NATSAP is a wonderful resource for parents looking for programs, and for educational consultants. As a member of NATSAP, I attend this annual conference because it serves multiple functions, including networking with many educational consultants and learning about new therapeutic schools and programs. The conference also offers clinical information and workshops about new directions in treatment of adolescents and young adults. So, not only was I able to catch up with colleagues, learn about new schools and programs and new trends in treatment, but thanks to Andy Anderson and ISPA (independent small program alliance) I participated in the second annual STICC (Saving Teens in Crisis Collaborative) charitable golf tournament.
This year I had a lot of fun playing with Eric, from Pacific Quest, Christian from Alpine Academy, and Dan from Mountain Valley Treatment Center. We donated many golf balls to the course, left one on top of the club house roof, and quite a few in the surrounding homes, roads and neighborhoods. I can’t even tell you how many we left in the water. One of the highlights of the game was when I hit a low flying ball into a wooden post about 70 yards out, and it bounced off and returned almost exactly to where I stood. I kept calling it ‘clown golf.’ But bottom line, we had a lot of laughs and tons of fun!
The rest of the week the conference proceeded on a more educational note, and I learned more about the new DSM V, Reactive Attachment Disorder treatment, and gaming and gaming addictions. I also enjoyed the keynote speaker Dr. John Ratey. He discussed his research about exercise and the positive effects that exercise has on us. His message was very clear: exercise is good for emotional regulation and cognitive enhancement. He also discussed the research taking place at UC Irvine, and the study that shows that exercise helps our brains. It is research worth taking a look at, http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/brief-exercise-immediately-enhances-memory-uci-study-finds/