Join us at a first-ever developmental differences conference

Written by: Lorell Marin, Erika Larson

Having worked in the pediatric therapy field for a combined total of almost 30 years has been incredibly rewarding over our careers.  By understanding each child’s individual needs and connecting with them through the power of playful relationships, we have seen children with a variety of diagnoses make remarkable progress, transition into school programs and lead the fulfilling lives that their parents dreamed of for them.    

As moms of young children ourselves, we understand the rigor, the self-doubt and the worry that accompany all of the joys of parenthood. These experiences as both mothers and therapists have led us to make an impassioned journey for the sake of children with special needs. 

It is important that parents and the therapeutic community know the research behind relationship-based therapies and how to apply it at home and in the field. It is this spirit that led us to create the National Pediatric Developmental Differences Forum (NPDDF), a thought leadership initiative for the advancement of relationship-based therapies.

Research is showing a marked increase in the diagnosis of various developmental delays and disorders among children. The NPDDF was founded because Chicago is home to some of the strongest educators, practitioners and leaders in the industry. It’s time to step up and the lead the nation on these issues. We feel that parents are an integral part of this process and encourage all parents who have children who are diverse learners to attend this innovative event. 

About the conference
NPDDF’s inaugural conference is entitled Connecting the Dots: How Research is Guiding the Treatment of Autism, Sensory Processing Disorders and Executive FunctioningParents will learn alongside educators, pediatricians and clinicians in the fields of Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Social Work, Psychology and Developmental Therapy.

Located at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, the event occurs October 22-24, 2015, and includes a Q&A reception at the Chicago Yacht Club and an evening networking reception with open exploration of the museum.

Parents can expect to learn

•   How developmental relationship-based therapies impact intervention and a child’s individual developmental progress

•   The DIR-FCD Model and the PLAY Project Autism Intervention Model

•   Executive functions of the brain and strategies for home and school to assist with challenges

•   Practical applications for clinic, home and school

•   How science and technology are impacting our treatment of autism

•   Research and efficacy-based interventions for children with developmental differences

•   How to tailor interactions and strategies based upon individual sensory-motor profiles

Keynote speakers
Serena Wieder, Ph.D, Clinical Director of Profectum and Co-creator of DIR/Floortime Model, Richard Solomon, MD., Developmental Pediatrician and Founder of the PLAY Project, Elizabeth Torres, Ph.D, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University and Sarah Ward, M.S. CCC-SLP, Co-Director of Cognitive Connections and expert on executive functioning in children.

The event also includes many breakout sessions that are geared for both parents and professionals.

Registration is open at The event is expected to sell out. 

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 2:04 PM