2014 Annual Conference Workshop Details

**Titles and Descriptions will be updated as we receive them.**


Surviving the Storm and Seeing the Sun! (Susan Ellis)

As a mother of two boys on the Autism Spectrum, Susan Ellis, has encountered many “storms” while raising her children and advocating for them at school. But she has made many positive steps in improving their lives, and in turn, her family’s. Take a brief journey with her as she shares some valuable lessons imparting stories from her family and from three other families with children that have Down syndrome. Discussions on health, IEPs, making learning fun, self-sufficiency, taking mental breaks, and more will inspire you and create thought-proving ideas–hoping to make your own journey see more days of sunshine.





Workshop Session 1 (11:30-12:30):

Visual Strategies: Managing Behavior Through Visual Communication. (Susan Ellis)

Fostering communication using visuals can expedite your child’s ability to truly understand and react to situations in a positive manner. From traditional methods to apps, learn tips for several strategies using simple pictures, if/then and first/then statement, choices, visual schedules, and social stories. This presentation can also help with more than just communication. Setting visual expectations can assist with transitions, behaviors, academic skills, self-help skills, and more.   Discussing research projects, industry best practices, and examples of success stories, Ms. Ellis will inspire you to think outside the box and make it visual!


Sensory Processing and Sensory Breaks  (Susan Grant, OTR/L, HPCS; Katrina Rusnak, MOTS;  
Kristen Murray, MOTS)


Case Management and Other Available Services (Saco River Health Services, Inc.)


Special Education Law (Jim Clifford)


Housing (Cullen Ryan)


 Music Therapy (Kate Beever)


Workshop Session 2 (1:30-2:30):


Video Modeling: An engaging, effective, and evidence-based practice to teach those with special  needs new skills. (Susan Ellis)

If your child or student is a visual learner, you can make breakthroughs using an evidence-based approach of video modeling! Whether you’re struggling with teaching self-help, behavior, social, motor skills, vocation, or even play–if it’s action oriented, video modeling could make the difference! This session will provide an in-depth and thorough presentation on video modeling that is helpful for both educators and caregivers. Using many video examples, true stories and research projects, learn WHY it works so well, WHAT can be taught, WHO best to film, and WHICH editing tools & apps to use. Eight strategies for making these successful video tools will also be showcased.


Feeding and Nutrition (Susan Horton, MS, CCC-SLP BCS-S; D Madore, MS, RD, CSP, CNSC)

Transition 101 (Betsy Morrision, STRIVE U, Next STEP, Bayside Program Manager)

Friendship in the Classroom (Nadine Briggs)

DS101 for Educators (Jen Greslick)

Workshop Session 3 (2:45-3:45):


Behavior and Down Syndrome:  Applications of Neuroscience  (David Stein, Psy.D.  Attending Psychologist, 
Boston Children’s Hospital, Senior Psychologist and Co-Director of Research, The Down Syndrome Program, Instructor, Harvard Medical School) 


iPad 101-Accessibility Features of iOS 8  (Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles)

Participants will receive an overview of the latest accessibility features of the iPad’s operating system, iOS 8 which include the new predictive keyboard, Speak Selection, Speak Screen, Guided Access, and more. Participants will learn how to enable and use these features within applications of the iPad to improve learning and life outcomes.


Cycling for All  (Andrew Burnell, Volunteer and Program Director, Community Bicycle Center)
During this session folks will learn about the program offerings at the Community Bicycle Center and how to implement their own Learn-to-Ride program at home or in the classroom.


Striving through STRIVE (Betsy Morrison, STRIVE U, Next STEP, Bayside Program Manager)

STRIVE is an organization that provides educational, recreational, social and community integration programs for tweens, teens and young adults. Betsy Morrison, Program Director, will share information regarding all of the program opportunities available through STRIVE including the Friday night socials, Wednesday night educational series, vacation camp and STRIVE’s three post-secondary educational programs.


Inclusion strategies (Susan and Harriet Shapiro)

Workshop Session 4 (4:00-5:00):

Video Modeling For You: An informal and interactive session to help attendees create their own videos to take home. (Susan Ellis)

If you are inspired by the previous video modeling presentation and want to begin creating a video before the conference is over, Susan Ellis is here to work with you. Get one-on-one assistance with creating a personalized video to target your child’s specific struggle. Bring your own device (i.e. iPad, Smartphone, etc) and any props or tools that your child is having difficulty with. Brainstorm together and create a song or dialogue to demonstrate positive strategies for your child/student. Leave with your own video modeling training tool in hand!


App-a-Palooza  (Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles)
 From no apps to many apps- how to select and  use apps to meet learning and life objectives. Don’t have a big budget? Learn how to use the built in (native) apps of the iPad to meet learning and life outcomes.


DS101 for Community Support Providers (Jen Greslick)


New Parent Q&A

Adult Self Advocate Track:


In addition to, or instead of these scheduled events, we invite our adult self advocates to take part in any of the above workshops that are of interest to them.


9:00-10:00  Yoga (Allison Johnston)


10:00-11:15 Music Therapy (Kate Beever)


11:30-12:30 Social Skills (Nadine Briggs)


1:30-2:30 Aerobic Activity/Zumba (Mainely Kidz)


Tween/Teen Self Advocate Track:


9:00-10:00 Yoga (Allison Johnston)


10:00-11:00 Music Therapy (Kate Beever)


11:30-12:30  Special Olympics Young Athletes (Lisa Bird)


1:30-2:30  Aerobic Activity/Zumba (Mainely Kidz)


2:45-3:45  Social Skills (Nadine Briggs)


Siblings Track:


10:00-11:15  Sibshops (Nadine Briggs)