MK: Monday Keynote: Positionality: Locating a Personal and Professional Position,
presented by Kendra S. Liljenquist (bio)
Dr. Kendra Liljenquist is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington school of medicine and principal investigator at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. Dr. Liljenquist’s research focuses on developing culturally responsive ways to address economic and racial disparities in child development outcomes. She collaborates with families and clinicians to design and test clinic and community-based interventions that best meet the needs of children in low-resourced communities. Dr. Liljenquist has a particular interest in supporting local families and the individuals of communities who work with them.
Positionality refers to a person’s occupation or adoption of a position in relation to others, usually in relation to sociocultural identifiers. It helps locate a person in the context of other individuals, social groups, and to society based on the identities assumed by them or ascribed to them. Positionality firmly relates to the concept of intersectionality, a term drawn from the American civil rights movement which refers to the intersection of these overlapping identities which are also related to systems of dominance, oppression, and discrimination. These concepts are deeply rooted in the fields of social work and sociology but applied to theory and practice in many disciplines and also a common frame of reference in qualitative research. Join us for this one hour keynote to consider personal & professional positionality, focus on cultural humility, & explore how these elements effect your work with families.
MA1: Part C to B Transition: Understanding How Systems Impact our Children and Families,
presented by Valerie Arnold (bio)
Valerie Arnold, M.Ed. currently serves as the Strategic Innovations Administrator with the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers State Leadership Team under the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. She has 18 years of service in state government and 23 years of non-profit experience, all 41 years within the fields of early childhood and special education.
Ryan Guzman, M.Ed., is the Washington state Early Childhood Special Education-619 Coordinator. With over 19 years of experience, Ryan has assumed many roles in the field of early childhood special education, including Developmental Preschool Teacher, Part C, IDEA, Early Intervention Case Manager, PreK-1 Intervention Specialist, and later ESD 113 ECSE Coordinator.
Join representatives from OSPI and DCYF ESIT in a conversation to review key updates in our early childhood special education systems. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and better understand Washingtons Administrative Codes that regulate IDEA, Part C and B. In addition we will learn and discuss new and innovative policy and procedural changes taking place within the Part C system. Lastly, participants will have the opportunity learn essential practices from ESIT Provider Agencies and local districts that ensure a seamless transition for both child and family from Part C to B educational systems.
MA2: Supporting Play, Language, and Social-Emotional Skills in Toddler Classrooms using ToddlerTalk Strategies,
presented by Jennifer Cunningham (bio)
Jenny Cunningham is a Researcher and Inclusion Specialist at the University of Washington Her work centers on high quality practices for supporting each and every child in early childhood settings, with a specific focus on social-emotional skills, challenging behavior, and early language development.
, University of Washington, with Shawna Harbin (bio)
Shawna Harbin, PhD, BCBA, is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Washington’s College of Education and School Mental Health, Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center. Her work focuses on family-centered practice, culturally responsive family-practitioner partnerships, evidence-based practices, educator preparation, and practitioner training and coaching in special education. She has extensive professional experience as a teacher and an early intervention practitioner.
, University of Washington
In this presentation, we will share strategies from the ToddlerTalk intervention framework. ToddlerTalk strategies are designed to support toddlers’ early language and social emotional development in classroom settings. ToddlerTalk is focused on strategies that educators can use across the day during their ongoing routines and activities in the classroom to build relationships and support each and every child’s development.
Age Group Addressed: Birth to Age 3
Who Should Attend: Teachers, Interested Professionals, Trainers, Adult Educators
Describe the importance of play, social-emotional, and language development for toddlers, and how these domains of development relate and influence each other.
Identify key considerations for setting up the environment and selecting toys and materials to support interest and engagement for each and every child.
Identify strategies for engaging toddlers in play with toys, adults, and peers.
Identify strategies for modeling and expanding language and communication during play and routines in the classroom.
MP1: A Neuroaffirmative Approach to Neurodiversity and Disability,
presented by Kristin Schneider (bio)
After many years of working in arts education and administration, Kristin Schneider (she/her) went back to school for music therapy, obtaining her degree from Seattle Pacific University. There she found her calling working with Autistic children and teens and gained experience working with adults with dementia; children and adults who have experienced trauma; and infants and toddlers. As a therapist who is herself Autistic, Kristin is passionate about providing a safe space and nurturing environment for individuals of all neurotypes and identities to find their own voice and build confidence in their unique ways of moving through the world.
, Music Works Northwest, with Natalie Shannon (bio)
Natalie was born and raised in Kent, Washington. Her love of music began at a young age singing with her parents and playing piano with her grandfather. She received her degree in Music Therapy with an emphasis in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University. Natalie completed her clinical internship at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, where she worked with clients ranging in age from newborns to young adults and a variety of therapeutic goals. She returned to Washington state with a passion to expand accessible music therapy services in King County. Natalie enjoys collaborating and performing with other musicians, and she has sung with various PNW ensembles including the Vocal Jazz Ensemble “Celebration,” and Seattle Pacific University’s Treble Choir. She also enjoys reading, drinking bubble tea, and relaxing in her back yard with her 4 chickens and 3 guinea pigs.
Elizabeth (she/her) grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri and received her bachelor's of music in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas. She finished her clinical internship at Bridgeway Academy in Columbus, Ohio where she worked with autistic students. Here at Music Works Northwest, she primarily works with Neurodivergent and Disabled individuals, and older adults in long-term care.
Elizabeth works from a neuro-affirmative lens and strives to create a therapeutic space where everyone can be comfortable in their own skin. She loves meeting her client’s where they are at, seeing and encouraging their interests and strengths, and creating authentic connections through the use of music. When not at Music Works, Elizabeth loves to read, hike, bake delicious treats, and hang out on the couch with her husband and cats.
In this presentation, music therapists from Music Works Northwest will share their journey toward a neuroaffirmative approach to their practice, including the benefits and challenges of providing therapy with this approach, strategies for neuroaffirmative treatment planning, resources from neurodivergent voices when working with children with disabilities. This presentation is appropriate for therapists, teachers, parents, or anyone who works with disabled or neurodivergent children of any age.
Age Group Addressed: All age groups
Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Therapists, Interested Professionals, Students
Objective 1: Participants will be able to describe the neurodiversity movement and a neuroaffirmative approach to therapy, including its origins and common misconceptions.
Objective 2: Participants will be able to identify at least three ways in which one’s use of language, treatment planning, documentation, and reporting tools can communicate and encourage client sense of safety and a neuroaffirmative approach to care.
Objective 3: Participants will identify at least one goal for themselves for their practice that aligns with a neuroaffirmative approach to care.
MP2: Unlocking the Mystery of the Pre-K Continuum,
presented by Kerri Blankenship (bio)
Kerri began her career in education in Wyoming as a substitute teacher and became a paraprofessional in a Rural, two-room schoolhouse. These experiences revived her passion for teaching others.
Kerri graduated Summa Cum Laude majoring in Elementary and Special Education. She previously worked as a Resource Room Teacher and an Instructional Specialist for Special Education.
Kerri passionately advocates for the use of data to identify strategic, targeted interventions for students. She habitually challenges systemic barriers and practices in pursuit of achieving equitable opportunities for all students in the least restrictive environment.
, Capital Region ESD 113
In Washington state, only 21% of students ages 3-5 receiving special education services attend and receive thoseservices in a regular early childhood classroom. This places Washington fourth from last in the nation and onlyabove those states not funding PreK programming. This training seeks to improve equitable access formarginalized students by building the understanding of representatives- teachers, administrators, andparents/guardians- making programming, placement, and services delivery decisions for students ages 3-5 receiving special education services.
Age Group Addressed: Age 3 through 5
Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators
ME1: Families of Color: Cultivating Relationships,
presented by Shawn Koyano (bio)
Shawn joined FOCS in August 2020 as the Program Director. Shawn has worked in Non-profit management for 20 years and values supporting families in community. Currently, she is enrolled in a dual MSW/MEd in Human Sexuality (Sex Therapy) program and strives to work with parents of color and birth-giving folks to heal sexual trauma. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, caring for plants, being on the water and growing food.
, Families of Color Seattle, with Fatima Attia (bio)
Fatima is an Egyptian Canadian Parent Educator working with Families of Color Seattle in partnership with Boyer children's clinic to provide and facilitate discussions for families of color with children with exceptionalities/disabilities. Fatima is an educator by profession, and is passionate about social justice. Fatima is the Mom of two little boys, 5 year old Eesa, who was in Boyers 0-3 program and 2 year old Musa.
, Families of Color Seattle
In this session it is our goal to educate and inform families and practitioners about the short and long term benefits of offering a safe space for and cultivating relationships with families of color. From being able to comfortably and safely vent out individual and shared lived experiences, to having space to do critical introspective work using questions posed by the really well cultivated curriculum- individuals and families are able to process and get curious about their identity, how they will raise their children, their fears, their traumas etc. We will discuss how to comfortably navigate questions regarding race, identity, community, equity and how these are not ‘bad words’ in our space. In fact, they are the bases of our entire conversation. They lead us to discuss such questions as “What is your earliest memory of racism” (spoiler alert, each story has kids, younger than you’re probably picturing. Holding onto traumas from childhood and sharing them as funny anecdotes are often what you hear). another big question “how is your identity similar to your child, how is it different”. In many families, their race is the same, or partly the same as their child, but in many, there’s a layer of difference where a lot of fear lies and that is with ability. Many people of color have always feared that the lack of belonging and opportunities would exist for their children as they have for themselves, after having a child with an exceptionality, these fears only grew exponentially, many of our parents are able bodied, neurotypical, and the child’s identity differs there. These conversations are necessary, and having the safe place we build together to discuss and discover the answers together is just so powerful and meaningful and critical.
Age Group Addressed: All age groups
Who Should Attend: Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators, Therapists, Family Resources Coordinators, Interested Professionals, Students, Trainers, Adult Educators
Empower families to seek support and understand a potential unmet need.
Encourage organizations/ practitioners to help fill the need of BIPOC families to have more support.
Outline how Boyer and FOCS has begun to fill the need for supports for BIPOC/ parents of children with exceptionalities.
7:00 - 8:30 PM Monday - Evening Session B
ME2: Supporting Social Emotional Learning in Inclusive Early Childhood Settings: Cultivating Friendship Skills,
presented by Ariane Gauvreau (bio)
Dr. Ariane Gauvreau is the Senior Director of Professional Development and Training and The Haring Center, where she leads a team who provides professional development and training to schools and communities as they create inclusive, equitable and sustainable educational systems. She is a previous early childhood special education teacher, home visitor, coach, and professor.
, University of Washington Haring Center
This presentation will draw from Washington State Pyramid Model training content, and focus specifically on the importance of and strategies for supporting all young children develop meaningful relationships with one another within inclusive classrooms. We will review the research on the importance of friendships, discuss specific strategies for implementing these practices in early childhood classrooms, and develop plans for teaching friendship skills.
Age Group Addressed: All age groups
Who Should Attend: All, Parents, Foster Parents, Relative Care Givers, Teachers, Administrators
Participants will explain the longterm outcomes of young children who have friendships in early childhood
Participants will understand the importance of creating a culture of friendship in their classrooms, and strategies for embedding friendship skills across the day.
Participants will create plans for implementing friendship skills in their classroom or program, including plans for supporting children with disabilities with this important skill.