Neurodiversity Firesides

Previous Fireside Chats are available on our Online Learning platform 


Neurodevelopmental therapies are shifting away from a deficit lens to person-centered and respectful practices. It has been exciting to see this referenced in AOTA special issues, trauma informed practice, interpersonal neurobiology and the work of autistic educators and self-advocates. As we celebrate diversity and different ways of being, we truly embrace the concept of "different not less" and principles of actualization that are central to the provision of health care.

How do we hold on to these key principles and move away from archaic and outmoded treatment models? How do we resist socialization into the pathology model and challenge our own ableism and biases? Join Virginia Spielmann for these informal and interactive discussions every quarter. Each session is oriented around a theme that informs the clinician's ability to engage in authentic neurodiversity affirming practice and challenge systemic ableism and norm-driven treatment models.

Cost: $10 (includes both live-streamed and recorded versions)

Virginia Spielmann, PhD, OTR/L

Executive Director (she/her)

Virginia is a well-travelled speaker, coach and educator on topics including sensory integration, DIR/Floortime, child development and infant mental health. She has conducted trainings in Kenya, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the USA and leads workshops at international conferences.  

Virginia is a founder and former Clinical Director of SPOT (Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy) Interdisciplinary Children's Therapy Center in Hong Kong, where she led a large and widely respected inter-disciplinary team.

Virginia obtained her BSc in Occupational Therapy in Oxford England (2002) and her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary University, Milwaukee (2018). She is a DIR/Floortime Training Leader and Expert and clinical consultant for the Interdisciplinary Council for Development and Learning (ICDL). Her extensive pediatric experience includes children on the autism spectrum, as well as those with Sensory Processing Disorder, infant mental health issues, children from adopted families and those who have experienced developmental trauma.  

Virginia has considerable post-graduate training, she is certified on the SIPT and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Infant and Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on mental health, with Fielding Graduate University, in Santa Barbara.

Presenter Disclosures:

  • Presenter receives a fee from STAR Institute for presentations of courses.
  • There are no other relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.