Saturday April 16, 2016 | AT&T Park, San Francisco


Stand Up, Speak Out

EdRev 2016 Keynote

Parents Education Network (PEN) and Understood proudly present…

Photo of Max BrooksTaking on World War D: DYSLEXIA

Max Brooks
bestselling author of World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks; dyslexia advocate

In 2014, Max Brooks gave a passionate speech before Congress urging them to take action to help children who have dyslexia. Giving firsthand accounts of his own struggles during school, Brooks said “a little awareness and flexible teaching methods could unlock unlimited potential in these kids who now think they’re losers. It’s so simple, so easy, and when you look at all the other government programs designed to help citizens help themselves, it’s probably the least expensive.”

In his keynote, Max will share how he overcame his own self-esteem issues caused by school struggles to become a bestselling author and sought-after expert on post-apocalyptic survival strategies.

See Max’s full bio here.

Master of Ceremonies:

NinaGNina G, Stand Up Comedian and Motivational Speaker (website)

Nina G is west coast’s only female stand up comedian who stutters and has learning disabilities. She is also a disability activist, storyteller, children’s book author and educator. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity, and equity.

When she isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynote speaker to children with disabilities and training professionals! Nina is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act, which brings laughter and awareness to audiences across the country. Full bio.

EdRev 2016 Workshops

Special Morning Workshop

9:00 – 10:15 AM

Shelley’s Must-Know Technology Tools for Diverse Learners: 2016 Edition

Shelley Haven ATP, RET Assistive Technology Consultant bio

Technology is often called “the great equalizer” for students who learn differently, and with good reason.  The right tools, coupled with sound strategies, do more than just compensate for learning weaknesses; they also help students tap into their innate strengths, increase independence, and improve self-confidence.

Join assistive technology consultant Shelley Haven as she demonstrates her 2016 selection of game-changing technologies for students who struggle with reading, writing, math, taking notes, attention, organization, and planning.  This session will also help both beginners and experienced tech users get the most out of EdRev’s newly-designed Technology for Learning section.

Session I

1:00 – 2:15 PM

Collaboration Nation: Working Together for Kids who Learn Differently

Lindsay Jones, Vice President, Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer National Center for Learning Disabilities bio
& Lyn Pollard, Parent Advocacy and Engagement Manager, National Center for Learning Disabilities

Join advocates from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) as they highlight national-level efforts to create change for students with Learning Differences. Learn about how organizations, parents and educators are joining forces to influence legislation, secure funding and train teachers knowledgeable about how to provide services and accommodations for kids with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, processing issues and ADHD. Join the conversation, gain advocacy tips and learn how you can become part of the growing movement in your neighborhood, state and beyond.

Finding Your Voice: Self-Advocacy Discussion by LD/ADHD High School Students

Students from PEN’s Student Advisors for Education (SAFE) Program, Moderated by SAFE Program Facilitators

In panel format, high school students with learning and attention differences will discuss the challenges they experience as well as the strengths they possess inside and outside of the classroom. They will share how they have learned to advocate for themselves, their strategies for success, and resources that they rely on in various settings. Their candor and unique role as students offers a new perspective on learning differences and the educational environment they have learned to work within.

How Should We Think About Learning Differences? It’s Time for a New Approach

Brock Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D.  bios

Historically, learning differences have been treated first and foremost as disabilities. In this workshop, we’ll describe a new approach that begins from the idea that many learning differences represent normal and healthy patterns of brain diversity, and that strengths as well as challenges result from these different patterns of organization. We’ll focus primarily on our work and research with dyslexic individuals to describe how this different approach looks, and the difference it can make for education, employment, and self-concept

I Don’t Want To: From Reading and Writing Refusal to Inspiration and Organization

Christine Elgersma, MFA, Senior Editor, Apps and Digital Learning at Common Sense Media bio

Kids with ADHD and LD are often resistant to reading and writing, especially if it has anything to do with a school assignment. Whether due to dyslexia, dysgraphia, inattention, hyperactivity, or another challenge, a kid’s struggle often takes the potential joy out of consuming and creating text. How can we help disarm their resistance and start creating successful patterns? Through inspiration, organization, and vetted tools, help your reluctant reader and writer get started and follow through.

Stress, Anxiety and Depression: Promoting Resilience in Children with Learning Differences

Laura Wingers, PsyD, NCSP bio

Symptoms of anxiety and depression in children with learning differences are sometimes overlooked, discounted or chalked up to poor choices. This can be both puzzling and distressing. Come learn what parents can do to help! Drawing from current neuroscience research and clinical experience with diverse learners from preschool to middle school, Dr. Wingers will shed light on essential skills parents can promote and practice with children. Attention and self-control, flexibility of thought, a resilient mindset, and the ability to take others’ perspectives can be strengthened. These skills are protective factors in dealing with adversity, and enhance learning. Mindful practices can reduce emotional over-reactivity to the normal ups and downs of life, relieving feelings of sadness and anxiety and making them more manageable. Dr. Wingers will describe simple strategies to promote key skills, recognizing that small moments and dinner table discussions matter. It is never too early, and never too late!

What Exactly are ADHD, Executive Functioning Deficit, and Asynchronous Development & How Do they Work? A Workshop for Teachers & Parents

Dr. Paul Beljan, PsyD, ABPdN, ABN bio

What does Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Executive Function (EF) really look like and why does it seem so common? The words of ADHD/EF (working memory, cognitive shift, and inhibition, etc.) are commonly thrown around, but what do they really mean? How does ADHD/EF look different in the gifted population? As well, is asynchronous development normal or synonymous with ADHD/EF? This presentation strives to present the complexities of ADHD/EF and asynchronous development in an easily understandable manner. Parents and teachers will come away with a sophisticated grasp of these concepts and be able to discern truth from myth.

Session II

2:45 – 4:00 PM

The Independence Breakthrough: 5 Secrets to Helping Students Become Self-Reliant

Anne-Marie Morrey, M.A., BCET, Founder of Bay Tree Learning Solutions bio

This dynamite, practical session offers proven strategies to unlock your child’s motivation. You’ll discover the new science of self-regulation and learn how to use these proven methods to inspire kids with learning disabilities. If your child refuses to work independently, gives up easily, rushes through assignments, and gets distracted, these powerful techniques are for you!

It’s All in the Family: The Role of Family Dynamics in Supporting Attention and Learning Challenges

Jack Fahy, PhD. Director of Assessment, Masonic Center for Youth and Families
Andrea Samuels, PhD. Family Therapist, Masonic Center for Youth and Families
Ethan Ornstein, LCSW. Director of Family Services, Masonic Center for Youth and Families

Parents, brothers, and sisters know all too well the impact on them when a family member has ADHD and/or learning differences. In this workshop, we will discuss the different feelings, struggles, and family dynamics that often develop and ways that families cope. We will discuss our experiences with helping families, from initial assessment and identification of a child’s differences, to working with them in therapy. Our goal is to provide participants with an alternative perspective on the challenges they experience and suggestions on how to help support their family in overcoming these challenges.

Making Meaningful Connections: Interventions and Strategies for Strengthening Executive Functions

Stephanie Cole, MEd, Executive Function Specialist at Children’s Health Council bio

The goal of this executive function workshop is to examine the presentation of executive function difficulties and to provide interventions and coping strategies to best support students, both in and out of the classroom. The presentation, Making Meaningful Connections, aims to make executive function accommodations accessible and applicable for students, parents, and professionals by pairing sound understanding of EF deficits with practical support strategies.

Making the Jump to College and Landing on Both Feet

Carolyn Carpeneti, CEO and Founder of CoPilot Systems bio

Carolyn will tell her personal story about how her son worked hard to get into college while dealing with his learning differences. Carolyn will talk about how even though sending her son to a highly-regarded “college prep” high school for students with learning differences, her son was still unprepared for the transition to college and found himself flunking every class just 8 weeks into his freshman year. In her workshop, Carolyn will share some of the early-warning signs of under-developed executive function and share critical strategies to help these students succeed. She will also bring to light the pitfalls within higher education and discuss the institutional shortcomings that often present larger hurdles for students with learning and attention differences. Her mission is to bring greater understanding to the problem of weak executive function, illuminate the solutions, and ensure all students receive the support they need to thrive.

Social Learning Without Shame

Kelly Priest, MS, Social Learning Specialist and Parent/Teacher Consultant bio

How can we help students with social learning challenges without overcorrecting, lecturing, or shaming – all of which send the wrong message about students’ inherent self-worth? This interactive workshop will show parents and professionals three core principles for coaching social learning without triggering students’ feelings of inadequacy and resentment. Attendees will be able to identify and immediately start to use three clear, practical ways of approaching social learning while reaffirming and protecting students’ self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

What’s Math Got to do with It?

Diana Kennedy, Board certified educational therapist, M.A., Founder of Mindspark Custom Learning Solutions bio

When we hear dyslexia, we think reading and writing, but did you know that 40% of people with dyslexia also struggle in math? And that about 7% of people with ADHD do? Yet, many students miss out on high-quality mathematics remediation because the attention of schools and parents is so frequently focused on reading and writing. Join Board certified educational therapist Diana Kennedy to learn why math difficulties occur so frequently with dyslexia and ADHD, what those difficulties look like, and the best way to address them. Walk away with ideas for games, lessons, and approaches to help your students excel in math.

When Feeling Meets Thinking: How cognitive impairment and emotional regulation drive (mis)behavior

Dr. Tony Simon, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Cognitive Analysis and Brain Imaging Laboratory, UC Davis MIND Institute bio

In this workshop we will explore the ways in which cognitive impairments, emotional regulation and environmental demands interact to modulate the challenged child’s ability to function in real world environments. Using chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome as a case study, but comparing to other disorders I will present our “coper/struggler” hypothesis of adaptive functioning, which is based on the optimum stimulation curve. Using this, I will suggest ways in which the behaviors that frequently lead to psychiatric diagnoses like Anxiety, ADHD and related arousal based disorders MAY in some cases be better understood in terms of the adaptive responses to mismatches between a child’s abilities and the demands they face. Using this model may help to both better understand the circumstances that produce unwanted or inappropriate behaviors and identify potential remedial targets to help reduce challenges and increase quality of life for all involved.

Speakers Header Image

Brought to you by Parents Education Network In partnership with Understood