2021 Special Needs Conferences and Seminars for Professionals

What a difference a year makes! While most conferences and seminars were held last year in person, COVID-19 has changed the learning process for professionals seeking to improve their professional development. Almost all of the events listed below are being held via digital or virtual including international meetings and conferences.

Below are conferences that vary from practical information to research. Click on the information which is highlighted and it will take to you directly to the website.

February

Autism Awareness Centre, Inc.

The Brain and Autism: Linking Neurology and Interventions to Address Academic and Behavior Challenges
Date: February 11, 2021- 10 am – 11 am
Location: Virtual

International Conference on Special Education and Individual Needs
Date: February 15-16, 2021
Locational: Virtual/Digital

Special Needs Planning Symposium
Date: February 18-20,2021
Location: Virtual

Learning Disabilities Association of America
LDA 58th Annual International Conference
Date: February 18-21, 2021
Locational: Virtual

National Autistic Society
Understanding Stress and Anxiety in Autism
Date: February 23, 2021
Location: Virtual

Future Horizons
Webinar with Dr. Temple Gradin
Date: February 24, 2021
Location: Virtual

20th Annual Alabama Autism Conference
Date: February 26, 2021
Location: Virtual

Special Education Conference
Date: February 25-26, 2021
Location: Virtual

Association for Behavior Analysis International
15th Annual Autism Conference
Synergy of Science and Practice Worldwide
Date: February 28-March 2, 2021
Location: Virtual

March

International Conference on Special Needs, Education, Models, Standards and Practices
Date: March 4-5, 2021
Location: Virtual

Neurodiversity Conference (City University of New York)
Date: March 4-5, 2021
Location: Virtual

3rd European Autism Congress
Date: March 17-18, 2021
Location: Webinar

Council for Exceptional Children
Date: March 8-13, 2021
Location: Virtual Event

April

Autism Societies of Greater Wisconsin and Minnesota Autism Conference
Date: April 21-24, 2021
Location: Virtual

2021 Special Education- Home Edition
California Teachers Association
Date: April 30- May 2, 2021
Location: Virtual

May

8th World Congress on ADHD

From Child to Adult Disorder
May 6-9, 2021
Location: Virtual

International Conference on Special Educational Needs, Teaching and Different Approaches
Date: May 24-25, 2021
Locational: Virtual

June

Milestones National Autism Conference
Date: June 16-17, 2021
Location: Virtual

Special Education Law Symposium
Date: June 20-25, 2021
Location: Virtual

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
Date: June 21-24, 2021
Location: Virtual

International Conference on Autism in Pediatrics
Date: June 24-25, 2021
Location: Virtual

July

National Down Syndrome Congress
Annual Convention
Date: July 8-11, 2021
Location: Phoenix, AZ

International Conference on Special Education
Date: July 29-30, 2021
Location: Virtual

August

National Autism Conference
Date August 2-5, 2021
Location: Virtual

International Conference on Special Education and Technology
Date: August 26-27, 2021
Location: Virtual

September

International Conference on Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Date: September 20-21, 2021
Location: Virtual

October

Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
Autism Conference
Date: October 7-8, 2021
Location: Virtual

Accommodating Students with Executive Functioning Disorders

 

Classroom accommodations for executive function difficulties– Center on Technology and Disabilities.

Classroom accommodations for executive functioning issues– Understood

Executive Function Disorder and Education– The Beckman School

Executive Function Skills: Accommodations for your child at school- Psychological and Educational Consulting

Executive functioning measurable IEP goals, accommodations and strategies- A Day in Our Shoes

Dyslexia and ADHD Comorbidly

In some cases, dyslexia and ADHD coexist. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between 50 to 60 percent of people with ADHD also have a learning disability including dyslexia which is a language-based learning disability.

According to Learning Disability Online, Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people have difficulties in specific language skills. It affects 10% of children and there are challenges with writing and interpreting spoken language;

Signs and Symptoms:
  • delays in learning the alphabet, colors and objects
  • delayed vocabulary
  • delayed speech
  • difficulty comprehending instruction
  • disorganization
  • inability to recognize printed words and letters on printed page
  • difficulty remembering the sequence of things
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)is a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults

Signs and Symptoms

The DSM-V defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of attention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning of development. Inattention symptoms include the following:

  1. often fails to give close attention to details
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in task or play activities
  3. often does not listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions
  5. Often has difficulty organizing task and activities often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in task that requires sustained mental effort.

Hyperactive symptoms include:

  1. trouble paying attention
  2. restlessness
  3. excessive talking
  4. loud interaction with others
  5. frequent interventions
  6. may have a quick temper

Having both can be tricky to diagnose since they overlap in similarities. For example, a child may have a messy handwriting with spelling issues due to both disorders or when reading, may simply get tired of reading due to ADHD or may not understanding the reading material.

Intervention
  1. If the child shows signs of ADHD and dyslexia disorders, an assessment should be conducted for both disorders.
  2. The IEP should also include support and accommodations for both disorders,

ADHD and Dyslexia– International Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia and ADHD: Identifying, understanding and treating reading disorders in children– Impact ADHD

My child’s Dyslexia and ADHD: How they blended together-Understood

The Dyslexia and ADHD connection– Additude

The link between dyslexia and ADHD– Very Well Mind

Two conditions, one struggle: Teaching students with ADHD and dyslexia- CHADD

What is Inattentive ADHD?

When most people think of ADHD, hyperactivity is often what people think of. There are actually 3 subtypes of ADHD including hyperactivity, inattentiveness and a combination of both hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

There has been little research done on the inattentive type, however this is slowly changing. there are many reasons why the inattentive type is overlooked and why it is important to discuss it.  Studies show that females are more likely to have the inattentive type of ADHD. This type of ADHD is often ignored or overlooked due to its comorbidities. Females are more likely to have learning disorders such as dyscalculia (math learning difficulties) and dysgraphia (writing disorders), as well as anxiety, depression and speech and language issues.

Other challenges faced by children and adults with inattentive ADHD includes issues in executive functioning including difficulty in sequencing, staying on a task, prioritizing, and productivity.

According to DSM-V, a person must meet six of the nine symptoms listed below:

  1. fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  2. has difficulty sustaining attention in work or play
  3. does not listen when spoken to directly.
  4. fails to finish school work, chores or work duties
  5. has difficulties organizing activities
  6. avoids task requiring sustained mental effort
  7. loses things
  8. is easily distracted
  9. is forgetful.

Strategies in working with students with Inattentive ADHD:

  1. Allow enough time to complete work. students with Inattentive type take a longer in completing assignments and processing information
  2. Be specific and provide structure. Explain your expectations and ensure instructions are clear.
  3. Decrease distractions as much as you can
  4. Monitor for both depression and anxiety
  5. Help to build self-esteem
  6. Provide accommodations in areas of learning.
Resources

Medication response in children with predominantly inattentive type ADHD– Cincinnati Childrens’

Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD– Hill Learning Center

The other face of ADHD: Inattentive type- MDedge

What is ADD? Inattentive ADHD Explained– ADDitude

What to know about inattentive ADHD– Medical News Today

Understanding ADHD and Inattentive Type– Healthline

What is Executive Function Disorder?

What is Executive Functioning?

According to CHADD org, Executive function skills refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage other functions which enables individuals to account for short- and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results.

According to Rebecca Branstetter, author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Executive Functioning Disorder, These skills are controlled by the area of the brain called the frontal lobe and include the following:

  • Task Initiation- stopping what you are doing and starting a new task
  • Response Inhibition- keeping yourself from acting impulsively in order to achieve a goal
  • Focus- directing your attention, keeping you focus, and managing distractions while you are working on a task
  • Time Management- understanding and feeling the passage of time, planning  good use of your time, and avoiding procrastination behavior.
  • Working Memory- holding information in your mind long enough to do something with it (remember it, process it, act on it)
  • Flexibility- being able to shift your ideas in changing conditions
  • Self-Regulations- be able to reflect on your actions and behaviors and make needed changes to reach a goal
  • Emotional Self-Control- managing your emotions and reflecting on your feelings in order to keep yourself from engaging in impulsive behaviors.
  • Task Completion- sustaining your levels of attention and energy to see a task to the end.
  • Organization- keeping track and taking care of your belongings (personal, school work) and maintaining order in your personal space.
What Causes Executive Functioning Disorder?
  • a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Traumatic
Signs and Symptoms
  • Short-term memory such ask being asked to complete a task and forgetting almost immediately.
  • Impulsive
  • Difficulty processing new information
  • Difficulty solving problems
  • Difficulty in listening or paying attention
  • issues in starting, organizing, planning or completing task
  • Difficulty in multi-tasking

Issues with executive functioning often leads to a low self-esteem, moodiness, insecurities, avoiding difficult task. and low motivation

Managing Executive Functions Issues
  • Create visual aids
  • use apps for time management and productivity
  • Request written instructions
  • Create schedule and review at least twice a day
  • Create checklist