted by a Psychologist and Music Therapist, will discuss a yearlong pilot program designed to assist neurodiverse high school students in their transition into adulthood. "Campus Connections" is a unique program in that the life skills component is coupled with the therapeutic aspects of the Rebecca Center for Music Therapy's developmental, relationshipbased model. The weekly program consisted of joining a variety of different departments at Molloy College for job readiness and life skills, as well as time to reflect on challenging moments for each individual and between group members. This focus of individual differences and a process-based approach allows for emotional readiness alongside job training to prepare for each student’s transition into adulthood.
  3. Neurodiversity and Individual Difference: Expanding the “I” of DIR through a Case Study with Andra Munger, Ph.D.  (Sun 3-4)  Description: This presentation highlights DIR/Floortime® as a key intervention model to explore individual differences of an adolescent student with a complex neurodevelopmental profile. This includes a history of school failure related to her visual spatial challenges and difficulties with selfregulation, attention, engagement, and reciprocity. We describe how we came to understand the complexity of her individual differences and work with her to create and support continued opportunities for learning, with us and at school. This example highlights how a reflective, adaptable, and DIR/Floortime®-based approach provides breadth and depth in our understanding of individual differences to support this student’s advances in learning.
  4. DIR 101 Track Session: DIR 101 with Lyn Bennett, OTR/L (DIR 101 Registrants Only in Tallahassee)  Description:  An overview of the "D" of DIR.