2016 WSFN Conference – Breakout Session Descriptions

2016 WSFN Conference – Breakout Session Descriptions2016-10-12T13:59:47+00:00


Sarah Butcher and Jennifer KarlsA Parent’s Journey to Advocacy

Ensuring meaningful access and opportunity in schools for students with disabilities is a challenge many school districts in Washington face. Families and Caregivers play a critical role in advocating for their child’s needed supports and in ensuring our education system evolves to be more coordinated and responsive to student needs.

Join Jennifer Karls and Sarah Butcher, both parents and education advocates, as they share their experiences on how they went from advocating on behalf of their own children to advocating at the local and state level to ensure ALL mean ALL. This presentation will include information on:

  • Understanding the special education landscape in Washington including changes underway
  • What resources and supports parents need to be aware of for navigating education systems
  • How to use your voice and story to improve meaningful access and opportunities for ALL Students with Disabilities in Washington

Ed Mills and Irene PasternackGet the Most From Your Active Play Time

Would you like to:

  • Help your child learn more easily?
  • Help your child feel safe, keep their love of learning, and avoid getting frustrated and feeling “broken”?
  • Calm and relax yourself so you can connect better with your child?
  • Be comfortable getting down to the floor

In this experiential session, you’ll learn NeuroMovement® techniques that you can use at home to help your child learn. In the process, your back will become more comfortable, and you’ll find yourself breathing easier and feeling taller. Taught by Ed Mills and Irene Pasternack, local Anat Benial Methodsm NeuroMovement for Children with Special Needs practitioners.

Christy IbrahimGuardianship and Special Needs Trusts

Covering questions such as: What is a guardianship? Why do I need one? What is a special needs trust, what types are there and why are they needed?

Larry DavisThe Canary In the Coal Mine Kids: What Are They REALLY Telling Us:

[Highly Sensitive Children in a Highly Insensitive World]

For many parents with special needs children, it’s all about being on a search and rescue mission from one therapist to the next, looking for the holy grail of cures, and at the same time, trying to hold one’s life together.

This presentation highlights an inspirational message beyond hope, founded upon faith, guided by an unwavering belief that our children present an extraordinary and complex opportunity for us all to make significant changes in our lives.

Through their highly sensitive nature, often intuitive, and clearly guided by extraordinary talents and attributes, our children are helping us see life from a whole different perspective. Like Canaries in the Coal mine, their sensitivities show us a new path and guide is toward remarkable insights as parents, educators, and community as long as we are paying attention.

This presentation features a culmination of 18 years as an Education Advocate and the amazing lessons found on this path.


Cathy MurahashiBuilding Relationships for your Child’s Success

When you have a child with disabilities, you will need to advocate for them with many different people in many arenas. Having positive relationships with the people on your son or daughter’s team is critical. This workshop will help you learn what you can do and how to communicate effectively so your child’s needs are met.

Jamie Coonts – Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs: Unique Concerns, Unique Opportunities

This workshop uses a lively large-group discussion format to learn about the concerns and opportunities frequently experienced by brothers and sisters of people with special needs. During this workshop, participants share what they have observed in their families and learn what researchers, clinicians, and siblings themselves say about growing up with siblings who have special needs. Implications for parents and service providers are discussed throughout the workshop.

Nelson RasconParenting Skills

This session will cover the “Big Three” of parenting skill sets: 1-2-3 Magic, the Explosive Child, and Love and Logic. An overview of all three parenting styles will be covered and parents can then decided which would work best in their home.

Amy HuntleyUnderstanding Your Insurance: What You Need to Know About Your ASD/DD Insurance Benefits and Making the Most of Them

An overview of state and federal laws that require insurance companies to cover treatment and services for autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities, and information on overcoming obstacles to access treatment will be presented. Topics will include:

  • Commonly prescribed treatments for autism
  • Insurance benefits for autism and other disabilities
  • What do the laws say that support autism insurance coverage?
  • How to access appropriate insurance benefits?
  • Obstacles to insurance coverage, and what to do if you get stuck?