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Integrative Education Symposium: The Place for Pediatric Professionals to Connect in 2021

When Integrative Education Symposium attendees come together late February 2021, we’ll be approaching one year since the onset of the pandemic in the U.S. Undoubtedly, all pediatric professionals, from those immersed in practice for decades to those just entering the field, have been faced with many challenges.

We’ve navigated social distancing hurdles with the children we value connecting with in person. We’ve moved to virtual communications with our colleagues and experienced changes in the way we learn alongside one another. We’ve wrestled with how to absorb, process, and reflect on the effects of not only the pandemic, but racial and social

justice. Now we want to understand, stay curious, dig into what’s particularly relevant in our field and connect with each other for support.

IE Symposium Intention

The Symposium, traditionally held as a three-day in-person event, has hosted dynamic leaders in pediatric-related fields and attracted attendees nationwide. Our valued curation of focused, relevant content and in-depth exploration of each topic will continue in 2021 through a virtual platform over two days. Our acute awareness of virtual learning fatigue and the important distinctions of an in-person and virtual experience informed this year’s Symposium format.

New this year, we’ve created Community of Practice sessions to provide additional opportunities for networking and support. The Community of Practice sessions are timed two weeks after the Symposium so attendees can process their own takeaways, consider what they might implement in their practice, trial some strategies, and then finally come together again with the same course instructor(s) and attendees. This format allows the attendees to share feedback, insight, and ask questions that inevitably come up once trying to apply course information into practice. The element of follow-up fosters community and action, both of which are at the heart of the Symposium’s intention.

IE Symposium Topics

Our community provided valuable feedback after the 2020 IE Symposium and throughout the year as Integrative Education shifted to off ering ongoing continuing education sessions online. The 2021 topics came to light through pediatric professional insight and the vision to guide our community in addressing critical issues of our time.

The topics informed how we created the Symposium’s three courses, with racial trauma as the only two-day course, and interoception and postural control, each a one-day course. Overall the Symposium courses are standalone yet we anticipate themes will arise across all courses that will enhance the learning and impact for each attendee.


Racial Trauma

Disrupting Generational and Racialized Trauma: What You Bring to the Table Matters, Course A, is an evidenced based examination of generational and racialized trauma. Dr. Carol Penn, DO, MA, ABOM, FACOFP and Dr. Kathy Farah, MD, ABFM, ABOIM will lead an exploration of implicit bias and share mindfulness-based and mind-body approaches to shift physiologic responses in a culturally sensitive manner. Their unique approach with experiential learning, small group discussions and large group discussions will allow participants to make meaningful change in themselves and in their clients.

The course picks up on past Symposium trauma-informed courses and clearly represents the next building block in trauma education based on the racial unrest of this past year in particular. Drs. Penn and Farah, through their work with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, have supported communities dealing with this trauma. They will provide attendees the opportunity to examine how racism is related to our role as therapists and allow for the needed space to process these reflections.



Interoception, The Eighth Sense: Impact on Regulation, Emotional Well-Being and Social Connection, Course B, acknowledges that interoception is emerging as a key factor in the development of regulation, emotional well-being and social connection. Kelly Mahler, OTD, OTR/L is a leader in this field and her work is widely recognized, accepted and sought after as self-regulation and mental health are at the forefront of effective treatment in 2021. Interoception is an important sensory system that helps us to feel internal body signals like tense muscles or a speeding heart. Research indicates that our ability to clearly notice and interpret these internal body signals enables us to accurately identify and manage how we feel. For clients with autism, trauma and attachment disorders, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression and behavioral challenges, interoceptive differences vary. Mahler will share a systematic evidence-based approach for assessing and adapting approaches so professionals can support interoception with confidence.


Postural Control

Dynamic Relationships: A Contemporary Approach to Postural Control, Course C, presents new research in this field for the first time ever in the U.S. Physical therapist Shelley Mannell will guide us in exploring the treatment of postural control in children with sensory and motor challenges. Mannell’s insight goes beyond neuro-developmental treatment and sensory integration models and directly to motor skills and their support of core strength. Occupational and physical therapists are typically very attuned to how core strength impacts overall well-being. As we all apply this model in our work with children, we can create better outcomes.


IE Community

Learning in this way and developing ongoing relationships with a community is powerful. Past symposiums have gathered 300+ attendees. We anticipate our community will return for the experience virtually this year and be even more elated should 2022 allow a return to large gatherings. Integrative Education prides itself on creating this annual symposium that gives attendees confidence through content and community. Pediatric professionals walk away with a road map of information, strategies, and activities they can immediately implement, and access to a group of inquisitive, thoughtful people to move ideas forward. Participating in multiple classes, learning about a variety of new research and models, and connecting with people who share much of the same passion and challenges makes the Symposium meaningful. Many cite a need to tune in to find out what’s relevant, what should be at the forefront of their practice and how they can continue to be effective in their approach and delivery of services.

IE Excellence

As an AOTA provider, Integrative Education is approved for distance learning and setting the standard for evidence- based content that’s grounded in science, relevant and reputable. We’re highly organized and support attendees through the process through plenty of prep and advance communications that support a positive learning environment.

Distinctive from traditional live webinars available to practitioners, the Symposium’s digital platform also offers live video connections to exhibitors and networking with like-minded professionals. This all helps with learning and implementation. In addition, with 24 CEUs offered over this two-day event, many licensed providers can earn up to half of their state’s required CE for the year in one weekend.


Pediatric professionals: we invite you to join us on February 26-27, 2021 at the Integrative Education Symposium virtual event! Visit our website for registration and course information at Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and reference the hashtag #IES2021. For those unable to attend the live event, recordings will be available for each course, released approximately one week following the Symposium with two weeks to view the recording.



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