Writing: From Encoding to Empowerment

Workshop Description

This day-long workshop will offer research evidence and strategies along with hands-on opportunities to explore materials and experience techniques. Participants will examine the foundations of writing, including spelling instruction, and the levels of writing competence that lead to big picture opportunities to influence the thinking of others. Best practices for writing instruction and their neurobiological underpinnings will be discussed. Specifically, participants will examine the effects of learning disorders on the various ages and stages of writing skill development and the instructional practices that promote achievement. This workshop will also include a discussion of the science that links growth in social-emotional learning to the writing process. A framework for integrating process and skill with the development of social-emotional competencies will be presented.

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Diana Black Kennedy is a Board Certified Educational Therapist in private practice in San Anselmo, California. She works with neurodiverse students, including those with learning disabilities and challenges, and those diagnosed as twice exceptional. Diana’s prior teaching experience spans second grade through high school in rural, urban, and suburban settings and in public and private schools. She has presented to professionals across the county and internationally, and she blogs about education at www.MindSparkLearning.com.

Disclosure: Financial – Diana Kennedy receives an honorarium from AET. Nonfinancial – No relevant relationships to disclose.

Participants will be able to:

  • List the four levels of writing (word, sentence, paragraph, and composition) and describe the components of each.
  • Explain the possible breakdowns at each writing level and connect them to implicated learning disabilities and processes.
  • Describe the effects of ADHD and Executive Functioning on each level of writing and evaluate potential remediation strategies.
  • Integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) with writing instruction.

Save the Date!
Friday, March 13, 2020

7:45 AM: Registration
8:30 AM: Presentation begins
12:30 PM:Lunch
1:30 PM: Presentation resumes
4:00 PM: Presentation concludes
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Post-workshop Wine & Cheese Reception

(Breaks at 10:30 AM & 2:45 PM)


Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave,
Chicago, IL 60602

RSVP to the Post-workshop Wine & Cheese Reception HERE.
This program is offered for .6 ASHA CEUs
(Intermediate level, Professional area).

This program is offered for:
AET: 6 CE hours
ASHA: 0.6 CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)
ISBE: 6 hours of CPD
NASP: 6 hours of CPD
Illinois Professionals (LSW, LCSW, LPC, LCPC, Licensed Psychologist): 6 hours of CE credit


This workshop is designed for professionals who would like to learn more about the foundations of writing, its neurobiological underpinnings, and best instructional practices for promoting achievement in writing for students with learning disorders, ADHD and deficits in executive functioning.

  • Educational Therapists
  • Professional Counselors
  • Learning Specialists
  • Classroom Teachers
  • Developmental Therapists
  • Psychotherapists
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Educational Diagnosticians


The Association of Educational Therapists (AET) is the national professional association for educational therapists. AET defines and sets standards for the professional practice of educational therapy. Educational therapists provide a broad range of individualized educational interventions for children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges.