Shake it Off…Effective, Relatable Strategies to Help Improve Behavior at All Ages and Stages.

Stacy Taylor, MA, B.C.B.A.

Behavior can be frustrating, but the good news is that there is a science of learning and behavior that can help you learn how to better address any behavioral concerns you have no matter what age or stage your child is in. These strategies don’t have to be complex or cumbersome.  Some tips involve prevention and some focus more on effective consequences and of course we always want to focus on teaching.  Let’s talk about some tools for your behavior toolbox that you can actually understand and use!

ADHD, Medical and School Management –

Robin B. Welsh, MD and Mark Posey, PhD

Participants will obtain a better understanding of ADHD, its treatments and its management in the school system.


Parent/Family Scholarships  Professional Registration Full Schedule



Putting Together the Puzzle: 27 evidence-based practices for ASD

Lisa Raiford, Ed. D.

This session is designed to provide educators with an in-depth understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the characteristic behaviors associated with ASD, and evidence-based strategies relevant to improving behavioral, social, and communication outcomes for individuals with ASD.  Discussion on legal premises, advocacy, and parent support are also included.  Participants will receive a workbook to support their learnings.

Autism: Bench to Clinic

Christopher Cowan, PhD and Heather Boger, PhD

This workshop will describe the basic science research being conducted to understand genetics associated with autism. It will cover research efforts to understand brain changes that are associated with autism spectrum disorders as well as describe the clinical impact of basic science research, ie. on evidence-based behavioral modification therapy.  In addition, participants will learn strategies that can be used to breakdown societal stereotypes of autism. 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (2017):  What it means for students in special education and their families.

Dr. Mitch Yell

In 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.  The decision involved a young boy, Endrew F., who was served in special education under the category of autism.  Endrew had serious academic and behavior problems.  In the case the court answered the question of what degree of educational benefit is necessary for a school district to comply with the educational benefit standard of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act’s requirement to confer a free appropriate public education.

Supported Decision Making and an Overview of Alternatives to Guardianship

Charlie Walters, MAT and Paige Maxwell, MA

From 1995 to 2015, the rate of guardianship for adults with disabilities in the US tripled. Research shows that one of the driving forces behind this increase is professional recommendations for guardianship, and that those same professionals infrequently understand the landscape of less restrictive alternatives to guardianship. This session will walk through the untold story of what guardianship actually means for a person with a disability and their family and the breadth of available alternatives that can provide a way for providing decision-making support without taking away one’s rights (e.g. Power of Attorney, the Adult Health Care Consent Act, HIPAA releases, Adult Students with Disabilities Educational Rights Consent Act, Supported Decision Making agreements).

The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Infants and Children

Jennifer A. Hudson, MD 

By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to discuss ways in which the opioid epidemic affects infants and children in SC and apply at least one strategy to address the special needs of opioid-affected families.

Strength-Based Teaching: Building Positive Relationships that Support Learning

Holly Zipperer, M.Ed.

Teacher-student relationships are a crucial aspect of evidence-based teaching. Building positive, strength-based connections with students creates a compassionate classroom environment. Participants will learn practical strategies that recognize and encourage positive behaviors and cultivate relationships with students. Engaging activities will encourage participants to reflect on their own strengths, as well as those of their students.

Teaming Up for Transition

Laura Elder, M.A., CESP, Rhonda Mumford, M. Ed. and Jennifer Quinn, M. Ed.

This presentation will focus on the importance of making agency linkages in transition planning.  Presentation will highlight effective transition practices and methods for collaboration. Information about the role of the SC-DDSN Transition staff will be shared and resources on transition topics provided.

Family Engagement – Early Childhood Initiative

Amy Holbert, LISW-CP and Alisa Bentley

“Know As They Grow” is a new Early Childhood Initiative for increasing family engagement and understanding of transition from Early Intervention to preschool services in SC.

The Impact of Specialized Early Interventions Services for Young Children with a Visual Impairment

Jodi Floyd

The workshop will discuss the need for specialized early intervention services for children with a visual impairment, several common visual impairments and interventions strategies for those visual impairments.

The SC High School Credential:  What Parents Should Know—Information and Resources

Wendy Schilling, M. d.

The SC High School Credential is a uniform state-recognized option for graduation for students with disabilities.  The regulation, as governed by SC Code Ann. Section 59-39-100 was signed by Governor Haley in May 2017 to be implemented beginning the 2018-2019 school year and provides a course of study designed to equip students with disabilities with the skills, knowledge, and work ethic needed to succeed in today’s job market.  It is aligned with the Profile of the SC Graduate.  The presentation will include an overview of the components and requirements of the Credential; implications for students, parents, teachers, service providers and community organizations; and multiple resources for families and professionals.

Temperament and its Impact on Learning

Holly Zipperer, M.Ed.

Teachers’ awareness of their own and student’s temperaments and the influence of these on their interactions can affect the climate of the classroom and the quality of the students’ school experiences. Participants will gain an understanding of the 9 temperamental traits and how these traits impact their teaching and their students’ learning. Participants will learn practical strategies that support a wide array of temperamental traits in the classroom.

A review of Family Centered Care and its Core Principles: Information Sharing, Partnership, Collaboration, and Negotiation

Jason Hawn, MD

This workshop will describe the core principles of Family Centered Care (FCC); recent advances applying FCC to clinical practice; and, explain how FCC can translate into approved health outcomes.

Begin with the end in mind! Preschool and Early Childhood Initiatives and How these Align with Postsecondary Outcomes and Efforts.

Jenny May MEd, PhD.

This workshop will cover preschool initiatives and regulatory/non regulatory guidance that drives these efforts across early childhood sectors.  We will also discuss how these preschool initiatives align with and impact K-12 and post-secondary outcomes.

Embracing the Emotional Side of Special Needs Planning – Understanding How and When Emotions Benefit Financial Plans for Families with Unique Circumstances

David Palkovitz, CFP®

The objective of this presentation is to challenge parents to think differently about what they require from a financial planner when planning for special needs children. Additionally, parents will be prepared for the pre-work that needs to be done before hiring a financial planner. Lastly, there’s a common misconception that emotion should play no role in finances. I hope to show parents how to embrace the emotions that come with planning for the next generation as a way to guide planning priorities.

Transitions, Transfers and Tummy Time: Building Blocks of Motion!

Elizabeth Geiger Harvey, DPT, MSR, CKTI, CEIM

Participants will be exposed to early motor development principles, the power of touch, how to apply principles of motor learning to how we: hold, transfer, and transition infants and toddlers, participants will also practice/demonstrate handling skills of holding, transfers and transitions to make these activities a positive motor learning experience.

Behavior – It is all about culture and climate

Dr Ann Marie Taylor

Are you frustrated with behavior in your home, building or in your classroom? Do you feel like misbehaviors get in the way of learning or peace in your home?  In this session, you will get “ready-to-use strategies and tips” to minimize the negative behaviors and maximize learning and peace in a safe and welcoming environment.

Homeschooling Your Student with Special Needs

Susan Blackwell, B.S. Ed.

This workshop will give the attendees an understanding of state laws regarding homeschooling, the advantages of teaching students at home, and information about setting goals and objectives. They will learn tips for making a success of their homeschooling journeys, and where to find resources to assist them along the way.

Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities in Special Populations

Sara Garrett, M.Ed

Participants will learn about the laws pertaining to schools meeting the needs of students with disabilities in special populations. The challenges and barriers to student success for this population. What steps administrators, teachers, parents, and community can take toward meeting the needs of this population.

“Making the “Transition” from Special Education to Life After School”

Adrienne J. Johnson, Esq. and Pete Cantrell, Esq

One of the key purposes of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the children with IEPs will receive a free appropriate public education that will prepare them for life after school.  At age 13 in SC, these services are called transition services.  It is important that students and parents/guardians understand and participate in the transition process. This presentation will discuss transition services for students with IEPs under IDEA, why these services are important,  as well as advocacy tips and what to do if there are concerns about transition services. Vocation Rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to partner with schools in preparing students with disabilities for the transition to work or postsecondary education.  This presentation will discuss how VR agencies can help by providing preemployment transition services. This presentation will also provide information about assistance from the Client Assistance Program (CAP).

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Young Children: From Early Identification to Diagnosis and Beyond

Dr. Anne Kinsman, Ph.D and Kristina Kania Bates, Ph.D

This workshop will identify and describe early signs of autism spectrum disorder as well as screening and evaluation for ASD.  Through this workshop, participants will be able to identify and describe next steps after diagnosis.

Strategies for Listening and Spoken Language in Early Intervention

Natalie Jones, B.A. – SPED

An overview will be given of various strategies for use in developing audition, language, and speech in children with hearing loss using a listening and spoken language approach. Resources for descriptions, examples, and further learning will also be shared. The focus of this workshop will center around use of these strategies in Early Intervention and daily routines and activities.

The South Carolina ABLE Savings Program: The Basics of ABLE

Karen Crider – State Treasurers Office

This presentation will help participants understand the benefits of owning an ABLE account for an individual with a disability.  It will cover eligibility requirements and the South Carolina ABLE savings account enrollment process and provide information on using funds in an ABLE account.

Overview of Medicaid and the TEFRA program

Sherry Larson

This workshop will provide an overview of Medicaid and TEFRA eligibility.

Assistive Technology for School Success

Tammy Wallace

This workshop will discuss the benefits of Assistive Technology. Participants will understand the importance of considering AT in the classroom to improve students’ participation, allow the student to enjoy his experience in the classroom, allow the student the ability to achieve success in learning and allow the student to be independent and life-long learner.

Family Engagement 3.0 – New Methods for Activating Family Strengths

Dr. Robert Hock

Engaging families of children with disabilities in the design and delivery of services is important and required in many social service, education, medical, and community support settings. Despite widespread recognition of its value, meaningful family engagement remains elusive. In this workshop, participants will learn how to create a meaningful family engagement strategy for their setting. In particular, participants will learn to match the common purposes of family engagement with emerging methods from Human Centered Design (HCD) and participatory action research.

Ending the Silence for Professionals

Betsey O’Brien and Deniece Chi

Through this presentation, participants get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the 50-minute presentation, a young adult living with mental illness and a family member tell their stories about mental health challenges, including what hurt and what helped.

Shaping Play: Strategies to Increase Functional Communication and Social Interaction in Young Children with ASD and Developmental Disabilities

Katie Blackburn Franke, Ph.D., BCBA

During this workshop, parents, caregivers, and interventionists will learn strategies to promote functional communication, social interaction, and play skills in young children with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities using an applied behavior analysis approach. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills with a partner in session.

Navigating the Transition to an Adult Medical Home

Gregg Talente, MD, MS

This talk with focus on the difficulties families face in transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Medical Homes and will stress the practical steps each stakeholder: the patient, their family/caregivers/pediatricians and internists, should take in preparation for at at the time of transition

Understanding the IEP

Elizabeth McDonald Allen, LMSW and Melissa Sanders, BS, MBA

This workshop will provide a thorough introduction to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that serves as a road map for education services.  Participants will: Understand the steps of the special education process and learn key terms; Gain an understanding of the roles of all members of the IEP team; Understand the contents of the IEP and what they mean; Learn how to become a more knowledgeable and active participant in meetings.


Parent/Family Scholarships  Professional Registration Full Schedule