$25 – $139

2018 Rethinking Autism Conference: Pathways to Inclusion

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Christian Fellowship Church

4100 Millersburg Road

Evansville, IN 47725

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

Event description


Pre-Conference Events:

Friday, April 6, 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Full-Day Conference:

Saturday, April 7, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Registration opens at 8:00 AM)

The 4th annual Rethinking Autism Conference is returning to Evansville, Indiana, this April. The conference will kick off with a Friday evening Pre-Conference Reception, including Silent Auction and Exhibitor Fair at 5:30 PM, with entertainment by self-advocate and vocalist, Reid Soria, of Autism Sings. At 7:00 PM, we will host a regional Film Screening of the newly released and award-winning "Deej". We will wrap up the evening with Q&A with the film's subject and our conference Keynote Speaker, DJ Savarese, and other self-advocates.

Saturday's innovative education conference is themed: PATHWAYS TO INCLUSION. This conference will challenge us all to explore new ways of thinking and educational practices that have great potential to improve academic outcomes and increase successful inclusion.

Registration will open at 8:00 AM, with Welcome and Introductions beginning at 8:30 AM.

Presentations will highlight fascinating new autism research, innovative therapeutic supports and accommodations, inclusion success stories, and the highly relevant experiences of self-advocates, including our esteemed Keynote Speaker, DJ Savarese, and influential blog writer, Jordyn Pallett. We will hear from Dr. Aja McKee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), about the importance of implementing literacy-based academic learning for students with complex sensory-motor and communication needs and how to write better IEPs to support these needs. Optimal Rhythms' founder, board-certified music therapist, and autism consultant, Casey DePriest, MT-BC, will discuss support strategies that improve regulation in students on the autism spectrum and reduce problematic behaviors at home and in the classroom. Rene' Hayes, will return this year to provide a break-out opportunity for parents, discussing advocacy and self-care.

Lunch will be included and will feature lunchtime entertainment by the talented, Reid Soria of Autism Sings, all the way from Florida. A panel of self-advocates will answer questions and offer insights.


Friday, April 6


5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Meet & Greet Reception with Hors D’voeures

Silent Auction

Exhibitor Fair

Entertainment by Reid Soria, Autism Sings

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Regional Movie Screening, "DEEJ"

Q & A with DJ (Deej) Savarese & Self-Advocate Panel

Saturday, April 7


8:00 am – 8:30 am Registration / Exhibitor Area Open

8:30 am – 9:00 am Welcome / Opening Remarks

9:00 am – 10:00 am Keynote Address: DJ Savarese

10:00 am – 10:15 am Break / Snacks / Exhibitors

10:15 am – 10:45 am Jordyn Pallett, Jordyn’s “Rocky” Journey

10:45 am – 12:00 pm Casey DePriest, MT-BC, How Rethinking Autism Leads

to Improved Functional, Behavioral, and Academic Outcomes

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch / Entertainment / Student Panel

1:15 pm – 3:15 pm Presentation: Aja McKee, Ph.D. Providing Educational

Access for Diverse Needs in a System that Celebrates


3:15 pm – 3:30 pm Break / Snacks /Exhibitors

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Rene’ Hayes, The 10 Commandments of Inclusion for

Parents, Teachers, and Therapists

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Wrap-Up / Evaluations

REGISTER NOW and watch the Optimal Rhythms Facebook page for more timely updates! Take advantage of the Group Discount Rates and save $20 per professional or general registration!! Call our office at 812-490-9401 for group registration. We expect this year's exciting conference to SELL OUT!!

* Space will be available for Sensory Breaks and Smaller Group Learning, as needed

* Those in attendance will be eligible for special door prizes and conference gifts

* Silent Auction - Come to the Pre-conference Reception for your chance to bid!


Continuing Education is pre-approved for Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Health and Human Services, and Music Therapy (11 CMTEs). CE Certificates will be available for all professional registrants, pending attendance documentation (sign-in/sign-out). It is up to each professional to determine each conference's appropriateness to their discipline's CE requirements.

TRAVEL INFORMATION - Traveling to town for the conference?

Local Airport: Evansville Regional (EVV)

Conference Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites Evansville Airport

3901 Highway 41 N., Evansville, IN, 47711, US
Phone: (812) 423-5818 Fax: (888) 777-9130

Group Discount Rate: $72/night Group Code: Rethinking Autism Conference (Rate available until March 10)

(If necessary, please cancel by 4pm on the scheduled date of arrival to avoid cancellations fees.)

FREE Hotel Shuttle Service To/From Airport and To/From Conference Venue!!

Professional service, cozy accommodations and a delicious breakfast featuring our famous waffles await at our pet-friendly Evansville, IN hotel.

Amenities include:

  • Free WiFi
  • Free hot breakfast
  • Free airport transportation
  • Fitness center
  • Business center

Guest rooms feature:

  • Microwave and refrigerator
  • Sofa bed (select rooms)
  • Premium bedding
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Coffee maker

Enjoy easy access to destinations like the Evansville Regional Airport and:

  • Bosse Field
  • Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden
  • Angel Mounds State Historic Site
  • Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science
  • Reitz Home Museum
  • Dream Car Museum
  • CMOE - Children's Museum of Evansville

Conference Sponsors / Exhibitors:

Thank you to our conference sponsors - this event would not be possible without our community partners!

Exhibitor Fee $200 (includes table, 2 chairs, one general conference registration)

*Sponsorships and Exhibitors are still being accepted. Please call 812-490-9401 or email casey@optimalrhythyms.org to become a Sponsor or conference Exhibitor.

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Christian Fellowship Church

4100 Millersburg Road

Evansville, IN 47725

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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