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Autism in the Early Childhood Setting | May 25, 2019

Advancing Our Practice

The Early Learning and Development Programs of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are pleased to present this one day conference, which is designed for early childhood education professionals who are interested in advancing their practice for children who have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum.  The focus will be on practical strategies to help children maximize progress on their developmental goals.  The strategies presented are evidence-based and informed by the realities of a classroom context as well as lived experience from persons diagnosed with autism.  Emphasis will be placed on actionable teaching techniques, however, the research and theoretical foundations will be introduced as well. 


May 25, 2019 - 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM 

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Conference Centre
1E200 - 150 Kilgour Road
Toronto, ON M4G 1R8

Fee: $75.00

The conference registration is open

Portrait of Jessica Brian

Speaker - Jessica Brian, PhD, Psychologist and Autism Researcher

Jessica Brian is a Psychologist and Clinician-Investigator at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She co-leads the Autism Research Centre at Holland Bloorview. Jessica received her Ph.D. from the clinical-developmental psychology program at York University and completed intensive training in Applied Behaviour Analysis during a year-long internship at the Princeton Child Development Institute in New Jersey. For the past two decades, Jessica has played a major role in the Canadian Infant Siblings research program aimed at understanding the emergence of Autism Spectrum Disorder and ongoing developmental pathways into adolescence. She co-led the development and evalutation of a very early intervention program for infants and toddlers with emerging ASD which is currently being implemented in the community.

portrait of Raya ShieldsSpeaker - Raya Shields, CYC, MA(c) Critical Disability Studies, Autism Self-Advocate

 Raya Shields is an autistic self-advocate and a graduate student in Critical Disability Studies at York University. She mentors autistic and otherwise neurodivergent children and youth and is a member of Ontario’s first autistic self-advocacy organization, Autistics for Autistics (A4A).


portrait of Moira PenaSpeaker - Moira Pena, MOT, OT Reg. (Ont.)                                      

Moira Pena, BScOT, MOT Reg. (Ont.) is an experienced occupational therapist working at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or other developmental delays. Moira has dedicated her career to supporting kids who experience sensory processing, behavioural and emotional challenges and holds training credentials from the STAR (Sensory Therapies and Research) Center in Denver, Colorado, USA, the premier clinic for the treatment of children and adolescents with sensory processing challenges. She is an Expert Hub Team member of the ECHO Ontario Autism Program which aims to further develop pediatricians’ skills to screen, diagnose and manage children and youth with ASD in Ontario. Moira has given several invited workshops to parents, teachers, pediatricians and other health care professionals and is a regular guest lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Morning Sessions:

Afternoon Sessions: