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2017
The assistive technologies of today represent a diverse range of products, people and potentials never before seen in the field. This presentation will discuss a variety of timely technology trends that are shaking up the assistive technology field and creating newfound possibilities for children with any disability. Trends discussed may include: wearable technology, 3D printing, the internet of things, telepresence and robotics, and the crowdfunding and do-it-yourself movements.
2016
Practitioners play a critical role in children’s use of the technologies. This highly interactive session will inform the design of a set of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services for young children intended to allow practitioners and programs to assess their current practices and plan for improvement. Objectives: Introduce the  the school-age Quality Indicators of Assistive Technology (QIAT), what they are, how they are used and their utility for the birth - five population; Share examples of what assistive technology for young children looks like in the 21st century;and... more
2016
In this plenary session, Janelle Rethwisch will share her powerful story on the inclusion of her daughter, Lydia Rose, and will address key themes related to inclusive practices for children with special needs from the perspective of a parent and former Special Educator. Videos, personal anecdotes, and the DEC Recommended Practices will illustrate the following themes: Children and families must be recognized for their uniqueness, not by their diagnosis; Parents must be honored as experts and decision-makers for their children; “Collaboration” must be supported by specific practices; In early... more
2014
Inclusive settings offer many potential learning opportunities for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  However, simply placing a child with ASD in such settings without accompanying supports can be a challenge for both the program and the child.  In this presentation, a model for designing programs for young children with ASD will be described.  Based on the work of the National Professional Development Center on ASD, participants will learn about assessing quality of programs, designing measurable objectives, and linking objectives to evidence-based practices recently... more
2014
Working with and caring for infants, toddlers and their families is relationship-based and requires us to engage our emotions as well as our intellect. This interactive session will provide early care and educational professionals an opportunity to apply a self-reflective process through which they will learn to recognize the personal factors that influence their caregiving practices and decisions. User-friendly tips and tools will be provided through the use of case scenarios and videos and offer opportunity for reflection and dialogue as participants determine what infant, toddler and... more
2017
Every student has strengths but these may get overlooked as we focus on needs and difficulties.  Learn how to systematically and intentionally observe students as “at potential” vs. “at risk”!!  Use the TOPS (Teachers Observation of Potential in Students) to see and document student’s strengths to plan strength-based instructional experiences.  Reflect with your colleagues on how a strength-based approach to children and learning impacts classroom practices!
2017
This special Pre-Institute Workshop will provide participants with concrete strategies that address challenging behavior across roles and in a range of inclusive settings, including Early Head Start, Head Start, Child Care, PreK, and Special Education classrooms. Participants will learn the reasons children engage in challenging behavior and identify strategies to employ to address these behaviors effectively.  In addition, presenters will cover policies and practices on preventing suspension and expulsion and provide helpful resources Come prepared to actively engage colleagues. Video... more
2015
This session explores how early childhood professionals can support families and partner with early intervention (EI) providers when a child’s screening results indicate the need for assessment.  Learn strategies for discussing assessments with families and engaging parents in EI services.  Participants will also identify methods to collaborate with EI providers when services are delivered at an early childhood site. Finally, participants will review the IFSP and discuss how it relates to their work with children and families.
2016
In this session we will discuss potential challenges and solutions with early language and literacy assessment with young children who are dual language learners (DLLs).  Participants will receive resources for assessing and developing early oral and written language in young DLLs, and learn about different and effective classroom models that can best use these resources.
2016
Ever thought about using music for inclusion programming? This session will address how to make environmental adaptions and create expanded opportunities for all children to learn through music in the outdoor environment. Take away evidence-based facts, innovative ideas, practical suggestions, and a renewed understanding of the value that music making may bring to children with disabilities, their families, and friends.

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