2021 Annual Conference

ICDL's 25th Annual Conference

October 15 & 16, 2021

The 2021 25th Annual International

DIRFloortime® Conference

Promoting Development from the Inside Out


2-day registration at this conference includes free registration for the November Live Online Conference. Most presentations in Baltimore, including keynote presentations, will NOT be a part of the November live online conference.



PUNISHED BY REWARDS: From "Doing to" to "Working with"

Sure, we understand the importance of a relationship-based developmental approach in helping individuals with developmental challenges. But it's also important to know when (and why) a strategy doesn't make sense -- particularly if it's uncritically accepted and widely used. In his keynote address, Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards and Unconditional Parenting, will argue that manipulating people's behavior -- training them as though they were pets -- is both morally objectionable and, according to decades of research, unlikely to be effective in the long run. That's true for children and adults on and off the spectrum. Interventions such as ABA often prove counterproductive for multiple reasons: their preoccupation with measurable behaviors to the exclusion of the experience of the human being who engages in those behaviors; the proven drawbacks of carrot-and-stick control across a wide range of settings; and the poisonous message of conditional acceptance: "You are valuable only when you act the way you are told." To promote humane and constructive alternatives, we must be prepared to offer a persuasive critique of the behaviorist status quo.

Alfie Kohn is the author of 14 books on education, parenting, and human behavior, including PUNISHED BY REWARDS (1993/2018), THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE (1999), UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING (2005), and THE MYTH OF THE SPOILED CHILD (2014). He has appeared twice on “Oprah” as well as on many other TV and radio programs. His hundreds of articles -- published in periodicals such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, Parents, and the Review of Educational Research -- include: “Five Reasons to Stop Saying ‘Good Job!’”, “It's Not About Behavior," and “Why Self-Discipline is Overrated.” Kohn works with educators, parents, and others across the country and abroad, and he speaks regularly at national conferences. Kohn lives (actually) in the Boston area and (virtually) at www.alfiekohn.org.


Closing Keynote & Performance

The Unexpected Gift: Autism, Music, and the Story of Following Our Son's Passion

At 4 years old Zayne was diagnosed with autism. Gwen will share how they found strength through Zayne’s gifts instead of focusing on his weaknesses. Today, Zayne is a member of the band Blue Spectrum which has another autistic member as well. He taught himself to play the guitar. Music has really transformed him from a painfully shy boy to an extremely confident musician. Gwen’s son’s diagnosis has transformed her life. She will share her personal journey as a parent of a child on the spectrum and how following his passion brought him, and her and her husband Gene, to places they never expected. Click here to listen to a sample of Zayne's amazing guitar skills. His performance will be an incredible ending to our 2-day conference.

Expert Floortime Presentations

In addition to the incredible keynote presenters, the ICDL faculty of DIRFloortime® Experts will be presenting sessions on Floortime with case presentations, video examples, and lots of clinical, classroom, and home examples of how to use Floortime. The applications for Floortime continue to grow and the research and clinical practice continues to show very positive outcomes for children, adolescents, young adults, and even adults. You won't want to miss out on this depth dive into Floortime and the use of the DIR® framework at the clinic, school, and home.

Conference Location & Accommodations

Hyatt Baltimore Inner Harbor

A special group rate will be available in early 2021.

Continuing Education

ICDL will announce CEU information once we have all of the conference presentations confirmed in mid-2021 We expect to have professional continuing education credits for educators, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, counselors, social workers, music therapists, and others. Continuing education credits for the live streaming will be more limited.