Tag Archives: Occupational Therapy

Gil Talking on Fox Radio “Fox on Love, With Ashley Papa”

16 Apr


Ashley Papa, the relationships reporter on Fox News Radio interviewed me recently on the subject of dating someone who is supporting a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I ended up saying, basically, that people with spectrum challenges were people first, and you needed to respect their wants and desires.

Click the link above to listen to the whole interview.


Dr. Tippy talks about Separation, Individuation and Rapproachment

27 Nov

Here is about three minutes of video from a recent case conference I ran at the Rebecca School. The staff of the school working with a particular child stands up in front of the rest of the school, and the child’s parents, and presents the program they have created for the child, and defends why they have created that particular program. Then, the rest of the staff offers suggestions and asks questions of the staff working with the kids, and I also ask questions and comment on the program. This case conference is really based on a Clinical Grand Rounds model, and you really have to have thick skin, and be very confident of your program to present in front of 120 highly trained and talented DIR/Floortime practitioners.

This piece is a little snippet where I stood up and pointed out a little, but critical difference between what the classroom teacher had said, and how she was acting. I should point out, that this teacher is entirely brilliant, as is her entire team, and my comments were intended as a teaching moment where I can emphasize the difference between behavioral interventions and relationship based, developmental therapies.

At the Rebecca School we don’t focus on controlling contingencies, providing prompts and making choices easier for children. We are focused on helping kids to rise developmentally. We are a thinking based curriculum, and I wanted to make it clear that it is always easy to prompt someone, but we have the more difficult developmental goal always at the heart of our work.

Developmental Therapies and Health for Autism At USAAA in Salt Lake City

19 Aug

How inspiring, to meet a group of heroes in Salt Lake City. Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD,

Larry Kaplan

Larry Kaplan

the Founder and Chairman of US Autism & Asperger Association, and Theresa K. Wrangham
Theresa Wrangham

Theresa 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,

Patricia Lemer

Patricia Lemer

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 Future51-6y0oe1aL._SY300_ 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.

Dr. Tippy Gives His Opinion about “Common Ground” Between ABA and DIR

20 Jun

Last night, I was lucky enough to be invited by Harris Huberman of the Department of Pediatrics, to give a talk at Downstate Medical Center. Amy Conforti-Kelly, BCBA of Theracare gave the ABA perspective, and I spoke about DIR. As you all probably know, I really see very little common ground between ABA and DIR, as I believe they come from two entirely different perspectives. Amy saidGil Tippy that she could describe virtually anything I presented in ABA jargon, and she did. I said that I thought that the basic difference is that an ABA therapist believes that they can think up what another person should learn, and then make up an elaborately broken down way to train that person, but that a DIR therapist believes that the other person is complete and whole, and that his or her thoughts are as valid as any thought the therapist could have, and that the therapist would help the other person to bloom into his or her own personhood. That difference says everything to me.

I did not say that I did not believe ABA was an effective intervention, or that its science is flawed, or that it is not respectful. I didn’t feel I needed to in this context.

I did say to Amy that it sounded to me like she actually wanted to do DIR, and that we would welcome her with open arms. We are, after all, the relationship camp. It seems to me that converting would be easier for her than trying to explain that she actually does DIR but calls it ABA. I particularly liked it when she said that what we are doing is what she would call “conditioning herself as a reinforcer for the child.” It seems so much easier to call it a relationship!

Dr. Huberman was very kind, and the people in the crowd were great, so I really enjoyed myself. I think they are editing together a condensed version of the evening (it was 3 hours!), and that version will be available soon. Until then, if you fill out the form below, I will send you a PDF of my powerpoint presentation from the evening.

Tomorrow: Webinar with Dr. Tippy

26 Sep

Tomorrow, Thursday September 27th at 4:00 pm Eastern Time, I will be doing an hour webinar for ICDL on Floortime in the schools. Dave Nelson, Founder of the Community School in Atlanta will be the Discussant to ask your questions and make my presentation clearer. In November, Dave will present, and I will act as the discussant. In January, my friend, and the Program Director of the Rebecca School, Tina McCourt, will present on the IDEA and FAPE, and other topics that rarely get discussed in relationship to DIR. It should be a great and much needed presentation.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you all at the webinar tomorrow at 4:00 pm. Go to ICDL at the address below, and click on the virtual auditorium,


DIRFloortime in Schools Live Webinar – TOMORROW!

DIR ® Schools in Action: Strengthening Capacities All Day, Every Day
Featuring Dave Nelson, Director of The Community School & Gil Tippy, Clinical Director of The Rebecca School.

Join us on September 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM EDT by visiting ICDL’s Virtual Auditorium at http://www.icdl.com

Rebecca School in the New York Times Today!

8 Aug

Today we were lucky enough to have a reporter from the New York Times,Vivian Yee, and a photographer, Librado Romero, to come and write an article about the “Olympics” at Rebecca School. There is a great photograph in the article of Ryan Lambiasi, our adapted phys ed teacher, and a student, Dylan Riano, working on their technique for the shot put. There is a brief quote from me, and a nice quote from Tina McCourt, the Program Director, but the real juice can be found in the quotes from the kids. It was a lot of fun to show the school to visitors, and a real joy to see the kids enjoying the day so much. Link to the article below. It is a quick read, and we are proud to be represented in the New York Times!
New York Times Article about Rebecca School

Gil on The Coffee Klatch Radio Show Last Night

9 Jan

Click on the above link to hear my interview with Chuck Walley on The Coffee Klatch last night. Chuck was very well informed about DIR, and we spoke a lot about the difference between DIR and ABA. Again, we know where I stand, but I am becoming increasingly impressed with how much parents dislike ABA, and how attracted they are to the methods, and the results, of DIR. Chuck spoke about his own child and how he has used DIR and its ideas in his work with his child. I also got a chance to examine the critical link I see between Autism Spectrum Disorders and the lack of abstraction in kids with the diagnosis. I think this is a pretty good interview, and I think it is worth a listen, if you have a little time.

Oh, and I hope you like the new look of the blog. Despite my love of orange, I think this makes it a little more readable. New year, new look.

Now, let’s change the world of Autism treatment for the better!

Dr. Tippy on why he practices DIR, and why saying, “I just do what works,” is saying nothing at all.

17 Nov

This is a video of the beginning of a presentation I did at ICDL’s 15th annual International Conference in Maryland in November, 2011. I spoke on the topic of Rebecca School, and how we stay true to the DIR model all day long, and this clip focuses on why we chose the DIR model over other models, and why I don’t think certain therapies mix with DIR. I also spoke about what I think about what it means to say that you, “do an eclectic approach,” or say, “I just do what works.” I have strong opinions Continue reading

Gil Tippy,PsyD and Mary Wiener, OTR/L Present at Capital District Beginnings in Albany, Part 1

4 Nov

Hi Albany Folks and others. Here is Part 1 of the presentation Mary and I gave at Capital District Beginnings on October 27th, 2010. I had to do a lot of editing, it was a 4 hour presentation, but there was a lot of material covered, and some great questions asked. I will be editing the videos and posting them over the Continue reading

Gil Tippy, PsyD about Good Vs. Bad OT in Autism

18 Jan

This video is about what the kids that I see for intake in various venues, The Center For Parents and Children, in Seacliff, Higher Standard Spectrum Services, In Oyster Bay, and The Rebecca School, in Manhattan, are getting for OT when I first meet them. This is a group of kids who have terrible processing, great vision, great hearing, and difficulty in proprioception and vestibular feedback. They can’t put together a motor plan based on the input they are getting, they have trouble mapping their bodies, they therefore have trouble mapping the world, and as a result, if they continue as they are, they will never become the abstract Continue reading

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