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Weeks Law Firm

Atwood Gameros LLP

The Warren Center

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Notre Dame School of Dallas

The Humble Law Firm, PLLC

Disability Rights Texas

Underwood Perkins, PC

Fall Conference

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8:00 AM - Registration & Coffee
9:00 AM - Welcome & Keynote
10:30 AM - Breakout I
12:00 PM - Lunch
1:15 PM - Breakout II
2:45 PM - Refreshment Break
3:00 PM - Breakout III
4:30 PM - Conference Closes
*Resource Fair open from 8 AM - 4:30 PM

$50 Individuals; $15 Self Advocates
Includes snacks, lunch, and handouts
Online registration closes September 5

CEUs available for social workers with certificates of attendance for educators and therapists.

Conference Overview
Each year, the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas’ annual conference brings together members of the community to learn from our collective accomplishments and the expertise of professionals. This conference serves as a platform to share cutting-edge developments and information from specialists in their respective fields, as it relates to Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. You’ll experience first class presenters and hands on sessions full of information you can take back to your homes, businesses and classrooms and use immediately.

Who should attend?
Parents, educators, medical professionals, service providers, direct care staff, and advocates are all encouraged to attend. Our goal is to provide attendees with practical information and tools to help individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities be independent and lead productive, fulfilling lives.

Resource Fair
The conference also provides a great opportunity to network with fellow participants and to shop the resource fair for products and information that will help support people with intellectual disabilities both at home and at school. Be sure to stop by the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas table to find out more about our programs and resources available.

Presenters and Sessions
Stacy Taylor, MA, B.C.B.A., President Advance Behavior & Learning and Advance Learning Academy, Orlando, FL
Keynote: The Basics of Behavior - Behavior can be frustrating and confusing, but the good news is that there is a science of learning and behavior that can help you better address any behavioral concerns you have no matter what age or stage your child is in.  It is important to understand the basics of behavior because once you do, you can apply them to a variety of situations in your child’s life.  

Early Intervention Tips and Tricks - Families who have infants and toddlers with a disability are often confused about how to best promote early learning and development at home.  We know that this is a critical period of time, but what can you really do with a baby?  Well…LOTS! Come and find out strategies that early interventionists use so you can help get your little one off to a great start.

Developing & Implementing Behavior Plans like a Boss - What do you do when problem behaviors occur? Are these behaviors dysfunctional?  Absolutely not!  Participants will learn how to find the function in what many consider “dysfunctional” behavior.  We will discuss prevention and effective consequences.  These principles and strategies are best practices in the science of learning and behavior and they are exactly what you need to understand in order to help develop and implement an effective plan for your child.

Innovative Effective Teaching Strategies - Learning is not one size fits all and teaching shouldn’t be either. It’s important to meet your child where he is and find ways to motivate him to be excited about learning. Participants will learn new ways to help their child learn some familiar skills. When teaching is a fun, engaging, positive experience, our children will want to be there with us, participating and learning will happen.

Julie Harmon, Inclusion Coordinator, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Inclusive College Opportunities-Options from Around the Country - College inclusion is offering academic, social, and career opportunities for many students with Down syndrome across the country and in July 2016 Colorado legislators passed the Inclusive Higher Education Act, Colorado now has three different college inclusion opportunities.   Come and learn about the legislative work needed to make this dream a reality and how supports and services can make college inclusion work.

Solving The Mystery of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- This practical, hands-on session will de-mystify the IEP process, teach ways of becoming an effective communicator and explore communication skills that can open doors to total IEP team membership. Participants will be guided through three main stages of the IEP: preparing for the IEP meeting, the content of the IEP, and implementation and follow up of the IEP.

You Got A Friend in Me - This interactive session will explore strategies to assist children in developing meaningful friendships and the key elements of friendship facilitation. We will also gain some insights about friendships from Buzz and Woody, of Toy Story fame.

Natalie Hale, Award winning author, parent, and innovative educator, Special Reads for Special Needs
Whole Child Reading: a Brain-Based, High Interest Approach that Works for All Ages - Attendees will be led through an effective plan to teach reading to learners of any age with Down syndrome. Reading success is achieved through “Going in through the heart and teaching to the brain,” and the most effective methods, materials, and motivation guidelines will be covered.

Make-and-Take Personal Books and Modified Trade Books - Attendees will be led through creating a Personal Book for their learner, and will be helped to modify a "trade book" (popular book) specific to that learner's interest. Attendees must bring a trade book for modifying. All other materials are provided.

Daniel Stein, founder of Special Strong, and Tara Boring, Functional Nutritionist 
Fitness & Nutrition for a Healthy Life - On the fitness side, attendees will learn functional exercises for the special needs population that strengthen the core and help reduce meltdowns.  On the nutrition side, attendees will learn about the "brain-gut" connection and get strategies to implement in their own homes. In addition, attendees will hear real stories about how some of our own clients with special needs have overcome depression, meltdowns, bloating, digestive problems, and more!

Chris & Bennett McKee, Kari & Brandt Urban, and Kelly & Alana Drablos
Employer Panel - This session will focus on the opportunities and challenges associated with employment for people with intellectual disabilities.  Panelists will share their personal experiences with ample time for question and answer.