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!)
I am so lucky to be presenting at the United States Autism and Asperger Association National Conference in Tucson this week. I will, of course, be talking about Rebecca School and developmentally appropriate ways of supporting students and adults with neurodevelopmental challenges of relating and communicating. The great news is you can watch it live, free, by going to the USAAA live stream, here, at 11:00 am Pacific time, or 2:00 pm Eastern time. I am not sure about the status of the talk in a future archive, but if you want to see my current thinking about DIR/Floortime and education, you can see me live at a really terrific conference!
This is a clip from a panel I did on the website, “Kids in the House.” During the panel discussion, I got tossed a question about what intervention for Autism I would recommend. I don’t think they were prepared for how enthusiastically I would support DIR/Floortime and Stanley Greenspan. The other 2 panelists wanted to defend the ABA model. You can see the whole 30 minutes at the Kids in the House website through the link below. The part I posted actually gives you the whole idea, though.
If you come to see me at the Summer Autism Institute for the State of Vermont where I will be keynoting Friday, June 26th (http://www.uvm.edu/cnhs/autism_institute/) or Autism Society International Conference in Denver in July (http://www.uvm.edu/cnhs/autism_institute/) or at United States Autism and Aspergers Association in Tucson at the end of July (http://www.usautism.org/conferences/) you should probably know by know that I am going to talk about the parent supportive, respectful, effective DIR/Floortime and Rebecca School.
Rae and I got a chance to present at the Interdisciplinary Council for Development and Learning’s (ICDL) International Conference on 11/9/14. We presented on the way that a DIR/Floortime curriculum meets the requirements of the Common Core Standards, is relatively easy to do, and is very effective with kids on the Autism Spectrum. The work is from the Rebecca School in Manhattan, where I am the Clinical Director and one of the Founders, and Rae is the Educational Coordinator, and also a founding member of the faculty at the school. This is really a teaser, and if people want to see the entire thing I would be happy to put it together in small segments. You could contact Rae at the Rebecca School, or me through my blog or website. We were really happy to be so well received by the audience. We think this is the answer for how to meet the Common Core Standards for kids with developmental challenges, and for neurotypical students as well. Good developmental work is simply right in many different situations.
I am still so blown away after four amazing days at the Mind and Life International Symposium for Contemplative Studies. In meeting after meeting, from the dialog with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, though the amazing closing presentation by Tania Singer, PhD, who electrified the audience with her amazing research at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, it was the most amazing conference I have ever been a part of. I presented a poster
about the Mindfulness Support Group I run at the Rebecca School. Arianna Huffington was wonderful, and remarkably funny and mindful at the banquet on Saturday night. But the really amazing part for me were the presentations and the practice support. I had the chance to meditate, several times, with Roshi Joan Halifax, John Kabat-Zinn, and Sharon Salzburg. One of the meditations I attended with Sharon Salzberg, along with the closing address by Tania Singer inspired me to take our simple meditation group in a direction which I hope will directly influence our work with the kids and families at the Rebecca School. All in all, an entirely amazing and life affirming four days!
At the Rebecca School, we are still on a high, after the amazing conference, “Respecting Autism“, we gave at Middlebury College on September 27th. In conjunction with the Sapphire Center, a very cool local center for kids with
developmental challenges that is doing DIR/Floortime, volunteer staff from the Rebecca School presented a full day conference on what Floortime looks like in a school setting, when it is done well.
Presentations on Parent Support, Visual Spatial support, Floortime with a group of challenging students, Lunchtime Speech and Language programing, our Cafe Rebecca Program, our Music Therapy program, a panel discussion with all of us, and my keynote on the importance of thinking. It was an amazing day!
Here is the good news! We recorded the entire thing! Our amazing Creative Services director, Billy Gomberg, worked tirelessly all day, and as a result, we will be able to offer the entire conference, the very best of Floortime
in the school setting, to everyone, for free! Through the generosity of Tina McCourt, the Program Director of the Rebecca School, we will be able o put all the presentations on-line. So, if you were unable to make it to Middlebury on September 27th,
you will be able to see the whole thing, on-line. Watch this space, because as soon as we have the material edited, and the server space set up, we will let you know.
It was a great day!