2024 Transforming Behavior Summit

The Details — Workshop Descriptions with Speaker Bios

Tackling Tough Situations

How to Be a Neuro-Affirming Parent or Teacher

In this empowering workshop, Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, and host Penny Williams dive deep into the principles of neuro-affirming parenting and teaching. Emily shares valuable insights on embracing the unique qualities and strengths of neurodivergent children, while also offering practical strategies for integrating these strengths into classrooms and homes. Learn how to cultivate authenticity, affirm diverse communication, refine environments, and embrace neurodivergent characteristics. Gain a new perspective on how to create a supportive and encouraging environment for neurodivergent individuals. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or caregiver, this workshop will provide you with actionable steps for nurturing and affirming neurodiversity.

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a neurodivergent person, is dedicated to destigmatizing neurodiversity and supporting neurodivergent people of all ages. She started her career in education and is now in private practice near St. Louis, Missouri as a licensed professional counselor, where she specializes in supporting neurodivergent kids and adults (and their families).

Emily hosts The Neurodiversity Podcast, which explores the psychological, educational, and social needs of neurodivergent people. She is the author of several books related to parenting and educating neurodivergent children and teens.

She speaks at statewide, national, and international conferences and frequently provides virtual and in-person professional development to educators, mental health clinicians, and parents worldwide. Many of her presentations and workshops can also be found at the Neurodiversity University online learning platform.

What to Do When Your Child is Dysregulated: Flight, Flight, Freeze & Shutdown

In this workshop, Emily Read Daniels, M.Ed., MBA, NCC, SEP™ — creator of The Regulated Classroom — and host Penny Williams discuss dysregulation and how to support kids through it. Learn how to create conditions for felt safety at home and in the classroom, and how to use sensory activities and nonverbal cues to help with regulation and emotional well-being. Discover strategies to help children regulate their emotions and behaviors, and gain insight into Emily’s tier one prevention framework. Get ready to create a more regulated and connected environment.

Emily Read Daniels, M.Ed., MBA, NCC, SEP™

Emily is the author and creator of The Regulated Classroom©, a former school counselor, and a proud soccer mum.

Daniels is an internationally recognized trauma specialist and trainer in the trauma-informed schools movement and has served thousands through in-person and virtual professional development training, workshops, conferences, webinars, and keynote addresses. Daniels and her work have been featured in the Associated Press, Fox News, ABC News, Los Angeles Times, and NPR.

Daniels holds an M.Ed. in School Counseling, an MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through NBCC (National Board of Certified Counselors). She continually refines her understanding of the applied science of trauma through training in varied modalities including Somatic Experiencing, SMART (Sensory-Motor Arousal Therapy), trauma-informed sensory modulation, Reiki, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

How to Help Kids Through Big Emotions

Neurodivergent children, including those with autism, ADHD, anxiety, and sensory processing issues, often struggle with managing their emotions and behaviors. In this workshop, Emily King, Ph.D. emphasizes proactive strategies and collaboration between parents and teachers to support children in navigating their big emotions. Discover how to recognize dysregulation, create safety, and work with professionals to develop coping strategies. Gain valuable tips for setting boundaries, maintaining physical presence, and adjusting support based on your child’s age and needs. Learn how to effectively respond to emotional outbursts, promote emotional regulation, and find resources for managing your child’s big emotions.

Emily King, Ph.D.

Dr. Emily King is a Child Psychologist, and former School Psychologist, who has worked with neurodivergent children and teens for the last 20 years. She received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is well-versed in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, DIR/Floortime, Conscious Discipline, and Social Thinking methodologies. Dr. Emily spent the first five years of her career as a School Psychologist in public elementary, middle, and high schools in Houston, Texas before returning home to Raleigh to open her private practice. Dr. Emily specializes in working with autistic children diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, giftedness, sensory processing differences, learning difficulties and/or twice-exceptionality.

Dr. Emily is also the founder of Learn with Dr. Emily® where she shares online resources for parents and teachers related to raising and educating neurodivergent youth. She has been featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, has been quoted in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and has written for Parents.com. Dr. Emily is passionate about empowering parents and educators to take care of themselves so they can be the adult that every neurodivergent child needs in their life. Dr. Emily is also a parent on this path of raising neurodivergent children herself. You can learn with Dr. Emily by reading her blog on Substack or listening to her podcast.

How to Get to the Bottom of Motivation Struggles

Leslie Josel is delving into practical strategies and solutions for parents and educators to support and motivate students at home and in the classroom. In this engaging workshop, you’ll discover how to uncover the underlying factors impacting motivation, and gain practical strategies to support and motivate. Learn how to harness movement, choice, and control to empower students in their learning journey. Say goodbye to the age-old assumption of sole reliance on intrinsic motivation, and welcome a fresh perspective on nurturing a motivating environment for students.

Leslie Josel

Leslie Josel, an award-winning ADHD-student and parenting coach, is the founder of Order Out Of Chaos® – a company whose mission is to help parents guide their students to success in learning and in life. She’s an award-winning author of three books, creator of the award-winning “Academic Planner: A Tool For Time Management®,” and an internationally acclaimed speaker.

Leslie has been named as one of the top time management experts in the world by Global Gurus seven years in a row. She continues to learn from her audiences, sharing her observations with readers of ADDitude Magazine in her weekly “Dear ADHD Family Coach®” column.

What to Do When Your Child/Student is Aggressive

Clinical psychologist Sharon Saline, Psy.D. shares valuable strategies for caregivers of aggressive neurodivergent kids, teens, and young adults. In this workshop, you’ll gain insights into understanding the root causes of aggressive and volatile behavior, and learn how to help neurodivergent individuals identify distress signals and develop regulating activities to manage outbursts. We discuss the importance of preservation of connection and attachment during challenging moments while offering practical tools and approaches to navigate intensity both at home and in public settings. Learn how to implement the Dr. Saline’s STAR method, create plans for outbursts, and build healthy distractions and boundaries during distressing moments.

Sharon Saline, Psy.D.

Sharon Saline, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author of the award-winning book, What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life and The ADHD solution card deck specializes in working with children, teens, adults and families living with ADHD, learning disabilities, twice exceptionality and mental health issues. With decades of experience as a clinical psychologist and educator/clinician consultant, she guides people towards a greater understanding about neurodivergence and to live with more productivity and connection. She lectures and facilitates workshops internationally on topics such as ADHD and neurodivergence, executive functioning, the anxiety spectrum, motivation, perfectionism and working with different kinds of learners.

Dr. Saline is on the advisory panel, serves as a contributing editor at ADDitudemag.com and hosts their weekly Facebook Live sessions. She also blogs for PsychologyToday.com, appears as a featured expert on MASS Appeal on WWLP-TV and is a part-time lecturer at the Smith School for Social Work. Her writing has been featured in numerous online and print publications including MSN, The Psychotherapy Networker, Smith College Studies in Social Work, Attention Magazine, ADDitude Magazine, Psych Central and Inquirer.com.

Learn more at www.drsharonsaline.com.

How to Handle Lying: It's Not the Moral Failing We Think It Is

In this eye-opening workshop with Dayna Abraham, founder of Calm the Chaos, we dive into the surprising truth about lying and how to handle it with the necessary empathy and understanding (that’s right, not punishment). You’ll learn the importance of creating a safe, accepting environment for your child or teen, how to approach lying with curiosity and open conversation, and why building trust is essential for addressing the root causes of deceptive behavior. Discover practical strategies and mindset shifts that can empower both you and your kid to navigate lying with compassion and guidance, and create stronger, more connected relationships.

Dayna Abraham

Dayna Abraham, bestselling author of Calm the Chaos: A Fail-Proof Roadmap for Parenting Even the Most Challenging Kids.

As a National Board Certified educator, parent of three neurodivergent children, and an ADHD adult herself, Dayna brings a unique and out-of-the-box perspective to parents raising kids in the modern world.

Through her compassionate framework, Calm the Chaos, she has helped millions of desperate parents around the world, find peace and meet their children where they’re at when conventional parenting tools have failed them.

Steps to Take Before, During, and After a Meltdown

In this workshop, Sarah Wayland, Ph.D., founder of Guiding Exceptional Parents, offers her expertise in managing meltdowns (which aren’t the same as tantrums). Learn to distinguish between tantrums and meltdowns, learn the rumble rage cycle, and gain insight into handling meltdowns effectively. You’ll walk away with actionable strategies for recognizing triggers, supporting children during meltdowns, and assisting in the recovery phase.

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D.

Sarah Wayland, PhD, is the founder of Guiding Exceptional Parents and co-creator of The Behavior Revolution. She has co-authored two books: “Is This Autism? A guide for clinicians and everyone else” and “Is This Autism? A companion guide for diagnosing.” She provides neurodiversity affirmative support, education, and community for parents of neurodivergent children.

Building Skills and Habits

How to Help Kids Build Self-Awareness & Self-Regulation

In this workshop, certified parent coach Destini Ann Davis shares how to help kids build self-awareness and self-regulation. We all know how challenging parenting can be, especially when our kids are struggling with dysregulation. But is there a way to shift from reactivity to intentionality, creating a more peaceful and connected environment. You’ll learn about reframing your approach, providing emotional support during dysregulated moments, and using calming tools to foster self-regulation. Gain actionable strategies that both help your kids increase their self-regulation and create a more harmonious family dynamic.

Destini Ann Davis

Destini Davis is a vibrant and expressive mom on a mission to raise her children with intention and compassion. Her genuine personality shines through as she translates the intricate psychology of parenting into relatable, digestible content for her community. Through years of training and coaching she has developed an empathetic teaching style, empowering parents to reshape the culture of their homes through conscious communication, intentional connection, and positive discipline. Her dedication lies in helping parents rediscover joy, deepen their connections, and ignite passion in their own lives—so that they can show up passionately for their children.

How to Build Emotional Communication Skills

In this workshop, Elizabeth Sautter, MA, CCC-SLP, delves into the essential skills needed to build emotional communication with neurodivergent individuals. Discover practical techniques for creating a regulated environment, modeling calmness and emotional regulation, and supporting individuals in identifying, labeling, and regulating their emotions. Gain insights into the importance of building emotional vocabulary, using literature to understand emotions, and providing a variety of tools for emotional regulation. This workshop will equip you with actionable strategies for prioritizing a culture of regulation and fostering emotional communication skills.

Elizabeth Sautter, MA, CCC-SLP

Elizabeth A. Sautter, MA, CCC, is a speech-language pathologist, speaker, author, and trainer, with expertise in social communication, emotional regulation, and executive functioning. She is the author of Make Social and Emotional Learning Stick! Practical activities to help your child manage emotions, navigate social situations & reduce anxiety, along with many other resources, including an online course and community for parents. Elizabeth collaborates with the Zones of Regulation team as a trainer and is a coauthor of the Zones children’s books, card decks, and games. She loves to connect on [email protected] (IG), ElizabethSautterMACCCSLP (FB) or www.ElizabethSautter.com

How to Build Grit & Resilience in Kids Who Avoid Hard Things

We all want to raise resilient and gritty kids, but how can we do that when they tend to avoid challenging tasks? In this workshop, John Willson, M.S., LRT/CTRS, shares practical strategies for parents and educators to help neurodivergent kids and teens embrace challenges, persevere through struggles, and ultimately develop resilience and grit. Drawing from his extensive experience as the executive director of SOAR, John provides actionable how-tos on creating opportunities for growth, overcoming fear, and teaching kids to solve problems. Get ready to learn from his expertise and stories, gain valuable tips, and access resources to help kids build important life skills. Join us and get empowered to cultivate resilience and grit in the young people in your life.

John Willson, M.S., LRT/CTRS

John Willson received a B.A. in Sociology in 1990 from Texas State University and an M.S in Outdoor Therapeutic Recreation Administration from Aurora University in 1993. John has spent 30 years working in youth programs with an emphasis on youth diagnosed with learning and attention challenges. He has lead hundreds of adventure courses throughout North America, Costa Rica, and Belize. He is currently the Executive Director of SOAR, a non profit residential boarding school, adventure camp, and Gap year program serving youth diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD.

Along with his responsibilities at SOAR, John is currently the Past President of the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of North Carolina. He also serves on the national board for CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficiency / Hyperactivity Disorder).

He actively presents to teachers, parents and professionals at local, state and national conferences. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor at Western Carolina University and Mars Hill College teaching Outdoor Recreation, Therapeutic Recreation, and Leadership courses. His certifications include Wilderness First Responder, PADI Rescue Diver, State licensed Recreation Therapist, and Nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

Finally, and most importantly, he is an adult thriving with ADHD and the proud parent of two magnificent, creative, children living with learning and attention challenges.

Tools & Strategies to Help Your Child Transition Smoother

In this workshop, clinical psychologist Brent Crandal, Ph.D. shares invaluable tools and strategies to help parents and educators create both an environment and the structure necessary for kids to transition smoother. He offers practical advice, emphasizing the importance of understanding a child’s perspective and using advanced preparation, clear expectations, and reinforcing activities. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of transition struggles and learn how to approach them with curiosity and calm. Don’t miss this opportunity to equip yourself with valuable strategies for creating smoother transitions in your child’s daily routines.

Brent Crandal, Ph.D.

Brent Crandal, PhD, is an author, child and family psychologist, and researcher. His debut children’s book, Opposititis: A Ridiculous Family Love Story is a silly heartwarming story for 4- to 8-year-olds and their families. He also provides psychotherapy in San Diego and co-authored a widely adopted guide for therapists. He enjoys training professionals and teaching in higher education. His research has been published in several peer-review journals on mental health topics for children, youth and families. He created the Advancing California’s Trauma-Informed Systems project, funded by California Department of Social Services, and in partnership with the Ministry of Education, strengthened the supportive services available to children in El Salvador. He often geeks out at Comic-Con, including presenting several times on the intersection of behavioral health and Pop Culture. www.brentcrandal.com

How to Help Kids Tackle Non-Preferred Tasks

In this workshop, executive functioning coach Seth Perler, M.Ed., shares expert insights on helping kids and teens tackle non-preferred tasks. He talks about the importance of being curious and patient and shares practical and actionable strategies for dealing with non-preferred tasks. Discover valuable tips, including fostering connection and play, advocating for your child, and co-working. Gain practical knowledge to support kids with executive function challenges and empower them to thrive in all areas of their lives.

Seth Perler, M.Ed.

Seth wears a lot of hats in the Executive Function, Neurodiversity, ADHD, 2e, and Education worlds; activist, coach, speaker, educator, vlogger, and guy who cares about seeing outside-the-box kids succeed. 

At the heart of it, Seth helps struggling learners navigate a baffling system, so they can launch a successful future. And it all has to do with Executive Function. His weekly vlog at SethPerler.com gives game-changing answers in a sea of misguided educational fluff.

How to Structure Calm, Efficient Mornings, Bedtimes & Other Routines

Does getting your kids ready in the morning  or in bed on time at night feel like a battle of wills? Discover how to build routines that work for neurodivergent kids and support their success in a neurotypical world. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the struggles neurodiverget kids face in getting things done, the impact of executive functioning deficits, and how to create effective, customized routines and habits using simple tools and strategies. Gain insights into the autonomic nervous system’s role in regulation and walk away with practical tips, customizable templates, and other resources to help your kids.

Penny Williams

A parenting coach for neurodiverse families, Penny Williams is the award-winning author of four books on ADHD, including Boy Without Instructions, host of the Beautifully Complex Podcast, host of the annual Neurodiversity Summits, and co-creator of The Behavior Revolution Program, a parent training program designed to change the narrative on behavior and help parents celebrate and support their kids with ADHD or autism through neuroscience-backed insights, hard-won strategies, compassion, and guidance.  Penny empowers parents to help their neurodivergent kids — and families — thrive.

Fostering Growth & Transformation

How to Shift from Traditional Norms to Approaches that Actually Work

Join Eileen Devine, LCSW, in this transformative workshop as she discusses the shift from traditional parenting norms to brain-based approaches for raising neurodivergent kids. Learn practical strategies for managing challenging behaviors and creating a supportive environment that aligns with your child’s unique brain. Discover the negative impact of fear-based parenting approaches, i.e., traditional norms, and gain valuable insights into proactive techniques to foster a harmonious and nurturing family dynamic. Get ready to embrace a new mindset and gain practical tools for supporting neurodivergent kids.

Eileen Devine, LCSW

Eileen Devine is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Brain First Parenting. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two teenage children, one of whom lives with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). She has over twenty years of clinical experience and for the last ten of those years, has focused solely on supporting parents across the globe, all of whom have kids with neurobehavioral conditions.

Eileen has been extensively trained in the neurobehavioral model as well as the Collaborative Problem Solving model through ThinkKids. In addition to her one-to-one and group work with parents, she facilitates dozens of workshops and trainings each year for parents, teachers, and mental health professionals and is a trainer for the Center for Adoption Support and Education’s (C.A.S.E.) accredited Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) Program, where she instructs other clinicians across the state of Oregon on what it means to be an adoption and foster competent therapist.

How to Stop Shoulding On Yourself and Your Child/Student

Are you tired of feeling the pressure to fix your child’s behavior and constantly being judged by societal expectations? In this workshop, Diane Dempster and Elaine Taylor-Klaus from Impact Parents share the harmful effects of “shoulding” on yourself and your child or student. You’ll learn how to meet your child/student where they are, set realistic expectations, and shift from reactive to proactive parenting to better support neurodivergent kids. You’ll gain valuable insights and practical strategies to help you create a more positive and supportive environment for both you and your child or student.

Diane Dempster, CPC, PCC, MHSA & Elaine Taylor-Klaus, CPCC, MCC

Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster co-founded ImpactParents.com in 2011 because traditional parenting advice wasn’t working for their complex kids and they found no training or coaching available designed specifically to support them as parents of complex kids. Now internationally recognized as leading parent educators in the world, they use a coach-approach to help parents reduce the stress of raising children, teens, and young adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, LD and more. The creators of Sanity School® behavior training, they’re authors of many books including Parenting ADHD Now: Easy Intervention Strategies to Empower Kids with ADHD and The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety and More.

Setting & Holding Boundaries While Prioritizing Compassion & Acceptance

In this workshop with mental health counselor Jackie Flynn, you’ll dive into the power of setting and holding boundaries while prioritizing compassion in the parent-child relationship. Get ready to learn practical strategies for regulating your nervous system and supporting your child’s emotional well-being. Plus, discover the importance of play in building resilience and stress tolerance. Join us to explore the transformative impact of clear boundaries and loving connections in nurturing confident, resilient kids.

Jackie Flynn, Ed.S., LMHC-S, RPT-S

Jackie Flynn is an experienced Certified EMDR therapist and an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, an Approved Provider for the Association for Play Therapy, an EMDRIA Approved Advanced Trainer, as well as an education consultant, author, and internationally known speaker. She earned a certification from ILS, Integrated Listening Systems, to provide the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory for individuals of all ages.

While she is best known for her work with children, teens, and families, she also works with individuals of all ages. Driven by her desire to greatly reduce the amount of suffering in the world, she takes pride in providing top-notch experiential clinical trainings, consultations, and development of clinical resources for child therapists. Her expertise in telehealth has enabled her to help clinicians worldwide deliver the healing power of Play and EMDR therapies to people of all ages online.

In addition to her Play Therapy trainings, EMDR advanced training, and consultation work, Jackie consults with parents and educators globally on ways to support children’s nervous system health. She is the host of the Play Therapy Community podcast, the annual Innovative Child Therapy Symposium, and the annual Neuroscience of Play Therapy Summit at the beach. She is also a private practitioner working with children and families in the state of Florida.

3 Alternatives to Compliance that Work Better

Are you tired of struggling with compliance and challenging behavior in your interactions with kids? Join Greg Santucci, OTR/L in this workshop as he reveals three alternatives to demanding and expecting compliance that can transform your parenting and teaching. Explore the damaging effects of expecting compliance and learn practical strategies to build connections, instill resilience, and create a collaborative, empowering environment for both kids and adults. Discover how to involve kids and teens in decision-making, respect their thoughts and feelings, and give them responsibilities to nurture confidence, motivation, and strong relationships. Get ready to leave reactivity behind and embrace a proactive, compassionate approach that brings out the best in every child.

Greg Santucci, OTR/L

Greg Santucci is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the Founding Director of Power Play Pediatric Therapy. Greg has been working with children and families for over 20 years, providing OT services in schools, homes and outpatient therapy centers throughout New Jersey. Greg is certified in Sensory Integration and the creator of the Model of Child Engagement, a clinical framework to help professionals and parents focus on a child’s safety needs prior to addressing their regulation and sensory processing skills, with the goal of improving a child’s participation in daily activities.
Greg has been lecturing nationally for over a decade on topics related to sensory processing, child development and behavior, and consults with parents and educators around the world. Greg has dedicated his career to promoting neurodevelopmentally-informed, relationship-based interventions to help parents and teachers support children of all abilities and learning styles.
Greg is the father of two children and is married to a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, so he shares his toys with everyone in his family.

5 Ways to Build Your Kids' Confidence & Self-Esteem

We want to raise confident, strong, empowered kids, but the world makes it more difficult to do so for neurodivergent kids. They get exponentially more negative messages daily than neurotypical kids. So how do we mitigate that? Join Dr. Matthew Zakreski, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in neurodivergent kids, in this workshop to learn practical strategies for building your kids’ confidence and self-esteem. Discover how meeting kids where they are, supporting their authenticity, and fostering resilience can help empower them to navigate the world with strength and self-assurance. Plus, get actionable tips to shift your mindset and create a supportive environment that encourages growth and acceptance for neurodivergent individuals.

Matthew Zakreski, Psy.D.

Matthew “Dr. Matt” Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologist and professional speaker who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his neurodivergent clients. He is proud to serve the Gifted community as a consultant, a professor, an author, and a researcher. He has spoken over 400 times all over the world about supporting neurodivergent kids. Dr. Zakreski is a member of Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC), and Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE). Dr. Zakreski graduated from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology (IGCP) in 2016. He is the co-founder of The Neurodiversity Collective: theneurodiversitycollective.com

How to Help a Kid Struggling with Burnout

Are you worried that your child, your student, or even you, yourself are struggling with burnout? Amanda Diekman, advocate for low demand parenting, shares vital insights on burnout in this workshop. Learn how to create a safe and trusting environment for kids experiencing burnout, differentiating it from depression, and adapting to their specific needs. Understand the impact of burnout and how it affects basic needs such as eating, sleeping, communication, and play. Discover practical strategies to support and restore kids in burnout (or yourself), and gain valuable resources for implementing change.

Amanda Diekman

Amanda Diekman is an autistic adult, parent coach, and author in the neurodiversity space. Amanda became a leading voice in the movement for low demand parenting practices, with her book Low Demand Parenting. Amanda runs a successful coaching practice for parents of neurodivergent children including online courses and a vibrant membership community. She lives with her husband and three neurodivergent children in an intentional community in Durham, NC.