Separating Fact From Fiction: A Comprehensive Look at the Current Research on ADHD
Part 1: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM CDT
Part 2: 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM CDT

Stephen Hinshaw, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

In his discussion, Dr. Hinshaw will focus on the confluence of biological risk and environmental/contextual supports essential for understanding ADHD. Next, he will consider how ADHD exists and develops in girls and women. Far from the myth that ADHD is largely if not exclusively a “guy thing,” he will focus on the historical neglect of ADHD in females – and highlight lifespan findings from the Berkeley Girls with ADHD Longitudinal Study to examine the high risk that girls with ADHD incur for depression, low achievement, self-harm, and unplanned pregnancy as they traverse adolescence and adulthood. Included will be important information about the high rates of stigma that are still attached to people with ADHD, especially girls and women. Dr. Hinshaw will conclude with a review of evidence-based treatments for ADHD, along with information on interventions that are often touted but don't meet the evidentiary standards needed.

This presentation will be a three-hour advanced review of the following core questions:

What is ADHD, and what's not ADHD?
Why does it remain so controversial these days?
What are the core biological, psychological, social-familial, and school-related roots of ADHD?
How does the "presentation" of ADHD differ across development?
Despite the clear role of genes in predicting ADHD behavior patterns, how do parenting and peer interactions interface with the underlying biology?

Participants will be able to: analyze the role of (a) heritable dimensions of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity and (b) contextual/environmental factors that predict intensification or improvement in ADHD-related impairments; apply principles of the “gender paradox” and historical neglect of ADHD in females to the developmental course and treatment implications for females with ADHD; compare and contrast the relative benefits of medication and psychosocial interventions for ADHD, in terms of both symptoms and impairments.

Stephen Hinshaw, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Department Chair from 2004 to 2011. He is also a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Hinshaw’s work focuses on developmental psychopathology, clinical interventions with children and adolescents (particularly mechanisms underlying therapeutic change), and mental illness stigma. He has directed research programs and conducted clinical trials and longitudinal studies for boys and—more recently—for girls with inattention and impulse-control problems (who often express many comorbid disorders).


Cultivating Connection: Social/Emotional Learning During Educational Therapy Sessions
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

Polly Mayer, MEd, ET/P
Assistant Professor and Director of the Educational Therapy Program, Holy Names University

Do you have students who are masters at avoiding their work? Do you want to learn how to interrupt this inclination, replacing avoidance with attitudes and behaviors that promote success? This session will discuss how to create a climate where students feel safe enough to practice “the hard stuff” or non-preferred tasks. Behavior is a form of communication and understanding its source can provide insight into counter-productive actions. Participants will explore brain-friendly strategies to diffuse anxiety by incorporating art, movement, and sound into therapy sessions. An approach that encourages thinking outside the brain will be introduced, and mini-case studies and attendee participation will be featured.

Participants will be able to: explain the impact of structural racism on learners; interpret and describe hidden and adaptive benefits of behaviors; demonstrate the concept of thinking outside the brain; identify strategies to support anxious learners.

Polly Mayer, MEd, ET/P, is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Educational Therapy Program at Holy Names University. Previously, she worked as a classroom teacher, private practice educational therapist, and Director at Raskob Learning Institute. Polly chairs AET’s Professional Affairs Committee and is an active member of the Social Justice subcommittee under Public Policy.

Empowering Neurodivergent Learners by Helping Them Understand Their Uniquely Wired Brains
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

Liz Angoff, PhD, LEP
Licensed Educational Psychologist

Talking to kids about learning and developmental differences is tricky! Yet, without these critical conversations, children tend to create their own narratives to explain why things are hard – and these narratives are often negative and isolating. As a result, too many children experience anxiety and depression in addition to learning challenges. Educational therapists and specialists are uniquely positioned to help kids change this narrative and their relationship to learning.

In this session, participants will learn a five-step approach to help children develop an accurate and hopeful self-narrative, using empowering and personalized language to explain a diagnosis or difference. This research-based approach uses collaborative, growth mindset, and neurodiversity-affirming frameworks to show students the power of their incredible brains!

Participants will be able to: identify the five steps for talking to kids about their unique profile in an empowering and neurodiversity-affirming way; describe the common strengths and challenges of neurodivergent profiles in child-friendly language; practice creating a personalized definition of a diagnosis for a specific child; develop a resource of videos and websites to support the idea that neurodiverse children are not alone and are instead members of a large community of valued people with diverse brains.

Liz Angoff, PhD, LEP, is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with a Diplomate in School Neuropsychology. She provides assessment and consultation services to children and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area. Liz is the author of The Brain Building Book and Brain Building 101, tools for helping children and adolescents understand their learning and developmental differences.

Shall We Play a Game? Engaging Reluctant Learners through Gamification and Game-Based Learning Activities
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

Bonnie Massimino, MEd, BCET
Educational Therapist

Although repetition is imperative for mastery, many students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and executive functioning challenges lack the motivation to engage in complex or tedious tasks. One way to improve learning outcomes and increase desired behavior is by incorporating gamification and game-based instruction into learning activities. This workshop will explore how learning and motivation theories can support our efforts to improve student engagement and participation in goal-directed behaviors. The core features and benefits of gamification and game-based learning activities for students with learning challenges and reluctant learners will be identified. Participants will discover how to choose, design, and implement interactive and engaging activities that enhance learning objectives related to educational therapy goals. Customizable examples will be shared that: can be utilized in-person or in distance/e-learning settings; have free and low-cost options; and can be applied to various learning objectives and age/grade levels.

Participants will be able to: explain the impact of gamification and game-based learning activities on student engagement and motivation toward goal-directed behaviors; describe how to analyze and evaluate features of interactive activities to determine appropriateness in relation to educational therapy goals; synthesize knowledge of activities to develop tools for customization of activities for specific therapy goals; develop and expand resources related to in-person and virtual motivators that engage learners through gamified incentives and activities.

Bonnie Massimino, MEd, BCET, is a certified special education teacher and reading specialist with over 25 years of experience working with children and adults with learning disabilities, attention disorders, and executive functioning challenges. She is AET’s Chair of Program Services and leads the AET Virtual Study Group.

Boundaries Are Us: Promoting Healthy Boundaries for Awesome Learning Environments for ALL
3:15 PM - 4:45 PM CDT

Drew Lau-Regent, MA, Academic Coordinator for Upward Bound, Holy Names University & Pamm Scribner, MEd, BCET, Educational Therapist

Do you set boundaries with your clients? As educational therapists, boundaries create essential personal and professional structures that support and help define the client-therapist relationship. Difficulties with healthy boundaries can create situations that detract from session goals, leading to confusion for clients, families, allied professionals, and colleagues. Developed through direct experience and supported by research, this session will discuss the six components that comprise the Boundary Framework, which focuses on identifying, implementing, and maintaining boundaries that create a supportive learning environment for each client. Relevant research, real-life experiences, and case studies affirming this approach will be shared.

Participants will be able to: summarize the Boundary Framework’s six components and explain how to apply them to professional practice; identify boundaries that support two core values; describe how to implement boundaries; explain how to maintain and revise boundaries.

Drew Lau-Regent, MA, is an Associate Educational Therapist and College Advisor/Career Planner. With a bachelor’s degree in biophysics and prior STEM work experience, she integrates science, biotech, and education into her daily work with students. Drew coaches clients to set and maintain boundaries while navigating life transitions and building self-advocacy skills.

Pamm Scribner, MEd, BCET, is an educational therapist in private practice in the San Francisco North Bay Area. Her professional focus includes the intervention of executive function challenges and reading and math disabilities. Pamm chairs the AET Membership Committee and serves as Secretary of the Association. In October, Pamm assumed the position of AET President-elect.

The Case of Maya: What is Engagement? Can Engagement Actually Improve Learning?
3:15 PM - 4:45 PM CDT

Marion Marshall, MS, BCET, FAET
Emerita Professor, Holy Names University

Distance learning during the Covid pandemic revealed an obvious challenge with student engagement, defined as the degree of attention, curiosity, and interest a student shows when learning. Emotional engagement enhances student motivation and reduces the sense of isolation, while a student’s interests can create greater focus, sustained attention, and deeper learning. Research has validated the connections between engagement and motivation, perseverance, self-regulation, and learning. These factors are especially relevant in the online space of distance learning.

The progress of “Maya” in this case study over one year will demonstrate the effectiveness of combining engagement techniques, neuropsychological principles, reading comprehension, and written language strategies during virtual educational therapy sessions. Pre- and post-neuropsychological assessments document the remarkable gains made by this student. Key features of the essential clinical supports and advocacy strategies in the virtual learning environment will be discussed.

Participants will be able to: describe engagement's role in learning; connect motivational strategies to their own practice; identify the neuropsychological principles applied to the case; explain the connections between reading saliency and writing.

Marion Marshall, MS, BCET, FAET, is an Emerita Professor and former Director of the Holy Names University Educational Therapy Program. She holds teaching credentials in regular and special education and is the author of Assessment in Educational Therapy and Virtual Educational Therapy: A Case Study of Clinical Supports and Advocacy.

Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices: Teaching Self-Regulation Through Mindfulness to Children and Adolescents
3:15 PM - 4:45 PM CDT

Donald D. Matthews, PsyD
Education Specialist, Academic Psychologist

Teachers are often the first to glimpse into the psyche of a child and discover past events and possibly adverse childhood experiences that may be signs of situational or complex trauma. Educational therapists in collaboration with teachers are in a unique position to promote metacognitive awareness and provide support for students who have experienced trauma. Appropriate practices and methods are commonly called “trauma-informed” or “trauma-sensitive” and are used to reduce traumatic reactions and disruptive behavior during instruction, to reduce student reactivity and emotional distress, and to teach adaptive behaviors that will support the student’s social, emotional, and academic growth. This presentation addresses how children are impacted by trauma, and how educational therapists and teachers can mediate the effects of trauma on self-regulation and learning through mindfulness.

Participants will be able to: develop an operational definition for "trauma-informed teaching practices”; describe the "ARC" model for trauma-informed teaching practices; summarize the research that supports mindfulness-based interventions as trauma-informed teaching practices; develop their own mindful breathing practice as a trauma-informed response to teaching self-regulation to children and adolescents..

Donald D. Matthews, PsyD, is a retired K-12 teacher, academic psychologist, educational therapist, and mindfulness practitioner. He has over a decade of experience teaching workshops and coaching students and teachers in metacognitive thinking strategies, social-emotional learning, and self-regulation through mindfulness. Donald is the founder of the Mindful Breathing Institute, a professional affiliate of APA Division 15 (Educational Psychology), and a member of the Society for Health Psychology.


Assistive Technology for Supporting Individuals With Memory and Executive Functioning Deficits
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM CDT

Thomas Lyles, MEd
Twice Exceptional Specialist

How can you help your distracted, forgetful, disorganized, and overwhelmed students and clients become more confident and self-reliant learners? Free or low-cost desktop and mobile solutions to support memory, planning, note-taking, and organization are vital supports. Assistive technology can help educators differentiate instruction and guide students to perform with greater independence. As mobile device use has become ubiquitous, the stigma associated with AT has vanished. Yet all the technology in the world won’t help improve a student’s organization, time management, or scheduling skills if it isn’t consistently incorporated into their daily routine. Learn from a former educator living with inattentive ADHD and a non-traumatic brain injury (which feels like ADHD on steroids!) about the most effective assistive technology available to support memory, executive functioning, and learning.

Participants will be able to: match assistive technology and accessibility tools to their clients’ and students’ particular strengths, learning needs, and goals; determine when a third-party app offers benefits over a device’s built-in tools; compare/contrast the merits of paid apps against free apps; choose apps that match users’ budgets and privacy needs.

Thomas Lyles, MEd, is a former K-12 special education teacher, educational therapist, and employment and transition specialist. His interest in assistive technology developed out of his direct experience helping students with learning differences become independent learners and his work with educators seeking strategies to differentiate instruction. Thomas has presented on the topic of AT at educational conferences across the nation.

Scope of Practice in the Covid Era: Appropriately Addressing Students’ Post-Trauma Needs
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM CDT

Kaye Ragland, EdD, LMFT, BCET 
Educational Therapist

Help! I can’t cope! We have all been through the slow-motion trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic, and one way or another, it has impacted our well-being. Designed to provide attendees with useable post-pandemic information and intervention tools, this session explores common social, emotional, psychological, and academic responses to the challenges of the past two years. We will focus on specific techniques for addressing these difficulties within an educational therapist’s scope of practice. In addition, attendees will learn how to determine when an issue is outside the realm of our expertise and when referrals should be made, including when mandated child abuse reporting should be considered. Topics discussed can also be generalized outside the pandemic’s context and apply to social, emotional, and psychological issues encountered under more typical practice conditions.

Participants will be able to: describe common emotional, psychological, and academic responses to the Covid-19 pandemic; explain the role of the educational therapist in post-Covid intervention; apply techniques that address clients’ social-emotional issues within the scope of practice; assess when it is appropriate to refer to other professionals, including child abuse reporting.

Kaye Ragland, EdD, LMFT, BCET, FAET, holds an MA in Marriage, Family, Child Counseling, and an EdD in Educational Leadership and Change. Kaye has a private educational therapy practice and is AET’s Immediate Past President. She has been a director of special education for a consortium of independent charter schools, a classroom and RSP teacher, a school counselor, and a private elementary school principal.

Strengths & Talents Rock! Tools That Reveal Our Cognitively Diverse Learners at Their Best
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM CDT

Cynthia Z. Hansen, Ed.D., ET/P 
Educational Therapist, Twice-Exceptional Consultant

Honoring twice-exceptional learners’ strengths, interests, and talents supports their growth and development. Acknowledging the power of this observation is the first step; taking action to discover those strengths, interests, and talents is the next. This session will review the theory behind a strength-based, talent-focused support system for twice-exceptional (2e) learners. Participants will be introduced to a collection of tools that reveal a 2e student’s joys, interests, learning preferences, personality quirks, intensities, and family perspectives. Educational therapists, families, and counselors can use these evaluative tools to create a portrait of a cognitively diverse individual and communicate this awareness in ways that will enrich a student’s growth and success. Strategies for implementation in a school setting to discover the collaborative potential of a classroom of cognitively divergent individuals will be shared. The discussion will also focus on how these tools may reveal the gifted and talented potential of traditionally underserved and unrecognized children.

Participants will be able to: describe and utilize a variety of interest and strength-based tools; implement learned concepts as interventions for underrepresented populations; apply the presented data within their professional setting (school-wide, specific population, or individual learners).

Cynthia Z. Hansen, EdD, ET/P, is a Twice-Exceptional Consultant, working to facilitate the growth of gifted and creative individuals with ADHD, dyslexia, and complex learning profiles. A California credentialed teacher, Cindy is president of the Tri-County GATE Council in Southern California and a facilitator for the Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) parent groups.

3D Bridge From Phonemic Awareness to Reading: Effective Ways to Teach Essential Skills
11:15 AM - 12:45 PM CDT

Mary-Margaret Scholtens, MSE, Executive Director, The APPLE Group & Kelly Fowler, Director of Training and Outreach, The APPLE Group

We know that phonemic awareness is necessary for reading. We know that students learn more when they are engaged. Combining these certainties into 3D instruction adds a new level to any phonemic awareness (PA) or Structured Literacy lesson by teaching in three dimensions. Phonemic objects aren’t just for teaching initial consonant sounds anymore. Learn how to explicitly teach blending, segmenting, manipulating, and substituting phonemes – proficiencies needed for orthographic mapping success.

I do, we do, you do? Take that DO to the next level with an engaging, interactive, three-dimensional learning component that provides a bridge from phonemic awareness to reading. Participants will see and hear how to teach foundational reading skills in 3D and will also experience PA assessment and goal setting. The presenters will share a phonemic awareness screener, and attendees will receive samples of take-home phonemic objects.

Participants will be able to: describe and utilize informal diagnostic surveys of phonological and phoneme awareness; explain and apply considerations (task analysis) for levels of phonological sensitivity; explain and apply considerations (task analysis) for phonemic awareness difficulties; describe and apply considerations (task analysis) for the progression of phonemic awareness skill development.

Mary-Margaret Scholtens, MSE, is the Executive Director of The APPLE Group and author of the well-known CONNECTIONS: OG in 3D science-based reading curriculum. Mary-Margaret is the National Right to Read Foundation Teacher of the Year for her work in evidence-based, structured literacy.

Kelly Fowler is a Certified Dyslexia Therapist, Certified Academic Language Therapist, and serves as the Director of Outreach and Training at The APPLE Group. She collaborates with school districts and universities that are working to implement science-based reading and counsels parents as an advocate for dyslexia.

Impact of the Educational Therapist’s Therapeutic Relationship on Learning: Replacing the “Bad,” “Stupid,” Lazy,” and “Crazy” Incorrect Self-Diagnoses With Success
11:15 AM - 12:45 PM CDT

Sheryl Pruitt, MEd, ET/P
Clinical Director of Parkaire Consultants

According to AET, educational therapy aims to foster the development of self-confident, independent individuals who feel positively about themselves and their potential as lifelong learners. The therapeutic relationship is essential in educational therapy and is key to achieving this goal. A therapeutic relationship makes the student feel safe and available for learning after experiencing failure. Recognizing this feature is central to distinguishing educational therapy from academic tutoring and improving therapy outcomes. Many of the problems causing the student to fail, including the impact of anxiety and depression on learning, will be shared during this session, and strategies to offset their effects will be presented. In addition, the session will emphasize the importance of the student and family having access to accurate information about underlying diagnoses and medical conditions. A reeducation process to correct misinformation about sources of academic challenges will be discussed.

Participants will be able to: describe the importance of the therapeutic relationship in educational therapy; explain how negative behavioral responses can result from an inability to meet academic demands; describe the impact of undiagnosed disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression) on learning; employ the reeducation process that accompanies educational therapy to correct misinformation about the nature of the disability and diffuse blame and judgment; apply three or more alternative learning techniques of the educational therapist that go beyond subject matter information and foster deep learning.

Sheryl K. Pruitt, MEd, ET/P, is the Clinical Director of Parkaire Consultants, a multidisciplinary clinic serving complex neurologically impaired individuals. She is a co-author of Teaching the Tiger; Tigers, Too and its supplement, Challenging Kids, Challenged Teachers. Sheryl also co-authored the educational chapter in the Oxford Press medical text Tourette Syndrome.

Math Anxiety and Stereotype Threat: The Role of Emotion in Math Learning
11:15 AM - 12:45 PM CDT

Christina Post, EdM, ET/P
Educational Therapist

Emotion and learning are deeply intertwined for students suffering from math anxiety. Approximately 93% of Americans report having some level of math anxiety, and a meta-analysis of relevant research showed that ameliorating math anxiety results in academic gains of 20 percentile points. Why is the impact so profound? Math anxiety directly interferes with working memory, an executive function needed to hold and manipulate numbers in the mind. Recent research shows that math anxiety also reduces processing efficiency and attentional control, suggesting more far-reaching consequences than previously realized. Therefore, understanding how negative emotion interferes with math cognition is crucial information for mounting effective math learning interventions. In this discussion, we will learn how math anxiety and stereotype threat develop, how these factors affect our ability to learn math, and how specific intervention strategies incorporated into our practice as educational therapists can counteract negative emotional impacts.

Participants will be able to: differentiate between math anxiety and stereotype threat and identify the cause of each; describe the mechanism by which math anxiety can affect math learning; list and identify the signs of math anxiety and how to determine when it is present as a confounding factor in math intervention work; utilize multiple options for intervention strategies during math learning sessions

Cristina Post, EdM, has a degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research focused on the cognitive effects of math anxiety on learning. She has taught at kindergarten through graduate school levels and is now a private practice educational therapist specializing in math intervention.

Building a Shared Reality: Using Classroom Simulations to Destigmatize Academic Accommodations
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM CDT

Annie Tornabene, MEd
Associate Educational Therapist, Director of Student Support, Learning Specialist, DEI Coordinator, AMP Educational Therapy LLC

Over the last two decades, the fairness of academic accommodations has been hotly debated among educational stakeholders, creating a palpable tension between students with and without accommodations in schools. Research indicates that students with learning challenges often do not utilize their eligible accommodations to avoid being singled out by peers. In contrast, neurotypical students have reported feeling uncomfortable or bothered by peers with learning challenges. In this presentation, participants will discover how engaging students in short tasks that simulate specific learning challenges affect students’ perceptions of academic accommodations, such as extended time. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in sample simulations and discuss their firsthand experiences. Through this process, educational professionals will gain a nuanced understanding of the experiences of their students with learning challenges and walk away with strategies for facilitating an appreciation for diverse learning needs among neurotypical peers.

Participants will be able to: describe the personal impact of simulated learning challenges on task performance; adapt an intervention model for utilizing learning simulations to combat social stigmas among students; identify specific accommodations to minimize the impact of learning challenges on academic task completion.

Annie Tornabene, MEd, is Director of Student Support, Middle School Learning Specialist, and DEI Coordinator at a K-12 independent school in California. In addition, she owns and provides educational therapy services at AMP Educational Therapy LLC.

Social Communication in College and Beyond: Supporting Young Adults’ Social-Emotional Learning
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM CDT

Laurel Grigg Mason, MA, Director, Bartlett Labs, University of Arizona SALT Center & Roxana Samaniego, PhD, Director, Clinical Services, University of Arizona SALT Center

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) can impact social communication abilities and pose a challenge when social communication demands increase as children grow into young adults. Social communication skills (and the thinking behind them) are rarely taught explicitly, and young people with NDDs may be at a disadvantage in the post-secondary or workplace environment. They may experience challenges making and maintaining friendships with peers, developing supportive relationships with professors, colleagues, or supervisors, and advocating for their own needs. This session will present key elements of emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning, critical areas impacted by social communication difficulties in the college setting, and a three-tiered approach to supporting social communication skill development in young adults to optimize their academic performance and social success.

Participants will be able to: explain critical components of emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning that influence social communication; explain the importance of social communication in specific areas of post-secondary or workplace success; describe how to implement different levels of support for communication skill development and social-emotional learning with young adults.

Laurel Grigg Mason, MA, is the Director of Bartlett Labs at the University of Arizona SALT Center. She supervises student assessment, pilots new services, and collaborates on research projects. Her doctoral work in Higher Education focuses on college access and success for disabled students.

Roxana Samaniego, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and Director of Clinical Services at the University of Arizona SALT Center. She oversees psychological and wellness support and supervises psychology trainees in clinical skill development.

The Susan Fogelson Ethics Panel
2:45 PM - 5:45 PM CDT

Moderatored by Judith Brennan, MEd, BCET, FAET
Panelists: Jennifer Doyle, MEd, BCET, Ann Gordon, PhD, BCET, Diana Black Kennedy, MA, BCET, Gaye Pettibone, MA, PsyD, BCET

Educational therapists periodically encounter practice dilemmas that must be handled ethically and effectively. Have you ever struggled to resolve a disagreement with a parent, teacher, or allied professional? Do you find it challenging to manage boundaries when faced with a parent who demands excessive time and drains your emotional energy? What helpful information might you learn by analyzing your feelings about that parent? Who can you consult for advice and support?

Business practices can also present ethical dilemmas. Is it difficult to set fees or discuss fee collection with clients? How do you represent yourself professionally on your business cards, website, or brochures? How do you adapt your practice to an online format? A panel of Board Certified Educational Therapists moderated by Judith Brennan will discuss ethical issues that often arise in the practice of educational therapy. The panel will offer anecdotes from private practice and settings such as schools, clinics, and learning centers. The presentation will include ample time for questions and discussion of specific case examples from the audience.

Participants will be able to: generate solutions when there are disagreements between educational therapists and other professionals or parents; decide when professional consultation is needed to understand and maintain boundaries that promote healthy relationships with difficult parents; identify areas of business practice that often present us with practical and/or ethical dilemmas.

A former elementary school teacher, Judith Brennan had a private educational therapy practice for over 20 years, working with students from kindergarten through high school. She founded an AET Study Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has served on AET’s Board of Directors in various capacities, including as president of the association. Judith is currently chair of the Ethics Subcommittee and a director on the AET Board.

Jennifer Doyle has over 20 years of experience in education. She received her MEd from Bank Street College in New York and has worked as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and private practitioner. Currently, Jennifer is an educational therapist at PDX Reading Specialist in Oregon. She is passionate about developing curricula that can ignite creativity, excitement, and joy so that all students can feel successful.

Ann Gordon is a psychotherapist in private practice in Oakland and San Rafael, California. She has spent more than 50 years working with children, adults, and families in educational, research, and clinical settings. In the 1980s Ann founded a group practice in educational therapy and in the 1990s relocated to California. She conducted classroom-based research at UC Berkeley, became licensed as a clinical psychologist, and opened her private practice. Currently, Ann provides support to individuals, couples, and families, and consults with staff at several residential programs for developmentally disabled adults.

Diana Kennedy has a thriving educational therapy practice in San Anselmo, California. Her previous classroom teaching experience spans second grade through high school; rural, urban, and suburban settings; and public and private schools. For the last 13 years, Diana has worked one-on-one with diverse, unique, and wonderful students. She also teaches Structured Literacy for the UCSC Extension Educational Therapy Certificate Program. Diana presents nationally and internationally and blogs about education at

Gaye Pettibone is both an educational therapist and a postdoctoral registered psychologist who has worked with children ages three to 18 years. She holds a post-graduate certificate in educational therapy from UC Riverside and an MA in Special Education. Gaye completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a focus on neuropsychological and educational testing. She has over 20 years of teaching experience in the Los Angeles area and is a firm believer in empowering children to discover their strengths as learners.

Creating Systems & Structures that REALLY WORK With Complex Children, Teens & Young Adults
4:15 PM - 5:45 PM CDT

Elaine Taylor-Klaus, PCC, CPCC, CEO, & Jenny Aguilar, MEd, ET/P, Educational Therapist

Children, teens, and young adults with executive function challenges often resist the very structures and support they need most, especially when adults provide solutions without involving them in problem-solving. How can IECs help? Drawing from the behavioral foundations of professional coaching, change management principles, and the fundamentals of executive function, this interactive workshop introduces essential components to create and implement effective systems. Demonstrating that collaborative management is a core competency for professionals to cultivate ownership and independence for students, the role of motivation and its application to the long-term success of any system or structure will be introduced. This session guides professional providers to integrate foundational tools from the coach approach into their practice, providing practical solutions and an innovative framework for empowering young people to take ownership of their lives and education. 

Participants will be able to: explain key reasons that traditional systems and structures break down when attempting to support behavior change for complex students; identify four key frameworks that are necessary precursors for the development of effective systems; describe core components and how best to customize systems and structures to support a student’s needs; list five ways to help students find the motivation to apply systems and structures effectively.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus, PCC, CPCC, co-founded the first global, coaching organization ( for parenting neurodiverse kids. She trains providers and parents in collaborative problem-solving strategies and behavior management. Elaine is the co-author of Parenting ADHD Now! and author of The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety and More.

Jenny Aguilar, MEd, ET/P, is an educational therapist and founder of WeThrive Learning. She specializes in math and writing support for students with ADHD and is certified by as a Sanity School® behavior therapy program trainer.

Infodoodling: A Spoonful of Sugar
4:15 PM - 5:45 PM CDT

Jill Howe
Founder and Educational Specialist, Mind Sprout Chicago

This presentation will focus on unlocking the power to think differently through the techniques of infodoodling. We will discuss how these techniques appeal to students with specific learning styles, engage immersive thinking, and break the stigma that doodling is a distraction. Infodoodling can be used to plan time, take notes, and study every subject from science to literature. Jill will make the practice of infodoodling come alive by guiding participants through a few easy doodling techniques and tips. Please bring paper and markers! This engaging technique is suitable for both students and educational therapists alike.

Participants will be able to: describe how infodoodles can help students engage in activities that are commonly avoided; facilitate outside-of-the-box thinking through the freedom to use techniques such as word pictures, typography, fonts, captions, and other techniques; use and teach infodoodling as a new strategy for studying and note-taking; list ways that infodoodling can support students struggling with verbal reasoning and text-based lessons.

Jill Howe is the founder and educational specialist at Mind Sprout Chicago which focuses on executive function coaching. She is a professional storyteller (as on and has presented a TEDx Talk on vulnerability in personal storytelling. Jill is the resident storytelling instructor at Chicago’s Newberry Library and a past resident storyteller for the Field Museum. Her previous work experience includes teaching at a public high school and in private middle and high school classrooms for special needs students.