2021 Early Intervention and Preschool Conference
October 18 & 19, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
9:00-10:30 Welcome and Announcements
Difficult Conversations: Communicating Effectively on Every Topic-LIVE SESSION ONLY
Communicating effectively comes down to being able to discuss anything while being honest and caring at the same time. This presentation will focus on skills you can hone to interact with co-workers and clients with pride.
- Participants will identify common “fight and flight” behaviors.
- Participants will describe strategies to help themselves stay calm in tense situations.
- Participants will list ways to resolve conflict effectively.
10:30-10:45 Break and Exhibitors
10:45-11:45 Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
Generation Them: Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce-LIVE SESSION ONLY
Generation "THEM" examines the “WHY” behind each American generation's common perspectives so that we can better understand one another and build more cohesive teams. This presentation gives attendees solid understanding of generational norms and the importance of attracting and retaining top young talent to ensure sustainability while allowing them to laugh at how silly we are deep down.
- Participants will list and describe the four generations in the American workplace.
- Participants will list behavioral norms for each generation.
- Participants will explain why they should invest in young employees.
Core Prevention & Intervention for the Early Years
Dallas Rabig, LPC, IMH-E and Christal Coker, Ed.S, NCC, ECMH-E
Frequently practitioners and organizations question what kinds of interventions and supports should be made available for young children and their families. This session will provide a framework for the different types of interventions needed by individual children and families and the training needed by practitioners to provide different levels of intervention.
- Participants will describe the emphasis of intervention based on developmental stage.
- Participants will decide the focus of intervention based on identified risks or problems.
- Participants will describe a hierarchy of prevention and intervention approaches.
- Participants will list best practices in prevention and intervention
Tackling Tantrums: A BCBA Guide to Improving Behavior in the Pre-K Classroom
Jennifer Williams, M.S., BCBA and Kristie Tullis, M.S., BCBA
This session will give preschool teachers knowledge of the most important behavior tools to implement in the classroom. Teachers will also be provided with a basic understanding of the four functions of behavior and how to select the matching behavior tool.
- Participants will identify and list the functions of behavior.
- Participants will describe how to incorporate antecedent strategies into daily classroom routines.
- Participants will list ways how to address challenging behaviors when they occur.
Disordered Feeding Development in the Birth to 3 Population
Mary Collins MS., CCC-SLP
This session will provide an understanding the development of pre-feeding skills (perinatal and postnatal) in order to identify, recognize and predict possible feeding challenges. Common feeding challenges in birth to 3 will also be discussed and how to address these feeding issues within the Early Intervention Model.
- Participants will identify when feeding development begins.
- Participants will describe the potential for feeding disorders at an early age.
- Participants will identify times when to refer to specialists.
- Participants will list ways to problem-solve with families to improve quality of life in the home.
Urgency of Language Acquisition
Suzanne Mattox, MAT and Debbie Trapani
This session focuses on the urgency of language acquisition in children (ages 0-3) who are deaf and hard of hearing. It also focuses on how we can provide opportunities to support language acquisition during this critical period of the lives of young deaf and hard of hearing children, birth - age 3.
- Participants will explain why it is important for children to have access to available languages.
- Participants will identify the benefits of learning both ASL and English for deaf and/or hard of hearing infants and toddlers from birth to the age of 3.
- Participants will describe where to find resources and tools to support language acquisition of deaf and hard of hearing children.
Practical Tips from a Family Therapist
Caroline May, MS, LMFT and Cynthia Cook-Smith
Practical guidance will be given for using play as a way to connect, teach social and emotional skills, as well as a tool for assessments for early childhood service providers and families.
- Participants will describe how to communicate needs with behavior and big feelings.
- Participants will identify child (or grown-up) behaviors most difficult as a grown-up (e.g. teacher, interventionist, etc.)
- Participants will describe why they should begin asking "Why is this behavior hard for me?" and "What does this child need me to know right now?"
- Participants will name three strategies that can be used to maintain or regain composure in order to be helpful.
- Participants will describe how to build capacity to be reflective, as well as develop a lens of positive intent for child (and grown-up behaviors) during challenging moments.
11:45-1:00 Lunch Break and Exhibitors
1:00-2:00 Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
Great Big Visual World: Bringing Visual Supports into the Classroom
Dr. Whitney Meade
Visual supports can be provided in different ways in all settings: school, home, work and community (Kluth & Darmody-Latham, 2003). Recognizing that our “visual language” is one of the very first to develop, this session will introduce teachers to the principles of visual structure and how incorporation of these strategies into our classrooms increases student engagement. After an initial presentation to teach the concepts, the presenter will facilitate a hands-on portion creation of visuals by participants that can be used for circle time, centers and overall classroom operation.
- Participants will identify and summarize visual supports and their use in the educational setting.
- Participants will identify and discuss the implementation of visual supports within their classroom.
- Participants will create and visually structure activities for learning within their classrooms that are developmentally and chronologically appropriate.
What is Normal? Stress & Anxiety in Children in a Post Pandemic World
Angela Washington MA, LPC
The focus of this session is to recognize stress and anxiety in children and the effects of the pandemic, social distancing has on children and families. Recognizing the manner in which stress and anxiety may manifest in in children through behavior, sleep patterns and development will be addressed. In addition to recognizing stress and anxiety, this session addresses methods to help children cope at home, and when outside help may be needed.
- Participants will list the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety in children.
- Participants will compare the differences of stress and anxiety between children and adults.
- Participants will describe the impact the pandemic has infants and children.
- Participants will name and describe everyday techniques and activities to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Participants will list indicators to recognize when outside help is needed.
Building a Language Castle Out of Dirt: Practical Ideas to Incorporate a Child’s Environment to Increase Language Skills
Shauna Ashley, MAT, MS, CCC-SLP
Danielle Waldrep-Rich PhD, CCC-SLP
This session will focus on guiding families and service providers to use the child’s strengths and skills to develop goals of achieving typical language using a practical, hands-on, play-based approach in the child’s natural environment.
- Participants will describe age-appropriate language skills.
- Participants will identify the child's strengths to develop strategies to improve age appropriate language skills.
- Participants will demonstrate hands-on, play-based activities to increase the naturalness of the environment and child’s participation.
Baby! Baby! Early Orientation & Mobility Skills
Susie Thomas, EdD and Cathryn Smith
This will include practical, easy to use techniques to get babies and small children ready for O&M. Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is how one moves around in the environment. Early O&M sets the stage for independence and self -awareness in children who are blind or visually impaired.
- Participants will be define and describe Orientation and Mobility.
- Participants will list ways to teach beginning Orientation and Mobility skills to young children.
- Participants will describe ways to help families introduce early Orientation and Mobility skills to their child.
Pre-K Brain Pump
Erin Reilly Ph.D. , Amy Brakenhoff., Tiffany Higginbotham MS PT, Laura Wildman, and Tami Shelley
Is there a connection between the brain and movement? YES! Join us as we bring practical brain research and movement together with fun for our little ones ages birth to 5. You’ll be amazed at how your body links the two together and you’ll leave the session with new, hands-on, practical strategies to implement easily into your classroom.
- Participants will summarize research and science linking the brain and movement.
- Participants will list practical brain-based movement activities to implement in Pre-K classrooms.
- Participants will describe specific exercises for helping children with mild sensory processing issues.
Home Visits: Competence, Confidence, and Consultation
Melissa White, MSPT and Amy Moore, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, and Julia Stanley
This session will guide participants in understanding foundational skills across disciplines when working with families. Participants will learn how to identify when consultation with another discipline may be appropriate. Whether working in a program, contracting with another agency, or as a community provider, participants will gain ways to improve relationships and learn how to access resources in the community as well as communication with others locally or across the state. By having this knowledge, Early Interventionists can identify when to call someone in for additional help and who to call. Confidence and competence leads to the ability to have better consultation skills with other providers, Service Coordinators, or community providers.
- Participants will demonstrate competence in their abilities to address delays/needs in all five areas of development.
- Participants will describe when to obtain assistance/consultation with other providers, or refer to other community resources (CRS, outpatient therapy, social opportunities, Early Head Start, Bell Center, etc.)
- Participants will identify and arrange available consultations to maximize services for children served.
2:00-2:15 Break and Exhibitors
2:15-3:15 Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
David M. Finn, Ed.D.
This session will provide an evidence-based update on a few of the most common disability characteristics. Ways to monitor certain emerging developmental issues and concerns will also be included.
- Participants will name and describe the characteristics of five (5) of the most common disabilities found in programs serving young children who have special learning challenges.
- Participants will describe playground features that are helpful or hurtful to children with different abilities.
- Participants will name at least one state and national resource/agency designed to support the specific disabilities noted in this session.
Family School Experience Journal in Preparing for Transition into Kindergarten
Shawnna Yates, Patsy Jones, and JoAnn Shealey
The school experience journal is designed to help Parent Educators assist families with the transition from Parents as Teachers into the school system and kindergarten. It reinforces the Parents as Teachers' curriculum by utilizing specific handouts for each area of development and need as families make the transition. This school experience journal was developed by a former Parent Educator in our program to help the families we serve make the transition from our program into kindergarten.
- Participants will describe how to assist families with the transition from the Parents as Teachers Program into the school system and kindergarten.
- Participants will describe ways to help the family in building the foundation for their relationship with the school system and their child’s teacher.
- Participants will list ways to provide the family with the tools necessary to work with their child’s school and partner with any resources their child may require.
Baby Brain Pump
Laura Wildman, Amy Brakenhoff, Erin Reilly Ph.D.,, Tiffany Higginbotham MS PT, and Tami Shelley
Can we exercise the brain and body? YES! Learn cutting edge research on the connection between movement and the brain. Discover how to combine traditional physical therapy techniques with exercise concepts for infants and toddlers. We’ll discuss the science, best practices and recommendations for physical exercise for children ages birth to 3 years old.
- Participants will list and describe new movement strategies for ages birth to five (and above).
- Participants will describe how to integrate movement into daily routines.
- Participants will list ways to provide parents with evidence-based information concerning movement and children.
Messy Hands, Growing Minds: The Developmental Benefits of Messy Play
Deana Aumalis, MA and Kimberly Hile, PhD
Messy play supports learning and development as it is open ended, child led, and process oriented—all indicators of developmentally appropriate practice for young children. This session will highlight the developmental benefits of engaging in messy play while taking into consideration cultural perspectives, allergies and sensitivities, program regulations (e.g., not playing with food items), safety issues, and strategies for supporting young children with developmental delays and disabilities. This will be a very hands-on presentation as participants will be provided a variety of “messy play” materials and will practice identifying developmentally appropriate activities for young children that will support their growth and development across all developmental domains.
- Participants will identify the benefits of messy play on young children's development (i.e., motor skills, language, cognitive, social-emotional).
- Participants will identify strategies for supporting messy play for all children including those with disabilities.
- Participants will develop messy play activities taking into consideration what is developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and safe.
Integrating Language Into Play and Daily Routines: Keeping it REAL Simple for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH Infants), Toddlers, and Families
Lacey Wood, MA Deaf Education and Abby Burke, MEd, CCC-SLP
REAL connections through language are vital for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) children and their families! We will share, model, and practice alongside EI providers and families simple, research-based strategies for incorporating both visual (ie--ASL) and spoken language into play, daily routines, and family life with D/HH infants and toddlers. We will draw on decades of research based on behaviors of Deaf parents with their D/HH babies, as well as that which examines hearing parent-D/HH child dyads. This interactive session will build upon what service providers and families are likely already doing, but make it more accommodating to the visual needs of D/HH little ones.
- Participants will identify at least three lifelong implications of language deprivation and delay for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) children.
- Participants will describe the positive impact of consistent early access to language on brain development in D/HH children.
- Participants will summarize critical research findings on the value of visual language (i.e. sign language) and bilingualism on the developing brains of D/HH children.
- Participants will generate a list of considerations for families to use as they ensure full linguistic access--including both visual and spoken language--to D/HH infants and toddlers.
- Participants will demonstrate three or more strategies for providing full linguistic access to D/HH infants and toddlers in the context of play, reading, and daily routines.
Routines Based Interview- A Roundtable Discussion
Rachel Gray and Shameika Nelson
This roundtable discussion is designed for Early Intervention Service Coordinators or Service Providers to collaborate about conducting Routines Based Interviews with families. By working in small groups, Early Interventionists will be able to discuss with colleagues ways to address shared challenges or issues, share ideas, and come up with ways to improve the process in order to obtain the best information to benefit the whole family.
- Participants will identify common challenges facing interviewers using the Routines-Based Interview model.
- Participants will describe solutions to issues that can arise during Routines-Based Interviews.
- Participants will explain methods for obtaining information from families about their daily routines.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
9:00-10:30 Welcome and Announcements
Embracing the Future and Facing the Challenges
We have just emerged from a pandemic and now we have to move forward to acknowledge the impact and determine the next steps. The negative impact will linger if we do not proactively step forward and start to build again. It’s time to re-imagine our normal and challenge ourselves to confidently face new challenges that have emerged from surviving a global pandemic.
- Participants will identify and apply elements of adult resilience when working with children and families.
- Participants will formulate an action plan for building personal resilience in times of stress.
- Participants will list stress indicators in others and describe ways to respond.
10:30-10:45 Break and Exhibitors
10:45-11:45 Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
Autism Specific Interventions for the Early Intervention Coach-LIVE SESSION ONLY
Angie Barber, PhD
This session is an overview of how the Part C Autism Coaches can assist Early Intervention providers in the state. Naturalistic, Developmental, Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs), the foundation of the research-based five strategies for intervention when working with children with Autism or behavioral challenges, will be discussed.
- Participants will describe the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategy: Follow Child's Focus of Attention.
- Participants will describe the ASD Strategy: Naturalistic Teaching.
- Participants will describe the ASD Strategy: Modeling.
- Participants will describe the ASD Strategy: Naturalistic Reinforcement.
- Participants will formulate a routine that demonstrates how to coach a caregiver on these strategies.
Integrating Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) in Early Intervention Programs: Reflections from the Pilot
Jane Duer, M.Ed., IMH-E®, Tyesha Durr, LPC, IMH-E®, and Jamie Hill, M.Ed., LPC
Early Intervention (EI) program staff and IECMH Consultants share their perspectives about the IECMHC in EI pilot. We will explain what IECMH Consultation in EI looks like, benefits of having this service available to EI programs, and how other EI programs can take part now and plans for the near future.
- Participants will identify the purpose and benefits of infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) within Early Intervention (EI).
- Participants will describe how IECMHC works in EI in Alabama
- Participants will identify challenges and barriers discovered in the IECMHC in EI pilot
- Participants will identify how IECMHC might be useful in their own EI program.
Literacy for Littles: Incorporating Language-Rich Shared Reading Routines into Early Intervention Sessions
Kelli Ellis, MS, CCC/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT and Kameron Carden, MA, CCC/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd
This session will focus on incorporating early emerging literacy outcomes into daily routines to maximize engagement, promote social relationships with caregivers, and facilitate language development. Presenters will share practical strategies and expectations for the birth to three population to incorporate into routines-based visits.
- Participants will summarize benefits of shared reading experiences in the development of language and emergent literacy skills in young children.
- Participants will identify the social-emotional, language, and emergent literacy outcomes for children in the first few years of life and methods that promote the development of these skills during shared reading with caregivers.
- Participants will develop strategies that encourage caregivers to incorporate reading experiences into their daily routines and to use these opportunities to provide language-rich learning opportunities for their children.
Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) Preschool Updates
Stephanie Frucci, Ed.S., CCC-SLP and Kathy Wilkins, M.Ed.
The focus of this presentation is sharing the most recent information from the State Department on various topics with a focus on preschool students with disabilities for preschool special education service providers and administrators, including IEP development, eligibility considerations, new preschool standards, Indicator 7, Preschool outcomes, early intervention to preschool transition, monitoring, and more!
- Participants will identify common areas of noncompliance in preschool special education.
- Participants will summarize changes to policies and procedures for preschool students with disabilities in Alabama's public schools.
- Participants will identify the data sources and explain the significance of the preschool-related Annual Performance Report Indicators.
Coaching with the Brain in Mind
Making changes in practice requires higher thinking skills. How do we support change in those we coach when they are stressed or overwhelmed and may not have access to those higher thinking skills needed to make change? We can use neuroscience to understand those who seem resistant and build strategies so they will be successful.
- Participants will define and explain executive functioning skills for adults.
- Participants will describe the impact of delayed executive functioning skills on the ability to change behaviors.
- Participants will describe strategies used in coaching adults with suppressed executive functioning.
Potty Training Technique for Children with Disabilities
The audience will learn how to design potty training programs that include cognitive behavioral strategies, environmental modifications, just right adaptive equipment, positive reinforcement and outcome tracking.
- Participants will describe the key components of a successful potty training program.
- Participants will identify environmental modifications for the bathroom.
- Participants will explain cognitive-behavioral strategies to promote potty training.
- Participants will list and describe behavioral strategies for potty training.
11:45-1:00 Lunch Break and Exhibitors
1:00-2:00 Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
Getting a Strong Start with Fair Housing, Financial Literacy, Money Management & Budgeting, and Understanding Credit
Danita Washington, HUD Certified Housing Counselor and Lisa Jenkins
Participants will learn principles of building wealth by prioritizing spending, living within your means and using credit wisely to be able to share these practices with families. Learning banking basics and ways to recover from financial missteps will also be discussed.
- Participants will define and explain the Fair Housing Act and Laws.
- Participants will explain the landlord and tenant responsibilities.
- Participants will describe the rights in Housing dealing with persons with disabilities.
Vicarious Trauma in the Workplace
Dallas Rabig, LPC, IMH-E and Christal Coker, Ed.S, NCC, ECMH-E
Working with young children and their families is a specialized area of practice that carries a unique emotional burden. Concerns about ability to ensure the well-being of both infant and parents, about being involved in legal issues, and about their own personal safety, can lead to practitioner anxiety, anger, withdrawal and/or burnout, known as vicarious or secondary trauma. What can organizations do to prevent or alleviate the negative impact on practice effectiveness with high-risk families?
- Participants will identify the issues of vicarious trauma when providing intervention to high-risk families.
- Participants define and explain vicarious trauma.
- Participants will identify supports needed to prevent or alleviate negative effects of vicarious trauma.
- Participants will list recommendations for policies and practices needed to support practitioner effectiveness and staff retention.
Listening, Language, and Literacy: Building a Strong Foundation for Preschoolers with Hearing Loss
Kameron Carden, MA, CCC/SLP, LSLS Cert AVE and Kelli Ellis, MS, CCC/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
Preschoolers with hearing loss require explicit instruction to build the listening, language, and emergent literacy skills necessary for success in the mainstream kindergarten classroom. This session will focus on practical strategies to incorporate listening, language, and literacy goals and objectives into single lesson plans and activities to create engaging, efficient, and effective learning opportunities for children with hearing loss.
- Participants will describe how listening and language provides crucial foundational support for developing emergent literacy skills in preschoolers with hearing loss.
- Participants will summarize the reciprocal benefits of shared reading in developing listening and spoken language skills in preschoolers with hearing loss.
- Participants will explain key instructional practices such as fostering motivation, engaging in read aloud experiences, and promoting cultural responsiveness in the preschool classroom to encourage language and literacy development.
- Participants will list strategies to incorporate listening, language, and literacy objectives into single lesson plans to maximize instructional time and increase engagement in preschoolers with hearing loss.
- Participants will integrate listening, language, and literacy objectives into a single engaging, efficient, and effective preschool lesson plan.
Caregivers' Teaching Any Skill to Any Child in Any Routine: Incidental Teaching
Robin McWilliam, Ph.D.
How do you empower a parent or a teacher with the steps of incidental teaching? And why would you? Incidental teaching, as defined in the Routines-Based Model, is a method caregivers can use to address any child goal on an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
- Participants will identify the four key elements of incidental teaching.
- Participants will describe "family consultation" approaches to teaching incidental teaching to caregivers.
- Participants will explain to caregivers how incidental teaching can be used for all child outcomes.
- Participants will demonstrate how incidental teaching can be used in all routines.
Little Minds Big Opportunity! Technology in the Pre-K Classroom
Keri Howard and Angela Driskell
STEAM/Technology is an important tool in problem-solving, higher order thinking, and skills needed in the 21st century classroom. This session will demonstrate how to incorporate BeeBots and other STEAM devices in the Pre-K classroom. This will be hands-on and interactive for teachers to be able to practice activities they can bring into their own classroom.
- Participants will name and describe types technology used in the preschool classroom.
- Participants will describe what BeeBots are and why we use them.
- Participants will demonstrate hands-on use of BeeBots.
- Participants will formulate an activity to implement in their classroom.
The Effects of Stress on Children: How to Cope in the Inclusive Classroom
Samantha Davidson, LBSW
In this session, participants will learn about the different types of stress and how it affects behavior and development. We will also explore different strategies to reduce stress in the classroom and include ALL children regardless of developmental level or ability status. Classroom solutions to reduce challenging behaviors and help children with disabilities cope will also be discussed.
2:00-2:15 Break and Exhibitors
2:15-3:15 Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
Part C Autism Screening Initiative
Dr. Sarah O’Kelley
This session will provide an overview of the pilot screening process and the data collected to support on-going Part C Autism initiatives. The session will also cover next steps within the Part C Autism Screening initiative.
- Participants will describe the current pilot approach to screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within Alabama's Part C programs.
- Participants will explain the goals of screening tools for ASD in the Part C population.
- Participants will describe ways to discuss ASD concerns with caregivers.
In Layman's Terms: Personal Cybersecurity and Protecting Your Data
A practical, layman's term session discussing data protection for people using mobile devices in the field, record protection for computers that connect to company servers, and personal cybersecurity/cyber-hygiene measures.
- Participants will identify and apply different cybersecurity measures for protecting data while using devices in the field.
- Participants will identify and apply cybersecurity measures for record protection when using a computer to remotely connect to company servers.
- Participants will identify and describe common practices and measures regarding personal cybersecurity and apply these measures to their daily lives.
Get Your Baby Time to Play
Amy Brakenhoff and Jessica Scott
Moments of Connection are enormously important for each of us. Capturing and reliving those moments encourages the connection to come alive time and time again. Learn how to foster those moments of connection with Baby Doll Circle Time in your classroom so children can relive the precious moments of connection with you over and over again.
- Participants will identify the four components of connection and express the components throughout the session and receive feedback that the four components were achieved.
- Participants will identify and summarize the four attachment styles and select their personal attachment style by identifying statements that apply to themselves.
- Participants will apply and demonstrate techniques of connection and attachment through Baby Doll Circle Time.
Routines Based Home Visiting: A Round Table Discussion
Wendy Pittard, Taylor Vane, Iana Ham, Michelle Creekmore
This session will guide participants with how to implement Routines-Based Home Visiting (RBHV) in natural environments. Participants will learn best practices of RBHV and completing a Next Steps Form. The session will be led by an Early Intervention panel with discussion from the participants.
- Participants will explain the Routines-Based Home Visiting (RBHV) model.
- Participants will summarize tips gained from other providers about RBHV experiences.
- Participants will list techniques for using best practices when completing the Next Steps Form.
Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) Updates for Speech-Language Pathologists
Stephanie Frucci, Ed.S., CCC-SLP
The focus of this presentation is sharing the most recent information from the State Department with a focus on preschool Speech-Language Pathologists, including eligibility for Speech Language Impairment and Developmental Delay, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development, new articulation norms, re-evaluations, and more!
- Participants will describe ALSDE requirements to meet Speech Language Impairment and Developmental Delay eligibility requirements including any updated criteria.
- Participants will list the steps taken in IEP development.
- Participants will describe the criteria for dismissing a child from Language services.
- Participants will describe the preschool standards and identify any changes.
*Some sessions will be recorded and available on the virtual platform for one month following the conference.