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The Edmonton Educator’s Conference

Brain-Based Learning, Behavioural Challenges & Mental Health

Presented by Robert Brooks, Ph.D. and Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP and Jay Berk,Ph.D. and Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP and Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW and Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP and Lynn Miller, Ph. D., R.Psych and Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW and Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – Friday, November 2, 2018  |  Edmonton, ab

Download Brochure (.PDF)   Download Poster for your School (.PDF)

!  Important Notice:

Online registration is now CLOSED for this conference. You can arrive up to one hour early to register at the door.

Date & Location

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – Friday, November 2, 2018

8:30am – 4:00pm

DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton

16615 109th Ave NW, Edmonton, AB

phone:  780.484.0821

 Full map & directions

A Letter from Jack Hirose

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to announce The Educator’s Conference: Brain-Based Learning, Behavioural Challenges & Mental Health will be hosted in Edmonton, Alberta on October 31 – November 2, 2018. Over the past five years, our conferences for educators have trained over 5,000 education professionals. Whether you are attending for the first time or take part in this conference every year, all of us here at Jack Hirose and Associates would like to extend a warm welcome!

We have assembled your feedback and introduced a variety of new topics relevant to educators including: strategies to nurture motivation and resilience; neuropsychology of emotional disorders; mental health issues in the classroom; effective teaching of reading and written language disorders; cutting edge strategies to improve executive function skills; managing anxiety at school and at home; high functioning autism; teacher stress, rescuing the dysregulated child, disillusionment, and burnout.

We always strive to improve our training with the goal of our participants meeting or exceeding their personal learning objectives. This conference promises to offer you new skills, new techniques and new strategies to help keep you motivated and excel with your students. We firmly believe that we have assembled one of our strongest guest speaker line-ups in our company’s 20 year history. Please mark this event on your calendar, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Jack Hirose, M.A.

Conference Director


“We are very happy with the information acquired during this conference! I gained many insights about my complex students and will return to my class with more empathy + understandings as to why they may behave the way they do. Excellent resources – loved when the powerpoints were provided to us. Great to follow along with.”

“Loved that speakers in the morning were also in the afternoon so we could make an informed choice plus get a total of 4 + hours with that person for enhanced learning.”

“The conference presentations gave a lot of valuable and important information. The momentum of presentations kept interest.”

“Wonderful, helpful and interesting information. Wish I could have done all 3 days!”

“The topics were relevant to the work that I do everyday.”

“Well organized conference. Great speakers.”

“Very helpful to add to my work as a school counsellor.”

“Thank you so much for the experience! Everyone was very accommodating and efficient!”

“It is great to have these conferences! Would recommend it to others!”

Who Should Attend

Education and Clinical Professionals: K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors/Psychologists, Learning Assistance/ Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers. All other professionals who support students including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers, Police Officers, and Early Childhood Educators.

Parents, Caregiver, Foster Parents, Grandparents, and Extended Family raising a child.


Day 1 – October 31, 2018

1st Keynote: Can You Take Care of Your Students if You Don’t Take Care of Yourself?
Presented by Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

8:30am – 9:45am   October 31, 2018

Stress, disillusionment, and burnout among educators and clinicians who work in schools are major problems, impacting on effective teaching and classroom management, and retention of staff. In his keynote Dr. Brooks will describe a framework with specific techniques for developing “stress hardiness” and lessening burnout in school professionals. A basic premise of Dr. Brooks’ keynote is that the more we can take care of ourselves, the more we can meet the educational needs of students and create a positive school climate in which learning, motivation, and purpose are nurtured.
(More in-depth content will be addressed in the afternoon session.)

Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

Robert Brooks, Ph.D. has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about working with or raising angry, at-risk youth from a strength-based approach that focuses on the development of self dignity motivation, hope, and resilience. Among his books, he is…

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More information: www.drrobertbrooks.com

2nd Keynote: The Neuropsychology of Emotional Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions
Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

9:45am – 10:45am   October 31, 2018

This keynote will explore the neural architecture of emotional behaviour by examining various brain structures laying the foundation for higher level social skill functioning. Specific biological factors related to the development of social competence and emotional self-regulation will be explored. There will be a detailed discussion on behavioural self-regulation, anxiety disorders, and depression from a brain-based educational perspective.  Particular focus will be on factors leading to emotional dysregulation and the neurobiological underpinnings of stress.  Schools can enhance emotional wellness in children through early prevention efforts, appropriate assessment strategies, and an improved school climate to foster emotional growth for all children.

Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP  is an internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of learning disabilities, and has authored seven books on learning and emotional disorders in children.  He was voted the Maryland School Psychologist of the Year…

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3rd Keynote: Mental Health Issues in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Helping Children & Adolescents
Presented by Jay Berk,Ph.D.

11:00am – 12:00pm   October 31, 2018

Learn how to best manage the students at your school diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), mood disorders, anxiety and depression.
(More in-depth content will be addressed in the afternoon session.)

Jay Berk, Ph.D.

Jay Berk, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and an internationally recognized expert in the child/adolescent behavioural field who brings both a clinical and education perspective to his work with children, adolescents and their families. For over 25 years, Dr. Berk…

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Afternoon Concurrent Session A: The Power of Mindsets: Strategies to Nurture Motivation & Resilience in Students
Presented by Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

1:15pm – 4:00pm   October 31, 2018

In this workshop Dr. Brooks will highlight the concept of “mindsets,” including the assumptions and expectations that guide the practices of educators. He will describe the mindset and accompanying practices of professionals who are effective in reaching youth at all ages. He will cover such topics as: (a) the importance of applying a strength-based approach in which each child or adolescent’s “islands of competence” are identified and reinforced, (b) a framework for understanding the key components of intrinsic motivation, and (c) specific strategies for reinforcing motivation, responsibility, hope, and resilience in youth. Many case examples will be provided.

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  • The need to belong & feel connected (and let’s add the word welcome): When students feel alienated in school, learning & achievement will be compromised & anger & resentment will become dominant features
  • The need for self-determination & autonomy
    • What kind of choices & decisions do we provide students?
    • Do our disciplinary practices promote self-discipline & self-control as well as nurturing a safe environment?
  • The need to feel competent: to identify, reinforce, & display each youngster’s ‘islands of competence’ – We must adopt a strength-based model
    • Do we provide students with an opportunity to contribute to their school & home environments?
    • Do we help students believe that mistakes are experiences from which to learn?


  • Mindsets: The assumptions & expectations we have for ourselves & others that guide our behaviour
  • What is the mindset of educators who truly touch the hearts & minds of students? To believe in the capacity of students to meet challenges, overcome adversity, & become resilient: The importance of a ‘charismatic adult’
  • To believe that if something is not working or is ineffective in our personal & professional lives we must ask, ‘What is it that I can do differently to change the situation?’ rather than wait for others to change first. This should not be interpreted as blaming ourselves but rather as a source of empowerment.
  • Exercises to promote empathy: questions to consider

Afternoon Concurrent Session B: Effective Teaching of Reading & Written Language Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions 
Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

1:15pm – 4:00pm   October 31, 2018

We will examine reading from a brain-based educational perspective. Steven will discuss the Feifer Assessment of Reading battery, a comprehensive and innovative new reading test designed to examine the underlying cognitive and linguistic processes that supports proficient reading skills. Steven will also explore the neuropsychological underpinnings of the writing process.

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READING: The Neuropsychology of Reading lectures will examine reading from a brain-based educational perspective, and classify developmental reading disorders into four distinct subtypes.  There will be a focus on multiple cognitive constructs involved with reading including phonological processing, working memory, executive functioning, and orthographical processing skills. A brief review of the  Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) battery will be shared, as well as other key instruments used to screen and diagnose children with reading disorders and dyslexia.

WRITING: The Neuropsychology of Written Language lectures will examine the cognitive underpinnings inherent within the writing process.  There will be a discussion on national trends in written language, as well as gender differences in achieving proficient writing skills.  In addition, three specific subtypes of writing disorders, with particular emphasis on how “frontal lobe” processes such as working memory and executive functioning impact each subtype, will be discussed as well.  Lastly, five essential steps for effective written language instruction will be shared, as well as key assessment tools to evaluate written language disorders.

Afternoon Concurrent Session C: Mental Health Issues in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Helping Children & Adolescents 
Presented by Jay Berk,Ph.D.

1:15pm – 4:00pm   October 31, 2018

You will walk away with concrete, yet practical, strategies to successfully intervene with their serious behavioural issues, such as: anger and outbursts, meltdowns and tantrums, cutting and self-injury, obsessive compulsive, defiance, truancy, impulsivity, rigidity, sensory issues, and electronic addiction.

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Through case studies, video clips and dynamic class discussion you will learn:

  • 30 second teacher strategies to manage challenging and disruptive behaviors
  • New ways to reduce the costs of out-of-district placements
  • How to engage students in class, increase productivity and reduce truancy
  • Behavioural assessments and strategies for the IEP team
  • Side-effects of common psychotropic medications
  • How skill deficits from mental health conditions create behavioural difficulties
  • Characteristics of at-risk students’ mental health problems
  • Strategies to gain collaboration with clinicians


  • Strategies for challenging behaviours related to ODD, ADHD, ASD, Mood disorders, Anxiety, & Depression
  • Reduce the cost of out-of-district placements
  • 30 second teacher strategies
  • Functional behavioural assessment simplified
  • Don’t mistake mental health issues for intentionally disruptive behaviours


  • Students with Mental Health Issues
  • Strategies for ODD & Conduct Disorder Behaviours
  • Strategies for ADHD
  • Strategies for ASD
  • Strategies for Anxiety
  • Strategies for Depression
  • Strategies for Other Challenging Behaviours
  • Disciplining the Special Needs Child/Adolescent
  • Strategies for the IEP Team

Day 2 – November 1, 2018

1st Keynote: Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills
Presented by Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP

8:30am – 9:45am   November 1, 2018

In this keynote, Sarah will be teaching hands-on practical strategies to improve Executive Function skills. Whether you’ve seen her before, or this is all new, you’re sure to walk away with new ideas and strategies to help you better assist students as well as collaborate with classroom teachers.

Sarah will provide practical, hands-on activities for both beginners and advanced learners! From task initiation and execution to time management, practice using strategies such as ‘Future Sketch’, ‘Get Ready, Do, Done’, ‘STOP and Read the Room’, and seeing and sensing the passage of time.

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP, has over 17 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations, treatment, and case management of children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of brain based learning difficulties and behavioural problems. A popular speaker, Sarah regularly presents…

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2nd Keynote: Managing Anxiety at School and at Home
Presented by Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW

9:45am – 10:45am   November 1, 2018

Anxiety is a persistent master. When it moves in, it takes over daily routines, learning, recreation, and social connection. To make matters worse, the things adults (including many therapists and school systems) do to help anxious children can actually make the anxiety stronger. All these children put a palpable strain on frustrated, helpless parents and teachers.  And there is no escaping the problem:  one in every five kids suffer from a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
(More in-depth content will be addressed in the afternoon session.)

Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW

Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW, is an internationally recognized psychotherapist, author, and speaker with a special interest in interrupting the generational patterns of anxiety in families. Her skill-based approach to anxiety focuses on the need to teach families about HOW anxiety works…

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3rd Keynote: Rescuing the Dysregulated Child: Effective Interventions & Strategies with Children, Adolescents, & Parents
Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP

11:00am – 12:00pm   November 1, 2018

Working with emotionally dysregulated children is an often overwhelming and exhausting endeavour. Many teachers and counsellors feel the pull of being “saviours” for dysregulated children and their parents. How to intervene and steps that can be taken by teachers and administrators will be presented. This training will enable participants to employ strategies in which teachers and parents can experience success through learning to reestablish structure, create a validating and secure environment, and increase compassion for all family members and care providers.
(More in-depth content will be addressed in the afternoon session.)

Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP

Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP is a licensed psychologist and serves as an advisor to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association (DBTNCAA). She has practiced in numerous community settings including clinics that treat underserved communities of color, clients with…

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Afternoon Concurrent Session A: Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills
Presented by Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP

1:15pm – 4:00pm   November 1, 2018

Activities will focuses on updating participants’ knowledge, increasing their understanding of concepts and applications, and promoting evidence-based practice. For each strategy there will be examples for elementary, middle and high school aged students. Be sure to provide us with the grades that you teach or the ages of the children that you work with and we will provide you with that age level content for your hands on activities.

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Topics to be Covered:

  • A new view and understanding of what the Executive Function Skills are
  • A brief review and advanced implementation of the Get Ready * Do * Done Model
  • Applying executive function strategies in treatment settings and classrooms. Create a program that promotes independent executive function skills with less supervision and fewer prompts. Learn new ideas on how to organize the classroom/home/treatment environment to promote self-regulation.
  • Improving self-regulation: He has done this task before! In fact he just did it an hour ago. Why can’t he do it now? Understanding and treating the underlying executive control skills for task motivation, initiation and output.
  • Helping students to create futuristic imagination and do a mental dress rehearsal
  • Fresh approaches to help students develop automaticity for class routines and transitions. New techniques for teaching students to independently manage nightly and long term assignments.
  • Increasing student’s ability to internally sense the passage of time, start and complete tasks within allotted time frames and stay a beat ahead.

Learning Objectives

  • Awareness: to “Tune in” to what is happening around them so they can understand how information, events, and their actions will impact their goals and objectives, both now and in the near future
  • Forethought: to predict the successful outcome of tasks and to know what a ‘stop spot’ looks like
  • to Wait: to control a reaction long enough to contemplate the outcomes of their choice
  • Planning Skills to estimate how long tasks will take, to be able to sense the passage of time and to know how to break down the steps for immediate tasks, nightly homework and long term projects
  • to Shift: to fluidly transition from one mental mindset to another and to be able to stop doing one activity and then move on to and be prepared to start new tasks
  • to Pace: to speed up or slow down within a given time frame, to complete tasks within allotted time and to persist on tasks even if the tasks are difficult, boring or non-preferred
  • Flexibility: to consider multiple possible solutions to problems, to see the “gray” in a situation and to avoid having black and white or rigid thinking
  • Speed of Information Processing: to help students quickly react to incoming information, understand it, and think about the information, formulate a response or plan, and then execute that response

  • Metacognition to “think about thinking” to plan, monitor and assess performance and to know strategies for learning, thinking and problem solving for new tasks or contexts.

Afternoon Concurrent Session B: Managing Anxiety at School and at Home
Presented by Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW

1:15pm – 4:00pm   November 1, 2018

What we teach children about risk, danger, uncertainty, and problem-solving makes a huge difference in whether they go on to become anxious or depressed teens and adults. In this workshop, you will explore concrete and often counter-intuitive strategies that educate children and adults about anxiety and provide an “umbrella approach” that is applicable to all the anxiety disorders and OCD. This workshop will demonstrate HOW to interrupt anxiety’s cognitive patterns with simple, process-based strategies that offer an alternative to techniques that inadvertently support avoidance of anxious symptoms. Lynn will offer counsellors, teachers and parents proven strategies that help children push through anxiety, worry, fears and phobias so that they can move forward, learn and reach their full potential.

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  • Create three interventions for anxious children that increase the amount of time spent in the classroom
  • Illustrate the benefits of a process-based intervention versus a content-based intervention
  • List three common mistakes made by school staff, parents and outside providers that strengthen anxiety
  • Explain the pros and cons of relaxation and breathing skills when intervening with an anxious child
  • Explain the potential limits of focusing on symptom elimination when working with anxious & depressed children

Afternoon Concurrent Session C: Rescuing the Dysregulated Child: Effective Interventions & Strategies with Children, Adolescents, & Parents
Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP

1:15pm – 4:00pm   November 1, 2018

Dr. Webb will additionally address key childhood disorders that left untreated can lead to maladaptive coping behaviours in adulthood. Dr. Webb will teach participants how to apply and adapt various skills training to reflect the language of children and how to establish a safe and supportive classroom in which children can learn and generalize these skills. Working with emotionally-dysregulated children in your classroom can be overwhelming and exhausting. You probably feel the pull of being the “saviour” for dysregulated children and their worried parents. Learn how to implement the skills you need to be more effective in the classroom, avoid burnout and achieve positive outcomes.

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  • Describe the biosocial model of pervasive emotional dysregulation disorders found in innately sensitive children.
  • Utilize behaviour modification strategies at the earliest stage of dysregulation.
  • Summarize the importance of structure in both skills training and home environments and how to teach parents or care providers to implement these strategies.
  • Explain how to adapt each skills module to reflect the language of the child.
  • Explain the role of educators, care providers, and parents and how to reestablish a safe and loving structure that enables the child to learn and generalize skills.


Developmental Theory and Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training

  • Biosocial Model
  • Attachment style
  • Impact of trauma
  • Effects of inadequate validation in early emotional development
  • Symptoms of a pervasive emotional dysregulation disorder
  • Key Dialectical Dilemmas

Adapt Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training to Key Childhood and Adolescent Disorders

  • ADHD
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)/Conduct Disorder (CD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety

Day 3 – November 2, 2018

1st Keynote: Worries & Woes: Using CBT in Dealing with Anxiety Disorders in School-Age Children
Presented by Lynn Miller, Ph. D., R.Psych

8:30am – 9:45am   November 2, 2018

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of psychological distress reporteby children and adolescents, and can interfere significantly in the lives of children. An anxiety disorder is a level of anxiety or worry that interferes with daily functioning, either with peer relationships, academic performance, or in family routines. Interference can range from reluctance to go to school, to withdrawing from sports and extra curricular activities, to being completely home bound. Youth with anxiety disorders can be shy, inhibited, and avoidant; helping personnel are typically very good at identifying anxiety in children but may not use the most effective interventions to support children and youth. Anxiety disorders are highly responsive to psychological intervention, allowing children and youth to learn skills to manage their lives. Unfortunately, the most effective therapeutic intervention skills are not used or taught, leading to more distress. The stresses in children’s lives continue to mount, including bullying, excessive time spent on homework, premature sexuality, family financial stress, and lost friendships, all leading to more anxiety.

Lynn Miller, Ph.D., R.Psych

Lynn D. Miller, Ph.D., Lic.Psych started her career as a classroom teacher, and then worked as a school counselor K-12 in the US and Canada. As the Myrne Nevison Prevention Research Professor at the University of British Columbia, she investigated anxiety…

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2nd Keynote: Effective Strategies for Managing Challenging Students
Presented by Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW

9:45am – 10:45am   November 2, 2018

Being a teacher or school counsellor can be tremendously rewarding, but it can also be fraught with challenges. This workshop will outline innovative tips, tricks, and techniques to address common challenges faced by school personnel.
(More in-depth content will be addressed in the afternoon session.)

Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW

Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, is a Registered Clinical Social Worker, Certified Play Therapist- Supervisor, and Certified TF-CBT Therapist who has been working with children and their families since 1988. She is known as a dynamic speaker and presents trainings across…

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3rd Keynote: High Functioning Autism: Proven and Practical Interventions for Challenging Behaviours in Children and Adolescents
Presented by Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

11:00am – 12:00pm   November 2, 2018

This keynote provides proven intervention strategies, essential treatment tools, and behavioural techniques to help you analyze behaviours and actions, identify consequences for behaviours, and teach new skills to children, adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism.

Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

Meghan Barlow, Ph.D., is a licensed pediatric psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. She also has a wide range of experience working with children who have a variety of anxiety…

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Afternoon Concurrent Session A: Worries & Woes: Using CBT in Dealing with Anxiety Disorders in School-Age Children
Presented by Lynn Miller, Ph. D., R.Psych

1:15pm – 4:00pm   November 2, 2018

The workshop provides the most current, evidence informed model for how anxiety develops in children and adolescents, and how education professionals can engage kids and families in learning to manage anxiety. Practical diagnostic and treatment strategies can be applied immediately, using DSM-5 classification of anxiety. Emphasis will be placed on effective interventions for each anxiety disorder subtype. The following anxiety disorders will be addressed from a developmental approach: separation anxiety disorder (with school refusal), panic disorder with agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder (with perfectionism), obsessive-compulsive disorders including trichotillomania (hair pulling) and excoriation (skin picking), social anxiety disorder (including selective mutism), specific phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorders.

Participants will learn the fundamentals of CBT in fun and effective ways, leaving with practical skills to use with children, teens and families. Learn how to discriminate anxiety disorders from other mental health problems, and apply useful tools and techniques in a variety of settings.

Learning activities will consist of lecture, PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, video clips, experiential exercises, and discussion.

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  • Learn fundamentals of cognitive behavioural interventions (CBT) and how to use immediately with children and youth

  • Understand how to support children and youth with various anxiety concerns in several environments, including home, school & community

  • Learn techniques that are useful to implement immediately with an individual, small group, or large groups of children/youth

  • Become aware of resources in the community


Morning Nature and Causes of Anxiety

  • Introduction to workshop and handouts
  • How anxiety develops in children and teens: Aetiology
  • Treatment: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and its application to anxiety
  • Assessment
  • Medications and Research

Afternoon Anxiety Disorder (AD) Subtypes and CBTRelevant Skill

  • AD: Specific Phobia
  • AD: Separation / School Refusal
  • AD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • AD: Social Phobia
  • AD: Panic Disorder
  • AD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • AD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Engaging Parents
  • Summary and Q &A

Afternoon Concurrent Session B: Effective Strategies for Managing Challenging Students
Presented by Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW

1:15pm – 4:00pm   November 2, 2018

Through lecture, activity demonstrations, and experiential exercises, participants will be exposed to creative ideas for dealing with a multitude of challenges, including students who are anxious, unfocused, oppositional, or unmotivated. Participants will come away with a variety of new and innovative ideas they can immediately put into practice.

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  • Identify the diagnostic features of ADHD, ODD, and Anxiety.
  • Implement interventions to manage disruptive behaviors.
  • Utilize innovative techniques to address anxiety, anger management, impulse control, social skills, and other challenging issues.

Afternoon Concurrent Session C: High Functioning Autism: Proven and Practical Interventions for Challenging Behaviours in Children and Adolescents
Presented by Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

1:15pm – 4:00pm   November 2, 2018

Gain valuable insight into how information processing, communication, and social skills deficits lead to difficulty in the home, school, occupational, and social settings. Learn how to prioritize a plan for intervention and implement strategies in order to improve functioning across all areas. We will explore HFA and the new DSM-5® diagnosis of Social-Pragmatic Communication Disorder. You will receive the necessary tools to gain effective collaboration between clinicians, educators and parents.
Through case studies, video clips and class participation you will leave this workshop with an improved understanding of HFA and the confidence to develop and implement effective treatment plans. Don’t just manage these individuals; provide interventions that lead to successful independence into their adult years!

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Gain valuable insight into how information processing, communication, and social skills deficits lead to difficulty in the home, school, occupational, and social settings. Learn how to prioritize a plan for intervention and implement strategies in order to improve functioning across all areas. We will explore HFA and the new DSM-5® diagnosis of Social-Pragmatic Communication Disorder. You will receive the necessary tools to gain effective collaboration between clinicians, educators and parents.

Through case studies, video clips and class participation you will leave this workshop with an improved understanding of HFA and the confidence to develop and implement effective treatment plans. Don’t just manage these individuals; provide interventions that lead to successful independence into their adult years!


  • Explain how the DSM-5® updates impact service delivery
  • Utilize several social skill interventions to improve long-term success for children/ adolescents with HFA
  • Employ specific coping and calming techniques for children/adolescents with HFA
  • Identify medication side effects that can mimic behavioural issues and may even cause behavioural issues
  • Design effective strategies for successful transitions for children/adolescents with HFA
  • Select specific behavioral interventions that target the most difficult behaviors in children/ adolescents with HFA
  • Summarize the new DSM-5® diagnosis of Social- Pragmatic Communication Disorder and design treatment interventions


DSM-5® and ICD-10 Updates

  • Social-Pragmatic Communication Disorder
  • Impact on service delivery (school/community)
  • Successfully link home, school and therapy
  • IEP/504/Do they qualify for school services?
  • Co-morbid disorders: Why the difference is important

Social Skills Interventions

  • Improve social skill deficits
  • “Kid Cop” behaviours and why other kids get angry
  • How to get peers to recognize them in positive ways
  • Group activities that have a proven track record

Communication Interventions

  • Help peers and family members relate
  • Verbal interventions that overload processing
  • The importance of incorporating visuals in communication
  • Pragmatic language and other abstract issues

Sensory Interventions

  • Self-stimulation
  • Coping/calming techniques that reduce meltdowns
  • Sensory diet

Anxiety Interventions

  • Anxiety-reducing activities
  • How anxiety impacts rigidity
  • Help them “self-regulate”
  • Successful transitions

Depression Interventions

  • Assessing for mood disorders
  • Therapy that works for people with HFA
  • Solitude vs. loneliness

ADHD Interventions

  • ADHD vs. hyper-focus
  • Commonly prescribed medications and possible benefits and side effects
  • Specific triggers and what fuels the rage
  • Reduce aggressive and disruptive behaviours
  • Mistakes that escalate defiant behaviours
  • Overcome refusals to comply with even simple requests

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Interventions

  • Differences between ASD and OCD
  • Specific medication interventions
  • Impact on socialization and behaviours

Interventions for Specific Difficult Behaviours

  • Reduce Internet and electronic addictions
  • Changes in technology, school systems and mental health delivery
  • Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for mood and anxiety

Psychopharmacological Interventions

  • Differentiate among common medications

Medications that mimic difficult behaviours

Registration & Fees

Registration Early bird Fee Regular Fee
Individual 1 Day Enrollment $229 $249
Individual 2 Day Enrollment $409 $429
Individual 3 Day Enrollment $599 $619
Group 3-7 $579 $599
Group 8-14 $559 $579
Group 15+ $539 $559
Full-Time Student $539 $559

For more information on Student Rates, click here

For more information on Group Rates, click here

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions: no pre-registration required. For more information, click here

PLEASE NOTE: Multi-day registrations can NOT be shared. All registration fees are per person. Different individuals cannot be sent on different days under one registration fee. Name badges will be checked at the door.

Fees do not include applicable taxes (5% GST).

Early bird cutoff date: October 26, 2018
The early bird date has passed. Regular rates apply.

Please review our Registration Terms and Conditions for information on our cancellation policy, payment policies, rebates, and more. You must agree to our Terms and Conditions to register for a workshop or conference.

Register Online   Download Registration Form (.PDF)   Register your Group

Recommended Accommodation

DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton

16615 109th Ave NW, Edmonton, AB

phone:  780.484.0821

 Full map & directions

Our rates:

To make a reservation over the phone, please call 780.484.0821 or 1.800.661.9804

June, April & May Rates
Deluxe 2 Queen – $152.00 plus tax
1 King Suite- $172.00 plus tax

Rates are based on single or double occupancy. A $15.00 charge will apply for each extra adult. Maximum occupancy is 4 persons per room.

To Book Online: 

April – use code JKH
or visit http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/Y/YEGNMDT-JKH-20190428/index.jhtml

May – use code JCK 
or visit  http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/Y/YEGNMDT-JCK-20190526/index.jhtml

June – use code JHJ
or visit http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/Y/YEGNMDT-JHJ-20190602/index.jhtml

When booking hotel rooms, ask for the Jack Hirose and Associates corporate rate. To receive our corporate rate, rooms must be booked one month prior to the workshop date. Please keep in mind hotel rates may fluctuate.

Continuing Education Credits

This workshop has been formally approved by the following associations:
  • Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
  • Canadian College of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (CCPCP)
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
  • Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA)
  • Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
  • Canadian Vocational Rehabilitation Association (VRA)
  • Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBOC)
  • Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP)
  • Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA)

† The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved CEUs.

* Participants will receive a certificate of completion after every workshop. Workshops are pre-approved for 5.5 or 6 credits per day unless otherwise specified.

Please check back closer to the conference date for more information.