SPEAKER SERIES
2017-2018

All events are free and open to the public. 

 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Literacy Evaluations and the Dyslexic Student

 

Presenter: Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed.

 
Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed., A/AOGPE, the founder of the Literacy Learning & Assessment Center of Connecticut, in Norwalk and Ridgefield, will discuss the essential components of literacy, including phonemic awareness, word identification, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. She will review the importance of each and the ways in which each can be effectively assessed, with a particular focus on students with dyslexia.

Sheryl provides training and consultative services to local families and school districts, as well as direct literacy remediation for students with a wide array of disabilities. She earned her Associate level Certification with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners & Educators in 2010 and is currently working toward the next level of certification with the Academy. Sheryl has a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, with a specialization in literacy, from Post University, a Masters in Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from Wesleyan University. A frequent presenter on topics relating to literacy interventions and assessments, Sheryl was a long-time Board member for the CT Down Syndrome Congress, currently serves as President of the Dyslexia Society of CT, and is a contributing writer and editor for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, in Westport.

6:00 p.m. Sandwiches & Refreshments

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Presentation

SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library
10 Washington Street, Norwalk
Community Room

Questions/Comments: info@spednetwilton.org

Co-Sponsors:
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities and
SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library:
SPED MATTERS

MATERIALS: Literacy Evaluations (rev.) (Powerpoint Format)
 



 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
“Why Is My Child Struggling in School? How Can I Help?”

 

Presenter: Attorney Robin Keller

 
We, as parents and caregivers, want our children to be able to achieve progress academically, socially, and emotionally in school. Sometimes, however, our children have more trouble than other kids. Reading, writing, doing math, organizing themselves and their work, planning ahead, understanding directions, sitting still or staying focused in class, and making friends may be overly difficult for them. How we respond to our children’s struggles — and what we do to advocate for them — can make a world of difference.

Whether your child is a student in regular education classes or identified as a child in need of special education services, join us as Attorney Robin Keller explains what you can do to help when you think — or know — that your child needs extra support. Maybe you have already tried speaking with their teachers or principal and have not been satisfied. Maybe you need next steps…

A question and answer session will follow Attorney Keller’s presentation.

The law practice of Attorney Robin P. Keller, based in Norwalk, is focused on education law, with a particular emphasis on special education, representing the parents/guardians of children with special needs in a wide range of placement and programming proceedings, including eligibility determinations, Planning and Placement Team and IEP meetings, manifestation determination meetings, mediations, and due process hearings. A significant portion of her law practice is dedicated to assisting parents/guardians of Connecticut’s under-represented children in Lower Fairfield County through her private law practice and her affiliation with the Child & Family Guidance Center, in Bridgeport, the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County, the Center for Children’s Advocacy, and the Adoption Assistance Program.

6:00 p.m. Sandwiches & Refreshments

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Presentation

SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library
10 Washington Street, Norwalk
Community Room

Questions/Comments: info@spednetwilton.org

Co-Sponsor:
SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library:
SPED MATTERS

MATERIALS: Struggling Child (PDF Format)
 



 

Friday, November 10, 2017

ADHD Nation
A Talk and Book Signing by Alan Schwarz

 

Presenters: Alan Schwarz, Anita Chu, MD, and Elizabeth Jorgensen

Alan Schwarz, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of “ADHD Nation,” will present and sign copies of his highly acclaimed book. In addition, Anita Chu, MD, Medical Director of Insight Counseling, and Elizabeth Jorgensen, consultant to Newport Academy and Director of Insight Counseling, will lead a panel discussion on the proper diagnosis of ADHD and other mental health disorders, and the safe and empirically-based use of medications.
 
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Wilton Library
Brubeck Room
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton

Questions/Comments: info@spednetwilton.org

Co-Sponsors:
Newport Academy, Insight Counseling, Wilton Library, Wilton Youth Council, and Wilton Youth Services

 



 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Your Kids’ Secrets About Drugs and Alcohol

 

Presenters: Maggie Young and
Dennis Bludnicki

 
Vaping? Pharming? Bowling?

It can be difficult to speak with your kids about drugs and alcohol, especially when you don’t even know the language. Addiction, however, is a wide-ranging topic with dangerous, long-lasting consequences of illicit drug use, especially for teens and pre-teens with anxiety and depression, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, OCD, executive function disorder and other regulatory issues. The recent trend of e-cigarettes and vaping has taken hold of kids as young as 12, who are under the mistaken impression that they pose few health risks.

Maggie Young and Dennis Bludnicki, staff from Liberation Programs, Inc., will discuss addiction in teens, including: how to talk to your kids about addiction; how stress and anxiety can impact your teen’s substance use/abuse and what you can do about it; and warning signs of substance abuse and how to catch them early.

Liberation Programs provides a variety of services to help youth, adults and families stay free of the disease of addiction in order to restore their lives. The agency has sites in Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, Stamford and Bridgeport, which serve 1,200 people daily. Services include inpatient and substance abuse treatment programs, as well as preventative education and community outreach.

Dennis Bludnicki has been with Liberation Programs, Inc. for more than 13 years. Dennis initially worked as a drug counselor at Greenwich Youth Options for seven years prior to serving as a counselor at Liberation’s Outpatient Clinic in Stamford. There he provided individual, group and family counseling to adults dealing with alcohol and other drug addictions. Currently, Dennis has returned to working with youth and their families in the Greenwich community and surrounding area, providing prevention education and drug and alcohol counseling.

Maggie Young has been with Liberation Programs, Inc. for 23 years. She worked as a case manager, counselor, and team leader for 10 years before serving as the Director of the agency’s male (Liberation House) and female (Families in Recovery) inpatient treatment programs for another ten years. Since 2014 she has been the Director of the Youth and Family Resource Program, in Greenwich, and is currently Director of Women and Children services with oversight over Youth and Family resources, Gini’s House permanent supportive housing, and Families In Recovery, an inpatient treatment program for pregnant and parenting women with children, located in Norwalk.

6:00 p.m. Sandwiches & Refreshments

6:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Presentation

SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library
10 Washington Street, Norwalk
Community Room

Questions/Comments: info@spednetwilton.org

Co-Sponsor:
SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library:
SPED MATTERS

MATERIALS: Vaping and Your Teen (website link)
 



 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Language Pragmatics: “What Do You Mean by That?”
The Complexity of Social Communication for Children with Language Learning Disabilities

 

Presenter: Lydia Soifer, Ph.D.

 
The ability to communicate effectively is critical to a child’s academic, social and emotional life, and good communication skills are an important part of being a friend. There are many complex factors that underlie the “gift of gab” that we admire in others. When parents understand all the skills involved, it helps them appreciate a child’s experience and empowers them to be more effective teachers of these important life skills. In this talk, Lydia Soifer, Ph.D. will lay the foundation of the complexities of social communication skills and provide strategies to help children when language pragmatics don’t come naturally to them.

Dr. Soifer, the founder and director of The Soifer Center for Learning and Child Development for its 25-year tenure, continues to provide educational consultation and advocacy services to families on behalf of their children, in coordination with other professionals and schools. Classroom Language Dynamics ©, the teaching training program Dr. Soifer designed, is used in a variety of school settings to empower teachers and invigorate learners of all kinds. A frequent presenter at local and national conferences, Dr. Soifer focuses on guiding all educational professionals to answer the essential question, “Who is this child?” Dr. Soifer is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and a faculty member in the Early Intervention Training Institute (EITI), both at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City.

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Temple Sholom of Greenwich
300 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT

Co-Sponsor:
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities
 



 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Fortify Your Parenting Skills:
The Importance of Being Engaged

 

Presenter: Dave Sylvestro

 

Parenting a child with special needs is always demanding. But what if you AND your child both face ADHD, learning disabilities, and the emotional issues that so often accompany them? Dave Sylvestro, school psychologist at Eagle Hill Schools for over 30 years, will discuss how to meet the emotional, logistical, and organizational demands of parenting with responsibility and maturity; how to teach your child things you’re not good at yourself; and how to serve as a role model for your child.

Dave Sylvestro facilitates individual- and group-counseling sessions, parent support groups and Dads-Only groups, provides training and staff development to professionals, presents at LD conferences worldwide, and is a contributing writer for Parents Together.

6:00 p.m. Sandwiches & Refreshments

6:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Presentation

SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library
10 Washington Street, Norwalk
Community Room

Registration:
Please register by email.

Questions/Comments: info@spednetwilton.org

Co-Sponsor:
SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library:
SPED MATTERS
 



 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Worried About Your Child’s Worry?

Top 10 Tips for Helping Your Kids “Talk Back to Worry” and Become Confident and Healthy Lifelong Learners.

 

Presenter: Susan Bauerfeld, Ph.D.

 

Is worry getting in the way of your child’s learning? Do meltdowns take valuable time away from play, homework and other experiences that can build skills, confidence and relationships?

In this talk, Susan Bauerfeld, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, parent consultant/coach, and ADHD coach, will present 10 tools for turning the tables on worry so you and your kids can learn more, play more and feel better about yourselves and your relationships.

Dr. Bauerfeld’s passion is teaching skills that lead to positive, connected relationships, especially skills of self-regulation, anxiety management, and effective communication. Combining the experiences and challenges she encountered while raising her own three boys with her experience in psychotherapy, neuropsychology, cognitive remediation, and ADHD coaching, she works to help parents strengthen their most powerful tool – a supportive, connective relationship with their children.

6:00 p.m. Sandwiches & Refreshments

6:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Presentation

SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library
10 Washington Street, Norwalk
Community Room

Registration:
Please register by email.

Questions/Comments: info@spednetwilton.org

Co-Sponsor:
SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library:
SPED MATTERS
 



 

Visit THE ARCHIVES for descriptions of previous Speaker Series presentations, as well as downloadable materials.

 

 

 

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