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Mark Ylvisaker Memorial Pediatric Brain Injury Symposium

Mark Ylvisaker Memorial Pediatric Brain Injury Symposium

Mark YlvisakerIn 2015, the BI-ISIG Pediatric-Adolescent Brain Injury Task Force, with support from the ACRM Pediatric Rehabilitation Networking Group, started a Memorial Symposium to honor the work of Mark Ylvisaker, PhD and perpetuate his message.

Dr. Ylvisaker gained worldwide distinction over the course of his 35-year career for his ground-breaking approaches to brain injury rehabilitation and his clinical work with children and adolescents with disabilities. He assisted programs in all 50 states and more than 15 countries in the development of innovative services. He was renowned for his boundless optimism and passionate commitment to his work and the people he supported, and for his unique ability to help individuals with disabilities, families, and professionals overcome barriers and achieve success in life.

Dr. Ylvisaker authored more than 100 professional publications, including six books, related to brain injury, autism, and neurogenic disabilities and served on the editorial boards of six journals. He was the recipient of many awards for his life’s work, including, a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Brain Injury Association of America and the prestigious Frank R. Keffner National Lifetime Clinical Career Award from the American Speech Language and Hearing Foundation.

His tireless dedication to the well-being of others and the power of his positive personality helped change untold lives for the better. Dr. Ylvisaker pushed his colleagues to think about the person, their motivation, and surroundings, based on the work of Lev Vygotsky who theorized that children’s cognitive functions emerged as a result of practical activity in a social environment. He showed how clinical experience is a laboratory for research.

Dr. Ylvisaker passed away in 2009. Through this annual symposium focused on the values he emulated, the BI-ISIG hopes to continue his influence.



  • 2020: Peter A. Meulenbroek, PhD, MSCI, CCC-SLP
  • 2019: Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD, FACRM
  • 2018: Timothy Feeney, PhD
  • 2017: Lyn Turkstra, PhD
  • 2016: Shari L. Wade, PhD
  • 2015: Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD; Ann Glang, PhD; Mary Kennedy, PhD