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Seminars: Past

Check out our Seminars-Upcoming page for upcoming new seminar series topics and dates.

April 25, 2012
"Listening to the Silence: Continued Exploration of the Spectrum of Social Communication Phobia: Understanding the Needs of the Quiet, Slow to Warm Up, and the Silent Child, and Intervention Strategies that Work"
Presented by Judi Musaro Lichter, PhD., LCSW

This workshop focuses on understanding the child's needs, level of social communication phobia, the hierarchy of anxiety, coexisting/complicating problems and offers effective therapeutic interventions. Practical approaches for the classroom will be presented, which utilize a collaborative, parent/school/professional multi-modal approach, and principles of psychotherapy, play, and behavior therapy.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010 4:00 – 5:30
Stacey Ratner, MS, BCBA
Functional Assessment of Behavior - What is this? How is this done? What is my role as a nursery provider? What is my role as the SEIT?

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Diversity in the Preschool Setting

Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 4pm – 5:30pm
Steps for Successful Inclusion of an “English Languages Learner” (ELL) Student in a Monolingual(English) Setting
Presented By: Maria Ariss, MS., CCC/SLP

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 4pm – 5:30pm
Working with Your SEIT and Related Service Providers
Presented By: Andie Zuckerman, MS

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 4pm – 5:30pm
Many Cultures: Respecting and Responding to Diversity –A Look at Parenting, Children, and the Classroom
Presented By: Judith Musaro Lichter, PhD, LCSW,
and Linda Ivans, MS


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 4pm – 5:30pm:
Putting the Pieces Together: Building a Successful Classroom Experience for a
Diverse Group of Learners
Presented By: Stacey Ratner, MS, BCBA

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Many Faces of Behavior Disorder, the Spectrum of Internal Regulation Difficulties.
Presenter: Dr. Dave Dillon
Developmentally Appropriate Practice – The New DAP
Presenter: Stacey Ratner, MS BCBA
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

“What’s Going On In Here?” Functional Behavior Assessment & Behavior Intervention Plans Presenter: Stacey Ratner, MS, BCBA
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

“Just Speak Up” Presenter: Lenore Kahne, MS, CCC/SLP
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

“What a Sensation” – Interactive Adventure in Sensory Learning
Presenter: Terri Ludwig Hopi, MS, OTR
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

“Play for Emotional Growth”Presenter: Willis Mawyer, MS
Wednesday, May 13, 2009




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Fall 2008 Professional Development Series: The Changing Role of the Preschool: Issues of Inclusion

New Beginnings
Wednesday, October 15
Presenter: Dr. Judith Musaro Lichter

First Steps: Setting the Stage for Successful Learning
Wednesday, October 22
Presenter: Stacey Ratner

Diversity in the Preschool Setting
Thursday, November 13
Presenters: Dr. Judith Musaro Lichter & Maria Ariss

Putting the Pieces Together- Effective Behavior Management Strategies
Wednesday, November 19
Presenter: Willis Mawyer

Language and Literacy in the Preschool Setting
Thursday, December 4
Presenter: Lenore Kahne


Making a Diagnosis
This seminar examine instruments utilized in making a diagnosis of Autism.
• Define Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Examine the different tools utilized to make a diagnosis
• Provide an in-depth view of the ADOS
• Put the pieces together to make a diagnosis

Understanding Autism & Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
This seminar introduces participants to the basic components of applied behavior analysis (ABA).
• Define symptoms & characteristicsof autism
• Provide a historical perspective
• Cover the core concepts of applied behavior analysis and its use in teaching students with autism



Effective Behaviorally-Based Teaching Strategies
This seminar builds on the concepts covered in Making a Diagnosis and Understanding
Autism & Applied Behavior Analysis.
Presenters incorporate role playing as the following effective behaviorally-based teaching tools are discussed:
• Visual Supports
• PECS
• Verbal Behavior
• Natural Environment Teaching
• Data Collection Procedures



Functional Behavior Assessment & Behavior Intervention Planning
This seminar builds on the concepts covered in Making a Diagnosis, Understanding Autism & Applied Behavior Analysis, and Effective Behaviorally-Based Teaching Strategies. This interactive workshop implements the use of case studies. Participants will increase their understanding and use of:
• Principles of Reinforcement
• Behavior Reduction Strategies
• Positive Behavior Supports
• Conducting a Functional Assessment
• Designing a Behavior Plan
• Data Collection Procedures



The Role of Play in Emotional Growth
Early childhood education has changed. There is increased pressure on child care and nursery school settings to teach academics to young children. Early childhood educators want to know what happened to play? From an early age, there is a push for children to learn their numbers and letters. However, what is being lost in this race for academic excellence? This workshop will address the importance of play in the social and emotional growth of young children. Specific activities and games, and the skills they target, will be discussed.



Ain't Misbehaving: A Guide to Language-Based Behavior Problems
Max is a handful in the classroom. At the start of circle time or any structured group activity, he begins to act out: he screams, becomes aggressive toward other children and may upset materials needed for the lesson. All too often, acting out behavior is attributed only to social-emotional issues. Frequently, these behaviors may also be a result of frustration or embarrassment associated with communication disorders. This seminar will explore a variety of speech/language issues, highlight behaviors that may accompany them and focus on classroom strategies to deal with these language issues and associated behaviors.



Working with the Anxious Child in the Classroom
Michael, a four-year-old, is quiet. He cautiously interacts with his teacher and peers. However, anyone who observes him sees that he is anxious. Michael has frequent melt downs, sometimes without an obvious cause. When the teacher asks him what is wrong, he says that he doesn’t know who will take care of him. All of us experience anxiety at some point in our lives. Young children also worry or become nervous. Often these emotions are appropriate to the situation. However, when those feelings negatively impact upon a young child’s ability to learn and play, interventions become necessary. This presentation will review various anxiety disorders that affect young children and a variety of interventions that can be used in the classroom to help .



Keep the Joy in Teaching and the Fun in Learning: Making Sense of NYS Learning Standards
Learning Standards for preschool children? You have to be kidding! Why do we need Learning Standards? New York State Learning Standards are designed to help young children develop problem-solving abilities and become more independent thinkers. Many preschool teachers who know about these standards question how they will affect their classrooms. Will it mean more academic work and less play? This workshop will answer these questions and provide hands-on opportunities to develop fun and exciting activities for the preschool child that are consistent with NewYork State Learning Standards and best practice for young children.



A Look At Autism
Tyler is a 3-year-old who is a puzzle to his teachers in his child care program. He is adorable and easily separates from his mother each day. Tyler does not wave bye-bye to his mother. He has little language as compared to his peers and is usually unresponsive to his name. His play is repetitive. The teachers wonder if Tyler is on the autism spectrum. Children with autism have difficulty making sense of the world around them. Autism impacts on communication skills, socialization and behavior as well as the child’s family. This workshop will provide early childhood educators with a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders including early warning signs, what to do if there is a concern, how a diagnosis is made and beginning strategies to include and work with young children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.



Do We Have to Go Outside?
Do we have to go outside? This question can be heard daily in many early childhood programs. Who is asking ? This whine is coming from the staff! Staff often hate going outside with the children because of the weather and/or because it is boring. All the children do is run around. Learn how to make this time an exciting and valuable time for all. Connecting children to nature not only makes going outside interesting and fun, it helps children learn things too.



Sharing Worrisome Information with Parents
Zachary’s teachers are concerned about his speech and language development, his limited play skills and difficulty following classroom routines. They know it is time to discuss their observations with Zachary’s parents, but they are not sure how to do this. The teachers suspect that his parents will be upset and possibly angry. This workshop will focus on communicating difficult and sensitive information to parents. The presenters will discuss methods to present your observations and concerns in an effective, supportive manner, strategies to deal with parental reactions and techniques to promote ongoing communication and partnership in addressing the child’s needs.



Ask the Doctor: The Preschool Child and Medication, Part 2
Teachers and parents often wonder if medication will help their young child who is struggling in the learning environment. This presentation will continue to explore the use of medication with preschool and young school-age children who have many varieties of internal regulation difficulties such as impulse control, affect regulation, attention and mood disorders. A child’s ability to self-regulate can affect the learning process and complicate his/her ability to compensate for other developmental delays. The presenter will review medication strategies to help children with such disorders as ADHD and Anxiety Disorders.



Learning Styles and The Therapeutic Environment
The children in Amy’s three-year-old class are all the same age, but are very different from each other. They have different skills, learning styles and needs. Each year, Amy, a veteran teacher, struggles to create the most appropriate learning environment for all children. This workshop will define learning styles, the role of the teacher in relation to learning styles, and practical hands-on strategies to design a therapeutic environment that meets the needs of all children and encompasses all learning styles.



ADHD for the Preschool Teacher: Everything You’ll Need to Know, But Wished You’d Never Had to Ask
Jimmy is like a whirlwind. He cannot sit for circle time. He has trouble waiting his turn and is constantly calling out. Jimmy wants desperately to play with other children. He will run up to them as they are building a block tower and knock it down. Children like Jimmy are hard to handle in the regular preschool class. They wear on the best teacher’s patience and command more than their fair share of attention and time. This workshop will provide participants with a clearer understanding of ADHD and the impact it has on the child, classroom and family.



A Sensory Motor Approach to Learning
Miranda and Joshua are always fidgeting when they sit at circle time. They are touching everyone around them and sliding off their chairs. The teacher doesn’t know what to do. This seminar will focus on strategies that teachers can use to prepare children for learning through a sensory motor approach with techniques that encourage motor and tactile control; calming a “wiggly” body and awakening the “sleepy” child. Come prepared to explore commonly used Occupational Therapy tools that will facilitate development of hand function and upper body strength. Take home kits to use with the children in class, available for a fee.



Red Flag Behaviors and Beyond: Taking the Next Step
Melissa has a group of three-year-old children in her class. She quickly notices that Adam is shy and doesn’t join activities. Julie is active, but has little language. She has difficulty following directions. Jarrett seems to wander aimlessly around the classroom and is unresponsive to teachers and children. Here are three children at different points in their development. What is typical? What is cause for concern? Teachers are in a position to assess a child’s development and determine if an evaluation is needed. This seminar will focus on typical vs. atypical development, determining the need for an evaluation, and informing and including families in the evaluation process.



Ask the Doctor: The Preschool Child and Medication
Teachers and parents often wonder if medication will help or hurt young children with disabilities. This presentation will review medications commonly used with young children with disabilities. Special emphasis will be placed on new medications such as Stratera, Daytrana and Vyvanze for children with ADHD. The workshop will also focus on a review of medication strategies to help children on the Autism Spectrum with internal regulation.



In the Heat of the Moment: A Guide to Interventions
Sammy’s behavior seemed to break down in front of my eyes. He started screaming, throwing toys and dropping to the floor, refusing to move. I had to think fast. What should I do first? What caused his outburst? Coming up with an intervention plan in the heat of the moment requires some basic knowledge about the functions of behavior and principles of reinforcement. This seminar will provide the audience with tools that a teacher can use to help a child work through a challenging behavior. Participants will learn to analyze behaviors with respect to its antecedent, function and consequences, and design appropriate preventive and intervention strategies.



Working with the Anxious Child in the Classroom
Michael, a four-year-old, is quiet. He cautiously interacts with his teacher and peers. However, anyone who observes him sees that he is anxious. Michael has frequent melt downs, sometimes without an obvious cause. When the teacher asks him what is wrong, he says that he doesn’t know who will take care of him. All of us experience anxiety at some point in our lives. Young children also worry or become nervous. Often these emotions are appropriate to the situation. However, when those feelings negatively impact upon a young child’s ability to learn and play, interventions become necessary. This presentation will review various anxiety disorders that affect young children and a variety of interventions that can be used in the classroom to help .



Late Talker? Late Bloomer?
Johnny, a two-year-old boy, has a core vocabulary of five words. Although his parents have provided a rich language environment, he is slow to acquire new words. Johnny’s pediatrician has assured his parents that he will catch up to his peers. But will he? This seminar will explore the differences between children who are late bloomers and those who, later on, will present with significant speech/language issues. The presenter will focus on early signs of developmental disabilities, evaluation techniques and suggestions for classroom interventions.



Variety's Third Annual Summer Autism Training Institute



• Understanding Autism & Applied Behavior Analysis
Examine characteristics of autism -Historical perspective
-Overview of Applied Behavior analysis – including basic instructional techniques and data collection



• Making a Diagnosis
Define PDD’s
-Examine different tools utilized to make a diagnosis
-ADOS- what it is, how it is used
-Put the pieces together to make a diagnosis



• Effective Behaviorally Based Teaching Strategies
-Discrete trial teaching
-Incidental teaching
-Natural environment teaching
-Use of visual supports
-Data collection



• Behavior Management
-Assessment tools
-Principles of reinforcement
-Behavior strategies
- Developing a behavior Intervention plan



• Building Social Competency Skills in Children
Judy is the teacher in a four-year-old preschool class. Four-year-olds prefer to be with their friends and are learning to comply with rules and negotiate compromises. This year, the children in the class seem to have a difficult time getting along with each other. There is a lot of name calling and hurt feelings. More often than not, the teacher has to be the referee or end play time. This seminar will focus on strategies teachers can use to help children learn to solve interpersonal problems. During the workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to participate in fun activities with puppets and role playing that they can bring back to the classroom to help the children learn to identify a problem and develop possible solutions.



• Ain’t Misbehaving: A Guide to Language-Based Behavior Problems
Max is a handful in the classroom. At the start of circle time or another structured group activity, he begins to act out: he screams, becomes aggressive toward other children and may upset materials needed for the lesson. All too often, acting out behavior is attributed only to social-emotional issues. Frequently, these behaviors may also be a result of the frustration or embarrassment associated with communication disorders. This seminar will explore a variety of speech/language issues, highlight behaviors that may accompany them and focus on classroom strategies to deal with these language issues and associated behaviors.



• Teachers and Children Together: A Problem-Solving Team
Brian and Matthew are four-year-old friends. They always want to be together, yet they fight frequently (verbally and physically) over toys. If they sit next to each other during circle time, they are constantly fidgeting, touching one another and invading each other’s space. The teacher is frustrated. This workshop will identify: management techniques, priorities and interventions that recognize each child’s uniqueness, and discuss typical classroom situations in which teachers can involve the children in the problem-solving process.






• In the Heat of the Moment: A Guide to Interventions

Sammy’s behavior seemed to break down in front of my eyes. He started screaming, throwing toys and dropping to the floor, refusing to move. I had to think fast. What should I do first? What caused his outburst? Coming up with an intervention plan in the heat of the moment requires some basic knowledge about the functions of behavior and principles of reinforcement. This seminar will provide the audience with tools that a teacher can use to help a child work through a challenging behavior. Participants will learn to analyze behaviors with respect to its antecedent, function and consequence, and design appropriate preventive and intervention strategies.



• Providing the Best: Creating a Literacy-Rich Classroom

I love to sit back and watch the children in my class in the reading corner, either looking at books by themselves or “reading” to their peers. I take pride that my children have developed a love of reading. This will help them when they enter kindergarten. Literacy is so much more than reading books. It includes reading, writing and oral language. Children can acquire these skills throughout the school day. This workshop will focus on the New York State Learning Standards for Pre-K children. It will offer practical ideas and materials to incorporate literacy activities within your curriculum. Learn how to promote phonemic awareness, alphabet recognition, fluency, vocabulary development, print awareness and comprehension strategies in a developmentally appropriate way.



• My Student Receives ABA: What Do I Do During the Pre-School Day?

Michael has been diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder) and is on the autism spectrum. His IEP states that he receives ABA. What is ABA? And how am I going to include him in my 3-year-old preschool class? Will Michael have an aide or a SEIT? It is challenging to create a classroom that includes all children, especially those receiving highly specialized services such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This seminar will focus on an overview of the science of ABA, basic explanations of terms and principles, and ways the preschool teacher can work with members of the ABA team.



• Affect, Moods and Impulses: A Guide to Children’s Internal Regulation

Teachers discussing their classes commented on the large number of children who were not following rules and lacked self-control. Some seemed very anxious. The class was difficult to manage. By the time children enter Kindergarten, they are expected to follow rules, control their impulsivity, and delay gratification. Internal regulation of mood and impulse is one of the most central and important aspects of human development. When a child has difficulty with self-control, it has an impact on his/her self-esteem, relationships with adults and peers, ability to learn and organizational skills. This seminar will focus on internal regulation, the effect it has on the young child and his/her life at school and the need for early intervention during the most rapid period of personality development.




For more information, contact Stacey Ratner, MS, BCBA @ 516-921-7171 Ext. 2249, sratner@vclc.org.






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