Session 1 – 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Understanding the Traumatized Brain: Insights into Childhood Trauma

Trauma is often thought of as a single event that results in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, research now demonstrates that chronic and long-lasting exposure to stress can disrupt normal childhood development across multiple areas of development. We will take a look at the impact of developmental trauma on the developing brain, particularly during the first few years of life, and how it affects children’s ability to develop relationships, attend to learning, and regulate their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. We will also review practical strategies to become “emotion co-regulators” for children in order to lessen the impact of developmental trauma on their functioning across environments. Presenter: Feyza Basoglu, MD, Howard Center, CSAC

This workshop is intended for everyone who supports children and youth (ages birth – 22).

Nurture Your Child’s Nature: Understanding Sensory Needs

Does your child have behaviors that you don’t quite understand? What sensory needs are common among children with special needs? What can you do to meet your child’s unique sensory needs? Presenters will demystify sensory processing; share their perspectives and approaches for accommodating sensory differences; explain how professionals and parents can work together to help children be comfortable in their environment; and share resources for families. This workshop is for anyone who wants to stomp out the stigma associated with sensory processing differences! Presenters: Kele Bourdeau, parent and MA; Melanie Pope, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Kids’ RehabGYM

This workshop is intended for everyone who is impacted by sensory processing.

Assistive Technology Considerations for Successful Transition After High School

In this interactive workshop we will explore the process of considering and integrating Assistive Technology devices and software to support students’ success after high school. Participants will explore the importance of knowing oneself as a life-long learner; creating strategies for self-advocacy; finding tools and methods to help a student reach their goals; and connecting with the right resources. We will include a method for self-assessment, a process for matching Assistive Technology to an individual, and information on the crucial differences between accommodations in high school, training, college, and employment. Presenters: Amber Fulcher, Program Director, Vermont Assistive Technology Program – SOV; Tracy Roux and Ben Wimett, Assistive Technology Access Specialists, UVM-CDCI

This workshop is intended for everyone who supports transition-age youth (ages 14-26).

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: Supporting Parents and Caregivers to Untangle the Many Strands of Care

Families know their child best and are by far their strongest advocate! But stitching together the interlocking components of your child’s care can feel overwhelming –  like you are stuck in a confusing, tangled mess! Come join this interactive presentation to discover:

  • What is effective care coordination and family centered care
  • How to get help navigating complex systems of care
  • Lessons learned from diverse family stories
  • Insights from recent focus group research on care coordination from the family perspective

Whether you are a family member or professional, join us for a rich discussion about improving family-professional partnerships for successful care coordination. Presenters: Elizabeth Gilman, BA, CIRS, Help Me Grow Child Development Specialist Vermont 2-1-1; Janet Kilburn, LICSW, Child Development Coordinator Vermont Department of Health; Cathleen Kelley, LICSW, Social Work Care Coordinator/Mental Health Consultant, Pediatric New American Clinic UVM Children’s Hospital Pediatric Primary Care

This workshop is intended for anyone who is interested in care coordination. 

Session 2 – 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

The Social Advantage

Do you experience social anxiety? In this interactive workshop, we’ll look at the essential skills that make for great communicators and most importantly, how to utilize them in everyday situations. We’ll practice the basics of self-advocacy and learn about the different kinds of “difficult” situations and people, and how to deal with them. We’ll discuss how to help peers and professionals become more understanding, accepting, and engaging of those with social difficulties. Presenter: Alix Generous, Mental Health Activist, Tech Innovator and Observational Comedian

This workshop is intended for transition-age youth (ages 14-26) and those who support them.

Rock Your IEP: Evaluation Results Matter!

Developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that meets your child’s unique needs is based on a comprehensive special education evaluation. This workshop will focus on how the IEP team, which includes parents, can use information gathered from the evaluation and assessment results to inform program planning and service decisions within the IEP. The IEP is a road map of the educational services and support your child will receive. Presenter: Jennifer Patenaude, Special Education Instruction and Evaluation Specialist, North Country Supervisory Union and Special Education Presenter, Vermont Higher Ed. Collaborative

This workshop is intended for everyone who supports school-aged children (ages 3-22).

Communicating Across Cultures to Build Trusting Relationships

Do you interact with or support families from the New American community? Join us in this interactive workshop to explore how cultural beliefs and practices affect communication and relationships; when, why, and how to use interpreters, translators, and cultural brokers; steps you can take when you feel that there is a communication barrier or breakdown; success stories; and helpful resources. Presenter: Emily Mazzulla, Ph.D, Licensed Psychologist-Doctorate, Associate Director of Connecting Cultures and New England Survivors of Torture and Trauma

This workshop is intended for everyone.

Building Community Through Traditional Song and Social Dance

Singing and social dance allow children, families and communities to express their creativity while building individual and interpersonal skills. This workshop will demonstrate songs and dances that teach gateway skills enabling children to participate in these fulfilling activities. Simple games will reinforce the concepts of tone-matching, musical rhythm, unison, and volume regulation. We will discuss a progressive approach allowing those who work with children to understand how skills and concepts reinforce each other. Simple social dance will be used to teach rhythmic concepts such as moving in time guided by musical phrasing. Through music and the ritual of dance we will see how children learn to engage in simple social interactions such as holding hands, forming groups and moving in unison with other dancers. 
Presenter: Brian Perkins, traditional musician and developer of the One Sings program at Burlington’s Integrated Arts Academy.

This workshop is intended for everyone who supports children.

Session 3 – 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm 

Let’s Be Grounded! Reclaim Peace Throughout Your Day 

Ever wonder what it feels like to be truly grounded? Learn how it feels to be present in each moment in this practicum-style workshop. Grounding enables us to bring neutrality into our lives. Visualization, as a form of creation, will be used to demonstrate how to create, maintain, and refresh grounding. Additionally, a tool to replenish our energy will be introduced as a bonus!  Applying these two basic tools on a daily basis will help you reconnect with your personal knowing; create more harmony in your life; be less affected by environmental stress; and be more energized throughout the day. Presenters: Dave Clark, M.Ed. Early Childhood Special Education; Robin Jeffers, Teacher of Intuitive Tools for Professionals; and Carrie Brand, RN, BSN, MALS, and Teacher of Intuitive Tools for Professionals and Health Care Providers

This workshop is intended for everyone.

Habits of Mind

Participants will be introduced to the Habits of Mind— 16 characteristic that help students, teachers, parents, and other professionals successfully navigate the various challenges and problems we encounter in the classroom, at work, and in everyday life. These 16 Habits align with current concepts and research of what constitutes intelligent behavior. The use of the Habits of Mind leads to productive decision making and actions. The Habits support teachers and other professionals in creating “thought-full” classrooms and learning environments. The Habits of Mind serve as an internal compass to help us thrive in a complex world. This workshop will include activities to learn how to engage with the Habits of Mind and practical ways to continue engaging with the Habits after the workshop. Presenter: Dana Lesperance, Associate Trainer, Institute for the Habits of Mind; Assistant Director of Corrections Education

This workshop is intended for everyone.

Say It Forward 

Work with award winning master comedic storytellers to learn the art of writing and telling your story. In this workshop, participants will learn how to take the powerful and funny events of their lives and turn them into effective stories that can heal, inspire and entertain your listeners. Presenters will work with the group to create a supportive environment in which all participants can feel comfortable practicing the skills necessary to create an effective structure to tell their stories personally and professionally. Pre-requisite for this workshop is the ability to laugh out loud! Presenters: Kevin Gallagher, LCMHC and comedic storyteller; Susanne Schmidt, LCMHC, teacher, standup comic and comedic storyteller

This workshop is intended for everyone.





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