Back To School Conference
Promoting Independence In Education
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August 27-29, 2021
I am pleased to invite you to the first ever,
OT School House: Back To School Conference. This year's theme, as we return to the classroom, is promoting independence in education.
Children spend nearly one half of their day at school and it is our duty to help them be as independent as possible in the least restrictive environment.
This year, the Back To School Conference will be a nationwide (perhaps worldwide) gathering of school-based and pediatric occupational therapists that value the importance of supporting children in their least restrictive environment.
With Friday evening's kickoff address, live virtual Saturday sessions, and an additional two sessions on Sunday, this conference is sure to get you ready to tackle the 2021-22 school year. Sessions will address sensory processing, trauma, behavior, determining the appropriate frequency of services for students, and much more! Plus, you will have access to the recordings in case you have to miss a session or two!
If you are ready to improve yourself as a school-based therapist and learn from those who have put the research into practice, sign up now for the best possible early bird price! The full cost of the conference is $299 for the 6 virtually live sessions and the networking event, replays of each session (excluding the networking event), and access to all of the resources that will be provided by the speakers.
Need professional development that is AOTA approved?
The Back to School conference is approved for 11 hours of professional development!
Upon completion of the conference, you will receive a certificate of completion to have for your registration and licensure needs.
Back to School Conference Highlights
Scroll through for this year's conference highlights!
Please note that all times are currently tentative and subject to change.
All times shown in Pacific Standard Time (PST) or UTC-8.
For Mountain Daylight Time, add 1 hour to times shown
For Central Time, add 2 hours to the times shown
For Eastern Time, add 3 hours to the times shown
Olivia received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California and her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. She has years of experience with children, adolescents, and geriatrics. She has worked with clients experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, sexual identity, life/career transitions, and aging. She is a regular speaker at professional conferences and universities integrating occupational therapy, marriage and family therapy, and the parent perspective. Olivia lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband Matthew and their three children.
Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is Professor Emerita of the Occupational Therapy Program at Cleveland State University where she taught for 34 years. She is the project director of Every Moment Counts, which was launched in 2012. This multi-pronged mental health promotion initiative focuses on helping all children and youth participate successfully throughout the day in academic and non- academic settings. Her current efforts focus on building capacity of OT practitioners and interdisciplinary teams to do this work.
Meg Proctor is an occupational therapist and the founder of Learn Play Thrive, where she teaches occupational therapists to use a deep understanding of autism learning styles and strengths to become more confident, empowering, and effective in their work. In addition to teaching CEU courses, Meg also hosts the Two Sides of the Spectrum Podcast, where she interviews neurodivergent people and others who are working to change the paradigm of how we understand autism.
Elisa Wern is an Occupational Therapist, licensed to practice in both Texas and Florida. She also has a Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of Florida. She is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP). She has presented at a variety of state and national conferences & has guest lectured in a variety of settings. She is currently the Local Assistive Technology Specialist for Alachua County Schools where she coordinates AT services for the district & serves as the Lead Occupational Therapist. In her spare work time she has a private practice, AT & OT Consulting and Coaching, supporting students and families primarily through teletherapy evaluations, consultations, & interventions.
Matthew Lawrence Press, MHS, OTR/L, ATP
Matthew Press is an occupational therapist and assistive technology practitioner. He has practiced in the field of occupational therapy since 1999 and has focused in assistive technology since 2002, earning his ATP credentials along the way. Matthew regularly presents at state and national conferences. He has taught courses in assistive technology at Adventist University, Northern Arizona University, AT Still University, and the University of Florida. He has served as an Assistive Technology Specialist for the department of education in both Florida and Arizona and co-authored a chapter on AT in the most recent Best Practices for Occupational Therapist in Schools. He currently works in the Peoria Unified School District as a full-time member of the Assistive Technology team.
Dr. Cara Koscinski earned her post-professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 1997, and BS in Health Sciences in 1996. She was inducted to the Pi Theta Epsilon occupational therapy honor society. Dr. Koscinski is a mother to her own two children with special needs. Not only does she understand occupational therapy techniques, but she is able to appreciate the unique perspective of the caregiver. Known as The Pocket Occupational Therapist, Dr. Koscinski has published six award-winning books for therapists and caregivers of children with special needs.
Jayson Davies, OTR/L has been a school-based occupational therapist since 2012. With experience as both a contracted therapist and a district employee for two distinctly different districts, Jayson has had the opportunity to appreciate the differences between both small-rural and large-suburban districts. In 2014, Jayson earned his Certification in Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) to better serve his students. Recently, Jayson has put forth his efforts in implementing full classroom and small group collaborative RTI lessons with general and special education teachers. Jayson enjoys helping build knowledge among school-based OTs and educators through the OT School House Podcast.
This conference is design for you as a school-based OT and every session has been researched, vetted, and hand selected by Jayson to be relevant for the school-based OT looking to help students in the least restrictive environment. Each presenter has many years of experience and has demonstrated the ethical decision making you expect from the OT School House! On top off a curated schedule of sessions, you will have the opportunity to earn 11 hours of professional development in just one weekend! Oh, and did I mention the swag bag?!? Check that out below!
Along with access to each session, the first 200 attendees to sign up will receive a Back to School "Swag Bag" so be sure to sign up now to get all of the conference freebies!*
Swag may include:
OT's IEP Pen
OT School House Sticker
Other Sponsor provided materials
* Swag bag available to the first 200 USA participants only
OTs & Assistive Technology, a Perfect Match for Students’ Independence!
Elisa Wern, M.Ed., OTR/L, ATP
Matthew Press, MHS, OTR/L, ATP
As a part of their regular day-to-day caseload work, OT professionals have the opportunity to integrate AT into the treatment sessions they are already doing. In this way, AT is another intervention, not a magic wand that only “someone else” is able to use. A full continuum of assistive technology tools are available to support OT practice in the educational setting. This session will discuss the role of school-based Occupational Therapy professionals in the provision of assistive technology (AT) tools and supports. The entire continuum of assistive technology tools will be covered with examples and resources for each area.
Identify their roles as Occupational Therapists in considering AT as a therapeutic intervention.
Identify ways to incorporate AT interventions within their established treatment plan of care for students.
Identify resources in current intervention ideas in the area of assistive technology and how to consider the need for and implement within their area of practice.
Strengths-Based Approaches to Autism in Action
Meg Proctor, MS, OTR/L
In this presentation, we’ll dive deep into what we know now about autism, exploring both the strengths and possible challenges of people on the spectrum. Then we’ll explore what a shift to a strengths-based lens could look like in school-based OT. What outdated, compliance-based practices do we need to let go of? What new skills do we need to learn? Using case studies, we’ll explore the concrete ways a strengths-based lens can transform our work with kids on the autism spectrum.
Identify strengths and possible challenges of students on the spectrum in two or more school scenarios
Identify the effects of two or more deficits-based strategies on student outcomes
Apply a strengths-based lens to 1 or more case studies generating specific intervention strategies
Every Moment Counts: Promoting Successful Participation & Positive Mental Health Throughout the School Day
Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Small moments make a big difference in how children feel and function in school. Research confirms that positive interactions and experiences (e.g., enjoying lunch, having fun during recess) help children feel positive and connected to school. Every Moment Counts is a mental health promotion initiative developed to help all children/youth become mentally healthy in order to succeed in school, at home and in the community. Participants will learn about a multi tiered public health approach to mental health involving promotion, prevention and intervention and be introduced to Every Moment Counts’ occupation-based programs: Comfortable Cafeteria, Refreshing Recess, Calm Moments Cards, Making Leisure Matter. A brief overview of website resources will be provided as well as strategies for building capacity of school personnel to do this work.
Describe the dimensions of positive mental health and evidence-based strategies for promoting optimal mental health and school function.
Demonstrate an understanding a multi-tiered, public health approach to mental health in school-based practice with children and youth at the universal (Tier 1), targeted (Tier 2), and individualized (Tier 3) levels.
By using website resources, describe Every Moment Counts’ occupation-based initiatives for promoting successful participation and mental health throughout the day in classroom, cafeteria, recess, after-school leisure
It’s Not Sensory, It’s Stress!
Olivia Martinez-Hauge, MFTA, OTR/L
This discussion will focus on current research on stress and the brain. We will unpack challenging behaviors, examine why they are occurring, the power of being trauma informed, and what we can do about it. This presentation will give you tangible information you can apply to your caseload right now. You will gain knowledge to help you lead IEP teams in meaningful conversations, develop whole-team interventions, and provide the families with valuable information. Topics to be discussed: trauma-ACES, chronic stress, Polyvagal Theory, top-down vs. bottom up behaviors, emotional regulation, intervention strategies, and resources.
Identify how the impact of stress impacts the brain.
Recognize behaviors related to stress and behaviors related to sensory processing.
Select appropriate methods to assess, treatment plan, and create goals to address emotional regulation.
Executive Function - Up Front with the Frontal Lobe
Cara Koscinski, OTD, MOT, OTR/L
Occupational therapists are poised to help students with executive function. This session will help OTs to identify the thinking and doing skills and performance factors to best assist student learning and boost outcomes. We will discuss the cerebral cortex and the frontal lobe’s role in executive functioning disorders. Identification, evaluation, and treatment for executive function disorders will be provided. Through a discussion of the most recent research, we will explore strategies and goals to assist your students and show the unique value of OT.
Describe executive function and its importance in school-based OT.
Name treatment strategies and resources to help improve executive function based on OTPF terminology.
Create and implement goals for improving executive function in occupations for children.
Determining Services in the Least Restrictive Environment
Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L
Two of the most common questions School-Based OTs have are "what is the right frequency of services?" and "when is a student ready to be exited from OT?" In this session we will explore the ideas of when a student should receive OT services, what options are available providing services and how to make that decision, and when is the right time to exit a student. Additionally we will review how these decisions drive us to make other important decisions as a school-based OT. This presentation will help you to feel more confident in your clinical decision skills and provide you with printable and digital worksheets to help you determine how frequently you need to see each of your students.
Describe how IEP goals impact the frequency, location, delivery, & frequency of OT services
Identify how a therapist's own roles and biases may impact the recommendation of services in schools.
Identify factors related to student success and when a student may be ready to graduate from OT services.
Register now to ensure access to each of these 6 sessions!
Audience & Education Level
The OT School House Back To School Conference is intended for current school-based occupational therapy practitioners. The content may be considered intermediate in its level and sessions will contain language and practices specific to school-based occupational therapy. There are no prerequisite courses required, but one should have a general understanding of OT in the schools.
Promoting Independence In Education
The theme for this year's conference is promoting independence in education. Whether it is handwriting, self-regulation, or ADLs that are limiting a child's success at school, occupational therapists can help. Better yet, we can do it while keeping the student in the least restrictive environment! This year, sessions at the Back To School conference will focus on supporting student education and independence where they are.
Session Handouts & Replays
For each conference session, handouts will be made available to download and print prior to the start of the conference. After registering and prior to the conference, you will be sent a link to the attendee portal where you will be able to download and print the slides.
The attendee portal will also host replays of the conference sessions until the end of September, 2021. As a registered Attendee of the conference, you will have access to the conference handouts and session video replays until the end of September, 2021.
Flexible Payment Plan
We understand that times are tough right now. While some OTs are secure in their positions, we realize this is not the case for everyone. For this reason, we are offering a 2-month payment plan leading up to the conference. the payment plan consists of two monthly $150 payments. Whether you have student loans to pay, a car to save up for, or a family to feed, we want you to be able to attend the conference while being fiscally responsible.
You can register for the course now with the 2-month payment plan using the button below. The last day to sign up for the course using the 2-month payment plan will be July 27th.
Due to the regulations put in place as a result of the Coronavirus, most of us have not had the opportunity to engage with other therapists from our county, state, or elsewhere.
For this virtual conference, we will be using a platform that allows for both synchronous and asynchronous communication between participants and presenters. Likewise, an optional networking lunch will hosted by Jayson on Saturday
There will also be opportunities for live Q+A with the presenters at the end of each session.
Join me and other School-Based OTs looking to advance their clinical skills
This conference is designed for you as a school-based OT and every session has been researched, vetted, and hand selected to be relevant for the school-based OT looking to help students in the least restrictive environment. Each presenter has many years of experience and has demonstrated the ethical decision making you expect from the OT School House!
Jayson understands the intricacies of School-Based OT and he knows the therapists who can help make your life easier while serving the students and teachers you love to work with. Register now to secure your spot!
Thank you to our Sponsors
Overall Conference Learning Objectives
Attendees will identify strategies to support children in the least restrictive environment.
Attendees will be able to share 3 reasons why it is important to work with both adults and children in their school-based OT Practice.
Attendees will recognize the role OT practitioners may have in assistive technology evaluations and implementation.
Attendees will be able to summarize why stress, sensory perception, and behavior are interrelated.
Attendees will identify how limitations in executive functioning impact children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and strategies to support those students.
Attendees will summarize the steps to selecting the least restrictive OT services for a student.
Conference Attendee Disclaimer/Agreement
By registering for, or attending any event or activity associated with the 2021 OT School House: Back To School Conference, I agree to the following:
Professional Development/Information Disclaimer
The 2021 Back to School Conference is a virtual event for professional development, networking, and OT School house business purposes. The material presented is not intended to represent the only or the best methods appropriate for the occupational therapy and/or medical condition or professional development issues being discussed, but rather is intended to present the opinions of the presenters, which may be helpful to other health care professionals at arriving at their own conclusions and consequent application. Attendees participating in this professional development education program do so with full knowledge that they waive any claim they may have against the Back to School Conference, Schoolhouse Education, LLC, and OT School House and its staff or representatives for reliance on any information presented during these educational activities.
Public Relations Agreement
Registration and attendance at, or participation in, Back To School Conference meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant for Schoolhouse Education, LLC’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic/print reproductions, and audio tapes of such events and activities.
Waiver of Liability Agreement
I release the the Back to School Conference, Schoolhouse Education, LLC, OT School House, and its staff, presenters, and any other individuals or entities associated with 2021 Back To School Conference from any and all liability connected with my participation, as well as from any liability related to changes to the schedule, events or activities. I acknowledge and agree that I am participating on my own choice and assume all risk in connection thereof, and that in the event that a need for emergency medical service arises, I authorize and consent to such services being provided at my own expense.
A refund, less $20/Practitioners; $20/Students administrative fee, will be issued if notice of cancellation is received by the Schoolhouse Education, LLC office on or before one week before the event start (August 20, 2021). No refunds will allotted after that date. Refunds will not be processed until after conference. Request a refund.
In the event that Schoolhouse Education, LLC cancels the event for any reason, participants will be offered the choice of a full refund or, when applicable, a credit toward the rescheduled event.