Why should I attend a Pre-Conference session?
Attending a Pre-Conference session gives you the chance to spend four hours digging deep into one specific topic. The sessions, presented by nationally known speakers, are structured to include content that is research-based, share best practices, and provide proven “how to” strategies. All sessions will include time for Q & A.
Pre-Conference sessions will be held on Friday, July 13 from 8:00am – 12:00pm.
Pre-Conferences are not included in your general convention registration and require an additional registration fee and the selection of one of the Pre-Conferences offered. Pre-Conference registration and selection is an option included in the annual convention registration process. (Please note: You are not required to register for the general convention to attend a Pre-Conference.)
Pre-Conference handouts are issued only to the person registered for the session.
Space may be limited in some sessions, so register early. On-site registration cannot be guaranteed.
Pre-Conference offerings for 2018 will be posted in early 2018.
The following are Pre-Conferences that were offered in 2017.
- Pre-Conference A: Speech
Impact of Oral Motor Impairment on Eating and Speech
Debra Beckman, MS, CCC-SLP, Beckman & Associates, Inc.
When should assessment and treatment of hypotonia of the facial muscles begin and what outcomes should be expected? Must the individual follow commands to make improvement? How can I help stop drooling, tongue thrust and tooth grinding? How can I make tooth brushing easier? How can I help the picky eater in my family? Find answers to these questions and more in this presentation with handouts, case studies and videos.
- Pre-Conference B: DS-ASD
DS-ASD: Ditching the Diapers – How to Move Forward With Toilet Training
Terry Katz, PsyD, New England Neurodevelopment, LLC
Toilet training is often a difficult and frustrating process for families of individuals with special needs. During the workshop, we will address sensory, communication, physical, and behavioral issues that make toilet training challenging and discuss strategies and tools that are helpful for individuals of any age. Workshop members will have the opportunity to talk about specific toilet training problems, and we will work together to develop plans and next steps.
- Pre-Conference C: Behavior
Behavior & Down Syndrome: The Respond but Don’t React Method
David Stein, PsyD, New England Neurodevelopment, LLC
Behavior problems impact approximately 30% of children with DS. Left untreated, these same children often exhibit behavior problems as adults, limiting work and independent living opportunities. In order to address behavior problems effectively, one must understand the brain-based reasons for these challenges and direct treatment appropriately. This workshop will present the basic neuroscience of DS and how this informs effective behavior management, with practical strategies provided for use in the home and school settings.
- Pre-Conference D: Education
Let’s Talk Inclusion: The What, Why, & How
Richard Villa, EdD, Bayridge Consortium, Inc.
Participants will become familiar with the characteristics of inclusionary schools, rationales for change, organizational and instructional strategies to support inclusionary schooling, and successful examples from elementary, middle and high school. Approaches to differentiating the content students learn, the process through which they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they have learned will be examined. Additionally, participants will explore ways in which students can collaborate with adults to meet the needs of a diverse student body.
- Pre-Conference E: Employment
Beyond Employment to Economic Stability
Abby Cooper, MA, Consultant, Kennedy Douglas Consulting
Millions of people with disabilities are trapped in a life of poverty. The last thirty years of focusing exclusively on employment policy has not resulted in individuals with disabilities being part of the financial mainstream, financially stable or gainfully employed. With only 32.8 % of working age people with disabilities actually in the workforce, it’s time to make a change. This session will address strategies parents, school systems and service agencies can take to stop disability from being interlocked with poverty, as well as how the new requirements within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act can be part of the solution.
- Pre-Conference F: Careers
Careers in Entertainment and Media
Gail Williamson, Talent Agent, Kazarian, Measus, Ruskin & Associates Talent Agency and Brian Donovan, Producer, Mighty Me Productions, Inc.
For many people, a career in entertainment and media is a dream. However, for more and more actors with Down syndrome and other disabilities, that dream is becoming a reality! This session’s speakers are professionals in the industry and will explore what it takes to break into the business, what tools are available to support success, and where to go to pursue your child’s dreams of being a star. This workshop will bring in presenters who have been on the front lines advocating for individuals with Down syndrome in the media for up to 20 years. Whether you’re interested in films, television or advertising, join us to be enlightened. Self-Advocates, parents, siblings, grandparents are encouraged to attend.
- Pre-Conference G: Adult Siblings
Brothers and Sisters of People with Down Syndrome: Unique Concerns, Unique Opportunities
Don Meyer, Director of the Sibling Support Project, brother with DS, Seattle, WA
Brothers and sisters will likely be in the lives of family members with Down syndrome longer than anyone. Siblings will be there after parents are gone and special education services are a distant memory. Yet, if they are provided with support and information, they can help their siblings live dignified lives from childhood to their senior years. Throughout their lives, brothers and sisters will share many, if not most, of the same concerns that parents experience, as well as issues that are uniquely theirs. During this lively, interactive session, participants will talk about sibs’ issues across the lifespan—the good stuff, the not-so-good stuff, and everything in between. In addition, a sibling panel will share their expertise with participants. Finally, Mr. Meyer will discuss what parents and service providers can do to minimize sibs’ concerns and maximize their opportunities.
- Pre-Conference H: Advocacy
Understanding the Who, What, Where, When & Why of Down Syndrome to Help You and Your Community
Kate Dougherty, NDSC board member; Tamara Pursley, Communications Director, NDSC; and several amazing self-advocates
Were you overwhelmed when faced with navigating the various organizations, resources and medical issues related to DS? If you were lucky, there was an individual or organization that guided you. This session provides information about various DS organizations as well as current issues impacting the DS community. It will also highlight how to talk about DS with clarity and confidence in healthcare settings, schools, communities, and families. Participants will leave with not only important tools, but also a better understanding of the DS landscape to help enhance their knowledge and serve as a resource for others. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, and/or affiliate organization leader, help us create a culture-shift in the way DS is viewed, from prenatal diagnosis to adulthood.
- Pre-Conferencia Letra I: Espanol
Estrategias prácticas para enseñar sobre sexualidad y afectividad
Macrena Lizama, MD, Directora Ejecutiva, Centro UC síndrome de Down, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
La falta de educación en sexualidad a las personas con discapacidad está principalmente determinada porque los profesionales que participan en su desarrollo no cuentan con herramientas para realizar educación en esta temática, más bien actúan en reacción a problemas o situaciones incómodas que aparecen como consecuencia de la falta de educación sexual de los jóvenes. Si bien expresar y experimentar la sexualidad en plenitud y libertad es un derecho, hoy en día existen obstáculos para que las personas con síndrome de Down puedan vivir su sexualidad en forma saludable. Muchos de estos obstáculos han sido construidos sobre mitos, que son principalmente derivados de la falta de educación. Este workshop está dirigido a entregar a padres y profesionales estrategias prácticas sobre sexualidad y afectividad. Por medio de estrategias de pedagogía teatral, se introducirán estrategias para enseñar sobre el cuerpo y sus cambios puberales, los cuidados de higiene, lo público y lo privado respecto al cuerpo, los lugares y conversaciones, el autoreconocimiento de ser una persona con síndrome de Down, las relaciones interpersonales y la elaboración de redes de confianza, para identificar las personas significativas del entorno, así como también reconocer las formas de saludo, el proceso del compromiso de una pareja, la vida en pareja, maternidad y paternidad. Cada temática se abordará por medio de estaciones, donde se expondrá a los asistentes a diversas situaciones de la vida cotidiana. Al finalizar habrá un espacio de discusión para aclarar inquietudes y compartir experiencias.
Pre-Conferencia Letra I