Raising the Bar: Educational Approaches that Go Beyond Labels

This conference will provide an overview of the latest insights into the unique profiles and experiences of children and young adults on the autistic spectrum and other developmental and emotional disorders. A comprehensive overview of the application of evidenced-based developmental practices in the classroom and clinic will be presented by teachers, administrators, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and mental health professionals working in both private and public school settings. Program components that promote regulation, sensory-motor development, visual-spatial capacities, engagement, intentionality, problem-solving, symbolic and abstract thinking will be illustrated through classroom video examples. Teachers and therapists use affective, emotionally meaningful, experience-based activities tailored to the individual needs of the students to maximize motivation, comprehension, and retention of knowledge. The principle of “discovery vs. teaching” is emphasized as teachers and therapists promote thinking vs. memorization in the classroom. Case studies will be used to demonstrate how children with developmental challenges can build strong relationships and become creative, global thinkers who are prepared for the 21st century. The newly published Profectum DIR-FCD IEP Goal Bank and data collection program will be demonstrated and available for purchase. Finally, the integration of the use of technology to maximize participation and communication will also be incorporated.

The unique features of this conference include an optional tour of the Celebrate the Children School in action the day prior to the conference and many hands-on workshops each day. The combination of experiencing a DIR-FCD program in action followed by a conference that provides the practice of the practical application of the model gives participants a wealth of ideas and strategies to go back to his or her own home or work and immediately apply what they learned!

Who should attend?

Professionals of all disciplines including education and parents concerned with the development of individuals with challenges in relating, communicating, learning, making transitions and developing competencies for independent living.

Click here to read the Conference Presenter Bios

Serena Wieder, PhD
An Introduction to the DIR-FCD™ School Model
Monica G. Osgood; Lauren Blaszak
DIR-FCD™  Model Case of a Preschool Student, including DIR-FCD™ IEP Goals
Michelle Rehse, BA; Mary Alice Landis, MS
10: 30-11:00
The Journey of Learning How to Become a Learner
Michele Ricamato, MA, CCC-SLP;  Linda Cervenka, MA, CCC-SLP
LUNCH – On Your Own
Track 1a: The DIR-FCD™   School Model for the Younger Student
Celebrate the Children, Lakewood Public School, Firefly Learning Center  & LEEP Forward Staff

Track 2a: The DIR-FCD™   School Model for the Older Student
Celebrate the Children, Villa Esperanza & Soaring Eagle Academy Staff

Track 3a: Leadership and the Complexity of Fostering and Supporting Change in School Culture
Celebrate the Children, Imagine Academy, Playforward, The Phoenix Center Staff & Administration

Track 4a: Related Service Groups: Creative Approaches to Functional Goals
Celebrate the Children &The Phoenix Center Staff

Track 5a: The Role of the Mental Health Provider in a DIR-FCD™ School: A Counselor’s Perspective
Celebrate the Children Staff
Track 1b: The Missing Piece: Including Parents and Parent Coaching in School Intervention using the Profectum Parent Toolbox
Celebrate the Children Staff & Parents

Track 2b:  Broadening Perspectives: How to Assess, Support and Develop Visual-Spatial Thinking in the Classroom
Celebrate the Children Staff
Track 3b: Collaborative Dual-Methodology Programming
Celebrate the Children & Imagine Academy Staff

Track 4b: Experienced Based Learning: Fostering Discovery vs. Memorization in the Classroom or Therapy Session
Celebrate the Children & The Phoenix Center Staff

Track 5b: Supporting the “I” in Education for the Professional
LEEP Forward Staff

Monica G. Osgood; Lauren Blaszak
The Phoenix Center – Music and Movement: A Case Study Using the DIR-FCD™ Model
Christine DeLoughry-Lama, MA, OTR/L; Lynn Abelson, MA, CCC-SLP, OTR/L
The DIR-FCD™ School Model for Adolescents and Adults
Karen McDowell, BS; Monica G. Osgood
An Introduction to the Profectum DIR-FCD™ Goal Bank for Children with Diverse Needs
Laura Baldwin, BA, MA Candidate, Floortime Specialist; Jackie DeJoseph, BS; Amy Keveanos, BA, MA Candidate; Ariel Hegedus MA, CCC-SLP;  Amy Goff, MA, OTR/L
12:15 – 12:45
A Teacher Walks Into A Bar: Using Humor to Prepare Students to Learn
Andy Kleiman, MSEd
LUNCH – On Your Own
Track 1c: The DIR-FCD™ IEP Goal Bank Hands-On Practice for Preschool and Elementary Aged Students
Celebrate the Children, Lakewood Public School & LEEP Forward Staff

Track 2c:  The DIR-FCD™ IEP  Goal Bank Hands-On Practice for Middle and High School Students
Celebrate the Children, Imagine Academy & Villa Esperanza Staff

Track 3c: Developmental, Semi-structured and Structured Communication Programs
Celebrate the Children, The Phoenix Center & Soaring Eagle Academy Staff

Track 4c: Fine Arts and the DIR-FCD™  Model Engage the Mind, the Brain and Body will Follow
Celebrate the Children Staff

Track 5c: Transition and Working towards Independence:  A Collaborative Approach
Celebrate the Children Staff
2:45- 3:15
Track 1d: Lesson Planning for the DIR-FCD™ Preschool and Elementary Classrooms
Celebrate the Children, Lakewood Public School & LEEP Forward Staff

Track 2d: Lesson Planning for the DIR-FCD™ Middle and High School Classrooms
Celebrate the Children, Villa Esperanza & Soaring Eagle Academy Staff

Track 3d: Supporting Effective Movement for the Development of Functional Skills and Communication
Celebrate the Children Staff

Track 4d: Understanding Behavior: A Developmental Perspective
Celebrate the Children & Villa Esperanza Staff

Track 5d: Intensive Training and Coaching for Staff to Facilitate Development in the Classroom
Celebrate the Children & Soaring Eagle Academy Staff
Wine & Cheese Networking Reception

Registration Information

Registration Type Early Bird Rate
Now thru Sept. 30
Regular Rate
Oct. 1 – Nov. 7
Two Days $175 $200
One Day Only $105 $125
CE Fee $30 $30


Do you qualify for a 15% discount?

  • Groups of 5+  For group registrations, at least 5 registrants must register at the same time.

If you meet the discount criteria above, please contact emily.mohr@profectum.org for information and instructions on how to register with a discount code.

Discounts do not apply to CE fees.

Registration and Cancellation Policy

Registrations and payments must be received no later than Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Confirmations and receipts are furnished by email. Any registration received after Wednesday, October 23, 2019 will be considered, providing space is available.

We DO NOT invoice for our events. All attendees or groups must have a paid registration prior to the event.

Written cancellation or change notifications must be received no later than Wednesday, October 23, 2019 via email to emily.mohr@profectum.org. A cancellation/change processing fee of $25 will be charged.

After Wednesday, October 23, 2019, no refunds or credit for future events will be given. Substitute attendees are welcome but we must be notified with their name and contact information. Please understand that if you do not attend you are still liable for full payment.

In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled, you will be notified immediately via email and a credit will be issued toward a rescheduled conference, or the entire submitted registration fee will be refunded without further liability on the part of the organizer.

Additional Registration Information

Registration opens at 8:00 am. Please check-in at the registration desk to receive your name badge and day of schedule. Sessions will start promptly at 8:30 am.

Printed presentation handouts will NOT be provided. Presentation handouts will be available on our website approximately 1-week prior to the conference for you to download and/or print if desired.

As you prepare to attend this conference, remember that meeting room climates vary, so we recommend that you wear layered clothing to ensure your personal comfort. As a consideration to all participants, we ask that you turn all cellular phones and pagers to a non-audible mode during the presentations. Children and unregistered guests are not permitted in the meeting rooms.

More detailed information will be emailed to you closer to the date of the conference.

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities & Special Needs Request

If you require ADA accommodations or have a special needs request, please email emily.mohr@profectum.org at least 1-week prior to the conference date so that arrangements can be made.

Want to be a Conference Sponsor?

Here’s how…view the Conference Sponsorship Prospectus for the all the details and amenities available to you.

Made the decision to be a Sponsor?

Resource Partners

Want to join the Conference as a Resource Partner? Click on the button below for more information.

Continuing Education

A general certificate of attendance will be issued to all conference participants via email for each day of attendance.  Specific approved continuing education boards certificates of attendance will be sent to participants who are registered and complete the course requirements for continuing education credits. The certificate will note the number of instructional hours for the day in attendance.

Registration opens at 8:00 am. Check-in at the CE registration desk to receive your name badge and day of schedule. Sessions will start promptly at 8:30 am.

Completion Requirements

For those learners that have signed up for Continuing Education credit, please find your discipline below are read the requirements.

Occupational Therapists/Occupational Therapy Assistants
Learners must attend presentations for the full scheduled time, sign the attendance sheets at required intervals and submit an evaluation. Credit will be awarded for those CE approved presentations that were attended fully.

New York Licensed Master Social Workers & Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Learners must attend the entire scheduled day, sign the attendance sheets at required intervals and submit an evaluation. Credit will not be awarded for partial attendance of the day.


Occupational Therapists/Occupational Therapy Assistants
Profectum Foundation is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. Provider #9365. This Conference is offered for up to 1.15 AOTA CEUs / 11.5 Contact Hours ( 5.5 hrs. on Thursday, November 7, 2019; 6 hrs. on Friday, November 8, 2019) (Intermediate)

The assignment of AOTA CEs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. See course complete requirements section above. AOTA Classification Codes that apply to this Conference:  Domain of OT – Areas of Occupation | Domain of OT – Performance Skills | Occupational Therapy Process – Intervention 

If a learner is in need of their participant record from this Course, send an email with the request to the AOTA CE Administrator at liza.kali@profectum.org

New York Licensed Master Social Workers & Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Profectum Foundation is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0413. This Conference is approved for up to 11.75 contact hours. [ 5.75 contact hours on Thursday, November 7, 2019; 6 contact hours on Friday, November 8, 2019]  Registrants must attend the entire Conference day to receive credit, no partial credit can be issued.

Contact your own board or organization for specific filing requirements. Download and save the Conference Brochure and keep your certificate of attendance.

Visit the Registration tab for our Cancellation Policy.

Conference Location

Celebrate the Children School
230 Diamond Spring Road
Denville, New Jersey 07834

Area Hotels

Hampton Inn Denville/Rockaway/Parsippany

350 Morris Avenue, Denville, New Jersey, 07834
ph.  973.664.1050

Closest hotel to Conference Venue. Driving distance to restaurants, shops.

Hilton Garden Inn Rockaway

375 Mount Hope Avenue, Rockaway, NJ 07866
ph.  973.328.0600

Shortest walking distance to mall and multiple restaurants. Further drive from Conference Venue.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Dover-Rockaway

2 Commerce Center Drive, Dover, NJ 07801
ph. 973.989.8899

Mall and restaurants nearby. Further drive to Conference Venue.

Click to go to the Conference Handout page.  This is a password protected page available to conference attendees only.  Please check you email for the announcement that contains the password.