2018 Conference Sessions2018-11-05T19:26:49+00:00

Building 2e Awareness & Community 
2018 CONFERENCE

                                               Friday, November 9, 2018
                                   Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY  

Featuring


Keynote: Dr. Michael Postma

Executive Director of Supporting the Emotional
Needs of the Gifted (SENG) and author of
The Inconvenient Student


2e Education Expert: Dr. Lois Baldwin

Co-founder and President of the Association for
the Education of Gifted Underachieving
Students (AEGUS)

The day will close with a screening of award-winning director
Tom Ropelewski’s new documentary film 2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional.
Tom, also the director of the critically acclaimed documentary film

2e: Twice Exceptional, will be joining us for this special viewing.

This event is co-sponsored by the Molloy College Department of Social Work

SESSION SCHEDULE

REGISTRATION 7:30 – 8:15

WELCOME 8:30 – 8:45

SESSION 1  8:55 – 9:55

TR1: Special Education Law and 2e: How to Advocate for Your Child 
Scott Cohen, Esq | Lisa LaVardera, Esq | Ann Mergler, MBA | Bonnie Schinagle, Esq |
Miriam Nunberg, Esq
TR2: Striking a Balance: Helping Your Child Make Nutritional Choices That Support Their Appetite and Well Being
Marlo Mittler, MS RD
TR3: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Twice-Exceptional Students in the Classroom – Part 1 
Lois Baldwin, Ed D

z
z
SESSION 2   10:05 – 11:05

TR1: Overexcitabilities: A Theoretical Explanation of the Child Who is “More” 
Samara Blei, PhD
TR2: Sex, Drugs & Deodorant: How to Talk to 2e Tweens and Teens About Self-Care
Stephen Goldberg | Jacob Greebel |Melissa Sornik, LCSW| Moderated by Kim Pine Dougharty
TR3: Supporting 2e Kids in the Classroom – Continues From TR3, Session 1
Lois Baldwin, Ed D
See Description for TR3, Session 1

z
Z
SESSION 3  11:15 – 12:15

TR1: A Model for Developing a Strategic Treatment Plan for 2e Individuals Through Neuropsychological Assessment                            
Devon MacEachron, PhD
TR2: 2e for Life: Helping 2e Kids Self-Identify, Self-Advocate and Self-Actualize
Jennifer Buri da Cunha, MA EdS | Amy Gravino, MA | Eve Nealy | Neil Weintraub, LCSW
Moderated by Christine Keller, MA, MS Ed
TR3: Supporting 2e Kids in the Classroom – Continues From TR3, Session 2
Lois Baldwin, Ed D
See Description for TR3, Session 1

z
Z
LUNCH/VENDORS  12:15 – 1:05


KEYNOTE  1:15 – 2:15

Keynote Presentation: The Inconvenient Student
Michael Postma, PhD


SESSION 4  2:25 – 3:25

TR1: Bridging the Home/School Divide: How to Talk So Schools Will Listen
Jillian DiPietro, LMSW
TR2: Compassionate Parenting: Raising Children With Balance and Wholeheartedness
Lisa Zaretsky, CSW, LMSW, NYS Certified Teacher
TR3: Understanding Parents of Twice-Exceptional Children: Gaining Insight Into the Motivations and Behaviors That Accompany 2e Parenting 
Jenn Choi | Devon MacEachron, PhD | Ann Mergler, MBA | Eve Nealy | Mandi Silverman, PsyD, MBA
Janine Torresson, MA


SESSION 5 3:35 – 4:35

TR1: Keeping Your Cool When Your Child Melts Down: Parenting Children Who Have Explosive Reactions 
Andrea Elrom, MA Ed
TR2: Your Oxygen Mask First: The Importance of Self-Care for Parents and How to Fit It In 
Heidi Beck, LAc
TR3: The Way In: How to Move Past Resistance to Support the Academic Challenges of 2e Students
Samara Blei, PhD and Laurie Stern, MS Ed

CLOSING REMARKS 4:45 – 4:55


SCREENING  5:00 – 6:45

Documentary Film Presentation
2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional – The Movie 
Tom Ropelewski

Scott Cohen has been representing parents in the field of special education law since 2009. He has an excellent litigation record, as well as extensive experience helping families successfully obtain funding for their children’s educational programs. Scott also brings a unique perspective to his clients, having taught in public schools for eight years in New York City, South Florida, and Japan. Scott graduated cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was trained as a mediator and was a Public Service Scholar and member of the Moot Court Honor Society. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated magna cum laude. Scott currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Paige, and sons, Oliver and Nathan.

Lisa LaVardera is a Long Island, NY attorney bringing over 20 years of progressive experience within the New York state area. She has represented clients in administrative hearings, as well as in the Surrogate’s Courts and Supreme Courts in various matters encompassing the full spectrum of special education law. Lisa is passionate about advocacy for people with disabilities and has extensive volunteer experience including a decade of not-for-profit board leadership at C.H.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with ADHD), Suffolk County, where C.H.A.D.D. bestowed upon her the National Affiliate of the Year Award in 2007. Lisa played a significant role as a ghostwriter and contributing editor for the book Bright Not Broken (Kennedy and Banks, 2001). She presents at conferences for parents regarding their rights under IDEA and Section 504, and to clinicians regarding best practices for collaboration in special education cases.

Ann Mergler is an educational advocate who started her own firm, Advocate For Success LLC, in 2004. She assists parents by evaluating educational records, conferencing with service providers, assisting families in strategizing and attending Committee for Special Education (CSE) meetings and 504 meetings with the families. She works to collaborate with districts and parents to create workable plans for all students with disabilities.  She has worked for North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center and Long Island Advocacy Center and was a parent member of the CSE for Port Washington Schools. Ann holds an MBA from Adelphi University and was a fellow in the LEND Program at the New York Medical College. She is an active member of COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates), CHADD, LIPAC and attends conferences for the Council for Exceptional Children, Long Island Parents Council.  She has presented at the New York State Bar Association, Special Education Parent Teacher Associations all over Long Island and does work for various advocacy agencies.  She has written articles for local papers helping parents with questions about children with special needs. She is the proud mother of four adult children who attended the Port Washington Public Schools.

Bonnie Spiro Schinagle is a special education lawyer who helps parents in the New York metropolitan area use legal tools to harness their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and holds a post-doctorate degree in law. Bonnie enjoyed a long career in insurance coverage litigation and negotiated the maze of special education as a parent before becoming an expert in the legal facets of this area of the law. Bonnie worked as an extern at Partnership for Children’s Rights.  She is admitted to the bar in New York and Connecticut.

Miriam Nunberg has 25 years of experience in the field of education, as an attorney, activist, special education teacher and as the co-founder of the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School. She currently consults with parents of students with disabilities in navigating the IEP and 504 processes, and is Of Counsel to the Law Firm of Elisa Hyman - a special education and civil rights practice. She also chairs the Policy Committee of the Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (nycASID), a coalition of advocates working to end the segregation of New York City public schools.  She has recently fought for and obtained a community-based overhaul of middle school admissions in Brooklyn's District 15. Miriam served as a staff attorney in the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for 14 years, where she handled civil rights investigations in educational institutions, including an extensive caseload involving the rights of students with disabilities.

Marlo Mittler is a Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant, journalist and public speaker specializing in nutrition, wellness and healthy lifestyles. In practice for over 21 years, Marlo specializes in pediatrics, adolescents and family nutrition. She has worked with schools, corporations, non-profits and camps, on a multitude of nutrition endeavors. Marlo has worked nationally as a Nutrition Expert on television, the web, magazines, newspapers and radio. Her expert advice covers topics that include weight management, dieting, nutrition labels, eating disorders, restaurant menus, superfoods, organics, fitness training, female nutrition, gestational diabetes, Celiac and much more. Marlo has appeared nationally, and has been on FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS, as well as many local stations.  She has been quoted or written for on- line sites including: AARP, About.com, Women’s Day, and many others. Articles with Marlo’s expert advice has been published in articles in Health & Fitness, Newsday, Long Island’s Parents & Children Magazine, Cookie Magazine, among others. She has also served as the Food Allergy Expert on www.About.com.  Among her other projects Marlo has created a company, via her website, www.NutritionbyMarlo, committed to revising, evaluating and creating healthy menus for camps and schools all over the country.

Dr. Lois Baldwin was both a teacher of twice exceptional students and an administrator of the Gifted Special Education Program operated by the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), one of the first programs in the country serving students who are gifted and have learning and emotional needs.  She has assisted teachers and staff with curriculum development, student issues, transition planning, assessment and professional development.  She co-founded the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) and is currently serving as the president.  Dr. Baldwin has taught courses on giftedness and twice exceptionality at Manhattanville College, Pace University, College of New Rochelle and Regis University and has been a consultant and speaker at numerous national conferences and symposiums.  She consulted for the Colorado Department of Education Twice Exceptional Project where she helped to design an on-line course, workshops, training modules, manuals and materials for educators throughout the state.  In addition, she has co-authored the article entitled, “Beyond Stereotypes: Understanding, Recognizing, and Working with Twice-Exceptional Learners” for Teaching Exceptional Children as well as a chapter entitled, “It Takes a Team: Growing Up 2e” for the book Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties, edited by Scott Barry Kaufman.  She has served as the chair of the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Twice Exceptional Special Interest Group and the co-facilitator of the 2e Community of Practice.

Dr. Samara Blei is a NYS licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. Dr. Blei is currently a school psychologist at an independent school in Manhattan, working with middle school students and their families. Within her clinical, consultative, and supervisory work as a school psychologist, she applies a collaborative, strength-based approach, using empirically supported interventions.  Dr. Blei was awarded her Ph D from Florida State University's APA accredited Combined Counseling Psychology and School Psychology program where she focused her area of research and dissertation work on the assessment of children who are gifted. Dr. Blei completed her pre-doctoral internship at The Astor Home for Children and Families and completed a Child/Clinical Postdoctoral Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship at Westchester Medical Center's Institute for Human Development where she built her diagnostic and treatment skills in autism spectrum disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, and trauma/abuse and neglect. Currently, Dr. Blei specializes in the social-emotional needs and identification of students who are twice-exceptional.

Stephen Goldberg is the Village School principal in the Great Neck School District. After graduating from SUNY Albany with a BA in English Literature, he easily found his niche in Village School's English department. He began as a student teacher while earning his Master's degree at Hofstra University. Five years into his teaching, he was made principal after completing his Administrator's degree at CW Post. He has remained the Principal for more than fifteen years.  Steve teaches courses in English Literature and Musicology, as teaching remains one of his passions.  When not in school, Steve composes music and enjoys playing a host of instruments.  In spite of all his years as a teacher and administrator, Steve feels honored to work with children and considers being an educator, not a job or occupation, but a calling and privilege.

Jacob Greebel is currently completing a dual degree Master of Education program for general and special education at Bank Street College, and a Master of Social Work program at Columbia University. Jacob also holds a B.S. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Previously, he has taught at the Brooklyn Free School, an alternative and progressive educational setting that allowed him to meet each child's individual needs to accommodate their diverse learning profiles. Inspired by his own struggles as a 2e student, Jacob went unidentified until his senior year in college. He is a certified dyslexia tutor and consultant, working 1:1 with students with dyslexia and central auditory processing disorder. Jacob strives to raise awareness and change perceptions of 2e children and adolescents by furthering his knowledge in both scope and depth as he continues to gain experience and share his discoveries with students, peers and parents alike. Jacob is also the curriculum coordinator, head teacher and social cognition group co-facilitator at the Talent Development Cooperative, a program of the practice of Melissa Sornik, LCSW PLLC, in Sea Cliff, New York where he is involved in curriculum development and program design and facilitation, as well as counseling for gifted and 2e students ages five through eighteen.

Kim Dougharty  is the mom of two twice exceptional kids. She earned a B.A. in Studio Art, as well as completing coursework toward a Master of Arts degree in Teaching at the University of Puget Sound. Kim has been a preschool teacher, run several elementary enrichment programs, and has been a substitute teacher in grades k-12. Kim is currently pursuing an M.A. in Creative Arts Therapy at Hofstra University. Kim is a TECA board member.

Dr. Lois Baldwin was both a teacher of twice exceptional students and an administrator of the Gifted Special Education Program operated by the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), one of the first programs in the country serving students who are gifted and have learning and emotional needs.  She has assisted teachers and staff with curriculum development, student issues, transition planning, assessment and professional development.  She co-founded the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) and is currently serving as the president.  Dr. Baldwin has taught courses on giftedness and twice exceptionality at Manhattanville College, Pace University, College of New Rochelle and Regis University and has been a consultant and speaker at numerous national conferences and symposiums.  She consulted for the Colorado Department of Education Twice Exceptional Project where she helped to design an on-line course, workshops, training modules, manuals and materials for educators throughout the state.  In addition, she has co-authored the article entitled, “Beyond Stereotypes: Understanding, Recognizing, and Working with Twice-Exceptional Learners” for Teaching Exceptional Children as well as a chapter entitled, “It Takes a Team: Growing Up 2e” for the book Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties, edited by Scott Barry Kaufman.  She has served as the chair of the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Twice Exceptional Special Interest Group and the co-facilitator of the 2e Community of Practice.

Devon McEachron provides comprehensive neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessments focused on discovering the student’s unique profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and identifying how individual differences impact learning, achievement as compared to ability, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning, and interests and affinities. As a specialist in twice-exceptional and gifted learners, dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s, and academic motivation with a positive psychology focus on strengths and interests, Dr. Devon is an expert diagnostician who provides an actionable game-plan to families enabling students to achieve their highest potential.

Since 2009, Jennifer Buri da Cunha has served as the director of the Staff Assistant Experience (SAE) at Ramapo’s Rhinebeck campus, a year-round, residential transition-to-independence program for young adults with learning differences, ADHD, and/or autism spectrum disorders that offers participants an opportunity to practice vocational and life skills in a communal setting. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in special education from New York University, has taught in public and private schools in New York City, and previously served as the assistant director of Camp Ramapo and the director of Ramapo Retreats. She teaches an undergraduate-level Fieldwork Experience in Special Education course at Ramapo each year and serves on Ramapo’s core social equity team.

Amy Gravino is Certified Autism Specialist and international speaker. As the founder and President of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, Amy offers autism consulting and college coaching services for individuals on the autism spectrum, mentoring services for young adults with autism, and professional presentations for conferences, autism events, schools, and professional development workshops. Amy has given two TED talks, spoken twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day (2011 and 2018), and presented to numerous audiences on a variety of topics, including autism and sexuality; issued faced by girls with ASD; growing up on the spectrum; bullying and bullying prevention; and transitioning individuals on the spectrum to higher education. Amy obtained her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University in 2010, and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Specialisterne USA, Yes She Can, Inc., and the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, and as co-facilitator of the Morris County support group chapter of ASPEN-NJ. Amy is now authoring The Naughty Autie, a memoir of her experiences with dating, relationships, and sexuality from the firsthand perspective of a woman on the autism spectrum. For more information or to contact Amy, please visit www.AmyGravino.com.

Eve Nealy is the Head of School at Westbury Friends School and has been leading independent schools on Long Island for seven years. While trying to pursue a career in medical research, she had a son who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. As a young mother, she did not know how to navigate the world of special education and effectively advocate for the educational rights of her child. Later, Eve had her second "2e" son, who was diagnosed with ADHD at the early age of four. The experiences she had with both sons led Eve to change careers and become involved in education, hoping to change the mindset of those educating different learners in independent schools, and having conversations about what these learners bring to these communities. Eve is passionate about working with families of young 2e children. She also raises awareness to the double standards in identification and diagnosis of gifted and 2e children in culturally diverse populations within both public and private school settings.

Neil Weintraub is a licensed clinical social worker who works as part of the NYC DoE’s ASD NEST program in Brooklyn, New York. Additionally, he has a private practice specializing in individual and group therapy for children and adolescents, as well as parenting techniques. Neil employs an eclectic practice model centered on a strength-based model of youth development. Neil received his MSW from Adelphi University. He also holds a three-year certificate in psychotherapy with children and adolescents from New Hope Guild.

Christine Keller founded The Children’s Sangha in 2003, an organization offering educational and nature-based programs and consulting services for children, young adults, families and schools. She serves as a guest lecturer and conference presenter for Long Island’s many colleges, schools and community organizations and advocates on behalf of our kids. She holds an MS Ed, dual certification in childhood education and special education. She has completed training with Dr. Ross Greene in the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions approach to working with all children and young adults with particular emphasis on challenging behavior. Christine is a certified presenter for both NAMI Parents & Teachers as Allies and Ending the Silence (mental health education in-service school programs that promote a better understanding of social-emotional challenges). She is an adjunct professor at SUNY College at Old Westbury. She also teaches courses in history and philosophy and has taught in exceptional education & learning.

Dr. Lois Baldwin was both a teacher of twice exceptional students and an administrator of the Gifted Special Education Program operated by the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), one of the first programs in the country serving students who are gifted and have learning and emotional needs.  She has assisted teachers and staff with curriculum development, student issues, transition planning, assessment and professional development.  She co-founded the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) and is currently serving as the president.  Dr. Baldwin has taught courses on giftedness and twice exceptionality at Manhattanville College, Pace University, College of New Rochelle and Regis University and has been a consultant and speaker at numerous national conferences and symposiums.  She consulted for the Colorado Department of Education Twice Exceptional Project where she helped to design an on-line course, workshops, training modules, manuals and materials for educators throughout the state.  In addition, she has co-authored the article entitled, “Beyond Stereotypes: Understanding, Recognizing, and Working with Twice-Exceptional Learners” for Teaching Exceptional Children as well as a chapter entitled, “It Takes a Team: Growing Up 2e” for the book Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties, edited by Scott Barry Kaufman.  She has served as the chair of the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Twice Exceptional Special Interest Group and the co-facilitator of the 2e Community of Practice.

Dr. Michael Postma is a consultant, speaker, and author dedicated to the holistic development of twice-exceptional children and other non-typical learners. Born and raised in the Toronto area, Dr. Postma received his Bachelors Degree in Classical History at McMaster University in Ontario, a Masters Degree in Gifted, Talented & Creative Education University of St. Thomas, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Critical Pedagogy) also at the University of St. Thomas. Over the last two decades, Dr. Postma has worked as both a teacher and administrator in the public school system and is the architect of the Minnetonka Navigator Program, a magnet school for highly and profoundly gifted students. Currently, Dr. Postma is the Executive Director for the SENG Organization (Supporting the Emotional Needs of Gifted). He currently lives in Surf City, SC and is the father of four children, three of whom are twice-exceptional.

 

Jillian DiPietro is a clinical social worker in the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute. Ms. DiPietro specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, selective mutism and other anxiety and mood disorders. Ms. DiPietro has an expertise in a wide array of evidence-based practices, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Parent Management Training (PMT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), PCIT adaptation for children with selective mutism, school-based consultation and advocacy, teacher consultation and classroom management training. She has extensive experience working in a range of educational settings and is a strong advocate for implementing school-based interventions. Ms. DiPietro was among the team that developed and implemented an intensive summer treatment program for kids with ADHD at the Child Mind Institute. Ms. DiPietro is passionate about providing a collaborative, strengths-based approach with caregivers and teachers to best support each individual child.

Lisa Zaretsky is a NYS licensed social worker and teacher certified in reading, elementary, and special education. She specializes in the educational and mental health and wellbeing of neurodiverse populations, with expertise in 2e, gifted, and special needs children, adolescents, and families. Lisa works in the private practice of Melissa Sornik, LCSW PLLC and provides comprehensive assessments, consultations, wholistic treatment plans, psychotherapy, and develops creative educational programming. This includes professional development and parent workshops regarding neurodiversity, 2e, neurobiological and psychiatric disorders, learning disabilities, social-emotional development, educational planning, and compassionate parenting. Lisa has provided schools with an understanding that academic success or challenge is not defined only by intellect, but rather by potential, and works with them to develop innovative educational programs with individualized supports for neurodiverse students. Lisa’s multidisciplinary background also informs her presentations at national conferences, developing and teaching continuing education courses, webinars, and collaborations with TECA. Lisa is one of the initial members of the 2e subcommittee of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), and is a member of the National Virtual Round-Table for Post-Secondary Education for 2e Students. Her writing is featured in Auditory Processing Disorders: Assessment, Management, and Treatment (Geffner & Ross-Swain, 3rd Ed.) After raising three 2e children and through her professional life, Lisa works to expand best practices within education and mental health systems.

Jenn Choi is the mother of two twice exceptional children and currently serves 2e families as an assistive tech coach and special education advocate. Jenn is the founder of Toys As Tools, a website resource dedicated to helping parents find toys to suit their child’s needs and interests. As a parent of children with ADHD and learning disabilities, Jenn has devoted much of her career to assisting children in accessing their educational curriculum more efficiently through the use of technology.  She also works as an advocate for twice-exceptional students by providing 1:1 support to parents and by engaging the New York City Department of Education in citywide efforts to improve the education of twice-exceptional students. Jenn is also the manager and founder of the 2e NYC Listserv, an online support group for parents of 2e children. She can be reached at http://jennchoi.solutions.  Jenn is a TECA board member.

Devon McEachron provides comprehensive neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessments focused on discovering the student’s unique profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and identifying how individual differences impact learning, achievement as compared to ability, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning, and interests and affinities. As a specialist in twice-exceptional and gifted learners, dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s, and academic motivation with a positive psychology focus on strengths and interests, Dr. Devon is an expert diagnostician who provides an actionable game-plan to families enabling students to achieve their highest potential.

Ann Mergler is an educational advocate who started her own firm, Advocate For Success LLC, in 2004. She assists parents by evaluating educational records, conferencing with service providers, assisting families in strategizing and attending Committee for Special Education (CSE) meetings and 504 meetings with the families. She works to collaborate with districts and parents to create workable plans for all students with disabilities.  She has worked for North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center and Long Island Advocacy Center and was a parent member of the CSE for Port Washington Schools. Ann holds an MBA from Adelphi University and was a fellow in the LEND Program at the New York Medical College. She is an active member of COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates), CHADD, LIPAC and attends conferences for the Council for Exceptional Children, Long Island Parents Council.  She has presented at the New York State Bar Association, Special Education Parent Teacher Associations all over Long Island and does work for various advocacy agencies.  She has written articles for local papers helping parents with questions about children with special needs. She is the proud mother of four adult children who attended the Port Washington Public Schools.

Eve Nealy is the Head of School at Westbury Friends School and has been leading independent schools on Long Island for seven years. While trying to pursue a career in medical research, she had a son who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. As a young mother, she did not know how to navigate the world of special education and effectively advocate for the educational rights of her child. Later, Eve had her second "2e" son, who was diagnosed with ADHD at the early age of four. The experiences she had with both sons led Eve to change careers and become involved in education, hoping to change the mindset of those educating different learners in independent schools, and having conversations about what these learners bring to these communities. Eve is passionate about working with families of young 2e children. She also raises awareness to the double standards in identification and diagnosis of gifted and 2e children in culturally diverse populations within both public and private school settings.

Dr. Silverman is a clinical and school psychologist in the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute (CMI). She specializes in working with children who have ADHD, behavioral and developmental disorders. She has training and experience in a wide array of evidence-based practices, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Parent Management Training (PMT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), social cognitive support, social skills training (SST), anger management training, school-based consultation and advocacy, teacher consultation and classroom management support. Dr. Silverman uses her training in healthcare management to create and implement programs that provide interventions for groups of children, including her past work coordinating comprehensive services for children on the autism spectrum, as well as the development of an intensive summer treatment program for kids with ADHD at the Child Mind Institute. In her 14+ years of clinical experience, she has led a number of lectures and trainings for clinicians, parents, teachers and schools in the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas. She is committed to raising mental health awareness so that all children can obtain clinically sound treatment and reach their full potential.

Janine Torresson holds a masters degree in Teaching the Talented from the University Connecticut where she studied under Joseph Renzulli, the director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.  Janine has more than 20 years of experience teaching gifted children in grades K- 6 in the classroom. She is also currently the coach of three high school robotics teams as well as a Math Olympiads coach for younger students. As she has throughout her career, Janine continues to provide education and advocacy for all gifted populations.

Andrea Elrom is an ADHD and executive function coach with more than 15 years of experience working with children and parents. In her New York City-based practice, which includes workshops, individual and group sessions, Andrea emphasizes the use of empathy and understanding to help parents develop effective strategies for addressing their children’s challenging behaviors. She also works with independent schools, using a strengths-based approach to help students develop their executive function skills. In her Calm and Connected © workshop series, Andrea helps families improve the overall dynamics and quality of family life by building on a family’s existing strengths. Andrea earned her Master’s degree from New York University in Elementary Education and received her ADHD/Life Coach training through ADD Coach Academy. She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband and has two children and two step-children.

Heidi Beck is a New York State licensed acupuncturist. Heidi holds a bachelor of science degree in health sciences and a master of science in acupuncture from New York College of Health Professions. In addition to traditional Chinese medicine, she has also studied and practices the ancient arts of Tai Chi and Qigong. Heidi is the co-founder of the Sea Cliff Wellness Center in Sea Cliff, New York, where she maintains a private practice. Heidi applies both Eastern and Western philosophies to physical and emotional health, creating a truly holistic approach to complete wellbeing.

Dr. Samara Blei is a NYS licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. Dr. Blei is currently a school psychologist at an independent school in Manhattan, working with middle school students and their families. Within her clinical, consultative, and supervisory work as a school psychologist, she applies a collaborative, strength-based approach, using empirically supported interventions.  Dr. Blei was awarded her Ph D from Florida State University's APA accredited Combined Counseling Psychology and School Psychology program where she focused her area of research and dissertation work on the assessment of children who are gifted. Dr. Blei completed her pre-doctoral internship at The Astor Home for Children and Families and completed a Child/Clinical Postdoctoral Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship at Westchester Medical Center's Institute for Human Development where she built her diagnostic and treatment skills in autism spectrum disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, and trauma/abuse and neglect. Currently, Dr. Blei specializes in the social-emotional needs and identification of students who are twice-exceptional.

Laurie Stern holds a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy from the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, 2002. For the past five years, she has been working at one of the first schools in the country that has accepted and taught twice exceptional children. As a learning specialist at this school, she worked with this population of students ranging in ages from seven through fifteen, in the reading and writing areas. As a literacy coach, she provided workshops to teachers on assessing students in reading, certain program aspects of the TC Reading/Writing Workshop, and elements of writing programs that best serve this population of students. Before this position, she worked at an independent school in the Bronx for thirteen years as a lower school reading specialist. She is now in private practice, and thoroughly enjoys working with 2e children in both a school setting, and within her individual practice.

Thomas Ropelewski has written and directed for both film and television. He wrote and made his feature directorial debut with the Orion Pictures comedy MADHOUSE, starring John Larroquette and Kirstie Alley. Other film credits include LOVERBOY, THE KISS, LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW and THE NEXT BEST THING. His television work includes serving as writer/executive producer for three seasons of Paramount TV’s action/sci-­‐fi series SEVEN DAYS. Recently, Ropelewski produced and directed the documentary, CHILD OF GIANTS: My Journey with Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange. The film has been screened at film festivals, colleges and museums around the world. It has also aired on KCET/San Francisco’s “Truly CA” documentary series. For more information about CHILD OF GIANTS, please visit www.childofgiants.com. Ropelewski currently resides in Berkeley, CA and is married to screenwriter Leslie Dixon (MRS. DOUBTFIRE, HAIRSPRAY, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, LIMITLESS).