February Meeting Information

Our February meeting is right around the corner! It is our hope that the content will provide helpful strategies as we all continue to balance the realities of a pandemic with the educational and developmental needs of our students. Please feel free to invite others to join this timely presentation.  (Please email sepac@doversherborn for Zoom link information.)

Parent-Friendly Tips for Managing Behavior in a COVID-19 World
Presented by Lisa Gurdin, MS, BCBA, LABA
Thursday, February 11, 2021
9:00 a.m. (note earlier start time)

Since last March, families have had to deal with so many unexpected challenges due to COVID-19. With children now home for over five months, any demands and unknown situations can cause behavioral outbursts that are disruptive and frustrating. And, with what seems like constantly changing variables related to school reopening, the anxiety and stress for both parents and children only seems to be rising. Given this reality, it is integral that parents have the tools they need to anticipate and plan for transitions, new expectations, and unusual school experiences and social interactions. In this workshop, we will discuss parent-friendly proactive strategies to prevent and manage challenging behaviors and encourage the development of important life skills, such as self-advocacy, independence, and coping skills.  

Ms. Gurdin has been working with students, families, and school-based professionals as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in Massachusetts since 2001. She currently consults with school teams on behavioral interventions and evaluations for students with special needs and provides parent training. Ms. Gurdin is also a Part-Time Lecturer at Northeastern University and the ACE Coordinator for the BCBA Roundtable at EDCO Collaborative. In her role as ACE Coordinator, she coordinates and presents continuing education workshops for local school-based behavior analysts. For several years, Ms. Gurdin worked as the Clinical Coordinator for LABBB Collaborative. In this role, she supervised a team of BCBAs, provided clinical oversight, managed home-based programming, consulted with school teams on complex cases in LABBB member districts, conducted staff trainings, and provided ongoing consultation to classrooms across the collaborative. 

December SEPAC Meeting

Elise Wulff from MGH Aspire will be joining us on December 10th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss practical strategies to support Executive Functioning in remote and hybrid learning, both household and individual, to help make the best of a challenging situation. 

The transition to remote learning gave many parents and caregivers a new data set on their child’s learning and educational skill set. Executive Functioning (EF) plays a huge role in a student’s ability and success accessing curriculum, whether in the classroom or from home. And, the challenges and complexities of learning in the COVID pandemic require a greater emphasis on supporting organization, initiation and follow-through, self-regulation, and flexibility- all core EF skills. This workshop will give an overview of the core EF concepts, and how to spot them in your child/student(s) specifically during this period of pandemic learning. We will discuss the importance of identifying your child’s EF profile to best match the specific and appropriate strategy to the source of the challenge.

Elise Wulff has more than a decade of experience working with the neurodiverse population, their families, and professionals in both the public and private sectors. With MGH Aspire since 2008, Elise oversees Child and AspireWorks programming and related services. Elise also provides personalized parent coaching, school-based consultation, and professional development. Prior to joining Aspire, Elise worked as an Inclusion Facilitator for a therapeutic intervention program for students with Asperger’s, NVLD, ADHD, and similar profiles. In collaboration with Aspire, Elise co-wrote a multi-year tiered self-awareness curriculum based on Aspire’s model ‘The Science of Me,’ as well as curricula to address enhancing Executive Functioning skills and supporting resistant writers. Elise is recognized for her work supporting school districts to enhance their inclusion practices and foster healthy social-emotional development and self-awareness. She has specific expertise in program design, social-emotional curriculum, tools to build student independence, and strategies for positive behavioral interventions. Elise provides personalized parent coaching, school-based consultation, and professional development for providers. Elise received her undergraduate degree in psychology and theater arts from Emory University and her master’s degree in special education from Lesley University.

Please e-mail sepac@doversherborn.org to request meeting login information.

Welcome Back to SEPAC

The Dover-Sherborn SEPAC meetings will be remote for the time being. Because of this, please make sure to e-mail us to opt-in to messages that will provide regular updates, including login information for our remote meetings.

Meetings will occur:

  • Friday, November 13, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 12 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m.
  • June TBD

ADHD: Don’t Skip the Facts

Hosted by Commonwealth Learning Center
Thursday, 3/21/19
220 Reservoir Street
Suite 6
Needham, MA

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can affect individuals of all ages, and today the evaluation of ADHD and executive functioning and is more sophisticated than ever before. This workshop will explain the diagnostic criteria and testing for the three different types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive, and combination-type. Assessments and behavior rating scales will also be discussed, along with an introduction to pharmacological treatment (both stimulant medications and non-stimulant) and strategies to cope with attention impairment. Admission is free, but space is limited and first come, first served. Light refreshments will be provided. Learn more and RSVP here.

Learning Solutions Summer 2019 Programs

Sponsored by Learning Solutions
49 Walpole Street, Suite 5/6
Norwood, MA

Learning Solutions offers 7 weeks of half-day social skills programming this summer for children ages 4-10 and teens ages 11-18. Activities include interest-based games and/or projects combined with support navigating the social world of expected behaviors. Their supported outings into the local community are designed to engage groups in fun, collaborative problem solving and learning. Learn more and view their summer program brochure here.

Comorbidity in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Hosted by the League School of Greater Boston
Thursday, 3/14/19
League School of Greater Boston
Vetstein Auditorium
300 Boston-Providence Turnpike
Walpole, MA

Comorbid disorders are very common in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Unfortunately, many of these co-occurring disorders are not recognized, even though many are treatable. Some frequently co-occurring disorders include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, seizure disorders, sensory disorders, sleep disorders and GI disorders.
Treating these co-occurring disorders in the context of a treatment plan for ASD can lighten the burden for the ASD child and family and permit the child to function at a more optimal level at home, school and in the community. This program will be presented by Dr. Clare O’Callaghan, R.N., C.S., Ed.D. – a neuropsychologist and psychiatric nurse in private practice, recently retired from the South End CHC where she was the Clinical Director of the children’s mental health program and the Training Director for the mental health program. She has served on the Board of Directors at League School since 1980. Learn more and register to attend for free, here.

Sensory-Friendly Kite Day

Sponsored by Advocates
Saturday, 4/27/19
Bose Corporation
The Mountain
Framingham, MA

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance month. Join Advocates for a fun, festival-like afternoon atop Bose Mountain in Framingham and bring your kite! This event is for individuals with autism and others who would benefit from a sensory-friendly environment. There will be trackless train rides, rebounders, police and fire vehicles, interactive music therapists, kite flying, food from Wegmans, ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s and more. The cost is $5 per car. Learn more here.