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Breakout Session Descriptions (in alphabetical order by title) A Special Education Success Story Presenter: Jennifer Fitzhugh, Jennifer Fitzhugh Advocacy Jennifer describes the success of her sons journey through public education with a disability and the successful transition into adulthood that is now a book entitled Seth's Story. Alternatives to Guardianship Presenter: Brooke Kearney, MS; Director of Community Services Case Management and Community Education, The Arc of San Antonio Brooke will provide a better understanding of the process of adult guardianship, as well as an overview of the alternatives to guardianship including Supported Decision-Making, Powers of Attorney, Representative Payee, and additional options. Autism Safety Risks and Prevention Tips Presenter: Sandra E. Jacobs, Autism Education Specialist, Any Baby Can Parents and caregivers of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are invited to learn important information on safety in the home for their child on the spectrum. Sandra will provide information on how to identify potential hazards in the home, how to develop a household safety plan, and cover information on wandering patterns and possible triggers for wandering. Bookshare: Solutions for People with Reading Barriers Presenter: Matt Hattoon, Outreach Coordinator, Bookshare/Accessible Books for Texas Come learn how Bookshare, the worlds largest library of eBooks in accessible formats (over 575,000 titles, including textbooks), makes reading possible for people who experience barriers to reading due to visual, physical, or learning disabilities. Bookshare is free for U.S. students, and non-students can join for a low annual subscription. Compatible with Computers, Chromebooks, Tablets, and Smartphones, Bookshare makes reading accessible to all! Bullying: Tips for Parents and Teachers Presenter: Cheri Kahn, Educational Specialist, Educational Service Center, Region 20 Cheri will inform participants on Senate Bill 179 (AKA David's Law) and what the school's responsibilities are in regards to reporting and investigating alleged bullying incidents, the characteristics of someone being bullied and how to recognize signs of students who bully. Bullying: Tips for Parents and Teachers will provide participants with research-based interventions/techniques on how to empower children to solve their own problems and learn ways to respond to bullying situations. Compassion Fatigue: Helping the Helper Presenter: Amy Cunningham, Talent Management Consultant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a health issue most people are familiar with, but what about those individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for the traumatized? The empathetic nature of caring professionals exposes them to an increased risk of vicarious trauma, or Compassion Fatigue, where the helper during a crisis can also become personally affected without personally experiencing the trauma. The PTSD symptoms can begin to manifest in those serving the traumatized and begin to create significant personal, emotional, and psychological changes within a person. In this session, Amy will teach you how to differentiate between stress, burnout, and Compassion Fatigue. You will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of Compassion Fatigue, identify the trajectory, and begin to implement the 5 resiliences needed to assist you achieving post traumatic growth. De-Escalation and Protection Strategies Presenters: Diane Cosnowski, Student/Instructor/Co-Founder, Kaizen Edge Foundation Michael Hanson, Owner/Chief Instruction, Elite Edge Training Michael and Diane will safely show you how to de-escalate a situation while maintaining the trust that is very important between the individual with special needs and the persons that care for them. While participants are not able to be a part of the "hands on demonstration" they will learn valuable skills that they can immediately use. Do I Really Need a Special Needs Trust? Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs Presenter: Charles J. Weisinger, CEO, Weisinger Law Firm Charles will address basic estate planning principles and documents including Powers of Attorney, Wills and Special Needs Trusts. Dysgraphia Risk Factors & Interventions Presenter: Katy Kloberdanz, Dyslexia Specialist, Education Service Center, Region 20 In this session, Katy will guide participants in simulation activities to better understand the characteristics and risk-factors of dysgraphia. The assessment and identification process will be briefly explored before discussing instructional and programming options to support students identified with dysgraphia. Exploring the 8 Dimensions of Wellness Presenter: Stephanie Peterson, Manager of Community Relations, Clarity Child Guidance Center In this session, Stephanie will talk about how wellness includes more dimensions than most people realize. You will leave this session with a better understanding of what being 'well' feels like to you, along with solid tips to improve your mental health and 'wellness' in all 8 dimensions. As parents, it's imperative we learn to take care of our own wellness so we can better help our children. This also provides teachable moments for our children, in leading by example. Facilitation Skills in the ARD Process: Conflict Resolution for Committee Members Presenter: Anissa Moore, Educational Consultant, Anissa Moore Educational/Behavioral Consulting We know that ARD meetings are intended for the greater good of every student, but when conflicts arise it can be challenging to stay focused on the end goal. Parents, teachers, and administrators can all benefit from facilitation skills. Learn the art of the facilitated IEP meeting, a process in which all team members learn 1) focused questioning and listening skills, 2) how to attack the problem and not the person, and 3) handle emotions during disagreements. This session focuses on the importance of communication and data to drive good decisions for students during ARD or 504 meetings. Fine Motor FUN! From Chopsticks to Squeeze Balls: Making Learning FUN! Presenter: Sarah Ford, PPCD Specialist, Education Service Center, Region 20 Join us as we have FUN learning about young children's fine motor development! We will actively explore ways to support fine motor development in the early childhood classroom and home setting. A "Mini Make & Take" activity will be provided for all participants. Helping Kids Overcome Anxiety Presenters: Cori Callahan, LPC-Intern; Easter Seals Early Childhood Intervention Trisha Govini, MA, LPC; Easter Seals Early Childhood Intervention Parents, teachers and other professionals will gain a better understanding of how a childs brain is affected when they are experiencing anxiety. The goal of this session is to provide tools to help children find a healthy, affective way to conquer anxiety. Improving self-awareness, communication skills and developing coping techniques can help alleviate the symptoms. Trisha and Cori will share ideas and tangible tools parents can use right away. Their hope is that participants gain more confidence in recognizing anxiety and learn how to be an effective helper. I Have a Special Needs Kid! What Am I Going to Do Now? Presenter: Rick Daynes, author, Keep It Together Man Every parent at some point has had that moment when they thought they knew what they were doing, only to find out they didn't know jack squat. This interactive session will cause you to take a good look atwait for it YOU! You are a unique parent with a special needs kid. We will assess the framework, the environment, and the grind of your day. By combining group discussion with sharing of promising practices, this presentation will explore techniques that will bring a renewed attitude and effort to your home. Consequently, participants will leave armed with tools, renewed spirits, and an action plan for progress. Improving Your Toddlers Communication Skills Presenters: Emily Hernandez, Speech Language Pathologist, Brighton Center Heidi Pinkerton, Speech Language Pathologist, Brighton Center Emily and Heidi will be going over developmental milestones for speech and language development of children ages birth to three years old. Information will be provided on receptive and expressive language skills, articulation, and red-flags for speech and language delays. Strategies and activities will also be provided to help facilitate speech and language development in toddlers. Instructional Accommodations & Modifications Presenter: Karla Calla, Special Education Advocate & Trainer, Brighton Center During this session, Karla will teach participants about the instructional accommodations and modifications available to children in special education. They will learn the differences between the two and have insight on how to determine which is the best fit for their child. Real examples will be given and explained, related to different disabilities and needs. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how these elements affect their childrens education and how they can provide their input to make sure that they are contributing to their childrens success. Its All Fun & Games! Presenter: Stephanie Pepi, Director, Starfish Social Club Games are an excellent way to teach kids how to think about others. This session utilizes participant engagement to demonstrate social skills you may not even think about teaching and reinforcing when it comes to playing games. It will also touch on the behaviors you may be allowing from your child that actually cause others to NOT want to play with him/her! Marriage is What Brings Us Together Today Presenter: Rick Daynes, author, Keep It Together Man Married? In a relationship? Didnt work out? Sometimes, it just aint easy. What matters most in marriage are often times forgotten by both parties to it. Plus, you have extra circumstances! We dive into the real nuts and bolts of relationships and what makes them grow. Communication, balance, antecedents, priorities, POG's (Parents Only Getaway), and much more! This program offers life changing solutions to all parents who want to empower their marriage and shape the brightest future for their family. Mental Health and You: How Do You Help When You Dont Know Presenter: F. Leanne Lindsey, Director, Bexar CARES Project This session will discuss mental health disorders common in children and adolescents, as well as signs and symptoms. Other types of discussions include risk and protective factors and types of treatment(s). Parental Rights & Special Education 101 Presenter: Girasol Margain, Special Education Advocate & Trainer, Brighton Center In this session, participants will have a clear understanding of how the Admission, Review & Dismissal (ARD) process works and supports students through Special Education Services. Perspectives of a Special Educator & Parent Presenter: Mills C. Rodgers, Speaker/Owner, Rodgers Speaks! Join Mills Rodgers as he shares his very personal and intimate experiences with special education. He will discuss misconceptions about special education and debunk the stereotype that special education is only for the severely disabled students. Mills will also provide an overview of the settings, methodologies, and approaches to how schools address special education students. Piece It TogetherFinancial Planning for a Special Needs Loved One Presenters: Brian Lynch, Financial Advisor, AXA Advisors Miguel Velasco, Regional Vice President, AXA Advisors Brian and Miguel will provide general information with regard to Financial Planning for individuals and family members with Special Needs. Information on Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Act will also be provided. He will describe the financial planning process in a language everyone can understand, creating awareness and inspiring parents to take action. Problem Behaviors: Childhood through Adult Presenters: Laura McWhorter, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Collaborative Autism Resources & Education (CARE) Janet Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer, Collaborative Autism Resources & Education (CARE) Laura and Jan will provide information to parents and teachers on how to prevent and redirect challenging behaviors into functional and healthy replacement behaviors. This session will span behavior starting in early childhood through the adult years. Social Security Income vs. Social Security Disability Income Presenter: Packard Law Firm Social Security Disability programs offer assistance to individuals with disabilities. Packard Law Firm will provide an overview and help parents understand these programs. They will review eligibility criteria and the differences between each Social Security program. In addition, they will provide tips and strategies on what to avoid when going through the process of applying for Social Security Disability. STAAR Access and Supports for the Special Education Student Presenter: Kelly Joseph, Special Education Accountability Specialist, Education Service Center, Region 20 Kelly will share information on the STAAR accessibility features, supports and accommodations available to students receiving special education services. Utilizing TEA materials and released tests, parents should gain an understanding of what supports are available to their child and be able to discuss appropriate supports with the ARD Committee and teachers in preparation for testing. Strategies to Help Children Handle Sensory Input Presenter: Adrienne Gaither, Occupational Therapist, Autism Community Network In this session Adrienne will guide you to understand what sensory processing disorder is and how it affects life skills. She will also identify the causes and share the different types and characteristics of processing disorders and strategies to help your child overcome. Strategies to Help Picky Eaters Presenter: Adrienne Gaither, Occupational Therapist, Autism Community Network Children who are described as picky eaters are prevalent in our society. But, some children have more difficult problems with feeding. Adrienne will explain the difference between picky eating and problem feeding, and share strategies for expanding the food choices accepted by children. Success with Children with ADHD Presenter: Mark S. Jones, Owner, Mark S. Jones, PLLC In this session, you will learn about the nature of ADHD, current treatment options, and parenting tips and strategies for helping your child. The Imagery-Language Connection: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions for Children with Weak Reading and Comprehension Presenter: Jennifer Sangave, Center Director, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes When do low grades, homework challenges, or reading difficulties indicate an underlying learning weakness? Can these learning weaknesses be overcome? This session guides parents and educators through new research that reveals the symptoms, causes, and solutions for these learning challenges so their students can learn to their full potential. The Transition Process: Early ChildhoodGraduation Presenters: Shauna Abrego, Transition Teacher Stacey Sebesta, Transition Teacher Shauna and Stacey will provide guidance on the transition process from diagnosis to graduation from high school. They will offer suggestions on what families should be doing at each stage of the transition process: Early Childhood, Middle School, and High School. Helpful websites and organization ideas will be shared as well. Toilet Training 101 Laura McWhorter, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Collaborative Autism Resources & Education (CARE) This session will break down toilet training into small and easy to manage steps. Laura will teach parents and caregivers how to use ABA techniques to promote successful toilet training for any ages. This demonstration will include methods on how to reinforce desired behaviors and reduce unwanted behaviors. Laura will teach specific tools/methods to assist with the process and also address ways to make progress through common pitfalls. Understanding the Full & Individual Evaluation Presenters: Rebecca Garza, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology Melissa Robinson, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology Rebecca and Melissa will provide information about the purpose and components of the Full & Individual Evaluation (FIE), when it is conducted by a Licensed Specialist In School Psychology (LSSP). Information on parental consent for the evaluation will also be reviewed with participants. Understanding the Intellectual Disability (ID) Diagnosis Presenter: Louise ODonnell, Pediatric Neuropsychologist; Assistant Professor UT Health Louise will explain the process utilized by psychologists to determine whether or not an individual has an intellectual disability. This will involve a discussion of the assessment process, including the standardized testing instruments that are employed and the parent or caretakers role in the evaluation process. Louise will also discuss the strengths and limitations inherent in this process and the critical importance of understanding the uniqueness of each person. Visual Supports for the Nonverbal Child Presenter: Dana Frankland, Educational Specialist in Low Incidence Disabilities, Assistive Technology and Related Services, Education Service Center, Region 20 Dana will provide background information on building communication along with tips, tools and strategies to elicit communication. Participants will leave with an understanding of visual levels of representations and how to provide and fade support. We will briefly discuss communication systems and how participants can create quick and easy communication boards. Vocational Rehabilitation Presenters: Carlos Hernandez, Regional Transition Specialist, Texas Workforce SolutionVocational Rehabilitation Services Conrad Herrera, Transition Counselor, Texas Workforce SolutionVocational Rehabilitation Services This session focuses on services available through the Texas Workforce Solutions - Vocational Rehabilitation Services program. Carlos and Conrad will discuss the definition of vocational rehabilitation (VR), the VR process, available services, our transition program for students ages 14-22, and current initiatives. What the PLAAFP? Presenter: Mary Jane Williams, Executive Director, Family to Family Network Present Levels of Academic Achievement & Functional Performance. Simply put, Present Levels answer the questions: what can this student do and what does he/she know right now? Why is the PLAAFP so important and how should it connect to your childs IEP goals and objectives? Come learn more today!

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