MARCH 1–2 • Greenville, SC

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Springbrook Behavioral Health invites professionals from across the nation to converge for two days of presentations and breakout discussions covering a wide range of topics related to Autism—from diagnosis, behavioral health, and treatment and therapy results.

Our A-list of speakers will represent a variety of fields including Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Analysis, Special Education, Speech and Language Pathology, and Youth Psychiatry. It would be our honor to host you at Converge 2018.

Registration is not open at this time, but check back soon or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to receive notification when ticket sales are open! You can also submit your e-mail via the contact form below to be added to our mailing list for Converge Autism Conference updates.

williamkillion

Dr. William Killion, PHD

Board Certified Behavioral Analyst

Dr. Killion possesses 40 plus years of direct experience with individuals with developmental disabilities including autism. He possesses a B.S. in Speech Pathology with a minor in Psychology, a M.Ed. in Special Education and a PhD in Developmental Psychology. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). He is the author of the Functional Independence Skills Handbook or F.I.S.H. Developmental Program.

Dr. Matthew Fisher

Dr. Matthew Fisher, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Fisher completed his General Psychiatry residency at the University of Texas-Galveston and a Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at University of South Carolina. He serves as Medical leader of SpringBrook’s Psychiatric Residential and Outpatient Treatment Program (specializing in treating Autism Spectrum Disorders) and is an authority in minimal medical management of ASD and ASD with comorbidities. Dr. Fisher speaks at Autism Conferences on Medical Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Medication Management for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Myths and Misconceptions in Autism, Autism and Co-Morbid Conditions, and Helping Siblings and Other Children Understand Autism.

Sara Keeney

Sara Keeney

Speech & Language Pathologist

Sara holds a master’s degree in communication disorders, has extensive experience with a variety of pediatric communication disorders and has chosen to work with autism as her specialty. Sara has worked in multiple settings including early intervention, speech and hearing clinics, a craniofacial team, elementary, middle and high schools and residential treatment facilities. In addition to her current position at Springbrook, she runs a private practice providing home based speech-language services.

Melanie Watt

Melanie Watt

Equine Therapy

Melanie has a Masters of Education and a background as Special Education teacher. She is now the Founder & Executive Director of Hope Remains Youth Ranch, an equine program that offers riding lessons, after school programs, certified equine therapy session and professional counseling to children and families throughout the Upstate of SC. Melanie has a heart for seeing children succeed and sees Hope Remains Youth Ranch as a place of healing, both physically, emotionally and spiritually for children and families.

Dillen-Hartley

Dillen Hartley

Occupational Therapy

Dillen graduated from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, School of Occupational Therapy and moved then moved to the United States. He is co-owner of Advanced Therapy Solutions. Dillen’s interest is in the areas of Autism, developmental disorders, sensory processing disorders, ADHD, ADD and learning disabilities. He is trained and experienced in sensory integration, neuromuscular re-education, brain gym, vision therapy, environmental adaptation, Tai-Chi, yoga, Interactive Metronome and Integrated Listening Systems. He serves on the Clinical Advisory Board for Interactive Metronome and he is also a certified iLs trainer and is often asked to present his views and treatment approaches in treatment of children internationally.

Jeff Cohn

Jeff Cohn

Occupational Therapy

With a BS and MS in Occupational Therapy, Jeffery has a deep well of educational professional experience. As lead OT in a pediatric development outpatient clinic, lead OT in CA school districts, experience in long and short term rehab facilities, and now with experience in the Autism Program at Springbrook Behavioral Health, Jeffry brings a wide range of real-world patient and clinical experience with a specialization in Autism.

Dr Ishmeal Major

Dr. Ishmeal Major

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Educated at The University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Dr. Ish is a board certified psychiatrist who specializes in women, children and families. He has worked as a resident physician in South Carolina, as Medical Director at outpatient services center and has owned his own private practice. In addition, as an on camera expert Dr. Ish is a frequent guest on Fox News and The Today show. He currently serves as Psychiatrist at Springbrook in the midst of this media and writing appearances and professional workshops.

“Janice

Janice Young, PHD

Director of Special Education, Springbrook

Dr. Young holds a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Education with a specialization in Special Education Leadership in addition to a Highly Qualified Professional teaching certificate (K-12 special education) and a principal licensure. She has an extensive background working with students with Autism, Developmental Delays, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Other Health Impairments. In addition, Dr. Young is well versed with many research-based reading strategies and is the author of the book Student Reading Achievement on the Rise.

Amanda Hassen

Amanda Hassen

Aquatic Therapy

Amanda earned her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from Belmont University and is currently a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Director Of Aquatic Therapy at Advanced Therapy Solutions Kids. Amanda has experience in applied evidence-based techniques in implementing a modified learn-to-swim and water safety program that meets the individual sensory needs of children diagnosed with Autism.

Amanda Hassen

Jennifer Ammacher

Special Education Teacher

Jennifer graduated from East Stroudsburg University with her MEd in Special Education. Jennifer currently serves as a teacher at SpringBrook and has extensive course work on ABA. Serving as a speaker at many national autism conferences, Jennifer speaks to teachers and parents on how to ensure that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders succeed in the classroom. She also speaks at conferences on Antecedent Behavior Intervention, Discrete Trial Training, and Differential Reinforcement & Extinction. Earlier in her career she was nominated for induction into the Da Vinci Science Center’s Hall of Fame.

Make Your Plans To Join Us

Converge 2018 is geared towards professionals in all fields relating to Autism. 
However, we invite parents and students to attend as well. Attendees may include Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Independent Therapists, Certified Counselors, Teachers, Mental Health Workers, Occupational Therapists, Board Certified Behavioral Therapists, and Speech and Language Pathologists, and Nurses. Attendance is limited to 250.

Registration is not open at this time, but check back soon or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to receive notification when ticket sales are open! You can also submit your e-mail via the contact form below to be added to our mailing list for Converge Autism Conference updates.

Sessions (2017)

2018 sessions to be announced!

Session 1

Autism & Applied Behavior Analysis

Speaker: William K. Killion Ph.D., BCBA

This presentation seeks to provide general information about Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which is a methodology that has shown clinical evidence in assisting people with autism by improving their basic functioning and skills. Specific characteristics of autism along with a presentation of ABA concepts/ terms, along with some specific tools will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles guiding the use of ABA for children on the spectrum.
• Attendees will have a good understanding of the benefits of ABA for individuals on the spectrum and the characteristics of who might bene t the most from this methodology.
• Attendees will learn and understand the specific characteristics of autism, ABA concepts/terms, principles, techniques and equipment used in ABA

Session 2

Finding Exceptional Abilities, Not Disabilities

Speaker: Jeffery Lee Cohn, OTR/L,MOT

Join Jeffery Cohn MAOTR/L for a discussion on understanding how children with ASD processes the sensory world that surrounds them. By understanding how children with ASD experience the auditory and visual world, you will understand and learn how to better work with them in the classroom, at home, and in therapy settings. You will also learn how to put children at ease during anxiety driven moments and how to avoid some triggers of anxiety. After this session, you will understand how to use the power of positive behavioral supports and how to better engage with children and join it them in their unique world. In turn, children will be freer to join you and discover the larger world as a whole.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles guiding how children with ASD process and learn.
• Attendees will learn and understand how children with ASD process the auditory and visual world, and learn how to better work with them in the classroom, at home, and in therapy settings.
• Attendees will learn and understand the principles and techniques of putting children at ease during anxiety driven moments and how to avoid some triggers of anxiety.
• Attendees will have a good understanding of the benefits of using positive behavior supports and how to better engage with children during moments of anxiety or potential triggers.

Session 3

The Clinical Use of Music to Encourage Social Engagement: Managing Fight or Flight

Speaker: Dillen Hartley, OTR/L

The autonomic nervous system plays a critical role in our readiness to learn and engage others socially and is
a key factor influencing the performance of individuals with Autism. The balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system has a profound effect on the state and ability of the individual to communicate and engage in appropriate social behavior. Music has the potential to influence typical development and facilitate the development of emotion, attachment, communication, self-regulation and dynamic intelligence.
This presentation will focus on how the Integrated Listening System and the research of Dr. Stephen Porges support therapy practice with children and adults on the spectrum. Attendees will understand how the autonomic nervous system influences performance through system and research review of Polyvagal Theory. Attendees will learn practical ways they can incorporate techniques into practice for individuals with autism, anxiety and sensory processing disorder.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will have a general understanding of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system interaction and neurology.
• Attendees will have an in-depth knowledge of how the autonomic nervous system influences emotion, communication, self-regulation and social engagement
• Attendees will demonstrate an understanding of the research supporting the importance and effective autonomic nervous system on the development of social skills.
• Attendees will demonstrate a good working knowledge of how programs like The Integrated Listening System and Sound Sensitivity Program positively influence sympathetic and parasympathetic integration and balance.
• Attendees will have practical examples of how to incorporate Music and related techniques facilitate emotional growth and manage fight or flight.

Session 4

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP): Both Behavioral & Mental Health Models

Speaker: Melonie Watt, M.Ed

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is designed as a behavioral and mental health model for clientele of all ages with mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. EAP is a form of therapeutic intervention in which horses are used as tools for clients to gain self-understanding and emotional growth. EAP involves equine activities set up and facilitated by a licensed mental health professional and equine specialist. These activities are most often performed on the ground (non-riding), and include such things as grooming, haltering and leading the horse within a specifically designed treatment plan.
During the process of working with the horse, the therapist and client engage in talk therapy, processing feelings, behaviors and patterns. The ultimate goal for the client is to build skills such as personal responsibility, assertiveness, non-verbal communication, self-confidence, problem solving, relational and self-control.
EAP can also be utilized as an Equine Experiential Education program. This program addresses the five domains of development: Cognitive, Social and Emotional, Language, Fine and Gross Motor Skills.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles guiding the use of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).
• Attendees will have a good understanding of the benefits of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) for clientele of all ages that deal with mental, emotional, and behavioral issues and the characteristics of who might bene t the most from this tool and environment.
• Attendees will learn and understanding the guiding principles and techniques of using Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to improve the function, participation and learning of the individuals with mental, emotional, and behavioral issues.

Session 5

Swimming on the Spectrum: Harnessing the Qualities of Water in Therapy

Speaker: Amanda Hassen, OTD, OTR/L

The unique characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) force parents and therapists to explore a variety of environments, therapies, and techniques to find the “just-right” fit for each individual on the spectrum. Finding the right environment to best meet the needs of the individual and facilitate functional carry-over is critical for effective therapeutic practice. The aquatic environment undoubtedly provides this medium.
This presentation will provide the audience with the rational, evidence, and logistics of using water as a tool in therapy. Occupational therapists can help clients by using the unique qualities of the water to support sensory processing, sensorimotor performance, social behavioral performance, self-care, and participation in play.
This presentation will cover in general terms the principles guiding the use of water and practical techniques parents and therapists can use in aquatic environments.The presenter will also share their experiences developing and creating an aquatic therapy program for individuals on the spectrum and the factors affecting the program such as pool space, equipment, logistics and insurance reimbursement.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles guiding the use of water for children on the spectrum. Also, the benefits of aquatic therapy for the individual on the spectrum and the characteristics of who might bene t the most from this therapy
• Attendees will learn and understand the principles, techniques and equipment used to teach water safety and basic swimming for the individual at risk for drowning.
• Attendees will learn and understanding the guiding principles and techniques of using the qualities of water to improve the function, participation and learning of the individual on the spectrum.
• Attendees will have an understanding of the factors positively and negatively affecting the development, logistics and reimbursement affecting Aquatic therapy for children on the spectrum.

Session 6

Group Therapy: Great Resources That are Original, Useful & Practical

Speaker: Sara Keeney, MCD CCC-SLP

Many parents and professionals believe groups are second class therapy. However, group therapy is often the best way to target and help generalize a variety of skill deficits in the autistic population. This presentation will cover when group therapy is indicated and how it can be structured to support and incorporate individual educational and therapeutic goals. In addition a variety of resources will be highlighted to demonstrate the wide variety of goals that can be incorporated into group therapy.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles of group therapy.
• Attendees will understand the principles used in group therapy to to target a variety of skill deficits in
individuals with autism.
• Attendees will have an understanding of when group therapy is indicated and how it can be structured to
support and incorporate individual educational and therapeutic goals.
• Attendees will learn of resources that will demonstrate the wide variety of goals that can be incorporated
into group therapy.

Session 7

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Speaker: Dr. William Matthew Fisher, MD.

In this session, information will be presented about Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Dr. Fisher will share the W’s of Autism: who, what, when, where, why is it, and what do we do about it? He will also inform participants of the three primary impairments that affect individuals on the spectrum. Attendees will also receive insight on frequent findings in regards to ASD, as well as possible causes and current available treatments options.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will have a good understanding of the characteristics of individuals with ASD.
• Attendees will have an understanding of the three primary impairments that affect individuals
on the spectrum.
• Attendees will learn and understand possible causes and current available treatments options and what treatments have been shown to be effective.
• Attendees will have an understanding of frequent findings in regards to ASD and how they affect individuals with ASD.

Session 8

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Treatment Strategies & Understanding Love Languages

Speaker: Jennifer Ammacher, M.Ed

This workshop is designed to increase understanding of the five love languages and how understanding children’s love languages can help caregivers and counselors begin to provide the input that children need and crave. Caregivers, teachers, and counselors will know how to better ll children’s tank so to speak. Understanding this simple concept will assist educators, counselors, and caregivers in helping children with positive reinforcement that is geared specifically to how the child responds. This session will also cover basic information on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the characteristics of good teachers and support staff.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will learn and understand the principles and techniques of the five love languages.
• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles guiding the use
of love language tools into classrooms, homes, and therapeutic settings.
• Attendees will learn and understand a basic knowledge of Autism Spectrum disorders and the
characteristics of good teachers and support staff.

Session 9

The Four T’s: Tantrums, Timeout, Toileting & Talking

Speaker: William K. Killion Ph.D., BCBA

This presentation seeks to provide insight into specific methodologies to address four major issues facing children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Methodologies on how to approach tantrums, timeout, toileting and beginning speech will be discussed. These methodologies can be useful to counselors, teachers, and caregivers in working with and assisting children with autism or other developmental disabilities.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of four major issues facing children with autism or other developmental disabilities.
• Attendees will learn and understand principles, techniques used to approach tantrums, timeout, toileting and beginning speech in therapy settings, classrooms, and home environments.
• Attendees will have a good understanding of the benefits of the methodologies used to approach tantrums, timeout, toileting and beginning speech and the characteristics of who might bene t the most from these tools and methodologies.

Session 10

Minimalism: Structuring Environments to Support Speech & Language Development

Speaker: Sara Keeney, MCD CCC-SLP

The hottest topic in everything from home décor to fashion has applications for supporting the autistic community and their neuro-typical family. Don’t worry it isn’t about giving up all your stuff and moving into a tiny house! Reduced visual stimulation and good organization helps control stress and decreases cognitive load so there are less meltdowns, frustrations and smoother transitions in home, school, and therapeutic environments. While it can assist in the decrease of symptoms related to OCD, APD and ADD, it also sets you up for opportunities to encourage communication from beginning learners to high-functioning conversationalists.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the theory and underlying principles of reducing visual stimulation and using organization to control stress and decrease cognitive load.
• Attendees will learn and understanding of the correlation between the visual stimulation, and meltdowns, frustrations, and challenging transitions in home, school, and therapeutic environments.
• Attendees will have an understanding of how to utilizing good organization and a lower visually stimulating environment can decrease of symptoms and set them up for opportunities to encourage communication with children on the spectrum.

Session 11

I Want To Move It Move It!!!!!

Speaker: Jeffery Lee Cohn, OTR/L,MOT

Join, Jeffery Cohn MAOTR/L in a interactive movement workshop. During this workshop, you will explore various sensory motor movement strategies to help children learn to self-regulate throughout their day. You will learn how to use basic items that can be purchased as discount retailers or Amazon to create a sensory rich environment for a child in the classroom, at home, or in therapy settings. Through the use of learning how children like to move, you will learn a new way to join with your child, student, or client and become more engaged in their world. With the use of good sensory motor moment strategies, you can learn to prevent meltdowns, reduce anxiety and improve the organization of behavior of a child. Organization of behavior is the ability of a child to stay seated longer at a desktop and maintain engagement in adult directed tasks.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will learn and understand various sensory motor movement strategies to help a child learn to self-regulate throughout their day.
• Attendees will learn how to use basic items that can be purchased as discount retailers or Amazon to create a sensory rich environment for a child in the classroom, at home, or in therapy settings.
• Attendees will demonstrate a good understanding of the use of sensory motor moment strategies prevent meltdowns, reduce anxiety and improve the organization of behavior of children.

Session 12

What Do I Do Now?  A Guide to Meeting the Needs of Students with Special Needs

Speaker: Dr. Janice Young; Director of Special Education

 

As students with disabilities are placed within the special education classroom, teachers are held to high standards to meet the demand of each individual student. Four areas will be addressed to meet the demands of the special education population served within a special education teacher’s classroom: (1) Curriculum/Planning-What type of curriculum is best for teaching diverse learners? Why is Response to Intervention (RtI) and progress monitoring important? (2) Instruction-Meeting the students where they are and providing support services and motivation for the students to be successful. (3) Classroom management and the environment-Setting up the classroom to be conducive to learning. (4) Evaluate your teaching-Addressing the needs of every student through IEPs and goals along with meeting the demands of paperwork versus instruction in the classroom.

Learning Objectives:

•The Learner will demonstrate an understanding of RtI and Progress Monitoring and how it relates to the Special Education population.
•Attendees will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of meeting the student where they are functioning at academically.
• Attendees will demonstrate an understanding for effective classroom management.

Converge Autism Location

Location

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown Riverplace will be hosting Converge 2018. They are located downtown at 250 Riverplace, Greenville, SC in the heart of downtown Greenville.

Directions

Converge Autism Accommodations

Accommodations

Embassy Suites is offering a discounted rate for attendees wishing to stay at the conference venue.

Book Your Room

2017 Vendors

Interested in vending for Converge 2018? Contact us via the form below.

Autism Program at Springbrook Behavioral Health

Einstein Academy at Converge Autism Conference

Advanced Therapy Solutions at Converge Autism Conference

SC Autism Society Converge Autism Conference, Greenville, SC

Hope Remains Youth Ranch at Converge Autism Conference

About Springbrook

springbrook-behavioral-health-about

Springbrook Behavioral Health is a state-of-the-art behavioral health center with a well-developed program for the treatment of autism in children ages 5-21. Our autism therapy program is staffed by some of the top professionals in the industry with a wide range—from Behavioral Health, Psychologists, and Speech and Occupational Therapists all who have one focus of treating children and adolescents with autism.

Our program is tailored to the child with autism and goal-oriented, rather than for long-term care, and works with children across the Southeast. We accept students at all developmental levels on the autism spectrum.

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