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 sign