May 5, 2021—Preconference
May 6 & 7, 2021—Conference and Exhibits
Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma, WA

Friday, May 8, 2020

Conference D Sessions - 8:30 AM–10:45 AM

D01: Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health
D02: Advocating for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Recreation: A Girl Scouting Model
D03: Telling Your Story with a Purpose
D04: Disability Awareness and Inclusion: We All Have a Role
D05: Music and Inclusion: Unleashing the Power of Music in your Home, Social Group or Classroom
D06: Preschool Evaluation & Eligibility for Special Education
D07: “Growing up WILD”: Book, Fun Activities and Nature Tidbits
D08: Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs: Reviewing the Third Edition of Building Blocks
D09: Adding Math to the Preschool Classroom: Using Board Games to Teach Early Numeracy Skills
D10: Picky Eater vs. Feeding Disorder
D11: Preschool in the Park: Anti-Bias Education in Public Spaces
D12: Early Childhood Transitions: Preparing Systems to Support Children and Families From Birth through Kindergarten!
D13: Small Ways to Prevent Big Behaviors
D14: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Early Brain Development
D15: Understanding and Teaching Emotional Regulation Skills in Early Childhood
D16: Children’s Right to Play: Seeing the Teacher as Play-worker

Late Morning Keynote - 11:15 AM–12:30 PM

KEYFRI: The Importance of Stories in Family Engagement and Advocacy

Conference E Sessions - 1:30 PM–3:00 PM

E01: Crafting Slam Styles Stories
E02: Research Based Strategies for Potty Training Young Children
E03: A Road Map for Professionals to Better Support and Connect with Dads
E04: It Takes a Village: Building a Community of Support to Promote Sudents' Social and Educational Success.
E05: Caregivers’ Perspectives Matter: Understanding and Supporting the Social-Emotional Learning for Young Children with Disabilities from Asian Families
E06: Mindfulness Practices and Stress Reduction – Benefits to Work and Personal Life
E07: Sharing Nature with Children: Nature Tidbits and Activities
E08: Making Masterpieces: Art Appreciation for Preschoolers
E09: Picturing Disability in Children's Literature
E10: Playgrounds for the Future: How Play Environments Can Foster Creativity and Resilience in an Uncertain World
E11: Supporting Independence in the Classroom with the TEACCH method: A Teacher's Perspective on Bringing Research Into Practice
E12: ABLE 529A and DDETF Special Needs Trust Savings Plans Overview
E13: Understanding, Supporting and Encouraging AAC Use in Young Children of All Abilities
E14: Family Resources Coordinator Networking Session
E15: Let's Get Moving - Yoga, Dance and Movement for the Classroom

Conference F Sessions - 3:15 PM–4:30 PM

F01: Importance of Play in Child Development and in our Professional Lives
F02: Math by the Book: an Approach for Using Children’s Literature to Teach Early Numeracy Skills
F03: Obtaining Services for Children with Special Needs: A Fathers Perspective
F04: Music, The Brain and Early Childhood Education
F05: Supports for Families in Early Childhood Special Education
F06: The New Rules of Self-Care for Early Childhood Educators
F07: Being Emotional Responsive through Play
F08: Seeds to Sprouts: Gardening in the Classroom
F09: The Power of Peer Support




8:30 AM–10:45 AM Conference D Sessions

D01: Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health, presented by Thelma Wong (bio), MA, School Readiness Consulting
Infant and early childhood mental health refers to how well a child develops socially and emotionally from birth to five. The key to preventing and treating mental health problems of very young children and their families is to take an approach informed by infant mental health principles and practices. This approach also supports relational health by guiding the development of healthy social and emotional behaviors.

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School Readiness Consulting has partnered with the Washington Association for Infant Mental Health (WA-AIMH) and Soar on a landscape analysis of infant and early childhood mental health for King County (funded by Best Starts for Kids) and the state of Washington (funded by the Perigee Fund and in partnership with Washington Department of Children Youth and Families). We are pleased to share our findings with conference attendees and facilitate an open discussion on key findings, themes, and strategic directions.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Birth through Age 5

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Share key findings of the experiences of children 0-5 and their families, as well as providers seeking and receiving infant mental health
  • Facilitate discussion of key findings through a participatory structure
  • Receive feedback from practitioners and families on strategic directions

Materials Provided: Handouts




D02: Advocating for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Recreation: A Girl Scouting Model, presented by Ruth Bacha (bio), BS, Engage Thru Tech, with Jessica Carter (bio), BS, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Michele Vossler (bio), MBA, Security Pacific Bank of Washington
Community based and volunteer-led recreation organizations often struggle with how to integrate individuals with special needs into their programs. Parents, professionals, and the participants themselves often take on an advocacy role as they help these groups bridge the gap. In this workshop, participants will find practical steps they can take to begin to change the culture of these groups to become more inclusive. Using the Girl Scouts of Western Washington as a model for how to “do inclusion well,” they will examine features of organizations that are inclusive, and how to populate the inclusion and self-advocacy mindset in community-based and volunteer-led recreation settings. Workshop participants will gain insight into specific ways to partner with volunteers or staff delivering program to ensure that all children are equally valued and included.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe three characteristics of organizations that have a culture of inclusiveness, and why inclusion benefits everyone in the program.
  • Explain the best way to advocate for change within organizations who struggle with inclusiveness.
  • Develop at least one practical “next step” that you can take in helping an organization you are affiliated with become more inclusive.
  • Identify at least three strategies that can be used in welcoming children with special needs into community-based recreation.

Materials Provided: Handouts




D03: Telling Your Story with a Purpose, presented by Louis Mendoza (bio), BA, Kindering, with Jeremy Kredlo (bio), MS, BECU
This workshop is a basic training for those who would like to advocate for policy or systems-level change for children with health conditions, behavioral or mental health conditions, or disabilities. It covers what it means to advocate for change; how to define an issue that can be addressed with policy or systems changes; and how to draw on personal experiences as examples to make a point effectively and memorably. The focus of the training will be on learning to develop a 2- to 3-minute presentation (without any visual aids) that could be delivered to an individual decision-maker or a group of decision-makers, e.g. legislators, a school board, or a city council.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Age Group Addressed: Adults

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Identifying an issue that can be addressed with policy or systems change
  • How to draw on personal experience as examples to make a point effectively and memorably
  • Using your personal story to advocate for an issue in 2-3 minutes to a decision maker

Materials Provided: Handouts of reference material and worksheets that will be used in the session.




D04: Disability Awareness and Inclusion: We All Have a Role, presented by Rachel Nemhauser (bio), BA, The Arc of King County, with Jae Kim (bio), MA, The Arc of King County
Did you know that disability is a form of diversity? Many people don’t. Disability is often left out of conversations exploring equity and social justice. However, people with disabilities are often the most marginalized and disempowered group. Join this workshop so that you can become part of the solution. Together we will discuss how our thoughts impact our words and the way we treat people with disabilities. We’ll explore strategies and help each person identify their role in creating a culture of inclusion.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will learn the history of disabilities – where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going
  • Participants will learn about and understand the importance of using respectful language when working with or talking about people with disabilities.
  • Participants will learn the models of disability, or the ways in which people in society view disability, and how they play out in society.
  • Participants will walk away with practical strategies and tips for successful collaboration with people with disabilities, parents, and allies



D05: Music and Inclusion: Unleashing the Power of Music in your Home, Social Group or Classroom, presented by Jocelyn Manzanarez (bio), MA, Musically Minded, with Kristin Schneider (bio), BA, Musically Minded
With children of varying learning difference, it can be difficult for group facilitators to meet the needs of a wide range of abilities. Because children are naturally drawn to music, weaving it into your curriculum or practice can open up new opportunities for connection and learning. In this hands-on, high-energy training, music educator, Jocelyn Manzanarez and music therapist, Kristin Scheneider, will provide tangible, take-home strategies for preschool teachers, early intervention specialists, parents, and other professionals regardless of musical background or skill level.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand why music is a powerful strategy when creating inclusive environments.
  • Participants will learn how to modify and adapt activities for all types of learning abilities.
  • Participants will develop a lesson plan using at least 5 musical activities learned during the session.

This session has a $10 materials fee.

Materials Provided: CD or digital download with all of the audio recordings shared in the training.




D06: Preschool Evaluation & Eligibility for Special Education, presented by Kristin Ching (bio), MA, Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Youth
As a child nears age three and transitions from Part C early intervention services to Part B special education, school district teams become responsible for evaluation, determining eligibility, and the need for specially designed instruction. Preschool evaluation and eligibility practices vary greatly across Washington State, depending on district teams’ experience and how the law is interpreted. Like many other states, Washington Administrative Code or WAC 392-172A-01035, “Child with a disability or student eligible for special education” is based on the federal Part B regulations (ages 3-21) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. This presentation will cover three resources (one national, and two from WA State) to help clarify the law, break-down evaluation practices, and eligibility determination. This presentation will focus specifically on children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH), and other children who are not under the category, developmental delay.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Interested Professionals, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about best practices for evaluation and eligibility criteria for children are D/HH and other children who don’t fit under developmental delay disability category.
  • Gain awareness and knowledge of state and national resources on 3-5/preschool evaluation practices and eligibility determination.
  • Learn about statewide resources specific to children with disabilities, more specifically D/HH, and their families related to advocacy and support.



D07: “Growing up WILD”: Book, Fun Activities and Nature Tidbits, presented by Julie Tubbs Luthy (bio), MS, Nature Adventures
You’ll receive and be trained on the fabulous "Growing up WILD" activity guide designed for ages 3 - 8. The guide contains 27 nature based themes with background information, outdoor activities, healthy snacks, math, art, songs and more. In addition, you’ll learn fascinating things about Pacific NW plants and animals. Join us for a fun workshop and be ready to get your kids outside!
If you’re already enjoying your “Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood" guide, you’ll see that this is an excellent companion guide with very little overlap.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Interested Professionals, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain knowledge about things they can observe in Pacific NW plant and animals.
  • Participants will be comfortable with the guide and companion website.
  • Participants will gain confidence in leading activities outside.

This session has a $30 materials fee.

Materials Provided: The 'Growing up WILD' activity guide and handouts.




D08: Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs: Reviewing the Third Edition of Building Blocks, presented by Ariane Gauvreau (bio), PhD, University of Washington, with Gail Joseph, University of Washington, Susan R. Sandall (bio), PhD, University of Washington, Dr. Ilene Schwartz (bio), PhD, 1958
This presentation will cover The Building Blocks Third Edition text and include practical information for ways providers can support ALL learners in early childhood environments.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the Building Blocks Framework for Inclusion
  • Plan for the use of modifications and accommodations to support young learners
  • Develop a plan for providing additional support to young learners with disabilities or delays

This is an Intermediate session.




D09: Adding Math to the Preschool Classroom: Using Board Games to Teach Early Numeracy Skills, presented by Clarissa Alfes (bio), BA, University of Washington, with Jessica Anderson (bio), BS, University of Washington, Kathleen Meeker (bio), PhD, University of Washington and Haring Center, Kristen Missall (bio), PhD, University of Washington
This session will discuss using board games to teach preschoolers math through a naturalistic approach during center time and play. The session will provide an overview of early math milestones and typical numeracy skill development. The evidence base in support of math learning through structured board game play will be discussed. Methods, procedures, and findings from the research literature will also be considered. The Great Race Game, shortened Snakes and Ladders, and other early numeracy games including dice, playing cards, and dominos will be introduced. Participants will have the opportunity to practice administering instruction during hands-on board game play. Session participants will learn how to design and implement board-game learning into preschool classrooms. Caregivers will walk away with a range of new applications for incorporating math into preschool learning, scripts for board game intervention delivery, and resource handouts.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • 1. Define early numeracy development and describe the research base for using board games as evidenced-based practice
  • 2. Practice administering structured, evidenced-based board game instruction
  • 3. Discuss ways to incorporate board game math interventions into the classroom

Materials Provided: Handouts




D10: Picky Eater vs. Feeding Disorder, presented by Sarina Murrell (bio), MS, Mountain View Whisman School District
Research shows that 25 percent of children suffer with some degree of a feeding disorder. In children who suffer from a developmental, neurological or genetic disorders, that number rises to 80 percent (Branan & Ramsey, 2010).Whether a child is a selective eater or the more common “picky-eater,” approaching their refusals from a possible “feeding difficulty” stance may better support their participation and progression. Fortunately, there are some clear differences between picky eaters and children with feeding disorders. Feeding disorders typically involve extreme selectivity and sensory-related aversions to food tastes and/or textures, and possible difficulty with chewing and swallowing. In this session, participants will receive guidelines and research related to distinguishing picky eaters vs. feeding disorders in children. In addition, they will be provided with resources and references to better support the children, parents and service providers in a team-approach to improving feeding outcomes.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Health, Safety, and Nutrition

Age Group Addressed: Birth through Age 8

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the four integral domains involved in feeding: (1) Medical (2) Nutrition (3) Oral/Pharyngeal skill (4) Psychosocial
  • Identify the differences between “picky eaters” and feeding disorders
  • Have a strategy for obtaining further support and/or assessment for children who present with possible concern for feeding disorders
  • Review and have a plan to utilize resources for collaborating with parents and feeding specialists as well as supporting the child during feeding times

Materials Provided: Handouts




D11: Preschool in the Park: Anti-Bias Education in Public Spaces, presented by Rachel Franz (bio), MA, Twig & Thread Consulting
Urban and community spaces provide preschool-age children with amazing opportunities for engaging in social and environmental justice. With examples from an all-outdoor urban preschool, we will explore children’s experiences in urban spaces as a platform for diving into anti-bias education in this session.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the context and importance of urban outdoor spaces for young children.
  • Participants will understand the principles of anti-bias education.
  • Participants will challenge their own understanding of anti-bias education in the context of the outdoors.
  • Participants will develop an implementation plan for their own work with children and families.

This is an Intermediate session.

Materials Provided: Handouts




D12: Early Childhood Transitions: Preparing Systems to Support Children and Families From Birth through Kindergarten!, presented by Ryan Guzman (bio), MA, OSPI
Early childhood professionals and programs are strategically positioned to ensure smooth and effective transitions by offering individualized support to families and children. Individualized supports are more readily implemented as we increase systemic capacity to communicate, collaborate, and empower families to advocate before, during, and after transitions across multiple early childhood settings, including Part C to Part B (IDEA). An engaging panel of practitioners and parents will offer a combination of evidence-based strategies, current resources, and experience-based recommendations to develop, implement, and sustain family-centered, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate transition practices. Strategies for supporting successful transitions for children who are blind/visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Birth through Age 8

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how transitions affect young children and their families in unique way, become familiar with resources, and discover a variety of collaborative efforts happening in Washington across several State agencies to support young children and their families.
  • Explore the benefits of collaborating with families to determine which strategies will be most effective and reassuring based on the strengths and needs of the family.
  • Identify strategies to facilitate family-centered transitions across multiple early childhood settings.
  • Reflect on how specific skills and concepts within child development domains influence the individual child’s transition experience.
  • Discover how to incorporate IDEA early childhood transition requirements into existing Child Find practices with an emphasis on optimizing outcomes for children who are visually-impaired, blind, or deaf-blind.

This is an Intermediate session.




D13: Small Ways to Prevent Big Behaviors, presented by Courtney Butorac (bio), MA, Seattle Public Schools and Social Learning Group
How do you handle a variety of behaviors in the classroom? Do you feel like you are always reacting to behaviors rather than preventing behaviors? This presentation will help you understand the function of a behavior and then give an overview of a variety of ways to prevent challenging behaviors in the classroom. It includes reinforcement systems, language strategies, environmental strategies, sensory regulation strategies and visual supports. These strategies will be doable for general education teachers, special education teacher and many can be used by parents or caregivers in the home.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Therapists, Interested Professionals, Students, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • •Name a number of language strategies that can be used in the classroom to promote success.
  • •Name a number of sensory strategies that can be used in the classroom to promote success.
  • •Name a number of behavior strategies that can be used in the classroom to promote success.



D14: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Early Brain Development, presented by Josie Komorowski (bio), MS, North Central ESD
Participants will learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), how adversity impacts early brain development, and how to build resiliency in early learning spaces.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Define ACEs--the original study and the expanding scope of work
  • Understand how experiences shape the brain
  • Identify protective factors to build resiliencey

Materials Provided: Handouts




D15: Understanding and Teaching Emotional Regulation Skills in Early Childhood, presented by Sharon Loudon, Educatonal Service District 105
This presentation will focus on supporting class participants in increasing their understanding of how young children move between emotional states. Participants will also learn the value of using visual tools within classroom and home environments to increase a young children's capacity to more independently regulate their bodies. A "make and take it" activity will be created by each participant.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase understanding of the concept of emotional regulation.
  • Build working knowledge of teach emotional regulation to prescoolers using visual tools.
  • Create a visual tool to take with you to support a student(s) in moving between affective states.

Materials Provided: Each participant will receive a handout and a take home activity they have created for their classroom/home visiting.




D16: Children’s Right to Play: Seeing the Teacher as Play-worker, presented by Leon Smith (bio), BA, Puddletown Playworks
Children’s play is a fundamental human right and a biological necessity that is often de-prioritized in favor of academic goals. We will examine the importance of free play in the healthy development of young children and some of the barriers to accessing play. We will explore the ways that teachers can help foster free play in their daily work. And we will share practical tools to create a playful learning environment, to help manage risk, as well as tactics for intervention and problem solving with children at play.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand role of free play in child development.
  • To identify barriers to free play.
  • To practice intervention strategies that support free play.

11:15 AM–12:30 PM Late Morning Keynote

KEYFRI: The Importance of Stories in Family Engagement and Advocacy, presented by Bethany Moffi (bio), BA, Self-employed
Bethany Van Delft Moffi is a comedian, storyteller, emcee, and Parent Advocate who has been active in the special needs community since the birth of her daughter Lulu in 2011. She's completed leadership and advocacy trainings through Mass Families Organizing for Change, Interaction Institute for Social Change, and Federation for Children with Special Needs Parent Consultant Institute. She was awarded the FCSN Patricia Blake Parent Advocacy Award in 2017, given to an individual who exemplifies the belief in the potential of all children with disabilities to achieve, and earned a certificate from the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress in supporting best practices for educating students with intellectual disabilities.

She is a regular host for “The MOTH” live events, her Mainstage story sharing her post partem experience after the birth of her first child garnered 15+ million views, and is also included in The MOTH’s 2nd book “All These Wonders”.

In the comedy world, Bethany has performed at the prestigious JFL Festival, SF Sketchfest, All Jane Festival, and on 2 Dope Queens podcast. She was named Boston Magazine “Best Comic 2019”, produces comedy shows in her hometown of Boston, all the while keeping her kids and husband alive, and very not unhappy. She also bakes pretty well.


1:30 PM–3:00 PM Conference E Sessions

E01: Crafting Slam Styles Stories, presented by Bethany Moffi (bio), BA, Self-employed
StorySlams [events where tellers perform live 5 minute stories on a theme, using no notes] are enjoying huge popularity. When we share and listen to stories, we are engaged and able to imagine different perspectives, creating an empathetic and, at times, transformative experience. Using stories in our advocacy as parents, family, teachers, and service providers can paint pictures for medical professionals, legislators, decision-makers that help shift perspectives, leading to important conversations and great strides.

Join Moth storyteller and host Bethany Van Delft Moffi for a workshop where we will discuss slam story format, use simple writing prompts to mine participants’ unique experiences for rich details and generate compelling stories. We’ll also get tips for live performance, discuss ways to use in our advocacy. Participants will have the opportunity to share their stories in front of the group.



E02: Research Based Strategies for Potty Training Young Children, presented by Claire Sherman (bio), MA, Bellevue School District
Have you struggled to potty train your child? You are not alone! There is so much information out there around how to best potty train children, but only a handful of that information is research based. This training will focus on strategies that are both practical and effective. This is the second time this training has been offered, and has taken your feedback into consideration to be better than ever. While we will talk about training urine and BMs, this will focus primarily on working with children who are not urine trained.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Health, Safety, and Nutrition

Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3, Birth through Age 5

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Therapists, Healthcare Staff, Home Visitors, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Leave with the ability to create an individualized potty training plan for your family, or a family you work with.
  • Name three or more research based techniques to potty train young children.
  • Understand the tiered system of potty training a child with a disability.
  • List three or more common misconceptions about potty training.



E03: A Road Map for Professionals to Better Support and Connect with Dads, presented by Nelson Rascon (bio), MS, DadsMOVE
Our presenters will discuss how professionals (e.g., teachers, clinicians, other family support staff) can better work with and connect with fathers. In this session participants will gain a better understanding of a father’s perspective, how to reach a father struggling as a parent and why working with fathers needs a different approach.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Program Planning and Development

Age Group Addressed: Adults

Who Should Attend: Teachers, Administrators, Therapists, Healthcare Staff, Home Visitors, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding a fathers perspective
  • How to reach a father struggling as a parent
  • Why working with fathers needs a different approach.

This is an Intermediate session.




E04: It Takes a Village: Building a Community of Support to Promote Sudents' Social and Educational Success., presented by Robin Finlayson (bio), PhD, University of Washington Autism Center, with Katherine Levy (bio), PhD, University of Washington
A key component of overcoming challenges and developing a plan to promote student success in the classroom is creating collaborative teams that include parents, educators, and related service providers. This session will discuss strategies for building effective teams to meet students' needs across all environments.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Therapists, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify barriers to developing effective behavior plans in homes and schools
  • Learn strategies to promote collaboration between parents, educators, and related service providers
  • Learn strategies for effective ongoing communication between team members



E05: Caregivers’ Perspectives Matter: Understanding and Supporting the Social-Emotional Learning for Young Children with Disabilities from Asian Families, presented by Trina Chang (bio), ME.d, University of Washington, with Gounah Choi, University of Washington
Social-emotional competence(i.e. self-regulation, self-concept, self-efficacy and prosocial behavior to reach their own social goals) is crucial to young children’s quality of life. Children learn during their first five years of life to develop positive social interactions with others and navigate the environments they encounter. Nevertheless, children with developmental disabilities (particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder) may have difficulties developing appropriate social-emotional skills (Hemmeter, Snyder, Binder, & Clarke, 2011). Families play an equally important role in supporting the children with disabilities to practice social-emotional competence as social-emotional learning happens both in school and home settings. However, caregivers’ perceptions of their roles in their children’s social-emotional development may vary depending on their cultural backgrounds, and this may impact the communication regarding goal-setting and learning opportunities between home and early learning programs.Therefore, it is important to understand how caregivers with diverse cultural backgrounds interpret their experiences as they support their children’s social-emotional learning. Through interactive activities and case studies, we will discuss Asian caregivers’ perceptions of their roles in their children’s social-emotional learning. This presentation will also share culturally responsive strategies that will help early childhood professionals serve diverse families of young children with social-emotional needs.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5

Who Should Attend: Teachers, Administrators, Therapists, Home Visitors, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Students, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide an overview of the importance of understanding the unique cultures, beliefs and strengths of each family when fostering the social emotional development of young children
  • Learn culturally diverse caregivers’ perspectives on their roles in social-emotional learning of their children with disabilities
  • Identify culturally responsive strategies when teaching social-emotional competence

This is an Intermediate session.




E06: Mindfulness Practices and Stress Reduction – Benefits to Work and Personal Life, presented by Kristin Ching (bio), MA, Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Youth
Working with young children and their families can bring a lot of joy and reward to a professional’s life, however, there’s no denying we live in a culture and society that is extremely driven, and the early childhood world is not outside of that reality. We may tell parents that it is important for them to take care of themselves, so that they can have the energy to care for their little ones and family. This is the same for professionals. This presentation will share useful mindfulness practices, as well as dispel myths about stress. Come to this presentation and learn the importance of how self-care and being more mindful can benefit both your personal and professional life, creating more work-life harmony.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Age Group Addressed: Adults

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about mindfulness practices and simple breath-work to reduce stress in the moment, and after the fact.
  • Gain skills of how to become more aware of what is happening in the heart and body, and calm the mind.
  • Understand the myths of stress, specifically related to life in the United States.



E07: Sharing Nature with Children: Nature Tidbits and Activities, presented by Julie Tubbs Luthy (bio), MS, Nature Adventures
You’ll gather fascinating information about plants and animals; all things that you can observe with your budding naturalists. Along with the information are fun, easy activities to help make your new knowledge come alive. These activities require little to equipment. This session pairs well with the morning session “Growing up WILD”

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain knowledge about things they can observe in Pacific NW plant and animals.
  • Participants will learn activities that will enable their children to discover things in nature on their own.
  • Participants will gain confidence in leading activities outside.

Handouts:

This session has a $30 materials fee.

Materials Provided: Handouts will be downloaded to the conference portal.




E08: Making Masterpieces: Art Appreciation for Preschoolers, presented by Brittney Andrade (bio), BS, Successful Solutions
The creative arts are a staple in just about every preschool classroom and for good reason! Art is a fundamental aspect of early childhood education. This course discusses artistic styles and famous artists, including Monet, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock plus more and how to integrate their works into your art instruction. Participants will actively work through some of the artistic styles discussed. It also includes lesson plans that can be adapted for your specific preschool classroom.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3, Birth through Age 5, Birth through Age 8, Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Interested Professionals, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how to use the work of other artists to inspire children in their own art.
  • Examine the difference between process and product art.
  • Explore a variety of lesson plans and describe how to use them in their own classrooms.
  • Demonstrate the different artistic styles.



E09: Picturing Disability in Children's Literature, presented by Kathleen Meeker (bio), PhD, University of Washington and Haring Center, with Nawinda Upanan (bio), M.Ed., University of Washington
This presentation will showcase a selection of children's books recognized by the Council for Exceptional
Children for their portrayal of individuals with disabilities. Participants will learn about the strengths and
limitations of the books and discuss guidelines for using children's literature as a tool for exploring human
diversity in preschool.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Birth through Age 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Interested Professionals, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the features of quality children's literature that challenges ableism.
  • Discuss the limitations and shortfalls of existing children's literature
  • Develop a plan for using children's literature related to disability in the classroom, home, or community.
  • Make a plan for opening discussions that challenge ableist notions in children's literature.



E10: Playgrounds for the Future: How Play Environments Can Foster Creativity and Resilience in an Uncertain World, presented by Leon Smith (bio), BA, Puddletown Playworks
How can we prepare the next generation for an uncertain and rapidly changing world? In this workshop, we will explore how a play environment can provide children with the experiences that will help them develop skills like cooperation, problem solving, creativity and resilience! We will examine examples from schools around the world and focus on practical tips for setting up your play environment. We will also share strategies for supporting risky play while still keeping kids safe!

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Interested Professionals, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • To articulate how children learn through play.
  • To develop a plan for 3 steps to improving the play environment.
  • To develop familiarity with dynamic risk assessment for children at play.



E11: Supporting Independence in the Classroom with the TEACCH method: A Teacher's Perspective on Bringing Research Into Practice, presented by Carina Piscitelli (bio), MA, Issaquah School District
The TEACCH method for supporting independence in young children with disabilities is an evidence-based model that has been used to classrooms around the country. TEACCH uses structured teaching strategies to promote independence and engagement with functional school routines. This presentation will focus on Issaquah School District's experience with bringing this method into working classrooms. Focus will be on experiences designing work systems, schedules, and physical classroom structures.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Teachers, Administrators, Interested Professionals, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain perspective about bringing the TEACCH method into classrooms
  • Participants will develop a plan for supporting student independence in their own settings
  • Participants will be able to reference ways to evaluate strategies used in their own settings and name ways to adjust classroom structures accordingly

This is an Intermediate session. Participants should have basic knowledge of the principles of behaviorism, particularly positive reinforcement and prompting hierarchy.




E12: ABLE 529A and DDETF Special Needs Trust Savings Plans Overview, presented by Peter Tassoni (bio), MA, WA Dept of Commerce
The Washington state ABLE 529A plan and the DDETF special needs trust provides Washington residents with disabilities and their families the ability to save money and not lose public benefits. Many people with disabilities depend on public benefits like SSI, Medicaid, SNAP and HUD that only allow up to $2,000 in assets. ABLE accounts let beneficiaries save up to $500,000 for things like retirement, a house, or a vehicle, as well as purchase goods and services that improve their quality of life – all without affecting eligibility for many public benefits. DDETF accounts have unlimited saving ceilings and similar quality of life enhancements like employment supports, transportation and education.

ABLE and DDETF provide a means for eligible participants to climb out of poverty and have a higher quality of life. The workshop will provide information on these Washington State programs. It could include aggregate statistics on the enrollees and their expenditure behaviors. These programs provide financial security from birth to death for our participants. These programs provide a way for family and friends and employers to contribute to an individual's well being without jeopardizing that person's public benefits.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Students, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Overview of ABLE plan
  • Overview of DDETF plan
  • contribution and withdrawal advantages of each plan
  • tax consequences of each plan

Handouts:

Materials Provided: printed handout of presentation




E13: Understanding, Supporting and Encouraging AAC Use in Young Children of All Abilities, presented by Rachel Nemhauser (bio), BA, The Arc of King County, with Jae Kim (bio), MA, The Arc of King County
Assistive and Augmented Communication (AAC) is more available than ever as an option for students not currently able to communicate verbally, and best practice tell us it should be introduced to children who might benefit from it as early as possible. In this session you will hear directly from an AAC users and the parent of an AAC user about life as an AAC user: how we learned, how we use it, why it matters to us, how to be a supportive communication partner, and more. Facilitated by Rachel Nemhauser, Parent to Parent Supervisor and Creator of the AAC meetup Smooth Talkers, this dynamic and eye-opening presentation will change the way you view communication, as well as your students with significant disabilities.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn basic AAC principles, including what it is, who should use it, and when it should be introduced to a student.
  • Participants will learn directly from AAC users about their lived experiences, and gain insights into the challenges associated with this method of communication
  • Participants will acquire specific skills and strategies requested by AAC users to become more supportive and effective communication partners



E14: Family Resources Coordinator Networking Session, presented by Carol Hall (bio), MA, ESD 112, with Vanessa Allen (bio), BA, Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Whitney Stohr (bio), J.D., LL.M., M.S., Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce, Lindsey Topping-Schuetz (bio)
An opportunity for Family Resources Coordinators to meet and get new ideas and strategies for their work. The session will include table talks, resources, parent panel and Q & A with ESIT staff.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3

Who Should Attend: Family Resources Coordinators

Learning Objectives:

  • Famiy Resources Coordinators will have an opportunity to network with other coordinators from across the state.
  • Family Resources Coordinators will have an opportunity to hear from and learn from parent reps from the PIE committee.
  • Family Resources Coordinators will have a chance to dialogue with ESIT staff regarding emerging issues.

This is an Intermediate session.

Materials Provided: Handouts can vary depending on topics. We will provide anything that is needed for the participants to feel they have what materials they need for further reference.




E15: Let's Get Moving - Yoga, Dance and Movement for the Classroom, presented by Jamaica Stevens (bio), 3 Associate Degrees, CA State Teacher Permit, and A Certificate in Business Strategy, Founder & CEO of JAMaROO Kids
Learn 20 Different Yoga, Dance and Movement Activities for your classroom or childcare.

Discover simple ways to integrate dance, music and yoga into your daily curriculum. These activities will encourage self expression, problem solving, teamwork and creative thinking while working on balance, coordination, listening skills, concentration, breathing techniques, spatial awareness, and basic science, math and early literacy skills!

Discover creative ways to to use books, toys and other props that you can find throughout your classroom or childcare to help keep your students engaged and focused. Learn tips for modifying the activities for different age groups to make sure that you are being developmentally appropriate!

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Home Visitors, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide teachers with hands on material they can use in their classrooms
  • Master a skillset to think outside the box when it comes to creating curriculum for their students that is fun and maximizes the educational experience
  • Teach participants simple steps how to utilize books, toys and other equipment found in their classroom to keep their students engaged and focused throughout the year
  • Provide concrete examples of developmentally appropriate activities teachers can share with families to do at home

3:15 PM–4:30 PM Conference F Sessions

F01: Importance of Play in Child Development and in our Professional Lives, presented by Kaya Wynn (bio), MEd, MSW, Kindering
What is play? Why is it identified as such an important aspect of development; supporting both positive social-emotional and cognitive development? How can we, as child professionals, use play in our relationships with the children we engage on a daily basis, with our co-workers, and model this with the families we support? This workshop will be part lecture on the evidence supporting play in child development (and beyond) and part playtime, so bring a flexible, open mind and body!

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: All age groups, Birth to Age 3, Birth through Age 5, Birth through Age 8, Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8, Adults

Who Should Attend: All, Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Therapists, Healthcare Staff, Home Visitors, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Students, Trainers, Adult Educators

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss importance of play in child development
  • Model ways to incorporate play into daily interactions.
  • Participants Practice employing play with other clinicians.

Materials Provided: Handouts and emailed copy of slides.




F02: Math by the Book: an Approach for Using Children’s Literature to Teach Early Numeracy Skills, presented by Clarissa Alfes (bio), BA, University of Washington, with Kathleen Meeker (bio), PhD, University of Washington and Haring Center, Kristen Missall (bio), PhD, University of Washington
This session will discuss how to use storybooks to teach young learners early mathematics skills. We will begin with explaining early numeracy development and providing an overview of math concepts such as number identification, number naming and quantity comparison. The research evidence supporting the importance of early math learning will be described; the literature on shared book reading as an evidenced-based practice for developing young children’s early numeracy skills also will be highlighted. Participants will have an opportunity to explore children’s storybooks and practice strategies for incorporating math language and teaching into book-reading and activities across settings. This session will also present lessons learned from the implementation of a specific storybook-embedded, small group intervention for early numeracy, designed to meet the learning needs of preschoolers at an inclusive early childhood program. Caregivers will walk away with a range of new applications for integrating math into early childhood learning, strategies for designing early numeracy instruction and intervention, and book resource handouts.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • 1. Define early math development, highlight important early numeracy concepts, and describe research base for using storybooks as evidenced-based, early math instructional tools
  • 2. Outline and practice strategies for embedding early numeracy teaching within shared book reading and other everyday activities
  • 3. Demonstrate and discuss a specific storybook small group intervention for teaching early numeracy skills

Materials Provided: Reading guides, handouts




F03: Obtaining Services for Children with Special Needs: A Fathers Perspective, presented by Nelson Rascon (bio), MS, DadsMOVE
Raising a child and getting them the services they need is a tough job. Getting those services for children that require special services and supports because of their unique health or behavioral needs is even tougher. We will be discussing what it’s like to travel this road from a father’s perspective. We’ll present a brief overview of the work or our organizations with the majority of the session spent hearing from a panel of fathers, each with a different perspective, talking about the challenges they faced on this journey.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: All age groups, Adults

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding the unique challenges of special needs children.
  • How fathers process differently.
  • How to more effectively reach fathers.



F04: Music, The Brain and Early Childhood Education, presented by Becky Cain (bio), MA, Puyallup Performing Arts Academy
Science has shown that to have the maximum effect on brain development, music education must begin in early childhood. In this fun, hands on workshop, learn about the science behind using music, and how to implement it in your classroom, even if you have no music training or experience.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning the science behind the need for music in the early childhood classroom.
  • Learn ways to use music to make the biggest impact.
  • Get ideas and strategies to use in your classroom.

Materials Provided: Handouts.




F05: Supports for Families in Early Childhood Special Education, presented by Theresa Aguilera (bio), B.Ed., University of Washington
Social-Emotional Learning is an important component of Early Childhood Education for both children and their families. Families receiving Early Childhood Special Education Services have a variety of social-emotional needs including support for siblings, parent and caregiver education, and tools to manage the higher levels of stress that come with navigating multiple systems. This session will focus on what resources are available to support families, what your organizations are already doing, and how you can help families access these resources, or access them yourself!

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Age Group Addressed: Birth through Age 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Home Visitors, Family Resources Coordinators

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to identify resources that can support their families
  • Collaborate in small groups to brainstorm challenges and solutions to integrating these supports into practice
  • Create an action plan to maintain or increase the social-emotional supports your families receive

Materials Provided: Handouts




F06: The New Rules of Self-Care for Early Childhood Educators, presented by Mary Allison Brown (bio), MS, Mary Allison Brown
Research indicates that women working in low-income early learning programs have poorer physical and mental health than peers in other professions. The early learning environment can often be unpredictable and stressful.

Unfortunately, self-care is often perceived as being a low-priority because it’s impossible to imagine even finding the time. In this training, participants will learn a new paradigm for self-care that starts with this basic truth: As an early learning professional, the children in your care will only thrive when you thrive.

Participants in this session will learn the science of the body’s stress response and how to create a realistic routine incorporating the five pillars of foundational self-care in less than 20 minutes per day. Participants will learn how to integrate self-aware self-care into their daily routine to reduce stress, burnout, and turnover.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Interactions

Age Group Addressed: All age groups

Who Should Attend: All

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the 5 Pillars of Foundational Self-Care
  • Learn Realistic Strategies to Reduce Stress and Burnout
  • Learn how to improve relationships with children and families

This session has a $10 materials fee.

Materials Provided: Each participant will receive a copy of Align With Joy: A 30-Day Guided Journal Designed to Cultivate a Life Filled With Joy and Gratitude




F07: Being Emotional Responsive through Play, presented by Ron Mohl (bio), BA, Lakeshore Learning Materials
During this training we will discuss our role in a young child’s development and how it connects to social emotional skills. We will consider brain development when defining ourselves as facilitators of social emotional development and employ hands on strategies that supports a child’s journey towards independence.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth, Development and Learning

Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Home Visitors

Learning Objectives:

  • Articulate three points that defines the teacher's role as a social emotional facilitator
  • List social emotional skills that can be encouraged in the learning environment
  • Apply hands on strategies that can be used to encourage the development of social emotional skills



F08: Seeds to Sprouts: Gardening in the Classroom, presented by Brittney Andrade (bio), BS, Successful Solutions
It’s no secret that children love to get dirty. Why not encourage them to do so with a garden!? This session discusses the benefits for incorporating a garden into your curriculum, including learning valuable life skills, preventing childhood obesity, and community building. It also includes helpful information about which fruits, veggies, and flowers your students will enjoy growing as well as some additional lesson plans to do in the classroom that connect with what they are learning outdoors.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3, Birth through Age 5, Birth through Age 8, Age 3 through 5, Age 5 through 8

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Interested Professionals

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the benefits for incorporating gardening into the classroom.
  • Describe 2 ways to make gardening more kid-friendly.
  • Describe a gardening activity to do with children and explain what skills they will be learning.
  • Explain how to keep children safe when gardening.



F09: The Power of Peer Support, presented by Polly Jirkovsky Gual (bio), MPH, PEPS, with Jennie Capron (bio), BA, PEPS
This session will explore the importance of social connection for new parents and increasing family wellness with peer support. We will discuss how to create an inclusive and welcoming peer group that makes space for a variety of parental identities while also creating support and connections around shared experiences.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Program Planning and Development

Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3

Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Therapists, Healthcare Staff, Home Visitors, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand peer support as an effective model for new parents to reduce isolation, increase confidence and build community
  • Demonstrates how a flexible approach for new parent support increases protective factors of family wellness within a context of diverse parenting
  • Relates parental social connection to family wellness and infant mental health



Schedule-At-A-Glance
Program Search

Daily Schedules:
Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

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For Additional Information
Contact:


Amanda Cardwell
Conference Coordinator
AC Consulting
Stanwood, WA 98292
Email: amandacardwell@frontier.com

Mike Stewart
Conference Administrator
Boyer Children's Clinic
1850 Boyer Avenue E.
Seattle, WA 98112
Email: info@boyercc.org



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