6th Annual New York Conference
Stress: Understanding its Impact, Symptoms & Recovery
Everyone knows stress. It is part of life, part of development, and for many families and children with special needs and ASD, stress is inevitable and often persistent. Learning difficulties, anxiety, medical conditions, chronic pain, communication and functional difficulties cause emotional and behavioral challenges. Stress affects the brain and interferes with development. This conference will focus on the body-mind connection and how rapid state changes turn into stress responses. Promoting and restoring physiological calm and attention for relating and learning is essential and is the foundation for all facets of development. We will introduce the new technology to detect stress and show how the DIR Model supports and restores physiological and emotional regulation to allow development to progress.
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Gilbert Foley, EdD
Gilbert M. Foley, Ed.D., currently serves as Consulting Clinical Director at The New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD) in Manhattan and Consulting Psychologist and faculty member of the Institute for Parenting at Adelphi University. He is a retired tenured faculty member from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he taught for 20 years in the Department of School-Clinical Child Psychology and coordinated the Infancy Early Childhood track. For 13 years, he was Senior Clinical Supervisor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center following his tenure as Chief Psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics’ Special Needs Preschool Program at Schneider Children’s Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center.Dr. Foley has focused his entire career as a psychologist and educator primarily in the field of infancy and early childhood. He began as the psychologist for the Berks County (PA) Preschool, Head Start and Childcare Programs. Following this position, he directed and served as Principle Investigator of the Family Centered Resource Project, a federally funded model/ demonstration, outreach and technical assistance agency that provided training and consultation to Infant/ early-childhood professionals and programs across the nation. While serving as the Chief Psychologist in the Pediatric Department of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, he trained in psychoanalysis and also completed a fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center with the late, Sally Provence. Dr. Foley is co-author of the Cognitive Observation Guide(Communication Skill Builders/Psych. Corp),The Supportive Play Model(Teacher’s College Press) and with Dr. Jane Hochman, Mental Health in Early Intervention: Achieving Unity in Principles and Practice(Paul H. Brookes). The Loss-Grief Model developed by Dr. Foley, is the official approach adopted by the State of Colorado Department of Education, Division of Exceptional Children’s Parent Program. He is the author of numerous articles and has lectured nationally and internationally recently returning from a lecture tour in South Africa and was an invited speaker at the first international conference on preschool education in China sponsored by UNICEF and Nanjing University. Dr. Foley serves as a faculty member at the Parent-Infant Study Center of The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS), New York City; The Institute for Parenting, Certificate Program in Infant Mental Health, Adelphi University; The DIR/Floortime Institute of Profectum Foundation, The Interdisciplinary Council for Learning and Developmental Disorders(ICDL)/Fielding University Ph.D. program in Child Development and the College of Education and Human Services, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is a founding board member of the Pennsylvania Association of Infant Mental Health and has served as a co-president of the New York Zero to Three Network and president of the Association of Early Childhood and Infant Psychology. His work has been acknowledged by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, The State of Connecticut Birth to Six Planning Committee, The State of Kansas and the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens. He served as a member of the State of Pennsylvania Task Force on the Family.
Constance Lillas, PhD, MFT, RN
Director of the Interdisciplinary Training Institute, Los Angeles /Connie Lillas, PhD, MFT, RN is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Training Institute with a background in high-risk maternal-child nursing, family systems, and developmental psychoanalysis. She is a National Graduate Zero to Three Leadership Fellow and a Court Team Liaison for a birth to three-year-old Fostering Family Partnerships pilot promoting child welfare reform in Los Angeles. Connie has a full-time private practice, specializing in dual diagnosis across both developmental delays and mental health concerns. In addition, she trains locally, nationally, and internationally on the Neurorelational Framework (NRF, 2009) based upon her co-authored book—Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice, which is a part of the W. W. Norton Interpersonal Neurobiology Series.
Traci Swink, MD
Traci Swink, MD is the co-founder and Medical Director of the Bridge Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin. The Bridge Center is a nonprofit organization that provides developmental intervention programs to children with autism and other special needs. Dr. Swink is a DIR model certified trainer in Wisconsin and a faculty member of Profecturm Academy and the DIR model Institute. Dr. Swink provides supervision and training for the P.L.A.Y Project as well as participating in regional and national P.L.A.Y Project professional training conferences. Dr. Swink is a pediatric neurologist who has dedicated the past 10 years of her career to helping parents cope with the challenges of autism and empowering parents to become the ‘expert’ on their child’s special needs.
Celebrate the Children’s founder, Monica G. Osgood, is an experienced behavioral consultant and therapist who specializes in using developmental approaches to support children with autism and other differences in relating and communicating. She is also the Founder and Director of the Developmental Center for Children and Families and Executive Director and a founding member of the Profectum Foundation. Monica has worked in homes, therapy centers, and private and public school settings for over 20 years. Some of her experience has included assessment and the development of intervention programs, curriculum and IEP development, and parent and professional training. In 1998, Monica created the first public school program with the Developmental Individual Relationship-based (DIR model) approach as the core philosophy. ?In 2000, she was the first educator to join the Senior Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning(ICDL) to provide interdisciplinary training in the DIR Model. During her time with ICDL, Monica served as Faculty for all of their yearly training institutes, spoke at many of their conferences and had the opportunity to work closely and collaborate with Drs. Greenspan and Wieder to further develop the DIR Model in school settings. ?In 2004, she collaborated with Lauren Blaszak to open a state-approved, DIR Model school for children ages 3-21 in Denville, New Jersey, now serving over 70 school districts and 130 families. Additional accomplishments include, many speaking engagements at conferences and participation in television, radio and newspaper interviews across the USA, Wales, Ireland and Amsterdam. Monica has appeared on Welsh Channel 4 and BBC1 documentaries, sharing the DIR model approach with British parents and professionals. Monica and the Celebrate the Children school were featured in a TIME Magazine cover story in May of 2006. ?She serves on the Advisory Board for 3LPlace and the National Advisory Council for The Centers for Exceptional Children?. Monica also serves on the Economic Development Advisory Council and the Sustainable Economic Development Plan Steering Committee for her local Town Council. Finally, she collaborated with twice Grammy nominated children’s artists Dan Myers and Brady Rymer on an album and music video celebrating diversity in children with all abilities released April 2011.
Rosalind Picard, ScD
Founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, co-director of the Media Lab’s Advancing Wellbeing Initiative, and faculty chair of MIT’s Mind+Hand+Heart Initiative / Rosalind W. Picard, Sc.D. is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, co-director of the Media Lab’s Advancing Wellbeing Initiative, and faculty chair of MIT’s Mind+Hand+Heart Initiative. She has co-founded Empatica, Inc. creating wearable sensors and analytics to improve health, and Affectiva, Inc. delivering technology to help measure and communicate emotion. Picard holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and master’s and doctorate degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from MIT. She started her career as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories designing VLSI chips for digital signal processing and developing new algorithms for image compression. In 1991 she joined the MIT Media Lab faculty. She became internationally known for constructing mathematical models for content-based retrieval of images and for pioneering methods of automated search and annotation in digital video including the creation of the Photobook system. The year before she was up for tenure she took a risk and published the book, Affective Computing, which became instrumental in starting a new field by that name. Today that field has its own journal, international conference, and professional society. Picard also served as a founding member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Wearable Information Systems in 1998, helping launch the field of wearable computing. Picard has authored or co-authored over two hundred scientific articles and chapters spanning computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, human-computer interaction, wearable sensors and affective computing. She is a recipient of several best paper prizes, including work on machine learning with multiple models (with Minka, 1998), a best theory paper prize for affect in human learning (with Kort and Reilly, 2001) a best Face and Gesture paper prize for work with facial expressions (with McDuff, Kaliouby and Demirdjian, 2013) and a best UBICOMP paper for an automated conversation coach (with Hoque et al, 2013). Her paper (with Healey, 2005) measuring stress in Boston drivers was recognized as “best paper of the decade 2000-2009” for IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems. Picard is an active inventor with multiple patents, including wearable and non-contact sensors, algorithms, and systems for sensing, recognizing, and responding respectfully to human affective information. Her inventions have applications in autism, epilepsy, depression, PTSD, sleep, stress, dementia, autonomic nervous system disorders, human and machine learning, health behavior change, market research, customer service, and human-computer interaction. In 2005 she was named a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to image and video analysis and affective computing. CNN named her one of seven “Tech SuperHeros to Watch in 2015.” Picard has been honored with dozens of distinguished and named lectureships and other international awards. She is a popular speaker and has given over 100 keynote talks. Picard has served on numerous international and national science and engineering program committees, editorial boards, and review panels, including the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) division of Computers in Science and Engineering (CISE), the Advisory Board for the Georgia Tech College of Computing, and the Editorial Board of User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research. Picard interacts regularly with industry and has consulted for many companies including Apple, AT&T, BT, HP, i.Robot, Merck, Motorola, and Samsung. Her group’s achievements have been featured in forums for the general public such as The New York Times, The London Independent, National Public Radio, Scientific American Frontiers, ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight, Time, Vogue, Wired, Forbes, Voice of America Radio, New Scientist, and BBC programs such as “Hard Talk” and BBC Horizon with Michael Mosley. Picard lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her amazing husband and three energetic sons.
Ricki Robinson, MD, MPH
Ricki Robinson, M.D., M.P.H. is co-director of Descanso Medical Center for Development and Learning in La Canada, California and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School Medicine of USC. She has been in private pediatric practice for nearly forty years, specializing in children with autism and developmental delays for over twenty-five years. Dr. Robinson received her M.D. degree in 1973 from the University of Southern California. She trained in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, having served as Chief Pediatric Resident for CHLA in 1976. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics. In 1988 she received her MPH from the University at Berkeley School of Public Health. She has been actively involved in the field of autism since 1990, developing multidisciplinary educational and medical programs for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and devoting endless hours in education, legislation and research efforts on a national level. Dr. Robinson has been at the forefront of leading grassroots autism organizations. She was a founding board member of Cure Autism Now (now Autism Speaks) and the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL), and most recently Profectum Foundation. She was a member of the Autism Speaks Scientific Review Panel for over eight years. Dr. Robinson organized and chaired the first nationally recognized task force to define the standard of care for clinical trials in autism. The results of this outstanding effort were published in CNS Spectrums (January 2004, Vol. 9, #1). Most recently she was appointed as Medical Director of Profectum Foundation, an organization devoted to providing multi-disciplinary education and training for parents, families and professionals working with individuals with ASD across the lifespan. A nationally sought-after expert, she has appeared on the Today Show, The Talk, Larry King Live and Good Morning America Health in support of the needs of children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is an internationally recognized speaker addressing the needs of children with autism and other developmental delays to parent, professional and lay audiences worldwide for the past two decades. She is also the author of the acclaimed book Autism Solutions – How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child (see www.DrRickiRobinson.com).
Ruby Salazar, LCSW, BCD
Ruby Salazar is a child and family psychotherapist who has worked with children and families for over forty years. She is the Founder and Director of Pennsylvania Lifespan Services, a family-focused practice of developmental and mental health professionals with offices in Clarks Summit and Narberth, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Lifespan Services has nationally lead excellent care and provided services for many since 1982. Mrs. Salazar received a BS from New York University and MSS from Smith College, followed by a post graduate psychoanalytic certificate in the treatment of children from the Karen Horney Psychoanalytic Institute, New York City. Having practiced, consulted, published, lectured, and trained with a focus on developmental and family care, and taught at Columbia University, Marywood University, Keystone College and ICDL Graduate School, she currently is on the faculties of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Medical School, Fielding University, Profectum Academy (and was a founding member), The Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Fellowship Program at UMass Napa. Mrs. Salazar is PA Touchpoints site coordinator, having co-founded, the first medical Touchpoints program. She worked in the office of three PA governors as a child-care consultant and was appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Council for Children. Mrs. Salazar was also appointed to the PA Department of Welfare Workgroup to establish Autism Assessment Policy and clinically directed both the ASD Comprehensive Assessment Project and the PA Department of Early Intervention Reflective Supervision Project. Proudly, Mrs. Salazar chaired candidate Obama’s first Autism Workgroup who drafted the bill which became ASD Federal Law. Mrs. Salazar has received many professional awards, among them the first Sally Provence Award for excellence in infant and family practice from Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Girl Scouts of America Professional of the Year award and National Guidance Counselors Association Professional Excellence award, all Washington, D.C.
Serena Wieder, PhD
Dr. Wieder is the Clinical Director and a founding member of the Profectum Foundation, dedicated to advancing the development and infant mental health of all children, including children, adolescents and adults with autism and special needs through training and educational programs. She also co-founded the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders with the late Stanley Greenspan. Dr. Wieder is a Board Member of Zero to Three and also serves on Advisory Boards to various programs serving infant mental health and other special needs. She established DIR-Israel and provides consultation and training to international and national programs. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Wieder has pioneered important approaches to diagnosing and treating infants and toddlers with infant mental health and developmental disorders. She co-developed the DIR Model with Stanley Greenspan, edited two diagnostic manuals for infants and young children, and created models for interdisciplinary post-graduate case based training and work with parents. She has co-chaired and organized national and international conferences integrating development, neuroscience and intervention approaches for nearly 20 years. Dr. Wieder also developed approaches to integrate visual-spatial knowledge to advance emotional and cognitive development. Her research interests concern follow up studies of children on the Autism Spectrum who have received DIR comprehensive interventions and the evaluation of training and educational programs. Dr. Wieder co-authored Engaging Autism, The Child With Special Needs and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health with Stanley Greenspan, M.D. They also co-edited Infants in Multi-Risk Families as well as the ICDL Diagnostic Manual for Infants and Young Children (DMIC) and the original Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC 03). Most recently, Dr. Wieder co-authored Visual Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling, and Movement with Harry Wachs, O.D. She has published numerous journal and book chapters and presents at multiple conferences nationally and internationally. At this time, Dr. Wieder also has a private practice in NYC for diagnosis, treatment and consultation regarding complex developmental and mental health challenges.
Sima Gerber, PhD, CCC-SLP
Sima Gerber, Ph.D., CCC is a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders of Queens College, City University of New York. She has been a speech-language pathologist for over 40 years, specializing in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental challenges. Dr. Gerber is on the faculty of Profectum Academy and the Advisory Board of the New York Zero-to-Three Network. She has presented nationally and abroad on the topics of language acquisition and developmental approaches to assessment and intervention for children on the autism spectrum. Most recently, Dr. Gerber was a visiting professor at the University of Haifa in Israel.Dr. Gerber is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Tal Baz OTR/L, MS, OTR/L
Tal Baz, MS, OTR/L is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist who has practiced as a DIRFloortime® therapist, supervisor and consultant for more than fifteen years and works both nationally and internationally with families, clinicians, and various school systems. She has a clinical practice in Somerville, MA, and is teaching DIRFloortime® courses through the Profectum Foundation, nationally as well as internationally. Her special interests are in sensory-affective regulation, as it develops within the parent-child relational field. Tal has served on the DIR Faculty since 2001.
Theresa Hamlin, EdD
Theresa Hamlin, Ed.D. is the Associate Executive Director at The Center for Discovery, a New York State designated Center of Excellence for children and adults with complex developmental disabilities including intellectual disabilities and medical frailties, Down’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Hamlin has been designing programs for children with complex disorders for more than 33 years, and is the author of the recently published book, “Autism and The Stress Effect” – a guide for parents and teachers to help children with autism regulate their experiences to reduce the debilitating effects of stress. Dr. Hamlin lectures nationally and internationally about the physical, mental and social development of children as they relate to health and educational practices for those with complex developmental disabilities. She has developed a model whole-body approach to teaching called the HealthE6, which is practiced at The Center for Discovery. Actively engaged in research, Dr. Hamlin oversees the research program at The Center for Discovery including the Lab-School initiative that has been developed with advanced technology to study the effects of the environment on children with autism and other complex disorders. The efforts are joined by scientists from leading universities such as Harvard Medical School, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Columbia University/New York Presbyterian, University of Colorado, and University of North Carolina. Dr. Hamlin received her doctorate from St. John’s University, Master’s Degree from Columbia University and a post-Masters, professional diploma from State University New York at New Paltz. She also holds a certificate as teacher of the visually impaired from Dominican College.