Our Presenter's Bio

Janet Mc Donald MEd, LMT, CH Neurodevelopmental Therapist & Instructor

Rhythmic Movement Training

Janet trained directly with the founders of RMTi™, psychiatrist Harald Blomberg, MD, and kinesiologist Moira Dempsey. She is a Learning Specialist, Licensed Massage Therapist LMT, has studied numerous methods of Reflex Integration and served as international instructor. Her further training and instructing in Developmental Movement, Specialized Kinesiology, Jin Shin Jyutsu Acupressure, Bal-a-vis-x, and emotional release techniques inform her private practice.      

Dr. Jessica Gilson PT, DPT

S'cool Moves

Dr. Jessica Gilson PT, DPT is a physical therapist who received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Touro College and her Bachelors of Science from Yeshiva University Stern College for Women. Jessica primarily works with children and young adults ranging in age from birth to 21 years old in a variety of settings. These include a private therapy center, both the general and special education school systems, and in the home within the early intervention odel. She has worked and collaborated with teachers, paraprofessionals, social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical education teachers. She is a S'cool Moves Collaboration Coach. S'cool Moves is a program founded by Dr. Debra Em Wilson. 

Lindsey Biel, OTR/L

Sensory Smart (TM)

Lindsey Biel is an amazing pediatric occupational therapist with a private practice in Manhattan. She is co-author of the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, with a foreword by Temple Grandin and the author of Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens. She is also co-creator of the Sensory Processing Master Class DVD program and is frequently published in parenting and professional magazines. She teaches workshops to parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, and other professionals across the country. Visit her websites at www.sensorysmarts.com and www.sensoryprocessingchallenges.com for downloadable checklists, articles, podcasts and more. 

Alex Lopiccolo, COTA, CPT, NC

Hands on Sensory-Motor Workshop

Sunday - Suspended Equipment and Non-Suspended Equipment

Monday - Non Suspended Equipment

Alex Lopiccolo a/k/a Mr. Alex is an experienced Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Consultant. Alex is well known as The King of Swings. When he is not treating as a full time Sensory Integration Therapy practitioner he travels around the world sharing his knowledge of sensorimotor therapy with OT's and students at pediatric clinics and universities. Alex also works with the leading Sensory Therapy company, Southpaw Enterprises on different swing inventions. He especially enjoys designing and installing home sensory gyms to help his young clients at home.

Growing up in Michigan, Alex struggled with Sensory Processing Disorder himself. The strategies that he developed, along with a strong calling to help others, inspired the fun and therapeutic approach he has been using  with his clients for over eight years.

Alex, his wife, and two children live in Gig Harbor, after relocating from Edmonds and Denver. His favorite activities are spending time with his family, disc golf, canicross with his dog Optimus Prime, running barefoot, inventing sensory therapy equipment, and exploring the Pacific Northwest. 

Lori Griffith, COVT Certified Optometric Vision Therapist in Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation

 Why “EYE” Can’t Read 

Lori Griffith, COVT, is the Chief Vision Therapist at the Virginia Vision Therapy Center, working under Dr. Tod Davis and Dr. Amy Carlyle.  Effective evaluations, patient-centered treatment, and passion is the cornerstone of success behind Lori Griffith’s career. She is a Certified Optometric Vision Therapist (COVT) who is always on the forefront of new ideas and techniques that address visual processing disorders and deficits. Currently, she is the chief vision therapist for Virginia Vision Therapy Centers Inc. where she addressed patients with an array of visual challenges. From patients with autism, cerebral palsy, special needs, and learning-related vision problems, Lori delivers quality patient care. Lori evaluates a patient's orientation and mobility skills, cognition, physical abilities, and personal goals to develop an individualized, all-inclusive treatment plan. Prior to joining Virginia Vision Therapy Center Lori served as a vision therapist and optometric technician for Vision Source. Along with her caring approach towards patients, she honored the practice's optical quality standards, and received high praise for the dedication she demonstrated toward patients. For the past 4 years, Lori has served as a mentor for College of Optometrists in Visual Development, offering guidance to students as they navigate through the complex certification process. In this rewarding role, she supports the growth and development of the mentee. Before joining the medical industry, Lori worked in retail where she thrived in fast-paced environments and always sought ways to improve and strengthen customer relationships. Across the whole of her career, Lori’s therapeutic skill-set and compassion have played a key role in patients achieving their highest potential.

Jenny L. Clark, OTR/L, BCP

 Learn to Move, Move to Learn

(AOTA Board Certification in Pediatrics), has helped children over the past 27 years as a licensed pediatric occupational therapist working as a speaker, consultant, private practitioner at her own clinic (Jenny’s Kids, Inc.), school-based occupational therapist, independent contractor for early intervention services, author, and inventor. Her passion for developing new approaches to therapy can be seen in her diverse contributions to the field, including: the evidence-based curriculum material Learn to Move, Move to Learn: Sensorimotor Early Childhood Activity Themes (AAPC 2004), and the sequel Learn to Move, Moving Up! Sensorimotor Elementary School Activity Themes (AAPC 2009); two DVD’s Learn to Move: Dinosaurs (AAPC 2005), a companion to her first book, and Sensory Processing Disorder Kit: Simulations and Solutions for Parents, Teachers, and Therapist (AAPC 2006), which won the 2007 media in excellence video award from Autism Society of America; a music CD, Sing, Move, Learn (AAPC 2010), which accompanies the songs in her first book. Jenny was a contributing author for the book Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals (Greenwood Publishing Group 2007), as well as the author of a chapter in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Foundations, Characteristics, and Effective Strategies. (Pearson Publishing 2011). Most recently, Jenny was the technical reviewer for The Everything Parents Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder (Terri Mauro, Adams Media 2014). Jenny is the inventor of the patent-pending “Weigh” Cool Bracelet (www.abilitations.com) and her most recent creation, Letter Treasure Hunt handwriting game (Therapro 2014). Jenny is known for her dynamic personality, sprinkled with humor that engages people to ‘think outside the box’ inspiring unlimited creative ideas. Jenny’s favorite sensorimotor recreation includes tennis, mountain biking, gardening, and photography. 

Meet more Presenters

David Blaski, OTR, BCP

Praxis: The Sensible Approach!

David Blaski is a neonatal/pediatric occupational therapist and certified early intervention specialist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of sensory processing disorders, neurological and orthopedic disorders, developmental delay and autistic spectrum disorders. He has been certified in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing since 1993 and became board certified in pediatric occupational therapy (BCP) in 1998. He has been an in-demand lecturer on sensory integration and sensory processing disorders across the country for over 12 years. He  serves as a clinical pediatric specialist in occupational therapy for Franciscan Alliance Pediatric Rehabilitation in Schererville, IN.   

   David Blaski received his Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is licensed to practice in Illinois and Indiana. He has extensive training in the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) and the School AMPS. He is also the inventor of the patented Aquatic Stabilizer Apparatus, the first aquatic-based therapy device that allows individuals with cerebral palsy to swim with little to no assist. It was the recipient of the 2012 Maddak Award for "Best Innovation of the Year". 

In addition to his clinical occupational therapy expertise, he has also been active with David Copperfield's Project Magic" since 1982. He has assisted in developing "Project Magic" programs for hospitals in many states and has made numerous presentations to university audiences on the programs benefits. David Blaski's background and post-professional education and training in working with SPD allows him to speak on this subject matter such that participants will have practical knowledge and understanding they can use the next day.

Miriam Manela, OTR

Attachment Behavioral and Psycho-Social Challenges In The Classroom: Strategies and Solutions for Therapists, Educators and Program Administrative Personnel

Miriam Manela, OTR, is the director of Thrive Occupational Therapy, her private occupational therapy practice housed in a unique sensory gym. In addition to her private practice, Miriam is known for her workshops and lectures for educators and teachers as well as health-care professionals (MDs, OTRs, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, substance abuse professionals, and others).Treatment PhilosophyMiriam uses a creative blend of proven techniques to help her clients overcome behavioral, academic, social, and physical challenges while providing a safe space where children can feel free to be themselves as they explore and grow.Miriam believes in listening to and working closely with parents and caregivers to help them achieve a healthy, responsive, and mutually satisfying parent-child relationship.CredentialsMiriam is certified in Therapeutic Listening™, and has received advanced training in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT), Sensory Integration, Attachment Theory and Reflex Integration. Miriam is a certified Reiki practitioner and Therapeutic Listening provider. Miriam practiced school-based OT in New York and New Jersey for over five years and worked at Hand to Heart OT, as well as provided services to victims of domestic violence and people living with addictions.Miriam graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kean University and interned at Staten Island University Hospital. She is the legislative co-chair of the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Association (NJOTA) and is also the former representative for the representative assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). In December, 2013 Miriam received the WCBS-AM & Cancer Treatment Centers Women Achievement Award.  Miriam has been awarded Top Doctor’s in New Jersey award in both 2015 and 2016. 

Sarah R. Ward, MS, CCC/SLP

Executive Functioning Training sponsored by theramoves

Executive Functioning Training: Learn it Today, Use it Tomorrow! Practical, Cutting Edge Interventions for Improving Executive Function Skills in Students.

Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP has over 23 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations, treatment and case management of children, adolescents and adults with language learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, executive dysfunction, Asperger’s disorders and social pragmatics . Her particular specialty is in the assessment and treatment of executive function deficits. Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions where she provides instruction to graduate level students in the assessment and treatment of individuals with traumatic brain injury and other cognitive communication disorders. A popular speaker, Sarah regularly presents nationally and internationally on the topic of executive functions to a variety of professional and parent organizations, school and lay groups.  She has presented to and consulted with over 585 public and private schools in Massachusetts and across the United States.  Awards received include Bette Ann Harris Distinguished Professional (2017),  Innovative Promising Practices Award by CHADD, The National Resource on ADHD (November 2015),  the MGH Expertise in Clinical Practice Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Faculty in Excellence Award from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (2002, 2011) and ACE awards (2013, 2016) from American Speech and Language Hearing Association.  

Bracha Bucholz, PT

Bracha Bucholz, PT graduated  from Hunter College in 2001.   Bracha is well known abroad and has treated children in countries such as England, Israel and Argentina. Bracha has trained therapists in various techniques and methodologies and has co-lectured in RMT training. She leads a thriving private practice is Passaic, NJ since 2011, treating children of varying disabilities with an emphasis on neuro-plasticity. 

Rosetta DiTomasso, PT

Rosetta graduated from NYU Physical Therapy with a BS/PT in 1990. Rosetta has over 30 years experience in orthopedic/sports therapy, as well as pediatric early intervention home care and school based therapy. Rosetta is also an early intervention evaluator. She has worked with children ranging from extreme low tone to extreme high one, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and more, and has extensive knowledge in exercise technology and equipment. Rosetta is trained and certified in Neurodevelopmental Training (NDT) and Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing (SIPT). She has additional training in MEDEK, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, kinesiotaping, joint mobilization, myofascial release, contract/relax method, cyrax, biomechanical gait analysis, and rhythmic movement reflex training. Rosetta’s specialty includes evaluating and analyzing the root of children’s physical problems and devising a custom made plan accordingly.

Message: Every child has untapped potential-the sky is the limit. Our mission is to unlock the potential and grant success by giving them the tools, alignment, the strength, and the coordination to be the very best person they can be. “I can’t” is not an option.

Renée Okoye, OTR/L, BCP

understanding neuromodulation sponsored by theramoves renee okoye

Renée received her B.S and Certification in Occupational Therapy from New York University, and M.S in Health Science from SUNY Stony Brook. Prior to developing her own practice, Renée taught Advanced Clinical Neurology for 5 years at New York University, and for 3 years at Touro College. She has also worked as an independent contractor for local schools on Long Island. Renée has been Board Certified in Pediatrics since 1992. She is SIPT certified and also certified in Therapeutic Listening, SAMONAS and Integrated Listening Systems. Renée has lectured extensively throughout the United States for various agencies and schools. Her presentations abroad include having held professional workshops in Nigeria and also in Greece. Renée has owned her own private practice which continues to include contracting with local school districts for the past 30 years. 

Lisa Gerard Faulise, MS OTR/L BCP protege of Patricia Wilbarger

Instructor Lise Gerard Faulise is renowned nationally for her workshops on sensory processing disorders with Patricia Wilbarger, MS. Faulise is the founder of Rehab New England, a private sensory integration-oriented practice in Rhode Island, and co-founder of the Wolf School in East Providence, Rhode Island, designed for K-8 children with learning differences. She currently conducts research at the Wolf School and provides private clinical services i n the New England area. Ms. Faulise's past experience includes teaching and clinical instructor at Saint Louis University, where she was director of the Faculty Practice int he Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. More recently, she lived  in France and provided client consultation and faculty training tot he International Schools in Paris. She received her Advanced Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Boston University.

kelly Mahler, sponsored by TheraMoves

Kelly J Mahler, MS OTR/L

 Kelly Mahler MS, OTR/L, earned a MS in Occupational Therapy, as well as a Post-Professional Pediatric Certificate from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. She has been an occupational therapist and autism consultant for over 16 years, serving school-aged children and adults. Kelly is also co-founder of Destination Friendship, an organization dedicated to providing multidisciplinary social skill groups within the community. Kelly is professor of Occupational Therapy at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA. She is actively involved in several research projects pertaining to interoception. Kelly is an international speaker and presents frequently on topics related to the five books she has authored: Sensory Issues and High Functioning Autism (with Myles and Robbins)—winner of 2015 National Parenting Publications Bronze Medal; Destination Friendship (with Benton, Hollis, and Womer); Hygiene and Related Behaviors for Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders–winner of Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medal 2011 and Interoception: The Eighth Sensory System—which this conference presentation is based on.