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

5 ADHD Organization Tools That Never Work for Me – and 5 That Do

Published by: ADDitude
Written by: April Jackson

All my life, I’ve had practically everyone – therapists, teachers, coworkers, family – try to force on me a variety of tools and techniques to make my life with ADHD a little easier. The truth? Most of their solutions have never worked for me.

One unspoken burden of ADHD is trying to explain to others — ADHD or not — why I still struggle even after trying their, forgive me, useless tools. If it works for me, it’ll work on you.

Given ADHD’s wide-ranging symptoms, not to mention our individual strengths and weaknesses, it makes sense that one person’s treasured tools and strategies are another person’s trash.

Here are some of the organizational tools that I was forced to use over and over again to no avail, and other ones that actually helped – a lot! Click here to read the rest of the story

 

Why my son’s ADHD makes remote school a daily struggle — and how to ease the pain

Published by Yahoo Sport
Written by: Kamilah Newton

Between remote learning and working from home, every parent I know is struggling now more than ever to maintain a semblance of normalcy — or, if you’re like me, sanity. While on some days I do feel equipped to help my 6-year-old son with his second grade assignments, most days lately, between his work and mine, feel insurmountable.

That’s especially true because my son has ADHD — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — which makes the realities that are already hard for absolutely everyone seem even harder.

A quick peek into my reality: breakfasts reheated six times over, and sometimes no full meal before 2 p.m., despite breastfeeding my 6-month-old daughter throughout the day. Once-normal household happenings — a package delivery, for example, which wakes the dog and then the infant — are now major nuisances and distractions. And sleep has been elusive, to say the least. Most days I have my partner to lean on, but even he is working two jobs amid the growing pandemic. Click here to read the rest of the story

Low Tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) You Should Know About

You may be working with a child or an adult that uses an AAC communication device. Are you familiar with low-tech AAC devices?

According to Beukelman and Mirenda (2013), an estimated 1.3 percent of Americans cannot meet their daily needs communication needs using natural speech. Using low-tech AAC is one way to help children and adults with limited communication skills.

What is AAC?

AAC or Augmentative and Alternative Communication includes various methods of communication systems including communication devices, strategies and tools that helps a person communicate their wants, needs and thoughts specifically for children and adults who have limited communication skills.

What are the benefits of using AAC?

Studies show improvement in language development, literacy and communication among users including the use of picture exchange. There is also research that shows people working with an AAC are able to:

  • take turns appropriately
  • request items
  • decrease challenging behavior
  • improve receptive and expressive skills.
Who uses an AAC?

Children with developmental delays including motor, cognitive and physical limitations including children and adults with:

AAC Terminology You Should Know

Communication board- based on the cognitive and physical ability of the person, it is often organized by topic

Eye gaze- used in low-tech AAC by the person looking at an object and selecting the correct item using either the communication board or booklet.

Low-Tech- basic communication aids that include pictures, letters, words, symbols, communication board or picture books that cannot be changed or altered.

The following are links tp AAC core words:

AAC Core Words

70 kids picture books to target core vocabulary AAC (Omazing Kids)

100 High Frequency Core Word List (AAC Language Lab)

Core Word of the Week– The Center for AAC and Autism

Teaching Core Vocabulary– (Praatical AAC)

Low Tech AAC Boards

Eat, Think and Speak– a blog written for medical Speech and Language Pathologist on topics relating to swallowing, communication and cognition. Provides a blog article on free low-tech material including a wide variety of premade communication boards

Project Core– Provide free sample lesson plans focusing on talking with one word at a time to using correct grammar and word order.

 

Couple Start Outdoor Classroom For Kids With Special Needs

Published by: Disability Scoop
Written by: Emily Bamforth, Advance Ohio Media/TNS

CLEVELAND — Akron Public Schools offered Lyra Thomas, a student with Down syndrome, specialized therapy, support in the classroom and a social network.

Lyra, 8, was on track to match her peers when the pandemic hit, parents Max Thomas and Holly Christensen said. But when schools closed in the spring, she fell behind. The district is still in remote learning, as the board of education looks to pinpoint a time for return as coronavirus cases in the state spike again.

But Lyra’s education couldn’t wait. So Thomas and Christensen bought a tent and set up a pop-up classroom in the backyard. They opened the classroom to other local learners with disabilities, and hired recent Kent State graduate Declan McCaslin, or “Mr. M,” to lead lessons and help the kids navigate remote learning and appointments. Click here to read the rest of the story