On Saturday, January 21st, 2017, I will be speaking at a very cool conference in Atlanta, put on by ICDL and the Community School, entitled 2017 Annual DIR® in Education Conference . Not an inspiring name, but some inspiring speakers! I will be talking about DIR/Floortime models for post-21 education, particularly a not-for-profit model I developed in CA, and its application nationally. Dave Nelson, the Executive Director of the Community School in Decatur, GA, is organizing the event and speaking, as is Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP, who always teaches me a lot. I am particularly excited to have one of the great teachers from Rebecca School presenting, Petra Daitz, MS/ED, who will present her fantastic class, with lots of video. The conference promises to really make clear the school application of DIR/Floortime, and is in a beautiful space at The Atrium at the Cator Woolford Gardens at the Frazer Center in Atlanta. This is a great conference, focused on schools, in a beautiful, intimate setting. Seating is limited, but some seats are available! I hope to see you there.
I was at a national autism conference this week, and was reminded that DIR/Floortime is what parents want to do with their children, and that punishing, ignoring and rewarding with “skittles cut up so small it is amazing,” are not the things they wish to do. (And, the things they don’t want to do don’t work anyway!)
DIR/Floortime is Science, and we have trouble showing lawmakers that, because when they get shown charts, even if those charts are nonsensical, they believe they are “Evidence.” This part of a recent talk sets out to show that child development is science, and the Real Evidence Based Intervention in the field of Autism.
I got a chance to talk to a group of parents the other day at the ICDL conference where the subject was the developmentally appropriate intervention of DIR/Floortime. What a great group of folks came to my presentation! I was talking about how we could help to make developmental, relationship-based, sensory appropriate interventions the norm in Autism intervention, and during that talk, I spoke about parent empowerment. This clip is from that section of my presentation.
I also told the folks in the room that I would give them a form on this blog where they could get in touch, and get the slides from the talk. That form is below.
If you want to see the beginning of the revolution, you can go to RespectingAutism.org, and see what we are planning to do to change the way the world relates to all kids and young adults!
What a great day yesterday! I was asked to speak in front of a group of 150 Waldorf Educators at the Waldorf School of Garden City, and it was one of those life changing experiences for me. They were all so talented, and thoughtful in their interactions with children, and their insights absolutely blew me away. For instance, I shared with them a circle we, at the Rebecca School, had created for our kids, and then their movement people showed me how to make it much better. What had taken us 6 months of blood, sweat and tears to create, they immediately understood, and then improvisationally, on the spot, made delightful improvements.
It made me realize even more clearly, that there are very many people, across disciplines, across populations, who use respectful, developmentally appropriate, thinking based supports for the children and adults they serve. We need to unite, and make our voices heard! The people we serve deserve nothing less.
The clip above is a little bit of me talking about the full-cup theory, and how it leads to a developmental stall.
If you were are a Waldorf Educator, whether you were there in Garden City yesterday or not, and whether you school is accredited or not, you can fill out the form below and get the slides from my presentation, and the video of the Three Billy Goats Circle.
How inspiring, to meet a group of heroes in Salt Lake City. Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD,the Founder and Chairman of US Autism & Asperger Association, and Theresa K. Wrangham , a parent advocate,former president of the Autism Society of Colorado, member of the Advisory Board of USAAA, and just plain nice person, welcomed me to the conference with open arms, and made me feel welcome right from the start. This is unusual in an organization, this pervading feeling of welcome and openness, and I felt it when I walked into the conference.
This conference is a beautiful mix of parents, advocates and people with Autism, and the presentations were right on. I learned a lot about nutrition, that will help my family, and change some of the recommendations I make to families. I also saw the need to bring together all of the people across the country who believe in advocacy and respectful, developmental treatment and support. I met Kathleen Werr, of The Wild Idea, a parent advocate and a hands on creator, who is creating a cutting edge social “happening” for autistic adults in Washington State. (Happening is my word; Sorry Kathleen. That’s my 60’s sensibility sneaking in!) I met Jacquelynn Bradley, a parent advocate, and creator of a transition program in Utah, that matches all of the respectful, developmental standards we have been trying create in New York. They are just examples of the literally hundreds of folks I met who were all positive and assertive about what directions this world has to move in.
I was blown away by getting the chance to meet, and talk to, Patricia Lemer, MEd, NCC,who has been doing and saying for 40 years a lot of what I thought I had invented! I am reading her book now, Envisioning A Bright Future and it is so exciting to see the groundbreaking work she did to make it possible for folks like me to advocate for sensible developmental therapies, and for children playing rather than doing worksheets. She has begun a very exciting documentary project that I hope to play a part in, and I will talk more about that soon. Here is the link to Patricia’s organization, Developmental Delay Resources. If this were your only resource, you could put together a top-notch, developmentally appropriate program!
I could write for quite a long time about this, but I just want to thank Larry and Theresa, and Jaqui and Chris Gauthier in particular, for the invitation. This conference, and these people, are changing the world for the better.
What a great conference so far! Of course, the keynote by Temple Grandin was great. Later, presentations by Elaine Hall, founder of the Miracle Project, and later by Elaine and Stephen Shore further sustained by hardcore belief that joyful, relationship-based, developmental interventions are the way to go, and no applied behavioral therapy meets that criteria. The panel I sat on, on Special Education in the schools went well, and I was assured by the moderator that I did not come across as two much of a contrarian, and that my saying that I generally tell parents to “throw the iPad out the window” was well received. I was really proud to be representing Rebecca School here!