2014 Empowering Ourselves for A Better Future – Workshop Presentations and Handouts

BrianSkotko_Health Care for Parents_April2014O

Keeping Children and Adolescents w/DS Healthy: All the Medical Updates Parents Need to Know, Keynote Speaker – Dr. Brain Skotko


What Your Other Children Without Down Syndrome Are Thinking: Sibling Issues for Parents, Keynote Speaker – Dr. Brain Skotko


OPWDD An Overview

Overview of OPWDD Services/Intro to the Front Door ProgramRachel Martin, Trainer Parent Network of WNY

What is a developmental disability? Participants will gain an understanding of eligibility and the admission process to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) system. Walk away with information about available supports and services and updates about what’s new in this dynamic system.



10 Special Education Advocacy Strategies Everyone Should Know, Patrick G. Radel, Esq., Advocate & Father, with Luke P. Radel, Sibling

Patrick Radel, a special education attorney and parent, will provide practical advice to help you advocate for students with disabilities before, during, and after CSE meetings. The presentation will include a summary of the key legal principals and educational rights of students with disabilities. Luke Radel will speak about advocating for his younger brother, Mark, a student with Down syndrome.


Sexuality Presentation Sexuality_Handouts


Sexuality Education: Privacy / Keeping Kids Safe, Shannon Bianco, MS Ed, People Inc.

A frank discussion about a wide range of topics such as: healthy relationships, safety & protective behavior, how parents can deal with puberty and related issues as well as an introduction to some more sensitive subjects relating to sex. Handouts for a separate parent sexuality training will also be provided for parents interested in a more in-depth discussion on the topic.


No presentation available

The True Colors of My Life, Carrie Bergeron, Self Advocate

Carrie, now thirty-seven years old, will present a Power Point presentation that includes her life experiences of Early Intervention up to present day independent living under NYS Individual Initiatives. Interpretive signing of songs and a Zumba demonstration will highlight her creative side! Her passion is to spread awareness that all with Down syndrome and other special needs should be given every opportunity to reach their individual potential.



OT – Handwriting & Keyboarding, Amy Ruffino, OT, Beyond Boundaries Therapy

Both handwriting and keyboarding are lifelong skills. This session will explore the developmental unfolding of handwriting and keyboarding. We will identify strategies that can be put in place at young age to support the development of these skills. A discussion regarding how and when to introduce handwriting and keyboarding will also be shared.




Understanding Special Education, Stacie Ricioppo, Special Needs Educator The Early Childhood Direction Center, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Trainer, Parent Network of WNY

Learn about special education laws and regulations and the special education process. Gain an understanding of the role of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and the elements of an effective transition plan. This workshop will give you strategies to assist students and parents obtain the educational services the child needs.



Social Skills – A Presentation About Available ProgramsShannon Bianco, MS Ed, People Inc.

A great overview of four different programs run by People Inc. for individuals of all ages and levels. These programs cover topics like behavioral issues and a variety of social skill concerns. Programs vary and are meant for the individual with a disability, ages birth through adulthood as well as some options for parents as well. Learn about the many options available here in WNY.



Speech: Apps, iPads, & More: Practical Applications, Tamara Roberts CCC/SLP Speech/Language Pathologist

This presentation will help the beginner and the current users think outside the box and expand the possibilities of applications for all ages. Current mobile technology changes every day and it is extremely hard not to get overwhelmed. It can also get expensive so it is important to think outside the box and use that technology in a variety of different ways for learning, expanding knowledge and to make life more functional for us and our children.



Redefining the Reality of Down Syndrome, Geralyn Spiesz MS, OT/L and Mother

Redefining the way we approach T21 from perception to outcome.


Transition Planning Checklist Transition Planning ppt Transition_5 Let’s talk about your child

Transition Planning Checklist

Transition_5 Let’s talk about your child

Areas of Transition

Pathways to Education / Graduation & Beyond: A Transition to Adulthood, Tonia Weichmann, Trainer Parent Network of WNY

What to be aware of at each age group- preparing for High School versus preparing for adulthood; check lists/ fact sheets/ and resources.

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