ADHD & AUTISM Expert sessions

Social & Connection Experts Collection

10 Sessions with Some of the World's Most Renowned Experts on Neurodifferences and Social Skills

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"Thank you, thank you, thank you for this summit. It has been SO eye opening. I am seriously in tears because it is the perfect message at the perfect time. I've passed the link on to all of my fellow Autism mom friends. All of your efforts in organizing this are appreciated."
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"It's really nice to have a place where you can go and learn how to support your children from people who see them as unique humans, not problems to be fixed. I have so much info rolling around in my head right now. Every year, this summit is just so encouraging and such a breath of fresh air. ❤️"
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“Not only do I feel empowered with knowledge, but also understanding that my son is who he is supposed to be. I'm grateful and proud, more than anything, I'm at peace."
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“I have a renewed sense of hope for the future and a ton of new tricks in my bag! I could never have found all of these resources on my own in a lifetime, and you gave them to me in a week.”

About these

expert sessions.

Social experiences are one of the biggest concerns for parents of kids with ADHD and/or autism. And rightfully so — many neurodiverse kids struggle with social skills and making meaningful connections with peers. It can be tough to know what to do and how to help socially awkward kids make and keep friends.

This collection of expert sessions features 10 different experts in the fields of ADHD, autism, parenting, and social skills. Each of the included sessions will help you to help your neurodiverse child create meaningful connections with others. Learn about why neurodiverse kids sometimes struggle with connection, how to them connect, and how to foster healthy family relationships.

What You'll Learn

Join us on a journey of discovery where you will learn how to nurture your child with ADHD and/or autism while bringing peace to your entire family.  Our goal is to help you understand your child while sharing strategies that will help you:

Understanding Why Neurodiverse Kids Struggle with Connection

The social skills we teach neurotypical kids don't always help neurodiverse kids. Sometimes, these approaches make them appear even more awkward. It's important to understand what's actually helpful.

How to Build Social Motivation

Learning how to interact with others is a developmental process that requires you to put foundations in place before teaching the skills that rely on those foundations. Learn the most effective strategies for social skills building with neurodiverse kids.

How to Help Your Child Make Meaningful Connections

Feeling a sense of connection to others is one of the most important aspects of emotional health. While connection can be challenging for neurodiverse kids, it's also vital. Learn how to foster connection for your child.

Fostering Family Connections

Connection isn't just about peer relationships. A sense of connection with your family is vital as well. Learn how to foster quality family time with your child in a way that honors who they are and the positive qualities they bring to your life.

Start truly understanding your child and improving behavior.

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The Expert Sessions You'll Get

Caroline Maguire

Social SOS: My Child Doesn't Have Friends

Caroline Maguire, M.ED., ACCG, PCC ADHD Coach, Author of Why Will No One Play with Me?

Caroline Maguire is on a mission to help children who struggle with social interactions. In this interview, you will learn why friendships are the perfect place for kids with ADHD and/or autism to practice using their executive functioning skills. Listen in to get simple practical ideas about how to develop your child’s social skills in the context of everyday life.

A Friend for Me: Navigating the Journey of Friendship

Rachelle Sheely, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist, Co-Developer of RDI®

Sometimes we try to teach social skills without thinking about whether they are developmentally appropriate, and whether the child has the foundations required to appropriately implement the new skill. For example, we think about the goal (able to work with others on a group project) and put the child in a situation where they can practice working on the goal. Unfortunately, if the child doesn’t have the skills to manage the situation (e.g., the ability to figure out how others are feeling, problem-solving skills, flexibility) they won’t do well, and will feel like a failure. Learn the importance of giving children opportunities to practice their skills in a developmentally appropriate sequence and in the context of a safe and loving relationship.

The Importance of Making Meaningful Connections

Dr. Edward Hallowell Board-Certified Child and Adult Psychiatrist, Author of Driven to Distraction

Sometimes our kids will tell us that they really don’t want to socialize or have friends. It can be hard to figure out whether they are afraid of social interaction because of previous failures, introversion (getting energy from time alone), or if they genuinely prefer to be alone. In this interview, Dr. Ned Hallowell helps us understand the importance of connecting on the child’s terms. While connection may look different for a child with ADHD or autism, we should honor their unique ways of connecting, and encourage them to join with us as they can. No one wants to be lonely – but you don’t have to be the life of the party to genuinely connect.

The Foundations of Connection and How to Teach Them

Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. RDI® Consultant, Parent Coach, Special Needs Care Navigator

Learning how to interact with others is a developmental process that requires you to put the foundations in place before you start learning the skills that rely on those foundations. Despite this, our kids are often taught the “rules of social interaction” when they don’t have skills to implement those rules. In this interview, Sarah Wayland describes the skills that form a foundation for connection as described in the RDI curriculum. Listen to learn about the skills of joint attention, co-regulation, self-regulation, episodic memory formation, and dynamic thinking – and how to help your child learn these critical skills.

Teaching Social Skills Using the PEERS® Curriculum​

Caron Starobin, LCSW-C & Jamell White, PhD, LCSW-C Therapists and Certified PEERS® Instructors

Connecting with others is one of the hardest things for neurodiverse people. This is in part because the skills we tend to think are important (“Introduce yourself and ask if you can play!” or “Make sure you say hello!”) actually make our kids look socially awkward. And when we send our kids to social skills classes, we may not know what our children are being taught, so it’s hard for us to reinforce what they have learned. The PEERS® Curriculum for teaching social skills is a 16-session course that teaches people with social communication difficulties ecologically valid rules for social interaction. Learn about the skills in the curriculum, the importance of teaching parents the skills as well, and some of the challenges Dr. White and Ms. Starobin have encountered when working with complex kids.

Helping Your Anxious Child with Social Interactions & Connections

Sharon Saline, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist & Author

When our kids are anxious, their brains are hijacked and it becomes difficult for them to use their thinking skills to figure out how to navigate challenging social situations. And then when they realize that they are making mistakes, they get even more nervous, which makes it even worse! In this practical presentation, Dr. Sharon Saline shares strategies that you can use to help your child learn how to handle their anxiety. You will get ideas for helping your child recognize that they are anxious, how to help them calm down, and strategies for handling awkward situations that may require your child to process information more quickly than they can handle.

Sharon Saline

Social Skills Interventions and Strategies for Neurodiverse Kids

Kathy Dow-Burger, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist/ Associate Clinical Professor

Through no fault of their own, neurodiverse kids struggle to effectively navigate the social world. They make mistakes that cause other kids to avoid interacting with them, to think they are mean or rude, or even selfish. They very often know that they are doing something wrong, but they have no idea how to change it. Sometimes, we teach our kids to do socially “appropriate” things that actually end up making them look terribly awkward. (For example: walking up to another child, introducing yourself and asking if you can play. Sounds good, but that’s not how socially skilled kids join in and play.) Learn about social skills interventions that actually work to help kids avoid making social blunders.

Loving Connections: Getting Away from Blame and Shame

Jenny Palmiotto, PsyD, LMFT Clinical Director Family Guidance & Therapy Center, Founder Love & Autism

We try our hardest to be good parents, but we sometimes fall short of our own unrealistic expectations, not to mention the unrealistic expectations of others. And when this happens, we feel shame. Our children feel it too. It doesn’t feel very good. Listen as Dr. Palmiotto describes how to rediscover your authentic self, and shift away from the notion that you (and your child) have to be “perfect”. Blame and shame erode loving connections. By focusing on ourselves, acknowledging our experiences, asking for what we need, and accepting our needs without shame, we can create meaningful change for our children and our families.

Jackie Flynn

Ensuring that Siblings Feel Loved and Important Too

Jackie Flynn, Ed.S., LMHC, RPT Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Certified EMDR Therapist

It’s super tough to be the sibling of a child with ADHD and/or autism. And it's no secret that parenting neurodiverse kids requires more time and energy of a parent than parenting a neurotypical child, which can leave siblings to feel less loved and less important. Join Jackie Flynn and Penny Williams as they discuss what growing up with a special needs sibling is like for a child, and strategies to ensure that your neurotypical kids know for certain how much you love them and how important they really are to you and the family.

Fostering Quality Family Time

Diane Dempster, PCC, CPC, MHSA Elaine Taylor, Klaus, PCC, CPCC Founders of ImpactParents

One of our biggest desires as parents is to spend quality time with our children, connecting and bonding. Often, that quality time is harder to create when you have a neurodiverse child who is impulsive, distractible, and who has big emotions and poor self-regulation. While it's a challenge, it’s not impossible. Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster of ImpactParents share strategies to lower the hurdles and share ideas that will help you connect with your child so you can spend truly quality time together.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus & Diane Dempsey

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Get 10 expert video sessions for just $47 U.S. That’s less than $5 per session!