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“Outside the Box Child” Educational Conference




details coming soon

Saturday, September 23, 2017   8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Park Century School – 3939 Landmark Street, Culver City, 90232

Supporting Child Success Foundation’s mission to expand awareness in the community about the developmental and learning challenges that children face and how to address them.

The Conference will give parents and professionals the opportunity to learn best practices and strategies to support the “outside the box” kids in their lives.


Professionals in the fields of education, psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, occupational and speech therapy, parents and caregivers.


  • Insight from local educational leadership on identifying and supporting “outside the box” kids.
  • Innovative professional approaches to helping kids who struggle with executive functioning, anxiety and learning differences.
  • Current thinking on speech and language disorders, medication, diagnostics/evaluation and other relevant topics.
  • Interactive panel including Q&A featuring perspectives from parents, educators, therapists and other professionals.

All net proceeds from this event go directly to funding life changing therapies for children. 

ATTEND EVENT – click here to purchase tickets 

Special Teacher Pricing Available Through September 20, 2017 – click here 

BECOME AN EVENT SPONSOR – 3 Levels of Sponsorship Available – click here for details


Details on Speaker Topics:

Moving From Struggling to Learning

Local leaders in education, Ilene Silk, Michele Gathrid and Claudia Koochek, will address their experiences being on the front lines of education. Topics will include what school behaviors require further evaluation, how a school can provide support, what resources are available and when it is time to look at specialized schools.


Michele Gathrid

Michele Gathrid

Director, Circle of Children

Michele Gathrid is the Director at Circle of Children Preschool in Santa Monica . Deeply committed to
early childhood education, her developmental philosophy is to provide individualized, quality attention
to children, families and staff. Michele’s focus on relationships extends beyond the classroom to the
community of staff and families who have worked together to bring the school’s vision to fruition and
keep it alive and growing. Michele has been the preschool Director since 2000, prior to that Michele was
a preschool and DK teacher at Circle of Children, The Buckley School, and Wildwood School.

Ilene Silk

Ilene Silk

Elementary School Dean, Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences

Ilene Silk spent 24 years as a Grade 1- 8 classroom teacher in Philadelphia public schools pioneering targeted programs to support the social, emotional and academic needs of her students. Her work continued in California as a lead teacher before developing an administrative role as Elementary School Dean at Crossroads for the past 13 years. Among her capacities is creating small villages, “teams” of specialized adults, who support children whose learning is impacted by intrinsic and/or extrinsic factors. Inspired by her University of Pennsylvania, mentor, Dr. Irene Gaskins, Ilene is committed to nurturing relationships with students, parents, teachers and service providers in order to strengthen the self-esteem and empowerment of students.
Claudia Koochek

Claudia Koochek

Head of School, Westmark School

Claudia Koochek is the head of school at Westmark School in Encino, California, and a well-known educator in the LD community. She serves on the board of directors at Parent Education Network (PEN) and at Dyslexic Advantage, and on the advisory board of the Dyslexia Center at University of California, San Francisco. Born and raised in El Salvador, Koochek taught vision-impaired students as well as students with multiple disabilities before relocating to the United States at the age of 21. She spent the next 20 years as a teacher and administrator at Charles Armstrong School, in Belmont, California, before being appointed head of school. Koochek holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master of arts degree, and a credential in special education.

Moving From Chaos to Control

Melissa Idelson, OT and Jayme Neiman-Kimel, Ph.D. will discuss how to help children who struggle with Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention issues and Executive Functioning deficits organize their worlds, learn to self regulate and develop the necessary skills to move towards independence.


Melissa Idelson

Melissa Idelson


Melissa Idelson, OTR/L, is the Founding President of Child Success Foundation (CSF) and Director of the Child Success Center in Santa Monica, CA. Melissa began her career as a pediatric Occupational Therapist in 1990. Originally from Perth, Western Australia, where she was first introduced to sensory integration in college, she moved to California in 1995 to complete graduate studies in Ayres Sensory Integration* (ASI) theory and practice at the University of Southern California.
Jayme Neiman-Kimel

Jayme Neiman-Kimel


Jayme is a board certified pediatric neuropsychologist and leading specialist in neuropsychological assessment for children and young adults. Over the last 20 years, she has built a practice that has provided service to hundreds of clients, schools and expert witness testimony. Dr. Neiman-Kimel also maintains a private clinical practice providing therapy to adolescents, adults, and couples. Dr. Neiman-Kimel’s practice focuses on providing developmental, behavioral, and cognitive assessments. Her approach is to develop a fully integrated plan incorporating leading specialists in the field to provide a comprehensive approach to clearly understanding and supporting the developmental and cognitive needs of the child. Professional memberships include National Academy of Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, and Los Angeles Psychological Association.

Moving From Uncertainty to Security

Stephanie Mihalas, Ph.D. will explore the ways in which parents and professionals can identify and support children with anxiety. Included in this presentation will be resources that can help and practical tools to use in the home or classroom.


Stephanie Mihalas

Stephanie Mihalas


Dr. Stephanie Mihalas is a child psychologist and is a board certified and nationally certified school psychologist in Los Angeles, California. She is the founder of The Center for Well-Being: Psychological Services for Children, Youth, and Families. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She works with youth who exhibit emotional and behavior disorders. Her research also focuses on increasing the bond between teachers and children with special education needs and with children who have experienced relational aggression and victimization.

Moving From Confusion to Understanding

Stacey Siegel will both explain as well as demystify ‘dyslexia’ and its impact on academics; and provide practical ideas and strategies that can help with reading, spelling, and reading comprehension.


Stacey Siegel

Stacey Siegel


Stacey Siegel is the High School Learning Specialist at Brentwood School. She is a professional level educational therapist with Masters Degrees in Educational Therapy and English. Before becoming an educational therapist, Stacey taught English at several schools across Los Angeles including The Buckley School and California State University at Northridge. As an educational therapist, she has worked with children from ages 6-18 and specializes in literacy and cognition. When working one-on-one with students, Stacey believes in using metacognition to help students find better ways to understand their learning process and bolster areas of challenge with areas of strength. Stacey believes strongly in developing cognitive thought and critical thinking, empowering students, and treating the whole child.

Everything Else You Need to Know

Attendees will hear from professionals and have a chance to ask questions related to medication, diagnosis, speech disorders, educational therapy, social and emotional concerns and much more. Panelists include, Dr. Adam Lasser, Dr. Stephanie Mihalas, Dr. Alan Brodney, Dr. Jayme Neiman-Kimel, Stacey Siegel, Farryl Dickter, Marjaneh Manavi, Melissa Idelson.


Farryl Dickter

Farryl Dickter

Licensed Speech-Language Therapist

Farryl Dickter is both a licensed speech-language therapist and a professional educational therapist who has over 30 years experience as an expert on the link between oral communication and literacy. She has worked with children 2-22 years of age, who have all types of speech, language, or learning challenges and has a specialized approach for those who need both oral and reading skills, besides other learning challenges. Ms. Dickter has presented at numerous national and state professional conferences and has provided staff workshops for many local private and public schools. Ms. Dickter has worked in hospitals and schools, has trained other professionals in clinical and college settings, and has served on the board for the Association of Educational Therapists. She currently leads a private practice in Sherman Oaks.
Stacey Siegel

Stacey Siegel


Alan C. Brodney

Alan C. Brodney


Dr. Brodney attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry, where he became a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society. He is a 25 year member of the American Optometric Association, as well as a certified Fellow of Optometrists in the College of Vision Development.  As a behavioral optometrist, he has spent hundreds of hours  in post graduate continuing education to master the complex visual programs prescribed to prevent or eliminate visual problems and enhance visual performance in children and adults. He has presented numerous Teacher Workshops throughout Los Angeles area on “Detecting Visual Problems in the Classroom.”  Dr. Brodney founded the vision program in the rehabilitation department at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, and currently continues his evaluation of visual disabilities resulting from stroke or traumatic brain injury at his private practice.

Conference Schedule

“Out of the Box Child” Educational Conference Schedule – September 23, 2017

8:00 – 8:30 Breakfast/Networking (Lite Breakfast included)
8:30 – 8:35 Park Century Welcome and Intro of Founder
8:35 – 8:45 Founder’s Welcome – Melissa Idelson
8:45 – 9:00 Personal Story – Lily Manavi
9:00 – 10:30 Moving From Struggling to Learning – Michele Gathrid, Ilene Silk and Claudia Koochek
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:15 Moving From Chaos to Control – Jayme Neiman Kimel and Melissa Idelson
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 Moving From Uncertainty to Security – Stephanie Mihalas
2:15 – 3:15 Moving From Confusion to Understanding – Stacey Siegel
3:15 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 5:00 Panel: Everything Else You Need to Know – Dr. Adam Lasser, Dr. Stephanie Mihalas, Dr. Jayme Neiman-Kimel, Melissa Idelson, Stacy Siegel, Ferryl Dickter, Dr. Alan Brodney and Marjaneh Manavi