DIR Conference 2018!

DIR Conference 2018!

Let’s Dance! Play and Joy through Collaboration in the DIR® Floortime Approach Rebecca School hosts the ICDL Regional Conference

Date:  Friday, March 9th, 2018  8:00 AM- 3:30 PM

*There will be a special What is Floortime session pre-session from 7:30 AM- 8:30 AM. This is highly encouraged for any people who are new to DIR. There is no additional fee for the additional one hour training. If interested you must register prior to the event by emailing Melissa Sinacori at msinacori@rebeccaschool.org.

Location:  Rebecca School- 40 East 30th St. NY, NY

*Click here for a list of nearby Hotels & Parking Garages


Time Session
7:30- 8:30 Pre-session: requires pre-registration

What is Floortime?
Melissa Sinacori, M.S.Ed

Please RSVP to msinacori@rebeccaschool.org if you are interested. This session is highly recommended for anyone new to Floortime as it will cover the basics of the model and will provide an important foundation for the rest of the conference.

CEUs are not available for this session.

8:00 -9:00 Registration and coffee
9:00-10:15 Keynote- Max Sparrow
Autism and the Joy of Human Connection
10:15- 10:30 Coffee and transition to break out sessions
10:30- 12:00 Break out #1- Pick one of the AM sessions

See break out schedule

12:00- 12:45 Lunch provided
12:45- 2:15 Break out #1- Pick one of the AM sessions

See break out schedule

2:15- 2:30 Transition back to the 5th floor gym
2:30- 3:30 Closing Session:

Developing the “I” in Adulthood:
The Joys and Bumps of Life After School Ends

Facilitated by Lauren Tobing-Puente, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Private Practice
Joshua Noble, LCSW. Rebecca School Transitions Coordinator



AM SESSIONS (10:30- 12:00)

Colleen Gabbert MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist
Donnie Welch
Creative Writing Teacher
Courtney Latter MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD
Speech Language Pathologist 
Move(ment): The Poetics of Purposeful Communication & Action


The cadence of poetry can function as an introduction to rhythm and timing which helps students with Autism and Developmental Disabilities communicate and interact with their environment. Through the use of an interdisciplinary model the presenters will showcase support of students at various developmental capacities in creating and sharing ideas while moving together as one.
Peter Galub- MA, MT-BC, LCAT. Verse/Chorus/Verse: Using Songs to Build and Cultivate Relationships To 21 and A song can serve as a powerful therapeutic tool to help build and cultivate relationships. Through video case study, this Music Therapist will illustrate how he uses songs as a resource to help foster opportunities for growth and meaningful connection within the context of a relationship in DIR Floortime.
Rae Leeper, M.A.
Sam Stabile, M.S. Ed. Educational Supervisors
Kara Bernstein, M.Ed.
Michelle Flax
Head Teachers 
Building Learning Communities: Differentiating Instruction in a DIR Floortime Classroom Head Teachers will show video case study examples of how to support both group as well as individualized instruction in order to support student’s unique learning profiles. DIR Floortime strategies will be highlighted to illustrate the use of affect, sensory support, and emotionally meaningful content as teachers help to glue students together in group learning activities.
Colette Ryan MSEd.-DIRC special education teacher & ICDL member Going for the Gleam in the Eye! One of our cornerstone concepts as Floortimers, going for the gleam in the eye sets the tone for a session filled with joy. This presentation describes the gleam in the eye, why it is important, and what it bring to a session, and includes a case study with examples of getting the gleam in the eye.
Lynne Kalvin, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor “My brother has autism” a sibling’s perspective Siblings of children with autism face similar challenges to those of their parents. Often sibs, take on parental responsibilities at a very young age in an attempt to help out their parents. Sibs frequently experience a wide range of conflicting feelings including guilt, anger, frustration as well as love, caring and compassion. Group discussions and shared experiences with other siblings “in the same boat” often enables them to manage negative experiences, while feeling understood.



PM SESSIONS (12:45- 2:15)

Maude Le Roux, OTR/L, SIPT, DIR Expert / Trainer Symbolic Play: Reinforcing Theory of Mind and Emotional Perspective in Social Skill Why do children prefer to play with specific toys? What is their symbolic meaning? Theory will be provided on layers of emotional growth in the subconscious, illustrated through video case samples. Both children with higher functioning skills, as well as the extraordinary abilities of those more profoundly impacted by developmental delay will be discussed.
Emily Rozanski, MA Early Childhood Education

Tanya Shteinfeld, MFA, ATR

The Art of Play: Integrating Art Activities in a Floortime Classroom Art-making increases self-awareness which is a cornerstone for relating and communicating. The Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) is a means to classify and organize art interactions with the advancement of complex mental and emotional processing. Using art activities within the ETC framework is a means to promote functional-emotional development (FEDC 1-6), develop rapport, and support educational goals in a Floortime setting.
Dave Nelson, MBA, MS, LPC Executive Administrative Director, The Community School Building Friendship, One Interaction at a Time: A Case Study The process of two people getting to know each other is complex and subtle; for people with challenges in relating and communicating, even harder. This case study will demonstrate the evolving relationship of two middle-school aged boys, exploring how caregivers can best be supportive of the relationship evolution, possibly resulting in true friendship.
Jennifer Shonkoff, M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD Don’t Flip the Script A hallmark of ASD is “echolalia” or what we typically refer to as “scripting,” which is defined by Prizant and Rydell (1984) simply as, “the repetition of utterances produced by others.” It is a strategy used by typically developing children as they acquire language, and can be helpful for individuals with ASD as they begin to broaden their use of language and comprehension of the world in meaningful contexts.
Zachary Kandler, MA, MT-BC
Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist
From Beethoven to Star Wars: Accessing Musical Passions to Inspire Transformation This presentation will explore a music therapy case with a child with an anxiety and developmental disorder. Using video excerpts, the presenter will highlight the use of playful musical experiences to support a young boy in working through anxieties around developing close relationships and sustaining thinking-based interactions.