Allie began her work in pediatric development at the University of Michigan, where she earned her B.S. in Movement Science, and continued her studies at USC, where she received her M.A. and Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Allie is certified in Sensory Integration and hopes that one day one day quality open ended play will be considered as important as learning the ABC’s. When not at work, you can find Allie at the beach engaging her own sensory system, outside enjoying nature or at home cuddled under her weighted blanket. Allie also loves to read and color in mindfulness coloring books, which are her own regulation tools.
Allie’s mission is to empower children and their families through sensory play so that they can thrive through childhood and beyond. Allie is the founder of Play 2 Progress and author of the book, Play to Progress, where she provides parents with an overview of all 8 (yes, 8) senses and gives parents ways to enhance those senses at home. Allie uses the science of child development and the joy of play to boost childrens’ confidence and enhance development within all areas of their life, from social and emotional to physical and academic. Allie believes that the best way to support children is by arming their parents, from inception, with the knowledge and skills necessary to encourage their child’s development for success through childhood and beyond.
Her presentation will cover the eight sensory processing systems – sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, vestibular, proprioception, and interoception – and how to provide activities from the time children are born that support the growth and development of these systems. Through lecture and group discussions, the eight sensory systems will be broken down, and participants will learn how a child uses them to understand the world. Easy, fun activities, as well as advice on setting up play areas will be explored to support children’s development and abilities to respond to their emotions, build friendships, communicate their needs, and thrive in school.
George S. Thompson MD is a child psychiatrist and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at both the University of Kansas and University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Medicine. Thompson is devoted to assisting families and healthcare organizations build emotionally safe, curious, and collaborative cultures that transform trauma into wisdom.
His presentation describes the basics of the polyvagal theory, which holds that neurophysiological states of safety, danger, and life threat organize our emotions and behaviors. Our nervous systems are continuously monitoring for safety and threat, in a process called neuroception, which can rapidly switch our physiological states. When our state matches our environment, we are physically prepared to respond to the challenges we face. When there is a mismatch between state and environment, our actions are inappropriate for the situation and suffering occurs.
The Alice Eberhart-Wright Visionary Award recognizes outstanding achievements and significant contributions in the field of infant and early childhood mental health. The award is given to those who represent the mission of KAIMH and illustrate passion, creativity and best practices in their work supporting infant and early childhood mental health in Kansas. This award will be presented each year at the KAIMH annual conference. If you would like to nominate a candidate for the 2023 award, please complete the nomination form below.
Early in his life he trained in culinary arts working under Chinese, Swiss, French, and American chefs and earning an associate degree from the Culinary Institute of America. At age 25 Rich entered Duquesne University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration focusing on international business. This resulted in a growing interest in how families and communities respond to globalization. This led to the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs where Rich earned a Master of Urban and Regional Planning where he studied metropolitan food systems, economic restructuring and political response, and community development. After graduate school he followed his wife to Newton, KS where they had two children. The family moved to Lawrence, KS where he became the primary care giver for his infant son and toddler daughter. After six months of what he describes as the most emotionally difficult job he ever had, Success By 6 hired him and directed him to begin by reading From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. This book sparked in Rich an enduring interest in how to plan to ensure that families with young children have what they need to successfully parent their young children and how communities can grow healthier and more resilient by investing in early relationships. Rich Minder has learned from and served Success By 6 Coalition of Douglas County for 23 years helping the early childhood community select, design, implement and evaluate projects, programs, and policies. Rich loves his two daughters, Jessica 48 with grandson, William (12), Sophia 25, and Son, Joseph 23. Rich’s wife, Vicki Penner, is a therapist at Prairie View in Newton. Vicki and Rich worked with others to design and build a 23 home Cohousing Neighborhood in East Lawrence where they are among adopted grandparents to the neighborhood’s infant, toddlers, preschool, and elementary age children and their parents.