Neurodiversity Firesides

Upcoming Discussions

Sensory Informed Therapeutic Support for Adolescents and Adults: A Neurodiversity Affirming Approach

May 22, 2023

Register now button

Data, Standardized Testing and Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy: How To

August 8, 2023

Register now button

Goal Writing as Advocacy: Writing Neurodiversity Affirming Goals Using Goal Attainment Scaling

November 14, 2023

Register now button

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.

These "fireside discussions" on Neurodiversity are scheduled to be presented live via Zoom on the second Tuesday every quarter from 3:00-4:30 PM Mountain Time. A recording will be available for later access through STAR Institute's Online Learning site. Please register to access the recorded version of the live course, even if you are not able to attend live.

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

MAY 22 | Sensory Informed Therapeutic Support for Adolescents and Adults (A Neurodiversity Affirming Approach)

Differences in sensory integration and processing can present differently at different life stages. What does sensory-informed practice look like when we seek to honor the central tenet of the self-directed person and use playful, meaningful occupations as a means and end.

AUGUST 8 | Data, Standardized Testing and Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy: How To

Full, comprehensive sensory integration assessments are essential for the provision of individualized, quality therapeutic supports. But how do we use standardized test results and still align with a neurodiversity affirming approach?

NOVEMBER 14 | Goal Writing as Advocacy: Writing Neurodiversity Affirming Goals Using Goal Attainment Scaling

Every piece of documentation we right as sensory integration therapists can be a tool for advocacy, or we can unknowingly contribute to the continuation of ableist narratives.

This goal writing workshop will help occupational therapists using sensory integration approach learn how to construct goals using goal attainment scaling within the neurodiversity affirming paradigm.

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.