April 22-24, 2015

Wyndham New Yorker Hotel

New York City

Young Child Expo & Conference Overview


It is our great pleasure to present the 12th Annual Young Child Expo & Conference 2015 - a joint project of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education and Los Niños Training. Our goal is simple – to provide useful information to professionals and parents in order to help all young children learn, grow and reach their full potential. Our conference brings over 1200 people together across all kinds of programs, disciplines, and interest areas from speech pathologists to parents, to those working in children’s museums, day care centers, preschools, and those working with children who have autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or other special needs. In one unique event, this conference integrates learning about typically developing children as well as those with special needs, including autism.

2015 program coming soon….

Jump to a Section:

Keynote Speakers | Sprout Film Festival | Topics | Who Should Attend

Our 2015 Keynote Speakers

 danprofile_3001 Dan Zanes - President/Founder of Festival Five Records, is a Grammy award winning musician who for over 15 years has been making his modern day folk music for people of all ages. During that time he has made a dozen award winning CDs, 2 DVDs and 2 picture books. He has performed around the world from thrift shop basements and backyard parties to Carnegie Hall, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, and London’s Southbank Center. His videos have been featured on Playhouse Disney, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, Sprout, and HBO Family. Although he grew up in New Hampshire, Dan has lived in New York for half of his life – this is where he finds his inspiration. He will be speaking about Songs and Stories from America’s Neighborhoods: How We Can Make Music Part of Children’s Everyday Lives.
Temple Grandin Temple Grandin, PhD – was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age two she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer. Dr. Temple Grandin obtained her BA at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974 she was employed as Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975 she earned her MS in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989 and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University. She will be speaking on her experiences with autism.
 DHC Head Shot copy 2 Diane Craft, PhD - is on the faculty of the Physical Education Department at State University of New York at Cortland where she teaches courses in elementary and adapted physical education. Since 1998 she has been promoting developmentally appropriate, inclusive physical activities for toddlers and preschoolers with and without disabilities. Toward that end, she has given well over 100 highly acclaimed presentations, workshops and keynotes on preschool physical activities to audiences across the nation. She has also co-authored four books on preschool physical activities including Active Play: Fun Physical Activities for Young Children. Craft is a past-president of the National Consortium of Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities. In 2005, she was recognized as the National Professional of the Year in Adapted Physical Education. A former elementary and high school physical education teacher, Dr. Craft is a committed advocate of inclusion. She will speak on Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children.
Maggie+RuthHeadshots-26Feb141142 (2) Maggie Doyne – Founder & CEO, created the BlinkNow Foundation to sustain, grow and support Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School in Nepal, and to serve as a vehicle to share her ideas with young people, especially children in the U.S. Maggie believes that in the blink of an eye, we can all make a difference. At age 19, Maggie used her life savings to build a home for orphaned children in war-ravaged Nepal. Today, this home is the legal guardian to 44 children. In 2010, she opened a school for the region’s most impoverished children. The school now serves 350 students and is rated top in the region. Maggie was honored by the Dalai Lama as an Unsung Hero of Compassion in 2014. Her work was championed by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof in a cover story for The New York Times Magazine. In 2012, Maggie shared her story at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, and in 2013 she received the Forbes Award for Excellence in Education. She will be speaking on Why the Human Family Can Do Better.
kristof_nicholas(300) (2) Nicholas Kristof - Author, A Path Appears, and Columnist, New York Times since November 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who writes op-ed columns that appear twice a week. In 1990, Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, previously a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square movement. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006 for what the judges called “his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur.” Kristof and WuDunn are authors of four best-selling books: China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power in 1994; Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia in 2000; Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in 2009; and most recently, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. He will speak on making a difference here and abroad and about how we can each become the most effective global citizens we can be.

Cathy Lord Photo

Catherine Lord, Ph.D. – Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain a joint project of New York – Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in partnership with New York Collaborates for Autism. She completed degrees in psychology at UCLA and Harvard, and a clinical internship at Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lord is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialties in diagnosis, social and communication development and intervention in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She is renowned for her work in longitudinal studies of social and communicative development in ASD. She has also been involved in the development of standardized diagnostic instruments for ASD with colleagues from the United Kingdom and the United States (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) an observational scale; and the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) a parent interview), now considered the gold standard for research diagnoses all over the world. Her work at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain involves continued research in validity and longitudinal studies, early diagnosis of children with autism, and regression in children with autism and clinical evaluations and diagnoses of children and adults who may have autism. She will speak on the Diagnosis of Autism in Toddlers.
Michelle Gielan - Founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, is an expert on the science of positive communication and how to use it to fuel success. She works with Fortune 500 companies and schools to raise employee engagement, productivity and happiness at work. Michelle is a Partner at GoodThink, a positive psychology consulting firm, and she holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Michelle is an Executive Producer of “The Happiness Advantage” Special on PBS. She formerly served as the anchor of two national newscasts at CBS News, as well as a correspondent for “The Early Show.” In 2009, Michelle produced “Happy Week”, a series focusing on fostering happiness in the midst of the recession. In 2011, she appeared in her own weekly health and wellness segment, “Manic Monday” on FOX News Chicago. Michelle graduated cum laude in Computer Engineering. Her research and advice have received attention from Forbes, USA Today, CNN, FOX and NPR. She will speak on Broadcasting Happiness: Creating Success through Positive Engagement with Young Children in the Classroom.
Dr. Susan M. Swearer – Professor of School Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Co-Director Bullying Research NetworkDr. Susan M. Swearer is a Professor of School Psychology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Co-Director of the Bullying Research Network ( She is the principal investigator on the Target Bullying: Best Practices in Bullying Prevention and Intervention Project ( and has worked with school districts nationwide since 1998 to reduce bullying. Dr. Swearer has developed and implemented a data-based decision-making model for responding to bullying among school-aged youth and has conducted staff trainings with the goal of helping school personnel establish cost-effective and data-based strategies to reduce bullying behaviors. She will speak on bullying and what we can do to prevent it.

Full Day Pre-Conference Workshops

V  Carbone 2014 Vincent J. Carbone, EdD, BCBA-DPhD - is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate and New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst. He received his graduate training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa under the supervision of W. Scott Wood. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Penn State University and Simmons College, Boston, MA. He teaches in the graduate programs in Behavior Analysis offered by Istituto Europeo per lo Studio del Comportamento Umano, Parma, Italy, and at the University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy. His behavior analytic research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Modification, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and others. He has provided the requisite university training and supervision to hundreds of board certified behavior analysts in the U.S. and overseas. Currently, he serves as the director of the Carbone Clinic in Rockland County, a northern suburb of New York City. Additionally, he serves as the director of the Carbone Clinic in Dubai, UAE. Both clinics provide behavior analytic consultation, training and therapeutic services to children, families and their treatment teams. He will be speaking on Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis.

Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis & the Treatment of Children with Autism

Monday, April 20, 2015 – 8:30am-4:30pm - During this workshop the presenter will describe role of motivation in teaching language skills to children with autism. This will include a discussion of the Jack Michael’s concept of the motivating operation and how it affects the development of language skills.  In addition, the presenter will discuss the role of joint control on the development of complex listener behavior in children with autism. The conceptual analysis of joint control as behavioral variable will be reviewed. A paper recently published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders by Causin, et al. (2013) of the Carbone Clinic will be discussed to highlight the clinical applications of this important behavioral concept with children with autism.  Video examples will be provided throughout the workshop to illustrate the clinical applications of the concepts presented.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – 8:30am-4:30pm - During this workshop the presenter will discuss the development of advanced language skills leading to conversation in persons with autism. A thorough review of the development of the intraverbal in children with autism will be presented. In addition, the presenter will conclude this day’s talk with a review of the literature and discussion of alternative communication methods for non-vocal children with autism.  A discussion of the use of sign language, picture selection and speech generating devices (SGDs) will be included. Once again, extensive use of video examples will illustrate the clinical applications.

You will have the option to attend either day (Mon or Tues) or both days.

Half Day Pre-Conference Workshops

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – 9:00am-12:00pm

Lisa Poelle, MA, Early Childhood Consultant, The Biting Solution - Learn the Biting Solution: Become an Expert on Solving Habitual Biting Problems

Bricken SparacinoProgram Coordinator, WCS Education Zoos and Aquarium - Nature Play Every Day: How Zoo Educators have Re-Imagined Science Education for Young Audiences Using Theater Arts, Play, and Youth-Directed Inquiry

Michele Parkins, MS/OTR, Occupational Therapist & Carrie Davis, MS/OTR, Supervisor - Learn and Move Together to the Sights and Sounds of Writing: Effectively Use Music and Movement to Teach Handwriting Skills

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – 1:00pm-4:00pm

Melanie Potock, MA/CCC-SLP, Certified Speech Language Pathologist, My Munch Bug, LLC - Physiologic, Motor, Sensory and Behavioral Aspects of Picky Eating and Feeding Disorders

Shauna Tominey, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Yale University - Moving Beyond, “Calm Down!” Building a Toolbox of Effective Emotion Regulation Strategies for Children and Adults

Monica Levy, Director, LeapSmart - The Special Needs Child in Your Classroom: Activities for Successful Integration

Sprout Film Festival

We are very proud to have the Sprout Film Festival at our conference. Selected short films will run from 12:00 to 12:40 each day of the conference (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday). These inspirational and educational films will delight you with their look into the world of special needs. Award winning filmmakers document the challenges, successes, trials and tribulations of young children and families as they negotiate their world. Preview these films for your own enjoyment, education and for possible inclusion in your educational programming work at your own institution. A schedule of the new 2015 films will be forthcoming.

Conference Features

  • Over 80 Conference Sessions
  • Certificates of Attendance
  • Full Day & Half Day PreConference Workshops
  • Excellent Value
  • Exhibition Hall



  • ABA
  • ADHD
  • Art Education & Therapy
  • Autism Assessment & Treatment
  • Autism Resources/Programs
  • Behavior Management
  • Bilingual Language Development/Issues
  • Bullying
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Curriculum: Common Core, Creative Curriculum, High Scope, Reggio Emilia
  • Developmental Discipline
  • Discipline Strategies
  • Divorce Impact/Legal
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Early Intervention
  • Early Literacy
  • Early Math Skills
  • Educational Policy
  • Emotional Intelligence & Literacy
  • Feeding Issues
  • Gifted/Talented
  • Immigrant Issues
  • Innovative Programs/Approaches
  • International Approaches
  • Leadership in Early Childhood
  • Mental Health
  • Motor Development
  • Multicultural Issues
  • Music & Learning
  • Music & Movement
  • Parent-Professional Partnerships
  • Play Based Approaches
  • Positive Parenting
  • Preschool Special Education
  • Resiliency Development
  • Resources for Special Needs
  • Selective Mutism
  • Sensory Integration/Issues
  • Sleep Issues
  • Social Emotional Skills Development
  • Speech/Language Issues
  • Technology Innovations (e.g. New Mobile & PC Applications & IPAD)
  • Transition to Kindergarten
  • Trauma
  • TV and Young Children
  • Yoga & Holistic Integrative Approaches



Professionals who care for or work with all young children — including typically developing children, those with special needs, gifted and bilingual children, and parents:

  • Teachers
  • Social Workers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Directors
  • Administrators
  • Case Managers
  • Parents, Grandparents, Caretakers
  • Psychologists
  • Speech Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • ABA Therapists
  • Pediatricians
  • Nurses
  • Service Coordinators
  • School Counselors
  • Foster Care Providers
  • Students


Make the 2015 Young Child Expo & Conference your Professional Development Day!