Welcome to the 2020 STAR Sensory Symposium

Thank you for joining us. 

At this year’s virtual Symposium, we explored current, evidence-based, best practice supports for challenging behaviors. Our dynamic group of speakers provided a multi-dimensional view of behaviors and these connections that will radically transform clinical practice and provide tools for advocacy and support for the parent and self-advocate.

These representatives of different disciplines each brought a unique clinical or research perspective to understanding the intricate processes that lie beyond the surface of behaviors. Viewing challenging behaviors as actual communication of these underlying processes serve to build relationships, function and enable holistic and individualized supports.

This symposium was designed for clinicians, researchers and professionals working with neuro-diverse populations, including: occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, educators, child development specialists and mental health professionals. We also welcome parents, caregivers and careers, as well as individuals with disordered sensory processing.


2020 Symposium Speakers

Mona Delahooke

Mona Delahooke, PhD
Profectum Foundation

Greg Hickok

Greg Hickok, PhD
University of California, Irvine

Kim Clairy

Kim Clairy, MOT, OTR/L
Autism Advocate & Speaker

Gustavo Reinoso

Gustavo Reinoso, PhD, OTR/L
Nova Southeastern University

2020 Workshop Speakers

Lisa Porter

Lisa Porter, PhD, OTD, OTR/L
Sensory KIDS, LLC



Kathleen Schlenz, ABD, OTR/L
Salem State University


Carol Kranowitz

Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA


Elizabeth Marsh

Elizabeth Dinn Marsh, OTR, MS, MOT
Pediatric Therapy Specialists, LLC

Carrie Einck

Carrie Einck, MS, OTR/L
Aspire Therapy and Developmental Services

Holly Greenston

Holly Greenston, M.Ed., CAGS 
Northeastern University

Rachel Schneider

Rachel Schneider, M.A., MHC




A Surface with a Purpose - Tumbl Trak

Sensory Strategies to Survive Shelter in Place: Regulated and Ready - Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services


Thank You to Our 2020 Symposium Sponsors

Tumbl Trak Sensational Learners


ICDL Unyte
MOST/DFW GHC https://www.littlehandsot.com Pediatric OT Courses
Future Horizons


Sommerfly https://www.theratrak.co TacPac

2020 Agenda

All times noted are Mountain Time. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | Pre-Conference

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Parent Workshop

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM | Professional Workshop Q & A

Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Pre-Conference

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Parent Workshop

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM | Professional Workshop

Friday, October 9, 2020 | Symposium

9:00 AM-9:15 AM | Welcome and Announcements

9:15 AM-10:15 AM | Beyond the Seen & Behind the Scenes: Becoming Self-AwareKim Clairy, MOT, OTR/L

Kim Clairy, an Autistic occupational therapist with significant sensory processing challenges will present intimate details of her own life. With the help her husband, William (a mystery writer),  Kim will explore and explain the “why” behind behaviors often seen in individuals with Autism and related disorders. Attendees will have ample opportunity to ask questions while also learning strategies to help those of all ages cope with the challenges that ASD individuals, and those that love them, can experience.

10:15 AM-10:35 AM | Break

10:35 AM-11:35 AM | Beyond the Seen & Behind the Scenes: Becoming Self-Aware (Cont.) - Kim Clairy, MOT, OTR/L

11:35 AM-11:50 AM | Q & A Session

11:50 AM-1:00 PM  | "Hot Topics” Networking Lunch Discussion (Ticketed event)

1:00 PM-2:00 PM | The Myth of Mirror Neurons - Gregory Hickok, PhD

Mirror neurons have been touted as the basis for everything from action understanding and language to empathy and autism. Yet the evidence unambiguously refutes all of these claims. Dr. Hickok will discuss the origins of mirror neuron theory, how researchers made a wrong theoretical turn from the start, and where mirror neurons fit in a more balanced perspective on the neural basis of communication and cognition.

2:00 PM-2:20 PM | Special Break Session Brought to You by ICDL

2:20 PM-3:20 PM | The Myth of Mirror Neurons (Cont.) - Gregory Hickok, PhD

3:20 PM-3:35 PM | Q & A Session

3:35 PM-4:45 PM | Expert Panel; Q & A

5:00 PM-6:00 PM | Evening Reception for Faculty and STAR Mentees - SPONSORED BY ICDL (by invitation)

Saturday, October 10, 2020 | Symposium

8:00 AM | Special SessionClinical Advancements for OT's: Accelerate Outcomes In-clinic and Remote: Practical Applications and Q&A with Unyte-iLs and Kelly Beins, OTR 

9:00 AM-9:15 AM | Welcome and Announcements

9:15 AM-10:15 AM | Measuring the Sensory Integration and Processing Construct: Looking Beyond the Problems - Gustavo Reinoso, PhD, OTR/L

Despite having valid and reliable assessments, sensory integration and processing continues to be a difficult and often elusive construct to measure. The results of testing, clinical observations, and proxy measures often circle around concepts of deficits that evolved out of classic testing theory, rarely highlighting strength related profiles. The following presentation revises common measurement difficulties in our available assessment tools and invites clinicians to consider alternative paradigms. These alternative paradigms capitalize on different ways of measuring skills while capturing profiles of strengths along constructs such as curiosity, sense of agency, motivation, and perseverance, among others.

10:15 AM-10:35 AM | Special Break Session 
Meet Unyte-iLs: A Polyvagal approach to help people feel better, think better and connect better

10:35 AM-11:35 AM | Measuring the Sensory Integration and Processing Construct: Looking Beyond the Problems (Cont.) - Gustavo Reinoso, PhD, OTR/L

11:35 AM-11:50 AM | Q & A Session

11:50 AM-1:00 PM | Lunch Break; “Conversations with Sarah Schoen" (Ticketed event)

1:00 PM-2:00 PM | Beyond Behaviors: Understanding how the Autonomic Nervous System sets the groundwork for Emotional and Behavioral Control - Mona Delahooke, PhD

This presentation will introduce a new approach to solving children’s behavioral challenges, focusing on building a child’s foundation for emotional and behavioral control and moving beyond paradigms that focus on compliance and surface behaviors. Dr. Delahooke will describe behaviors as the tip of the iceberg; important signals that we should address by seeking to understand a child’s autonomic cues under the overarching context of relational safety.

2:00 PM-2:15 PM | Q & A Session

2:15 PM-2:35 PM | Break

2:35 PM-3:45 PM | Expert Panel; Q & A

3:45 PM-4:00 PM | Closing Comment

Continuing Education

STAR Institute is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.





AOTA continuing education credit awarded:

2-Day Symposium: 10 contact hours (1.0 AOTA CEUs)

Do you have a disability that would require special accommodations?

Please contact us at education@spdstar.org and describe how we can help accommodate your needs.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received by July 6, 2020 may receive a full refund.

Cancellations must be received in writing no later than July 31, 2020 to receive a refund minus $50 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after July 31, 2020.

After July 31, 2020, registrations may be substituted or deferred to a future STAR Institute Symposium. Staff must be notified of substitutions at least 24 hours before the start of the event.

In the event the program must be cancelled due to illness, fire, strikes, war, acts of God, terrorism or other causes that would prevent the event from taking place, STAR Institute will attempt to reschedule the event. If the event is unable to be rescheduled, STAR Institute will refund all tuition fees paid. Costs incurred for individual expenses will not be refunded by STAR Institute.