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EVEnt Therapy


Emotional Vocal Exploration (EVEnt) Mission Statement:

To empower intellectual and emotional growth in students with complex verbal skill-sets through dynamic choice-making and independent thought. To validate internally motivated and self-initiated responses which expand interests and ideas through conversation and promote the power of voice.

To align the science (of EVEnt) with the heart, we brought in

Amanda Leeder background image Amanda Leeder
Amanda Leeder

is currently a doctoral candidate in Fordham University's Applied Developmental Psychology program. Before attending Fordham, Amanda received her M.A in General Psychology at New York University. Amanda has six years of experience implementing and researching therapeutic interventions for the ASD population in home and school settings.

to assist us in this process. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Fordham University’s Applied Developmental Psychology program. Before attending Fordham, Amanda received her M.A. in General Psychology at New York University and has six years of experience implementing and researching therapeutic interventions for the ASD population in home and school settings.

Amanda has written the following synopsis to address her experience and understanding of the Emotional Vocal Exploration model:

Quote MarkEVEnt is a communication approach developed by the co-founders of the Emerge & See Education Center, and designed for individuals on the autistic spectrum with linguistic and social difficulties. The approach prides itself on the high level of respect therapists have for learners, which is inherent in the former’s expectation for the latter to be active participants in discussion. These expectations are based on individualized sensory, physical and cognitive profiles of learners that are assessed at the baseline level before therapy begins.

EVEnt integrates the developmental basis of DIR/Floortime™ and the literacy focus of RPM™ (Rapid Prompt Method), but distinguishes itself according to its focus on teaching people with autism to communicate and advocate for their emotional, physical and intellectual needs and desires through the power of choice. EVEnt is designed to empower individuals with social and linguistic challenges by encouraging them to choose from a continuous array of topic choices that either switches the conversation topic or delves further into a topic that the learner has previously chosen. The therapist uses the choices of the learner to better direct the conversation, and the expectation is that the learner will utilize the tools afforded to them in order to converse within a topic that motivates them. Choosing topics that are honored by the therapist allows learners to value the utility of language in supporting self-advocacy and learning, thereby becoming active discussion participants.Quote Mark

Atlas CardEVEnt is a revolutionary use of the basic concept that all people are empowered by choice.  As Dr. Stanley Greenspan, founder of DIR/Floortime™ stated time and again in his lectures and consultations, “There is no greater feeling than that of being understood!” With that statement ringing in our ears, it became evident that the community needed to understand this method and the doors it opens to building relationships, modifying curriculum and assessing students true knowledge base as well as the expression of their personalities. It is imperative for this program to work for the individual communicating via EVEnt and that they be honored for what they are saying. EVEent fundamentally encourages students to speak their mind: students are able to change the topic, to complain, or to say what they need to. We do not shy away from tough topics, emotions or personal interests. Similarly, we do not insert our own beliefs or agendas into the EVEnt sessions, thus creating a space for mutual trust, respect and honesty.

  • Who? - Students who exhibit an understanding of symbolic thinking, who have strong visual tracking and memory, make intentional choices via pointing, and who are able to maintain physical/sensory regulation long for periods of 5 - 20 minutes.

  • What? EVEnt is a choice making process for non-verbal and semi-verbal individuals that layers in elements of reciprocal conversation, sequential thinking, opinions, and emotional processing to greater build confidence in communication and relationships for students not only with their teachers, but their families and community members as well.

  • Where? - EVEnt can take place anywhere there is a flat surface on which paper choices can be written and displayed.

  • When ? - There is not time when EVEnt should not be used. Just as verbal individuals are able to speak anytime, so should an individual with language challenges. Being heard is a right we are entitled to 24/7.

  • Why? - EVEnt was created to expand the repertoire of subjects and venues in which people engage in conversation as well as the depth and layering of thought which goes into personal dialogue and understanding of Self and relationships with others.

Cutting Edge Therapies For Autism BookYou can read more about EVEnt in Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism by Ken Siri and Tony Lyons. (Chapter written by directors Amanda Friedman & Alison Berkley)

Read The Chapter: Emotional Vocal Exploration

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