2021 Conference

Updated 12/15/20

Writing with Assistive Technology

by Kim Haynes, MA, CCC-SLP Anne Hindrichs, LCSW-BACS of McMains Children’s Developmental Center

The use of assistive technology (AT) is an effective approach for many children with learning disabilities. There are a wide range of tools to help students who struggle with writing. This presentation will discuss the psychological impacts that difficulty with writing can cause and how to handle them. It will also identify some of the AT tools available to help struggling writers.

IDEA vs Section 504: Which does my child need and how are they different?

by Kara Shupe of Families Helping Families

This presentation will explain the differences between an IEP (Individual Education Plan) and a Section 504 (Individual Accommodation Plan) in terms parents understand. It will increase parental knowledge about laws and rights afforded by these two special education plans. Basic information on IEP and 504, evaluation process for each plan and parental involvement in the process will be included.

Play Based Learning

by Chris Shipley of Christ Covenant Preschool

Chris will be discussing play-based learning for early learners from both practical and research perspectives. Participants will learn about the benefits of play-based learning and see what it looks like in action. Methodology for planning play-based instruction for the classroom and interventions will be included.

COVID-19: Caregivers Overcoming Virtual Interactions and Demands- 19 FUN Ways to Explore Home-based Language and Literacy

by Ashley Bourque Meaux, PhD, CCC-SL, Amanda Sallay and Emily Santaw of the University of Montana

Has your life changed during 2020? Are you doing the unimaginable, daily? Join us in exploring emergent and early literacy in cyberspace! We will explore reading development and skills through the importance of early reading exposure, emergent reading development, and early school-based literacy experiences. Strategies to support home-based reading development from birth through early elementary school will be explored. Practical tips for caregivers and professionals to use the very next day will be shared.

Developing a Treatment Plan for Mental Health Issues associated with Learning Disabilities

by Tanya Stuart, LCSW-BACS, LAC of Genesis/Holistic Solutions Center of Baton Rouge

Learn how to identify a “problem list“ of mental health issues associated with learning disabilities such as depression, anxiety, substance use and behavioral issues. Setting goals and determining the most effective interventions for each issue.

Specific Learning Disorder Diagnosis in the DSM 5

by Bora Sunseri, LCSW-BACS of Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services

This workshop will focus on the DSM 5 diagnosis of Specific Learning Disorder. There will be a review of (1) the diagnostic criteria of Specific Learning Disorder, (2) culture & gender related diagnostic issues, as well as (3) functional consequences of Specific Learning Disorder. Differential diagnosis as well as comorbidity with other diagnosis (such as ADHD, communication disorders, etc) will also be discussed.

Why Your Current Reading & Writing Intervention May Not Be Getting You the Results You Expect

by Stacy Levy, M.S., CCC-SLP of Dynamic Therapy Specialists

Stacy will deliver up-to-date information on the Best Practices for Language and Literacy Instruction as it relates to reading and writing. This presentation will include tasks you can easily implement today with your struggling learner.

Function Based Interventions: Using the Science of Behavior to Motivate Your Child

by Katie Jenkins, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA : Behavioral Intervention Group

This presentation will include information on the functions of behavior. Through the identification and analysis of the function, parents and educators can effectively implement tactics to set their children up for success across all environments.

Substance Abuse and Learning Disabilities

by Erin Pourciau Bradford, L.P.P., Tanya Chapman Griffin, L.P.P. of I CARE a program of East Baton Rouge Parish School System

We will show a correlation between Learning disabilities and risk factors; and how substance use can be a coping mechanism for individuals that have learning disabilities.

The Power of Using Inkscape for Virtual Learning

by Jan Norris, PhD of LSU

One of the frustrations of using Zoom or other virtual learning platforms is making more than one material visible at the same time. Inkscape if a free graphics program that solves this problem

Accommodations: Empowering Students Through Proper Supports

by William B. Daigle, Ph.D.

Parents are often concerned that accommodations will allow the student to use a disability as a crutch and/or an excuse. Teachers often believe that certain accommodations are unnecessary or that a particular student does not need a particular accommodation. Dr. Daigle will explain the common misconceptions about accommodations and explain their real value in education for students with learning disabilities.

The AD/HD Iceberg: What's Below the Surface?

by Belynda Gauthier, Past President of CHADD, Children and Adults with AD/HD

Most problems with AD/HD are hidden beneath the surface. We see the tip first: behavior problems, homework failure, etc. Yet for so many, ADHD is much more complex. School is often incredibly challenging because of inattention, disorganization, executive function deficits and other serious learning problems.

Medications and Treatments for ADHD

By Kelly Paulk Ray, PhD, MPAP and Mallory B. Garza, PhD, in Private Practice, Baton Rouge, & Ochsner Medical Complex—The Grove

The presentation will cover medication treatments for ADHD and the differences between various medications. We will briefly discuss overlap in treating learning disorders/academic problems, reactions of kids/teens to medicine over time, and possible compensatory behaviors for ADHD.

Using Visual Strategies at Home

by Josh Miller, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Louisiana AEM

Social stories teach about how to act in social situations. Visual schedules help to eliminate anxiety by teaching what comes next. These both can benefit many students especially those on the Autism spectrum. This training will focus on using these strategies at home and will provide solutions even if you only have a smartphone, markers or just common household items.

Navigating Dyslexia in Our Schools

by DeJunne' Clark Jackson, MA, MAT, MEd, CALT, LDT of Decoding Dyslexia Louisiana

To ensure struggling reader success in schools, there has to be a collaboration of all stakeholders who are knowledgeable, capable, and eligible to make critical determinations of students’ needs. Parents have the power to be the gatekeepers of this process.

LD Students in Higher Education

by Alisha Diggs and LaCrystal McCoy of Baton Rouge Community College

Learn about college accommodations and ways students with learning disabilities can access them effectively. In addition, presenters will share their experiences while serving as mental health providers to college students and suggest therapeutic interventions to enhance successful transition.

School at Home with Licensed Online Schools – Panel Discussion

by Dr. Randall Lemoine, Jane St. Pierre, Linda Holliday, Michelle Clayton, and Jewell Simon

Attendees will hear from a panel of parents/ educators who have chosen to educate students at home through online schools (public and private). Attendees are encouraged to ask questions of those on the panel.

Professional and Personal Perspectives of a Connections Academy Virtual School

by Richard Henderson, Christie Jackson, Dr. Bernadette Ortiz-Brewster of Pearson Online and Blended Learning

The Connections Academy model has been in existence for over 20 years. During that time, hundreds of thousands of students have been educated virtually in 29 states, including students with special needs. This presentation will share expertise and inform the audience about online and blended learning environments from the perspective of special education experts, school leaders, administrators, a parent, and a student.

Choosing a Career Path through the Community College Pathways

by Lisa Hibner, MA, Jennifer Le, LSU Counseling Graduate Student, Intern of Louisiana Career Development Association, Louisiana Counseling Association

Join us to learn more about the different career pathways and alternative post-secondary educational options offered through the Louisiana Community and Technical College system. Learn about the differences in degrees, certificates, workforce training and the Louisiana Transfer plans

Fostering the Natural Strengths of Dyslexic Students

by Lisa Hibner of Louisiana Career Development Association, Louisiana Counseling Association

Join us for a discussion on the importance of fostering the natural strengths of dyslexic individuals. In this session, we will review the natural strengths that often occur in individuals with dyslexia and the importance and benefits of recognizing and supporting those strengths.

Math Strategies for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

by Sara Granier, Program Coordinator, Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disabilities, Nicholls State University Math Strategies for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

Useful math strategies for working with dyslexic and dyscalculic students. Most of these strategies can be used throughout the student's mathematics education.

Dyslexia and the roles of Occupational and Speech Therapy

by Leanne Johnson, MOT, LOTR , Laura Barbin, MOT, LOTR, C/NDT , Adele Butler, MOT, LOTR , Tori Stanton, MCD, CF-SLP, Natalie Balhoff, MACCC-SLP of Neurotherapy Specialists, Inc

This presentation will review the various elements of Dyslexia and the role of occupational and speech therapy. We will provide information on diagnosing, assessing, and treating Dyslexia while incorporating specific challenges these children may face in today’s learning environment.

Seizures and Learning - How Epilepsy Effects Children in School

by Amanda Mitchell, MPH Organization: Epilepsy Alliance Louisiana

This presentation will explain the most common seizure types, how epilepsy and seizures can impact learning directly and indirectly, and how to support children suffering from seizures in the classroom.

How COVID-19 has affected ADHD children and their families: a psychological perspective

by Darlyne G. Nemeth., Ph. D., M.P., M.P.A.P. and Olesia Palamar of Neuropsychology Center of Louisiana

Self-isolation is difficult for families with children. But it is even more difficult if children have special needs that require immediate help. Now parents find themselves on the frontlines to deal with these issues. Learn more about this issue.

The Relationship Between Executive Functions and Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Effectiveness in ADHD Children

by Darlyne G. Nemeth., Ph. D., M.P., M.P.A.P., Cody Capps, B.S., and Olesia Palamar of The Neuropsychology Center of Louisiana

We will define executive functions and highlight their impact on ADHD children’s emotional and social behaviors. Problems with self-recognition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility will be addressed as well as their impact on social rejection.

Considerations to Improving focus and attention, learning and behavioral challenges

by Vicky Poston Roy, PhD, CCC-SLP of Dynamic Therapy Specialists

Focus and attention challenges impede learning for many children. When the brain and body communicate effectively at school, students can more easily direct the cognitive resources necessary for sustained attention, focus, higher order thinking, and social interactions. Learn how body organization takes a “bottom-up” approach to learning, attention, and behavioral challenges – offering an alternative to medication, which comes with its own side effects and complications. Body organization assumes that the brain is “busy,” and that integrating the body’s reflexes and organizing its sensory systems can free the brain up to access higher-order processing. This lead to children being able to think and behave in a more organized way.

Helping LD Students Create Their Next Move After High School

by Dr. Mary Feduccia of CareerWorks360

This presentation focuses on the importance of career exploration for LD students. A process for effective career decision making will be discussed, including free or low-cost assessments that teachers, counselors, and parents can use to build students' self-awareness and promote choosing post-secondary education or training in light of their disabilities.

Build Better Interventions through Empathy

by Georgann Mire of the Greater Baton Rouge Learning Disabilities Coalition

Pull out your pencil and paper for this interactive demonstration designed to increase empathy for students with learning disabilities. Learn about evidence based resilience and motivational interventions. Best practice accommodation and advocacy recommendations will be discussed.