Development: Typical/Atypical

ACT OR REACT: An Examination of the Sensory/Behavior Continuum
A child misbehaves, what do we do?  Is it fair to hold the child accountable for his unacceptable behavior if it is the result of sensory processing difficulties?  Equally, is it right to excuse and not hold a child accountable for negative behaviors if she has difficulty processing sensory information?  In this workshop we will attempt to answer these questions by starting from the perspective that all behavior has meaning!  We will examine a child’s development, actions, performance and conduct from both a sensory and a behavioral perspective.  The importance of knowing the differences and similarities between the two will be discussed. Participants will be given tools to help them discern the underlying causes of behavior.  And intervention strategies and techniques including sensory diets, environmental modifications, and behavioral models will be provided and discussed

The Fascinating World of the Developing Brain
Did you know you were in the business of growing brains?  Yep!   In this workshop we will examine the current brain research findings as they relate to Early Childhood Development.  The role of emotions in learning will be highlighted.  Hot topics such as the influence of stress and threat on behavior and memory will be discussed.  Emphasis will be placed on careful, cautious and critical application of the current brain research findings.  When it comes to caring for and working with young children from a neuroscience perspective, what every child needs – every caregiver can give!

The Role of Emotions in Development
Emotions are a function of the nervous system.  They are a powerful influence on early brain development.  When this information is more fully understood by the people who care for and work with young children, the observation of emotional displays may used a means to interpret their behavior.   In this workshop we will discuss the emotional regulation system in the brain, identify the behavioral cues one might see when working with young children that signal both regulation as well as stress, and learn helpful strategies that you can use in your work with very young children from an emotional perspective

It’s All About the Babies
This workshop series provides a time and a place for those that care for and work with babies to come together to learn and discuss topics specifically related to them.  We’ll discuss the interrelatedness of infant development as well as the impact of the current infant care practices on the developing child. We’ll examine some of the research related to early brain development in order to understand just how important good quality infant care truly is.   We’ll share some stories and laugh a bit about the realities of caring for those babies.   We’ll have time to focus on fussy babies, the importance of movement experiences and the significant role of relationships on early development. If you care for infants, this is the workshop for you because it’s all about the babies! 

It’s All in your Genes
You may have heard that the human genome has been discovered.  But, do you really understand what that means?  Have you ever wondered how a child is diagnosed with a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome, Fragile X or Cri-du-chat?  This informative workshop will help!  In this workshop we will learn basic genetic information. We will also discuss common genetic diagnoses and the impact of these syndromes on the developing child. 

Not Quite Right: Self-Regulation & Regulatory Disorders
There’s this kid.  He doesn’t have a diagnosis but there is just something that you can’t put your finger on.  He’s just…. not quite right.  No disrespect intended.  This child with whom you are working is confusing and difficult to figure out.  Perhaps the problem is in the area of self-regulation.  Self regulation is critical for the development of emotional, social and intellectual health.  Participants in this workshop will learn the ways in which children develop self-regulation and the various ways in which disorders of regulation interfere with relationships and learning.  Most importantly sensory strategies will be discussed that can be used to help foster a child’s ability to self-regulate.  

Self Regulation and Regulatory Disorders in Babies
Regulation of arousal is critical for the development of emotional, social, and intellectual health.  A baby is born into a highly stimulating world.   While all of this sensory information is exciting, the newborns first challenge is to take in sensory information while regulating his response and remaining calm.  In this workshop we will examine self-regulatory mechanisms as they develop and refine during the first two years of life.  The emotional regulation system will be reviewed.   The vital role of the caregiver as co-regulator will be discussed.  Regulatory disorders will be defined and the potential outcomes of such disorders will be presented.  Assessment and treatment of regulatory disorders will be introduced.  

Looking at Children with New Eyes:
Sensory Processing and the Theory of Sensory Integration

All behavior has meaning! The theory of sensory integration provides an alternative lens through which to observe behavior, develop new ways of interpreting the behaviors of young children as well as to develop intervention strategies that will address the unique sensory needs of each child.   In this workshop we will learn about the “lesser known” senses of vestibular and proprioception, the interrelated components of sensory processing and the concepts of sensory modulation and sensory threshold.  Time will also be spent discussing the possible meaning of specific behaviors and, more importantly, how to help the children who demonstrate these behaviors.  The importance of cue reading will be examined as a window into understanding each child’s unique neurological makeup.  The day will conclude with an interactive discussion of the practical ways in which this information can be utilized to modify and adapt environments (which includes interpersonal relationships), curriculum and intervention strategies in the service of fostering optimal development in young children.

Theories of Child Development:
A Workshop for OTs, PTs and Speech Therapists

It’s an unfortunate reality that Occupational, Physical and Speech therapists do not receive enough information regarding infant toddler development in their academic preparation.  This workshop will provide an overview of the classic theories of child development.  More importantly, this workshop will highlight the ways in which the work of Occupational, Physical and Speech therapists align with the theories of child development.
What’s all the Fuss About?  Examining Causation and Care of the Fussy Baby
All babies fuss and all babies cry.  However, intense, prolonged and unresolved fussing and crying can challenge the best parents. Caring for a fussy baby may increase family stress and alter the developing parent-child relationship. Extreme crying has been identified as the number one precipitant of abuse and neglect in the first year of life.  In this workshop we will examine some of the possible underlying causes of increased infant crying. Some of the topics to be discussed in this workshop include:  crying, colic, reflux, regulation of sleep/wake cycles and sensory sensitivities. Participants will be introduced to assessment measures and tools that can be used to evaluate the fussy baby in the context of his or her family and environment. Treatment models and strategies that are inclusive of the fussy baby’s family will be highlighted in this work

What’s With All This Sensory Stuff?
Come and join us in a parent education workshop like you’ve never attended before.  We will take a light-hearted approach to learning about sensory processing. In this workshop we will explore the question “Why do kids do the goofy things they do?” You will be introduced to some of the major concepts of sensory processing and the ways in which sensory processing challenges influence development, learning and most importantly relationships. Ideas and strategies that can be used by parents to address their child’s sensory processing challenges will be provided.   Parents will be encouraged to explore and reflect on their own unique sensory quirks as they attempt to understand the sensory processing challenges that their children may be experiencing. Together in this workshop parents will experience a sense of camaraderie with others going through similar experiences parenting a child with special needs. Questions and discussion will be encouraged and welcomed.   Why not have some fun while you learn?