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RE-creating RECREATION Conference – March 23 & 24, 2023


The Autism Innovations and Global Impact Conference: RE-creating RECREATION as a Supplemental Intervention for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder will convene on March 23 & 24, 2023. Conference participants can also register to participate in the Roots & Ruts Off-Road 5K Run/Walk on March 25 at a discounted rate. The location of the conference is – The Els Center of Excellence® campus in Jupiter, Florida.

The conference will focus on demonstrating how RECREATION can be used as a platform for other therapeutic interventions. Leaders in recreation programs and services, dedicated to improving the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum, will be featured. The conference will provide tools and best practices for organizations, providers, and practitioners interested in initiating or expanding recreation services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders.

Topics covered will include recreation activities and experiences in the areas of:

Arts | Leisure | Healthy Living | Well-being | Sports | Fitness 

Participation in recreation activities is critically important for people with ASD and other developmental disorders. These various activities and experiences produce emotions of achievement, and enjoyment and promote inclusion, self-confidence, and increased quality of life.

Grand Sponsors | Hazel and Marvin R. Shanken


Registration is now open – Click Here to Register

Conference Registration Rates:
Regular Rate February 1-March 14, 2023 $425
Late Registration March 15-March 22, 2023 $475


Conference Schedule, Abstracts, and CEs 

Speaker Biographies – Keynotes, Presentations, and Panels

Sponsors and In-Kind Donations

Join the conference on Facebook or LinkedIn

Why attend?


Health and well-being – the overall state of one’s physical, mental, and emotional functioning – define one’s ability to engage with daily tasks, to achieve success in those tasks, to build meaningful relationships with others, and to cope with the stressors, challenges, and obstacles that naturally arise in the course of daily living. All of this is especially true for individuals with ASD. The morning of Day One will focus on the dynamic, critical, and interrelated importance of nutrition, mental health, and sleep for people living with ASD.


Self-expression and personal identity are vital for everyone. The afternoon of Day One will illustrate how arts and leisure activities, such as art, dance, music, cooking, gardening, and other clubs/hobbies, are necessary for individuals with ASD as they help improve not only gross and fine motor skills, speech-language, and behavior but also assist in the development of social skills, confidence, and a sense of self.


Beyond the well-known results of improved circulation, a strengthened immune system, and other physical and physiological benefits, sports and physical activities provide a unique opportunity to benefit individuals impacted by ASD in significant ways. The focus of Day Two is to promote sports and physical activities not merely as ends in and of themselves but rather as the means through which and a platform on which other therapeutic interventions such as speech-language, occupational, and behavior therapies, are built.

Conference Details

March 25, 2023
About the Optional – Roots & Ruts Off-Road 5K Run/Walk

On March 25th, 2023, the 4th annual Roots & Ruts Off-Road 5K Run/Walk will feature a course through the North Jupiter Flatwoods Natural Area, a 160-acre natural area preserves comprised of mesic Flatwoods, wet Flatwoods, depression marsh, and dome swamp ecosystems. Since the run will take place in natural woodlands, participants should be cautious and aware at all times during the race. Racers should expect to encounter multiple ground surfaces throughout the race such as pavement, gravel, sand, and grass. Conference attendees are invited to participate in the morning’s Roots & Ruts 5K Run/Walk activities in any capacity of their choosing.

Sensory-Friendly Obstacle Course: Perfect for children, family, and non-competitive runners. The course will feature obstacles that involve jumping, balancing, water, crawling, and more. 

Post-race Expo: Will feature a variety of businesses who support Els for Autism Foundation®.

Refund Policy

Conference registration and CE registration, if applicable, may be canceled with a full refund (less the processing fee) provided email notification to  is received by March 1, 2023, three (3) weeks prior to the conference start date of March 23, 2023. Cancellations after March 1, 2023, will not receive a refund. In the case of an emergency/extenuating circumstances, special requests may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the conference management team.

Transfer of Registration
If you register and are unable to attend the conference for any reason you may substitute, by arrangement with the conference manager, someone else to attend in your place. Request registration transfers by emailing

Registered individuals who do not attend the conference and have not canceled will not be refunded.


The 2023 RE-creating Recreation Conference will take place at:

The Els Center of Excellence
18370 Limestone Creek Road
Jupiter, Florida 33458

Main telephone: 561-598-6200

Speaker Biographies – Keynotes, Presentations, and Panels

Speakers in alphabetical order:

All Speaker Bios and Speaking Times

Andrew Blitman, Professional Artist, and Published Author

Dani Bowman, Founder, and CEO, DaniMation Entertainment

Doreen Cammarata, MS, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Eric Chessen, MS, Founder, Autism Fitness

Greg Connors, Recreation Services Coordinator, Els for Autism Foundation

Rachel Costello, C-IAYT, ERYT500, RCYT, RPYT, YACEP, Executive Director, Yo Re Mi, Certified Yoga Therapist

Joshua Deer, Certified Golf Instructor

Dr. Shannon Dieringer, Professor of Applied Behavior Analysis and Department Chair of Special Education, Ball State University

Merrick Egber, Communications Specialist, Els for Autism Foundation

Graziella Gadia, Teacher of Arts, Eyecontact, and Arts & Hearts

Dr. Erin Brooker Lozott, BCBA-D, CCC-SLP, Program Director, Els for Autism Foundation

Erica Lyles, MT-BC, Director, Whole Vibes

Jason Miletsky, B.S. CPT, Founder, and President, Exceptional Fitness Foundation

Maricarmen Saleta, LGIT, WSIT, AAC, BA Psychology, Swimming Instructor

Dr. Jack Scott, Executive Director, Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)

Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor, Adelphi University

Dr. Marlene Sotelo, BCBA-D, MT-BC, Els for Autism Foundation

Tiago Toledo, Applied Behavior Analysis, Neuromotricity, and Psychomotricity Graduate, BPhEd, Adapted PE Teacher

Jen Van Horn, DT, MS HS, Holistic Nutritionist

Dr. Amy Wagenfeld, OTR/L, SCEM, EDAC, FAOTA, Principal of Amy Wagenfeld | Design, Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington

James A. Williams, Advisory Board Member, Els for Autism Foundation

Active Demonstrations

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to select two of the four Active Demonstrations available on Friday, March 24th.

Active Demonstration I: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Active Demonstration II: 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Equine Assisted Learning


For detailed information on CEUs/CEs go to:
Conference Schedule, Abstracts, and CEs 

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) = 9 CEUs


Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

The Foundation is recognized by the Athletics and Fitness Association of America as an Approved Continuing Education Provider for 7 AFAA CEUs. AFAA CEUs are dependent on session selection.



Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)

BACB CE’s = 3 hours of general continuing education credits



Florida Board of Physical Therapy Practice CE23-960644 Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) = 6 CEs

Accreditation of this course does not necessarily imply the FPTA supports the views of the presenters or the sponsors.

Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition CE23-960644  = 6 CEs


This course has been sanctioned by the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) for 9 contact hours. Sanctioning of this course does not imply endorsement of specific content, products or clinical procedures by FOTA.  CE Broker Course Tracking number 20-972554


National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

The Foundation is recognized by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as an Approved Continuing Education Provider for 7 NASM CEUs. NASM CEUs are dependent on session selection.


School District of Palm Beach County attendees can earn 12 Florida Educator Inservice Points

Who Should Attend?

Therapists Across Disciplines
Families/Clients/Self Advocates


Art Therapists
Art Teachers
Dance Therapists
Educators – Regular and Special Education
Music Therapists


Mental Health LCSD LEC
Yoga Instructors


Occupational Therapists
Personal Trainers
Physical Education Teacher
Physical Therapists
Recreational Therapists
Special Educators in Sports Fields
Sports Experts

Hotels Nearby

Best Western Intracoastal Inn
810 US-1, Jupiter, FL 33477(561) 575-2936

Best Western Plus Palm Beach Gardens Hotel & Suites and Conference Ct
11360 US-1, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33408(561) 844-8448

Comfort Inn and Suites
6752 W Indiantown Rd, Jupiter, FL 33458(561) 745-7997

Courtyard by Marriott Abacoa Next to Roger Dean Stadium
4800 Main St, Jupiter, FL 33458(561) 776-2700

Doubletree by Hilton
4431 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410(561) 622-2260

Embassy Suites by Hilton Palm Beach Gardens 
4350 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410(561) 622-1000

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott
6748 W Indiantown Rd, Jupiter, FL 33458(561) 748-5252

Hampton Inn
13801 US-1, Juno Beach, FL 33408561) 626-9090

Hilton Garden Inn
3505 Kyoto Gardens Drive, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410(561) 694-5833

Homewood Suites by Hilton
4700 Donald Ross Rd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418(561) 622-7799

Jupiter Beach Resort
5 N Hwy A1A, Jupiter, FL 33477(561) 746-2511

Jupiter Waterfront Inn
18903 SE Federal Hwy, Jupiter, FL 33469(561) 747-9085

LaQuinta Inn Wyndham
34 Fishermans Way, Jupiter, FL 33477(561) 575-7201

Palm Beach Gardens Marriott
4000 RCA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410(561) 622-8888

PGA National Resort
400 Ave of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
(800) 863-2819

Residence Inn by Marriott
4250 Design Center Dr, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410(561) 725-4608

Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place
122 Soundings Ave, Jupiter, FL 33477(561) 273-6600

Weather and what to wear

March is typically a nice weather month for Jupiter, Florida. Although rain is always a possibility.

Typical March temperatures are:

High 80 degrees
Low 64 degrees

The conference dress code is business casual.  Conference attendees should think about having a jacket or sweater layer as the auditorium is airconditioned and can feel cold to some people.

Active Demonstrations are outdoors (weather permitting), and comfortable, preferably flat shoes are recommended as conference attendees will be walking through grassy areas. In addition for the outdoor Active Demonstrations, conference attendees may want to be prepared with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat or cap.

Sponsors and In-Kind Donations

Monetary Sponsors
The Foundation relies on generous sponsors to make events possible. For more information on sponsorships, contact Paige Thomas at:

or download the Sponsor Brochure

Supporting Sponsors
Supporting Sponsors are non-monetary sponsors. They are individuals, businesses, and organizations that promote the conference by means of distributing conference communications to share news about the conference.  If you are interested in becoming a Supporting Sponsor, please contact us here


Volunteers are an essential part of the Els for Autism® program, and becoming a volunteer is greatly appreciated.  Sign up to become a volunteer.


If you have questions about the conference, contact us at: