Latest Event Updates

Anxiety, Trauma, Asperger’s, ODD Seminar Spring Dates Just Announced!

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Studies show that approximately 20 percent of all students are diagnosable for a mental, emotional or behavioral health issue. This seminar will help counselors, teachers and other professionals understand how to support and teach this high-potential portion of the student population while avoiding an unmanageable classroom environment.

In a single classroom, it is quite conceivable that a teacher might be dealing with 4 or 5 different disorders. Some of the most common challenges mainstreamed in the classroom tend to be:

  • Anger Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder

These issues are often undiagnosed and easily misunderstood — and may be responded to as simple discipline issues. Behaviors that tend to be common to students who are wired differently include:

  • Disorganization
  • Perfectionism
  • Trouble dealing with change
  • Performance and testing anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Over- and under-reacting to adults and peers

The goal of Anxiety, Trauma, Asperger’s, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Early Onset Bipolar & More is to provide you with key insights and approaches to help you prevent disruptions and distractions, while maximizing the abilities of students with these unique challenges.




In this seminar you will learn to:

  • Restructure traditional policies and practices that often fail with these students
  • Implement do’s and don’ts for supporting this group of students with dignity and respect through:
    • Assisting with organizational challenges
    • Building an environment that minimizes perfectionism
    • Controlling change, while helping students deal with it
  • Create a climate that strikes a balance between challenge and support
  • Reduce stigma and create a respectful climate in the classroom and school
  • Integrate successful approaches to reach students with emotional, mental and behavioral challenges

Brain Scans: Predicting Male Engagement via Neural Resting States

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Dr. Michael Gurian says that the more words a teacher uses while teaching, the greater the likelihood that the male brain will become bored, drift, sleep or fidget.  In his book, The Minds of Boys, Gurian describes how “the male brain is set to renew, recharge, and reorient itself between tasks by moving to a ‘neural rest state.’”  When imagined how this might manifest in a classroom he writes:

image“With greater blood flow in the brain, girls tend to recharge neural focus without pronounced rest states; thus a girl can be bored with a lesson but keep her eyes open and take notes. Brain scans conducted by Dr. Daniel Amen have shown that in the resting female, there is just as much neural activity as in the male brain solving problems.  Female blood flow during brain rest is very active.  Male blood flow during a rest state is not.”

Tips for supporting male engagement in the classroom:

  • Keep verbal instructions to no more than one minute.
  • Provide “brain breaks” to allow for movement in the classroom.
  • Allow boys (and girls) to be occupied when sitting/listening is required. (Squeeze ball, doodling, pipe cleaners)

Founder of the Gurian Institute and New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, Dr. Gurian will present a plenary session entitled Boys and Girls Learn Differently:  Why Gender Based Instruction Works at the Boy Brains & Engagement Conference in Atlanta.

Boys are more likely to be held back, suspended or expelled.  They are also more likely to drop out of school, and comprise only 43 percent of college students.  This conference will help educators understand and support the unique neurochemistry of the male brain.  REGISTER NOW!

Adrenaline: Nature’s Own Ritalin – Dr. Ned Hallowell

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Take Advantage of Early Registration Thru Feb. 28th! – Register Online at!

Plenary Speaker Dr. Ned Hallowell says students with ADHD tend to demonstrate impatience and lose focus unless they are under stress or handling multiple inputs. Stress leads to the production of adrenaline – which is chemically similar to the medications used to treat ADHD.

Watch Dr. Hallowell outline the chemical similarities between adrenaline and Ritalin.

Child & adult psychiatrist and founder of The Hallowell Centers, Dr. Ned Hallowell will deliver a keynote session entitled ADHD: It Can Make You or Break You at the Wired Differently Conference in Las Vegas.  REGISTER NOW!

Adolescent ACEs: Emotion, Memory & Logic

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Pre-conference presenter Catava Burton says that when students undergo Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), logical decision-making is not the norm – bringing behaviors such as defiance and disrespect to the forefront.

Watch Catava Burton define Adverse Child Experiences and their impact on developing adolescent brains.

Catava Burton is a certified trauma practitioner, blogger for The Mighty, and featured as a 2017 Human of Richmond. She will present a 3-hour pre-conference session entitled Trauma, Not D-Code Drama at the Innovative Schools Summit Orlando.  REGISTER NOW!

Has Girl Behavior Become the Gold Standard?

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Take Advantage of Early Registration Thru Feb. 28th!


Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute says “being a normal boy is a serious liability in today’s classroom.”


Watch Christina Sommers’ summation of how boys often struggle in the classroom.

Sommers offers four boy-friendly reforms grade school classrooms could make:

1.  Turn boys into readers.  Boys will read if given materials that interest them.  If you’re looking for suggestions for books that have proved irresistible to boys go to

2.  Inspire the male imagination.  If boys are constantly subject to disapproval for their interests and enthusiasms, they are likely to become disengaged and lag further behind.  Our schools need to work with, not against, the kinetic imaginations of boys.

3.  Zero out zero-tolerance.  Boys are nearly five times more likely to be expelled from preschool than girls.  And in grades K-12, boys account for nearly 70% of suspensions, now this is often for minor acts of insubordination and sometimes for entirely innocent behavior.

4.  Bring back recess.  Boys need to work off their energy.  They need to be free to play games they enjoy.  And keeping them cooped up inside all day will not help them learn.

The Boy Brains & Engagement Conference will help educators understand the unique neurochemistry of the male brain.  Keynotes and breakout sessions will provide practical strategies for increasing engagement and enhancing academic success.


Gamification & Alternate Reality Learning Environments

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The debate around the efficacy of gaming in the classroom is ongoing, yet there is a noteworthy emerging “edutainment” trend that showcases
a wide array of cognitive competencies.

Alternate Reality-Based Learning Environments:  Students are in a room with all they need to “escape” within a predetermined time period. The group can only use the resources inside the room, however, they can use any technology they bring with them to help them solve the various puzzles and problems presented to them.  The “escape room” concept allows educators to frame STEAM subjects in a fun, playful — yet challenging — activity where students are required to utilize problem-solving skills, self-directed learning, collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation to win. (Bennani, Bennet, Jones, Luchs & Novak)

This topic will be explored by Dr. Marquita Blades during her Escape the Lab©: A STEM Escape Room Investigation presentation at the Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference in Atlanta.  REGISTER NOW!

ACEs: Helping Students Build Resiliency and Thrive

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Webinar Feb. 2nd @ 11:30 am or 2:00 pm ET  


The Adverse Childhood Experiences study (ACEs) revealed that toxic stress due to trauma can harm a child’s developing brain. In this webinar, Kim Johancen, LPC, will work through the implications of the study and risk factors that educators need to understand when working with students who have one or multiple ACEs.

Attendees will learn specific strategies on how to amplify inherent strengths and resiliencies – including information on how to increase willpower and self-control. Kim will share specific information about how to determine which interventions may be most appropriate based on student behaviors and identified risk or risk clusters. Additional skills and interventions will be explored through multiple case studies that will leave attendees feeling hopeful and empowered.


  • Discuss risk factors for educators working with students using the ACEs assessment
  • Discover strategies to amplify inherent strengths and resiliencies of students
  • Explore specific strategies to utilize with students based on level of risk identified – to encompass a variety of developmental ages and abilities of students
  • Glean specific information about how to determine which interventions may be most appropriate based on student behaviors and identified risk clusters
  • Attendees will be given a checklist to use in conjunction with the ACEs assessment that can help determine which targets and interventions will be most appropriate for a student

Webinar attendees will learn to:

  • Understand protective factors identified on ACEs assessment as well as resiliencies children and adolescents need to thrive
  • Master specific strategies to use with students based on level of risk identified on assessments -encompassing various ages and abilities of high-risk students
  • Determine which interventions may be most appropriate based on student behaviors and identified risk or risk clusters.
  • Become familiar with checklist to be used in conjunction with the ACEs assessment that can be used to determine which targets and interventions will be most appropriate
  • Master additional skill and interventions  to be used through multiple case studies


  • Teachers
  • School Counselors
  • Social Workers (All Levels)
  • Principals and Administrators
  • Special Education Personnel
  • At-Risk Coordinators
  • Behaviorists
  • Intervention Specialists
  • After-School Program Coordinators
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses

Kim Johancen is a licensed professional counselor with more than twenty years of experience working with clients who have experienced trauma. Her career includes working with adolescent and adult survivors dealing with complicated grief and loss – including sexual trauma, relationship loss, individuals and families who have been impacted by suicide, and clients struggling with self-injury. In addition to seeing adolescents, adults and families, Kim also has experience facilitating both small and large groups including crisis debriefings at local agencies in Colorado. Kim has been invited to present at numerous conferences and seminars both locally and nationally and has presented her work on self-injury at Harvard University and her work with suicidal patients at Stony Brook University. In addition to her clinical work, Kim has also been asked to contribute a chapter to Matthew Selekman’s Adolescent and Young Adult Self-Harming Treatment Manual and has published over nine articles with the American Counseling Association. Kim currently has a column on the ACA website and continues to offer both counseling and consultation services to various agencies both nationally and locally.