Contact: Andrea Davis, Ph.D. / 626-795-7910/
Release Date: Immediate
Parent Choice in Autism Treatment – 2nd Annual Day of Fun for Children and Adolescents, Answers for Parents
Professionals and Families will gather to support parent choice of treatment methods for their children with special needs. Information will be available about developmental approaches to treatment.
Last year’s inaugural event brought music, games, activities, beautiful weather, good food and dynamic speakers with more than 400 people attending to celebrate children with disabilities and to learn more about DIR/Floortime intervention programs. Resources were available for parents, including books and training materials from the Interdisciplinary Council of Developmental and Learning Disabilities and booths were staffed by area autism treatment experts. Many non-competitive, inclusive games and activities were available including a water balloon group parachute toss, noodle badminton, bounce house marathon, and a Home Depot planting project in which company volunteers assisted each child, proudly wearing a Home Depot bright orange mini-apron, in planting their own individual flowers in a pot to take home.
This year can be expected to be a repeat of the highly successful 2011 event with even more opportunities for fun, creativity, engaging live musical performances, interactive entertainment, delicious food and treats, and prizes for all children. The exciting and innovative sounds of the band Arrest My Sister, trained Therapy Dogs to meet and greet, and a musical performance from Actors for Autism include a few of the highlights on tap, with participation once again from Home Depot to offer hands-on planting activities for children. Dr. Andrea Davis, event organizer, promises that this year the games and activities will demonstrate the principles of developmental treatment approaches. She says, “My best description of what this event is all about is this: DIR/Floortime is a wonderful way for families to help children with developmental challenges grow and become flexible, spontaneous, and joyful. Our games this year will show what Floortime is like—when adults attend, engage, interact, expand, pretend, challenge, and launch, then children learn to regulate, connect, reciprocate, communicate, imagine, think, and grow!”
Jim Lantry, a national advocate for the rights of the developmentally disabled, will once again attend to provide updates on legislative progress for parent choice as well as answer parents’ pressing questions about new insurance bills and Regional Center funding for developmental treatment. A multidisciplinary group of Developmental Pediatricians, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Marriage and Family Therapists hosting the event will also be available to answer parent questions.
Dr. Diane Cullinane, chairperson of the DIR/Floortime Coalition of California (http://www.dirfloortimecoc.com) and Executive Director of Pasadena Child Development Associates, kicked off the event last year explaining the purpose of the day: “This is a fun day for children to enjoy with their families, and for parents, a day to learn about resources for their children. The DIR®/Floortime Coalition of California is a group of parents and professionals from throughout California who have come together to promote parent choice in the treatment options for their children… DIR/Floortime provides a powerful approach for helping children to become curious, creative, and warmly engaged in the world. It is important that parents have the opportunity to learn about this highly effective way to support their child’s development.”
Professionals specializing in the field of autism treatment will explain for families the DIR®/Floortime Model (Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-
Dr. Andrea Davis reported last year that “It was exciting to see what we had created together, especially to enjoy the atmosphere of inclusion of kids and teens with special needs in an event that offered something fun for everyone.” She explained, “The reason the Coalition is hosting this family-oriented event is that parents of special needs kids need numerous questions answered and they need a community of support from understanding parents and informed professionals. On April 15th, we aim to provide parents with hope and information about how to become an integral part of helping their child reach his or her highest potential.”
A parent of a child with autism shared, “It was a great pleasure to see joy on the faces of so many children who participated in the multiple games, jumping, lively music, treats, and outdoors. It was definitely a day of family bonding. My daughter loved the roaming puppets and planting offered by Home Depot. What a great, informative day of sheer fun, information, and belonging!”
Free registration for the event can be found at http://floortime.eventbrite.com.