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The Saskatoon Educators’ Conference: Brain-Based Learning, Behavioural Challenges & Student Mental Health

A professional continuing education event pre-kindergarten to 12th grade

Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP and Christine Dargon, Ph.D. and Steven T. Olivas, Ph.D., HSP and Rebecca Moyes, M.Ed. and Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP and Meghan Barlow, Ph.D. and John T. Almarode, Ph.D. and Martha S. Burns, Ph.D. and Monique Gray Smith and Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP

Monday, May 13, 2019 – Wednesday, May 15, 2019  |  Saskatoon, sk

Download Brochure (.PDF)  

Date & Location

Monday, May 13, 2019 – Wednesday, May 15, 2019

9:00am to 4:00pm

Hilton Garden Inn Saskatoon Downtown

90 22 St E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3X6

phone:  (306) 244-2311

website:  hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/saskatchewan/hilton-garden-inn-saskatoon-downtown-YXESDGI/index.html

 Full map & directions

New Conference Format

  • 10 Internationally Renown Experts
  • 12 Full Day Workshops
  • Mix & Match to Create Customized Conference Experience 

Conference Overview


Day One: Monday, May 13th, 2019

Emotional Disorders
Workshop #1 – The Neuropsychology of Emotional Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions by Dr. Steven Feifer, D.Ed,. ABSNP.  Internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of learning disabilities. Employed as a psychologist at Monocacy Neurodevelopment Center, Frederick, M.D.

Anxiety Disorders
Workshop #2 – Overcoming Anxiety Disorders in School-Age Children by Dr. Christine Dargon, Ph.D. International speaker, educator and author. On faculty at Grand Canyon University and Ashford University.

Brief Interventions
Workshop #3 – Over 30 Proven and Effective Brief Interventions for Students with Emotional and Behavioural Problems by Dr. Steven T. Olivas, Ph.D. Nationally-renowned speaker, author, behavior consultant and licensed psychologist in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee

Emotional Disturbance
Workshop #4 – Reaching and Teaching Students with Emotional Disturbance, by Rebecca A. Moyes, M.Ed. Former general education teacher, author, consultant to school districts for students with emotional disturbance, autism and/or severe behaviours.


Day Two: Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Reading and Written Language Disorders
Workshop #5 – The Neuropsychology of Reading and Written Language Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions by Dr. Steven Feifer, D.Ed,. ABSNP.  Internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of learning disabilities. Employed as a psychologist at Monocacy Neurodevelopment Center, Frederick, M.D.

Behaviours Associated with Disabilities
Workshop #6 – Is it Disability Behaviour or Just Disruptive Behaviour by by Rebecca A. Moyes, M.Ed. Former general education teacher, author, consultant to school districts for students with emotional disturbance, autism and/or severe behaviours

Workshop #7 – Rescuing the Dysregulated Child by Eboni Webb, Psy.D. Owner of Kairos Mental Health Cooperative in Nashville, Tennessee.  Serves as an advisor to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association

Resilience and Indigenous Children
Workshop #8 – Fostering Resilience in Indigenous Children by Monique Gray Smith, International presenter, award winning author and consultant. Owner of Little Drum Consulting and former Executive Director for Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC and the National Aboriginal Advisor for Roots of Empathy.



Day Three: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Smart but Scattered: Building Executive Skills
Workshop #9 – Smart but Scattered: Strengthening Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents by Margaret Dawson, D.Ed. School psychologist and has worked at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  She is international presenter and bell-selling author.

High-Functioning Autism
Workshop #10 – High Functioning Autism: Proven and Practical Interventions for Challenging behaviours with childen and adolescents by Dr. Meghan Barlow, Ph.D. Licensed pediatric psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children on the autism spectrum.  Owner of a private practice, Meghan Barlow and Associates in West Lake, Ohio.

Student Brain in Science and Math
Workshop #11 – Captivate, Activate and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math by Dr. John T. Almarode, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the Department of Early, Elementary,  Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education and Co-Director of James Madison University’s Center for STEM Education and Outreach and co-editor of the Teacher Educator’s Journal. International presenter, author and consults to school districts nationally and internationally

Language and Literacy
Workshop #12 – The New Neuroscience of Language and Literacy by Dr. Martha Burns, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director of Neuroscience Education, Scientific Learning Corporation, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Who Should Attend

Education and Clinical Professionals: All education and mental health or healthcare professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs 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 and Community Police Officers.

Day 1 – May 13, 2019

Workshop #1: The Neuropsychology of Emotional Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions
Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

9:00am -4:00pm   May 13, 2019

This workshop 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.

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  1. Discuss the relationship between emotional disorders and poor self regulation skills, bullying behaviour, and limited academic success in school
  2. Discuss the neural architecture of emotional functioning by examining six key brain regions responsible for behavioural self-regulation
  3. Explore the neurobiological correlates and treatment options for psychopathy and emotional dysregulation, depression, and anxiety disorders in children
  4. Present a treatment algorithm utilizing counseling, cognitive-behavioural therapy, parent training, and neurofeedback to promote emotional wellness in children
  5. Explore effective classroom interventions, treatment options, and assessment strategies for children with emotional self-regulation and conduct disorders


  • The coding conundrum for children with emotional disorders
  • Curbing bullying behaviour in our schools
  • Neural architecture of emotional regulation
  • Emotional disorders, behaviour and academic success
  • Treatment for anxiety, depression, and self regulation disorders
  • De-escalating behaviour and promoting social-emotional learning
  • Assessment of social-emotional disorders
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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Workshop #2: Overcoming Anxiety Disorders in School-Age Children
Presented by Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 13, 2019

The increasing rate of stress and trauma to children, which includes divorce, family breakdown, violence in society and the media has produced a “shell shocked” generation suffering from anxiety in many cases. The challenge for educators and clinicians is to recognize anxiety in children and help them cope. Dr. Christine Dargon will teach you how and why anxiety develops in children and adolescents. She will present practical strategies that can be applied immediately in the classroom.
The seven key anxiety disorders along with case examples to be addressed include:
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Overanxious Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias

Other co-occurring disorders (e.g. behaviour problems, medical conditions, depression, ADHD, learning disabilities, selective mutism) will also be discussed. Emphasis will be on creative interventions involving insight- oriented, cognitive-behavioural, biological, mindfulness, expressive arts and family systems approaches.

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  1. Demonstrate how to apply the “Three Ingredients” template for understanding how, why and when anxiety develops in children
  2. Describe how to recognize and modify the sources of stress in children and adolescents
  3. Explain the anxiety management skills to use with young students
  4. Identify effective treatment strategies for each of the seven key anxiety disorders
  5. Identify steps that schools can take to reduce student anxiety



Nature and Causes of Anxiety

  • How anxiety develops in children
  • Three ingredients in all anxiety disorders
  • The “anxiety personality” –– assets and liabilities

Seven Key Anxiety Disorders

  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Overanxious disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Co-Occurring Disorders

  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Selective mutism

Therapeutic Approaches

  • Cognitive-behavioural
  • Biological
  • Mindfulness
  • Expressive Arts
  • Family Systems Approaches

Interventions and Self-Regulation Strategies

  • The Floating Technique for panic anxiety
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD
  • Mindfulness for worry
  • Solution Focused Intervention for worry
  • Group therapy guidelines for social anxiety
  • Visualization Desensitization for separation anxiety
  • Three Questions Technique for parents struggling with child separation anxiety
  • Three Step Technique for managing children’s stress
  • Yoga games and breathing techniques for relaxation training
  • LifeSkills Program for generalized Anxiety
  • Virtual Reality approach for phobias
  • Baby Buddhas meditations for anxious preschoolers
Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

Christine Dargon, Ph.D., having worked in clinical practice for over 20 years, now focusses her time on speaking and education. Dr. Dargon did graduate research and her dissertation on rape-related PTSD and began working with rape survivors over 25 years…

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Workshop #3: Over 30 Proven & Effective Brief Interventions for Students with Emotional & Behavioural Problems
Presented by Steven T. Olivas, Ph.D., HSP

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 13, 2019

Leaving nothing to the abstract, 75 Quick, “On-the- Spot” Techniques for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Problems will guide you through focused, clear, and successful methods for treating children. Every teacher who seeks to fill their toolbox with tested methods will leave with a wealth of fresh ideas. If you do not have a lot of experience working with children and teens, you will leave with a defined strategy for success. If you are a seasoned professional, you will learn new tricks and techniques to re-energize and vitalize yourself as a teacher! With over 25 years of clinical experience and a background in improvisational comedy, Dr. Steve is a strong proponent of “Edu-tainment.” Namely, he uses charm, wit and humour to enhance the workshop experience, thus improving the retention and utilization of the specific skills covered. We change the world when we touch a child’s life!

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  1. Utilize effective, proven techniques for individually treating children with behaviour problems

  2. Learn simple, teachable tools specific for parents and teachers

  3. Hone skills for building a therapeutic relationship with difficult children and teens


Behavioural Overview

Etiology nature v. nurture

  • gender differences
  • hormonal influence

Medical Interventions/Medications ADHD

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Bi-Polar Disorder

Tools for Helping Behaviour Problem Children

Quick Techniques to Manage Anger

  • Time in!
  • Restitution

Quick Techniques to Manage Depression

  • Cut n paste

Quick Techniques to Manage Anxiety

  • Ceiling fan breathing
  • Set the clock

Quick Techniques to Manage Autism Spectrum

  • Facial expressions and social cues
  • Building a broader structure

Techniques to help the Client’s World


  • Concrete behavioural interventions in the home
  • The Listening Jar
  • Red Light/Green Light

Teachers/School Systems

  • Immediate relief in the classroom
  • Token Economies/Response Cost
Steven T. Olivas, Ph.D., HSP

Steven T. Olivas, Ph.D., HSP, is a Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice in Middle Tennessee. He began his practice career in 1991 when ADHD was exploding onto the scene, and has enjoyed working with the energy and spontaneous creativity of children ever…

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Workshop #4: Reaching & Teaching Students with Emotional Disturbance
Presented by Rebecca Moyes, M.Ed.

9:00am -4:00pm   May 13, 2019

Students with emotional disturbance provide many challenges for educators. Knowing when to qualify a student for special education, as well as what goals and interventions to put in place, are often areas of concern. In cases where students have aggressive behaviours, special considerations are often necessary for their peers to feel safe in the classroom, as well as the adults that work with these students. Many students with emotional disturbance also struggle academically; in fact, sometimes the root of their disturbance stems from not having their academic needs met. Kids today are dealing with challenges within their families that many educators do not have experience with (example: drug and alcohol addiction, relationship stressors, criminal activity, trauma, and poverty). This workshop will provide awareness of emotional disturbance in the school setting, outline ways that schools can support this population, strategies to develop effective IEPs, and practical strategies to assist these students to learn replacement skills.

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  1. List the three factors under IDEA to qualify a student for special education services under the category of emotional disturbance
  2. Describe various school services that can be provided for students as related services
  3. Discuss the functions of behaviour as they relate to emotional disturbance
  4. Write examples of IEP goals to teach replacement skills
  5. Write positive behaviour support plans to support difficult behaviours
  6. Design intervention strategies to address a student with aggressive behaviour
  7. List several ways to assist a student with stress and/or anger management


  • Description of emotional disturbance and IDEA; symptoms exhibited by students with emotional disturbance
  • Underlying factors that may contribute to a student’s disturbance in the school setting
  • Functions of behaviour
  • Related services and specially designed instruction for students with emotional disturbance
  • Interventions to address defiance, anger and stress management, and aggression
  • Writing the IEP and Positive Behaviour Support Plan
  • Case study – ideas for implementation
Rebecca Moyes, M.Ed.

Rebecca Moyes, M.Ed., is a former general education teacher in public and private schools. She has served on Pennsylvania Governor Ridge’s Task Force for Autism and was a member of the PA SAFE Project for Verbal Behaviour. She is the author…

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Day 2 – May 14, 2019

Workshop #5: The Neuropsychology of Reading and Written Language Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions
Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

9:00am -4:00pm   May 14, 2019

This workshop will explore how young children learn and acquire basic mathematical skills from a brain-based educational perspective.  There will be a discussion on three primary ways in which numbers are formatted in the brain, as well as the central role of language to expand upon conceptually ordered number sets. In addition, cultural stereotypes regarding gender differences in mathematics will be explored, as well as the relationship between anxiety and mathematical performance during classroom learning situations. Two critical constructs often overlooked; namely working memory and executive functioning, will also be featured.  The expected learner outcomes will be to introduce more efficient ways to diagnose and remediate math disorders in children.

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  1. Discuss the international trends in mathematics, and reasons why the United States lags behind many industrialized nations in math and science.
  2. Introduce a brain-based educational model of math by identifying three basic neural codes which format numbers in the brain.
  3. Explore the role of three primary neurocognitive processes: working memory, visual-spatial functioning, and executive functioning, with respect to math problem solving ability.
  4. Explore the role of anxiety as it relates to gender differences in math aptitude.
  5. Introduce the 90-minute assessment model of mathematics and interventions

Workshop #6: Is It Disability Behaviour or Just Disruptive Behaviour?
Presented by Rebecca Moyes, M.Ed.

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 14, 2019

Both educators and parents struggle with what to do with difficult behaviour in the classroom and home. Both are often hesitant to provide consequences when a child with special needs exhibits problem behaviours because they are afraid they will be accused of punishing him/her for symptoms that are related to his/her disability. In school settings, there are certain behaviours that are not permitted, and others that impede the child’s or the other students’ ability to learn. Knowing how to appropriately address behaviours is important because any behaviour that is reinforced (either accidentally or on purpose) is likely to continue or escalate. Children with disabilities often exhibit problems with motivation, transitions, task avoidance, sensory processing, social skills, anger, defiance, impulsiveness, and behavioural inhibition, among others. Many children with autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, emotional disturbance, oppositional defiant disorder, Down’s Syndrome, and learning disability exhibit these challenging behaviours. Behind every problem behaviour is something to teach to address a skill deficit and interventions that can help to stop the cycle of difficult behaviour. This full-day workshop will empower educators with practical and evidenced-based strategies to feel competent to appropriately address difficult behaviours associated with disabilities.

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  1. Identify the use of positive vs. negative reinforcement and positive vs. negative punishment when given behavioural scenarios
  2. Describe ways to incorporate the use of reinforcement to decrease the frequency of problem behaviour
  3. List particular antecedent strategies to support difficult behaviour, including strategies for students with emotional disturbance and oppositional defiant disorder
  4. Describe the skill deficits that may be associated with problem behaviour and write appropriate IEP goals to address them
  5. Write positive behaviour support plans to teach new skills so that children will not use problem behaviour to achieve escape or attention
  6. Initiate the use of appropriate data collection tools to study behaviour objectively and learn what is reinforcing it


  • Difficulties presented by children with
    behavioral deficits and conflicts between
    staff and parents
  • Antecedents to difficult behavior;
    consequences: reinforcers and
  • Functions of behaviour; types of data collection tools
  • Developing a PBSP based on data collection
  • Executive functions and how they impact problem behaviour
  • Interventions for motivation, transition difficulties, perseverations
  • Interventions for inflexibility, oppositional defiant behaviour, sensory disturbances, attention difficulties and emotional control

Workshop #7: Rescuing the Dysregulated Child: Effective Interventions & Strategies with Children, Adolescents, & Parents
Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 14, 2019

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.

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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.


  1. Describe the biosocial model of pervasive emotional dysregulation disorders found in innately sensitive children.
  2. Utilize behaviour modification strategies at the earliest stage of dysregulation.
  3. Summarize the importance of structure in both skills training and home environments and how to teach parents or care providers to implement these strategies.
  4. Explain how to adapt each skills module to reflect the language of the child.
  5. 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.


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

Adapt Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training to Key Childhood and Adolescent Disorders ADHD

  • Attachment Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)/Conduct Disorder (CD)
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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Workshop #8: Fostering resilience with Indigenous Children and Families
Presented by Monique Gray Smith

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 14, 2019

This session will provide a brief historical perspective of Indigenous people in Canada and how our history continues to affect the lives of children, families, and communities today, including early learning and engagement in early learning programs. Stories of incredible strength, determination and resiliency will be shared as we explore the unique factors that foster the resiliency of Indigenous children and families. We will discuss strategies and unique ways to weave culture and language into programming to ensure the resiliency factors are part of a child’s experience. The ability to nurture, love and foster the potential of each and every child, is one of the most profound ways to make a positive difference in the world.

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Learning Objectives

  1. Develop a greater understanding of Aboriginal historical perspective and how our history continues to impact children, and families.
  1. Greater understanding of fostering resiliency in a cultural context.
  2. Exploring strategies for weaving culture into all elements of your programming or practice.
Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of twins.  She is an award-winning author, speaker and sought-after consultant. Monique has been running her business, Little Drum Consulting since…

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Day 3 – May 15, 2019

Workshop #9: Smart But Scattered: Strengthening Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents
Presented by Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 15, 2019

Executive function is a neuropsychological concept referring to the cognitive processes required to plan and direct activities. Skills include task initiation and follow through, working memory, sustained attention, performance monitoring, inhibition of impulses, and goal-directed persistence. While the ground-work for development of these skills occurs before birth, they develop gradually through the first two decades of life. But from the moment that children begin to interact with their environment, adults have expectations for how they will use executive skills to negotiate many of the demands of childhood – from the self-regulation of behaviour required to act responsibly, to the planning and initiation skills required to complete chores and homework. Parents and teachers expect children to use executive skills even though they may little understand what these skills are and how they impact behaviour and school performance. The importance of executive skills to overall cognitive functioning first became apparent in work with children and teenagers who had sustained traumatic brain injuries. Problems involving planning and organization, time management, and memory, as well as weaknesses with inhibition and regulation of emotions, have long described a significant component of traumatic brain injury. Executive skills have also assumed an important role in the explanation of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

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This workshop will begin by providing an overview of executive skills, including definitions and a description of the developmental progression of these skills in the first two decades of life. The approach to understanding executive skills presented in this workshop is structured around two key concepts: 1) that most individuals have an executive skills profile that includes both strengths and weaknesses; and 2) by defining executive skills discretely rather than grouping them in broader categories, it is possible to design interventions to address specific deficits that lend themselves to data-based decision making. Workshop participants will gain a deeper understanding both of the model being presented and of their own executive skills profile.

The heart of the workshop will address how to assess executive skills and develop interventions designed to address specific executive skill weaknesses.


  1. Define executive skills and identify how executive skills impact school performance and daily living
  2. Use assessment tools to identify executive dysfunction
  3. Access a repertoire of strategies to improve executive skills in students
  4. Design your own intervention strategies tailored to the needs of individual students
  5. Utilize classroom-wide interventions to improve executive skills


Part I: Overview of Executive Skills

  • Definitions
  •  Underlying theory
  • Executive skills in the context of brain function and child development

Part II: Assessment of Executive Skills

  • Parent/teacher/student interviews
  • Behaviour Rating Scales
  • Observations
  •  Informal Assessment
  • Formal Assessment

Part III: Three Intervention Strategies

  • Environmental modifications to reduce the impact of weak executive skills
  • Teaching strategies/routines to help youngsters develop/improve executive functioning
  • Using incentives to help youngsters practice or use skills that are difficult

Part IV: Coaching as an Effective Strategy for Building Executive Skills

  •  Overview of coaching
  • Description of 2-stage process
  • Coaching with younger children
  • Clinical case examples
  • Description of research studies
Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP

Dr. Peg Dawson: In over 40 years of clinical practice, Dr. Peg Dawson has worked with thousands of children who struggle at home and in school. At the center of their struggles are often weak executive skills. Along with her…

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Workshop #10: High Functioning Autism: Proven & Practical Interventions for Challenging Behaviours with Children & Adolescents
Presented by Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 15, 2019

This intensive, full-day workshop 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 (HFA). Walk away with practical intervention techniques for social success, behaviour changes and overcoming challenging co-occurring behaviours that deliver success through adulthood

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The challenging co-occurring issues to be addressed are:

  • Social Skills Deficits
  • Communication Deficits
  • Sensory
  • Anxiety/Rigidity
  • Depression
  • Meltdowns, Outbursts, and Non-Compliance
  • ADHD & OCD
  • Psychotropic Medications

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!


  1. Explain how the DSM-5® updates impact service delivery
  2. Utilize several social skill interventions to improve long-term success for children/adolescents with HFA
  3. Employ specific coping and calming techniques for children/adolescents with HFA
  4. Identify medication side effects that can mimic behavioural issues and may even cause behavioural issues
  5. Design effective strategies for successful transitions for children/adolescents with HFA
  6. Select specific behavioural interventions that target the most difficult behaviours in children/ adolescents with HFA
  7. 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
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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Workshop #11: Captivate, Activate & Invigorate the Student Brain in Science & Math
Presented by John T. Almarode, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 15, 2019

Getting students engaged in learning and keeping them engaged is one of the toughest challenges in today’s science and mathematics classrooms. So how do we do it? How do we get our students to the edge of their seats for new science and math learning? Recent brain research confirms what we as teachers have believed for years, we don’t pay attention to boring things. This exciting, out of your seat workshop looks at the key “must have” ingredients for maximum engagement in your middle and secondary science classroom. Participants start with captivating students and discovering what grabs the brain’s attention, making it thirsty for new learning. Then, experience the necessary steps to activating the brain so that it’s “rocking and rolling” in the classroom. Finally, keeping the brain engaged requires an invigorating experience that keeps students coming back for more…every day! This amazing workshop links the most recent research on keeping the brain engaged in the science and math content. Participants will walk away, raring to go, with instant ideas and strategies that will have every student captivated, activated, and invigorated!

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  1.   Participants will be able to describe the brains role in engaging students in science and math.
  2. Participants will be able to identify the necessary conditions for engaging students in science and math.
  3. Participants will be able to define the three types of student engagement and the role each plays in the science and math classroom.
  4. Participants will be able to describe the recipe for engagement in science and math.
  5. Participants will be able to apply the recipe to science and math instruction in grades 6 – 12.
  6. Participants will be able to list the barriers to engagement in science and math.
  7. Participants will be able to develop a list of strategies associated with each part of the recipe for engagement.
  8. Participants will be able to create an action plan for implementing ideas and strategies into their individual science and math classrooms.


  • A recipe for engagement.
  • What does engagement have to do with it?
  • The Science of Learning and Student Engagement.
  • Building background knowledge.
  • Activating prior knowledge.
  • Captivate with novelty.
  • Strategies for building background knowledge, activating prior knowledge, and using novelty.
  •  Establishing relevancy.
  • Managing the pace of instruction.
  • Invigorating the learner for long-lasting learning.
  • Barriers to engaging the learner and how to overcome those barriers.
  • Strategies for establishing relevancy, managing the pace of instruction, invigorating the brain, and overcoming barriers.
  • An action plan for engaging learners in science and math.
John T. Almarode, Ph.D.

John T. Almarode, Ph.D., has presented locally, nationally, and internationally. He has worked with thousands of teachers, dozens of school districts, and countless organizations. John actively pursues his research interests including educational neuroscience, the design and measurement of classroom environments that promote…

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Workshop #12: Neuroscience of Technology to Enhance Learning
Presented by Martha S. Burns, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   May 15, 2019


As Educators, we chose this career because we love teaching and work diligently to increase the effectiveness of our classroom instruction. But, at every level we encounter students who struggle to benefit from the best instruction and master the content.  Educational Neuroscience has recently been able to begin to clarify why some students struggle to learn. Whether because of environmental stressors like poverty or adverse childhood experiences (ACES), specific genetic brain maturational differences, perceptual variations, or other maturational brain differences,  new research has shown that students who struggle academically have underlying differences in learning capacities like memory or attentional skills, that undermine their ability to sit and learn on demand. But the good news is that these learning capacities can be trained through scientifically designed education technology.

This workshop will review the newest research on how the brain learns and those issues, unrelated to intelligence, that can affect learning capacity and achievement. The focus of the workshop will be to cover new innovative educational-technology approaches that augment the effectiveness of direct instruction by increasing executive functions and learning capacities in students who struggle to learn: children from low SES backgrounds; children with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES); English Language Learners (ELLs); and children with diagnosed learning disabilities like dyslexia. The course will be practical and address best practices for selection and utilization of educational technology to buttress and augment direct classroom instruction to maximize the achievement of all of our students.

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  1. Recognize underlying learning capacity issues affecting some students ability to benefit from instruction
  2. Apply new educational neuroscience research to improve classroom instructional methodology
  3. Apply neuroscience research to select well designed and evidence-based technological approaches to enhance learning among students struggling to achieve
  4. Determine which technological approach is  most appropriate for each student


Brain organization and maturation – how the brain sets itself up to learn and changes with experience

  • The human brain – an experience-dependent organ
  • Early maturation: Proliferation, pruning, consolidation of specific cognitive systems

Effects of experience on brain maturation

  • Low SES
  • ACES
  • Second Language Learning
  • Genetics
  • Learning disabilities

Neuroscience of Education

  • How teachers change brains
    1. The ‘What’ of teaching – New connections, enhanced myelination
    2. The ‘How’ of teaching – Neurochemical changes associated with attention and motivation
  • How learning capacities of Attention, Memory and Executive Functions are enhanced through:
    1. Educational classroom practices
    2. Neuroscience-based technological approaches
  • Best practices for selection and use of neuroscience technology
    1. What to look for in well-designed neuroscience technology
    2. How to use Ed-Tech to augment direct instruction
    3. How to use Ed-Tech to build learning capacities and executive functions
    4. Demonstrations of available technology for:
      1. ADHD
      2. Effects of Poverty and ACES
      3. Executive Function Disorders
      4. Social-Emotional Learning
Martha S. Burns, Ph.D.

Martha S. Burns, Ph.D., has been a practicing speech language pathologist in the Chicago area for over 40 years. She serves on the Faculty of Northwestern University, department of communication sciences and disorders, and has been a consultant to The Rehabilitation…

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Registration & Fees

Registration Early bird Fee Regular Fee
Individual 1 Day Enrolment $249 $269
Individual 2 Day Enrolment $449 $469
Individual 3 Day Enrolment $619 $639
Group 3-7 $599 $619
Group 8-14 $579 $599
Group 15+ $559 $579
Full-Time Student $559 $579

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

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

Early bird cutoff date: April 30, 2019
To receive the early bird rate, registration and payment must be received by Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

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


All brochures and forms are provided in .PDF format.
If you are unable to open our files, we recommend downloading Adobe Reader for free.

Brochure (.PDF)   Registration Form (.PDF)  

Exhibitors are welcome at this event. We are pleased to offer sponsorship opportunities to businesses and organizations that provide services related to nursing, psychotherapy, addictions treatment, counselling, marriage & family therapy, psychology and other related fields.
More information

Recommended Accommodation

Hilton Garden Inn Saskatoon Downtown

90 22 St E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3X6

phone:  (306) 244-2311

website:  hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/saskatchewan/hilton-garden-inn-saskatoon-downtown-YXESDGI/index.html

 Full map & directions

Our rates:

To make a reservation over the phone, please call 306.244.2311

$144.00 plus tax a night. Rates are for a king or two queen beds

Reservations can also be made online:

The group code is JHAI50

The group code is JACKHI.

*please note, room reservations are subject to availability*

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

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