Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Floortime Conference Hits with Force

The DIR/Floortime Coalition of California 2nd Annual Conference and Gala in Burbank, California hit us with a 'big bang' on October 20th, 2012.  It didn't create an explosion, but it sure hit with impact.  How did it makes its force felt?

First, the first-hand accounts from young adults with autism revealed how Floortime developmental therapy is viewed and experienced by those who have been recipients.  These three panelists enthralled our 250-size audience of therapists and parents for the entire time they shared their perspectives on their autism and their success. These self-posessed young men were nervous in front of so large a crowd but overcame nerves and in the process showed themselves to be poignant, articulate, and funny.  With wit and self-awareness, one of the three revealed his admitted over-focus on his favorite pastime: game shows. Later he surprised and delighted the audience by his answer to a question about his career aspirations: maybe you guessed it--he intends to become a game show host!  He had so entertained everyone by this point that we could imagine his success in the role.  Questions kept coming in waves from us therapists in the audience on little white cards, often centering on the burning question: what do you think helped you most?  We were surprised and humbled to hear that it was their parents who got the most credit from these young people throughout the panel discussion!  Apparently, the efforts of supportive parents do not go unnoticed.

Second, the groundbreaking news from the researcher with the York University study of the efficacy of autism, Devin Casenheiser, encouraged us with the news that randomized controlled trial results do demonstrate statistically significant and profound advantage of developmental therapy (DIR/Floortime) over applied behavior analysis for fostering meaningful change in children.

Third, I had the honor of preparing a panel of Floortime parents to give talks and show videos about Floortime intervention across the years in their homes with their children.  These parents blew us away with their profound insights on the impact of Floortime on their families.  They talked about how Floortime helped them see and deeply accept their children, how it helped them value the relationship with their child, how it helped the siblings become part of the therapy and to become close to the child with autism, how it taught them to use daily experiences to be playful and interactive, how it helped them see that there was real meaning in each child's difficult behaviors that one day were explained by the child!  I was really shocked at the depth of understanding.  One parent even explained how, despite this realization being rather unbelievable to herself, she is actually grateful for her daughter having autism because it led her to becoming a Floortime parent which has changed herself, her marriage, her parenting, her deep appreciation for her daughter, as well as changing her daughter!! We all learned that parents are the best advocates and preachers of the gospel of DIR. No Floortime professional or parent should miss out next year on the 3rd Annual DIR/Floortime Coalition of California--too big an opportunity to miss!

Finally, in the evening we all had fun at our dinner/ dance/ winetasting/ auction Gala raising desperately needed funds to keep DIR/Floortime available for families in California to choose for their child.  We went out with a bang, because the big speaker was Anthony Rich, Assistant Director on the megahit tv show, The Big Bang Theory!  He spoke about what it has meant to so many fans with autism to have a top show with a protagonist to whom they can really relate.  The evening's most exciting auction item was a bonanza of Big Bang show items donated and signed by the cast and producers of Big Bang.  It was a terribly important conference on the impact of Floortime and it sure hit home!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Greenhouse Summer Newsletter

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Seeds...for growing people. Greenhouse Therapy Center Newsletter- Summer 2012
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Floortime Anytime!

Summer is a great time to get out in the sunshine and create a fun experience for your child. Whether you’re in your back yard or at the Zoo remember, you can do Floortime anywhere and at anytime.

While in the backyard, try incorporating your child’s favorite (or most challenging) sensory experiences into the play by including water, paint, or music. *

If you’re going on an outing (especially to a new place) prepare for success by talking about what the experience could be like and imagining/planning together.

*see Floortime Strategies curriculum page B.6

Reader's Corner

Want to do something fun and therapeutic for your kids? The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun is a great resource for activities that address a variety of sensory needs. Carol Stock Kranowitz is an Occupational Therapist who details fun and family-friendly activities that can be used in or out of Floortime sessions.

Seeds...for growing people

Greenhouse Newsletter

Summer 2012


Thoughts from Dr. Andrea Davis, Director and Founder of Greenhouse Therapy Center

Congratulations! You are reading the very first Greenhouse newsletter, so you are making yourself a part of a new season of happenings at Greenhouse.  We are breathless from all the growth and change happening around our place, but we are deeply satisfied to hear of all the growth and change happening around YOUR place, meaning growth in you and in your children!  What do staff talk about when we meet up in the halls or kitchen office or on the sidewalk? Your childrens' growth!  Often we will stop calling folks back/typing email replies/writing session notes to savor together a moment from a Floortime playgroup where the kids astounded us with a major step forward in relationality or self-reflective ability. This is what excites us, this is what makes the long hours and the heavy workload all feel manageable. Now we are facing big uncertainties in how Regional Center funding will go with the new autism insurance bill in effect. We want to face these uncertainties in a DIR-inspired way: with flexibility, creativity, and togetherness! In that spirit, we will gather at Greenhouse on Wednesday night, August 29th (RSVP below) to hear from a local special needs attorney to help us navigate the new law together.  AND we want to celebrate the new release of research supporting what we already have known for so long (Floortime changes brains, changes families) at the October 20th DIR Conference.  In addition to hearing from the keynote speaker about his research study at York University, we'll have a parent panel, young adult panel, professional presentations, book signings, lunch, you name it, its not-to-be-missed.  Regional Center has vendored the conference, so some parents may get authorization to get funding to cover the registration! See details below and register to grab the early bird discount before 9/1. Families and staff at Greenhouse, we appreciate you and want to keep learning and growing together always.

Floortime Funding

August 29th, 2012- 7pm
Greenhouse is hosting an informational night to help parents navigate funding for services. Special needs lawyer (and father of a child with autism), Joseph Lee will be speaking. This is an essential opportunity for all Greenhouse families!
Email or call 626.765.1747 to RSVP.

Don't Miss Local DIR Conference

October 20th, 2012
The 2nd Annual Southern California DIR conference in Burbank is a great opportunity for parents and professionals to gather together and connect while learning more about the latest developments in the world of DIR/Floortime. Click here for more information.

Copyright © 2012 Greenhouse Therapy Center
685 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91106

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