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Raising Children
With Challenges
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March 20 – 22, 2018

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Speaker Schedule Interview Descriptions


Click the + sign to read each interview summary:

Day One Interviews (March 20 9:00 AM PDT until March 22 9:00 AM PDT)

Dr. Thomas Armstrong, author, The Myth of the ADHD Child

In this fast-paced conversation, Dr. Armstrong and I talk about the myriad ways we can revitalize our children’s spirits and motivation, emphasizing their strength rather than their challenge, including school alternatives when a traditional classroom isn’t working for your child.

  • Practical strategies for helping fidgety children manage schoolwork
  • The beauty of looking at our children’s abilities through Multiple Intelligence Theory
  • Why “neurodiversity” is a far better term than the labels we attach to our children
  • The exciting prospects ahead in the job market for kids with dyslexia, autism and more
Lawrence Cohen, author, Playful Parenting

I had so much fun talking with Dr. Cohen: lots of laughter mixed with practical suggestions for helping children who struggle with anxiety. The first thing you’ll hear is why you should spend no more than five minutes trying to verbally reassure an anxious child. Instead, you’ll discover what does work when a child is fearful.

  • Why your anxious kids need you to be a calm “Second Chicken”
  • Lighthearted ways to help children feel less frightened and more powerful
  • The importance of daily roughhousing
  • Why our own anxious feelings get so easily transmitted to our kids
Dr. Mark Bertin, author, Mindful Parenting For ADHD

Dr. Bertin brings a wealth of knowledge to our conversation. First, he shares a simple question that can help parents decide whether to seek out an evaluation when a child is having trouble, offering options for how to get help. Dr. Bertin shares ideas for bringing mindfulness into our children’s lives, and shares guidance for strengthening resilience and self-regulation.

  • Differentiating anxiety from ADHD
  • Why sleep habits can be especially difficult to establish with children on the spectrum
  • What not to do during a child’s meltdown
  • Weaving simple mindfulness practices into daily life
Dr. Edward Hallowell, author, Driven To Distraction

What fun I had in this stimulating conversation! Dr. Hallowell sees ADHD as a trait that can foster creativity, spontaneity, and tremendous achievements by those who have it. You’ll hear him explain what’s going on in the ADD brain and why “deficit” or “disorder” are so inaccurate when describing it. He also shares three great tips for helping worriers.

  • Why procrastination is a hallmark characteristic of those with ADD
  • The three non-medication interventions for ADHD
  • Why and when parents should consider medication
  • How coaching can help children whose executive function is delayed
Carol Stock Kranowitz, author, The Out-of-Sync Child

Carol does a beautiful job explaining issues like Sensory Processing Disorder and what why sensory input like sound, light, proximity, and heat get garbled in the nervous system. She shares terrific ideas for helping children with ADHD, SPD or simply quirky characteristics. A great conversation!

  • Why some children get flooded with sensory input
  • Helping young children and teens  learn to accommodate their difficulties with sensory integration
  • The sensory fumbler, dis-regarder, craver, avoider, slumper
  • What parents can do to create calm when a child is melting down
Dr. Ross Greene, Author, The Explosive Child

Rather than focusing on labels, Dr. Greene pays attention to identifying unsolved problems and unmet expectations. He does a beautiful job of introducing us to a model of collaboratively solving problems with our children rather than overpowering them, developing empathy while addressing chronic issues of defiance or meltdowns at their root. An outstanding dialogue!

  • Why attempts to manage or control a child’s problematic behavior fail
  • The essential ingredients to helping children articulate what’s bothering them
  • Avoiding aggressive outbursts and explosive behavior
  • Free resources for helping parents identify where their child needs help
Marcy Axness, author, Parenting For Peace

Dr. Axness lays out a simple way of better understanding the brain and its role in helping children integrate, relate, and regulate. She talks about the essential elements  of attachment and warmth in the child, and emphasizes the importance of dependency and meeting each child’s unique needs–and how it’s never too late!

  • The orbital frontal cortex and its vital functions
  • The importance of introducing warmth into a child’s home and relationships
  • The value of boredom!
  • Supporting children’s need for rhythm and regularity
Dr. Elaine Aron: Raising the Highly Sensitive Child

My life was enormously impacted when I stumbled on the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, twenty or more years ago so it was a thrill to speak with Dr. Aron about her work. If you have a sensitive child who gets easily overwhelmed by bright lights or loud noises, is viewed as shy or timid, or seems to feel things more deeply than others, please don’t miss this special conversation.

  • High sensitivity is a trait, not a disorder!
  • It is found in 15 to 20% of the human population and over 100 other species
  • Ways to nurture and support highly sensitive children
  • Supporting sensitive children in forging friendships
Danise Lehrer, mindfulness-based psychotherapist and parent of a child with autism

Whether your youngster is on the Autism spectrum as Ted and Danise’s son, or has far simpler challenges, this powerful conversation is all about finding peace, joy, and celebration raising the child we have been given. With great heart and wonderful stories, you’ll get practical ideas blended with big doses of inspiration. Not to be missed!

  • Making peace with a difficult diagnosis
  • Addressing questions like, “What’s wrong with him?”
  • Finding ways to communicate with a non-verbal child
  • The importance of looking for underlying medical issues with behavioral problems


Ted Tannenbaum, executive coach and parent of a child with autism

Whether your youngster is on the Autism spectrum as Ted and Danise’s son, or has far simpler challenges, this powerful conversation is all about finding peace, joy, and celebration raising the child we have been given. With great heart and wonderful stories, you’ll get practical ideas blended with big doses of inspiration. Not to be missed!

  • Making peace with a difficult diagnosis
  • Addressing questions like, “What’s wrong with him?”
  • Finding ways to communicate with a non-verbal child
  • The importance of looking for underlying medical issues with behavioral problems


Day Two Interviews (March 21 9:00 AM PDT until March 23 9:00 AM PDT)

Patty Wipfler, author, Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges

Patty begins our conversation by sharing the story of her sister who developed significant impairments after starting life out as a seemingly typically developing child. She understands firsthand how important it is for parents to have support, assistance, and a Listening Partner to help them offload the daily stresses and of raising children.

  • How to find a Listening Partner, and why it is so vital
  • Taking pride in the child we have, even when behavior is embarrassing or frustrating
  • The importance of offloading disappointment when those we reach out to for help say “No”
  • Why self-care should never be optional
Billy Mann, music producer and board member, Autism Speaks

I was moved me to tears as Billy Mann shared his story of coming to peace and gratitude for his family, just as it is. With two boys on the spectrum as well as two neurotypical daughters, Billy and his wife Gena have well-traveled the path of adjusting to their sons’ challenges and needs while helping their daughters accept their brothers’ quirks and differences. This interview is a love story about what is best about family.

  • Helping siblings cope with siblings’ challenging, annoying behaviors
  • The importance of early intervention, education, and advocacy
  • Normalizing some of the fears, worries, and hopes faced by families with autism
  • Finding ways to talk about autism with children
  • Not one but many “autisms”
Dr. Charlotte Reznick, author, The Power of Your Child's Imagination

If you have a child with anxiety, please don’t miss this interview! Dr. Reznick shares highly practical tips for helping children learn to manage their fears–whether social anxiety, sleep issues, separation anxiety, or bigger worries like death. She even walks us through a gentle, calming visualization exercise that we can do with our children!

  • How to tap a child’s imagination to teach self-calming skills
  • The importance of helping children normalize fears
  • Strategies for helping anxious children fall into a peaceful sleep
  • Creative activities to help kids offload their worries
Elaine Taylor Klaus, author, Parenting ADHD Now!

If you have a youngster with ADD/ ADHD, do not miss this interview! Elaine understands the world of ADD, and shares what has worked with the families she’s coached, as well as in raising her own “complex” children. Our conversation was loaded with practical content and information, including:

  • PINCH: The five motivators for getting kids to take action
  • How to use code words and body doubling to help kids stay on track
  • Tips for getting homework done, and helping classroom “interruptors” manage their urge to share
  • How to get kids to help around the house
  • The importance of talking with kids about their brain
Debbie Reber, founder, TiLT Parenting

There is so much richness in this conversation which a wide territory of topics related to helping differently wired children feel seen and celebrated. Debbie talks about how the pros and cons of labels and diagnoses, how to enlist allies among neurotypical peers, and helping children discover their unique gifts.

  • How to talk to neurotypical kids about their differently-wired peers
  • Helping children understand the many different ways brains works, and benefits with all types of people
  • Homeschooling as an option, even when it seems impossible
  • Avoiding the compare and despair cycle–especially when Facebookers post their kids’ rites of passage and achievements
Kerry Magro, author and advocate

Kerry was diagnosed with Autism at four, and is now an accomplished public speaker, the force behind a non-profit that provides college scholarships to kids on the spectrum, runs a mentorship program, and has authored books, including one with advice on finding love for people with autism. An uplifting, fascinating conversation with great information for all parents!

  • Preparing young people with independent living skills and transitional services
  • Why mentorship is so helpful for kids on the spectrum
  • How peers can become the best insurance against bullying
  • Navigating romantic love and autism

Maggie Dent, Parenting Author and Educator

I adore Maggie’s capacity for sharing loving, sensible advice for managing the bumps and tumbles of life with children. She talks about why we shouldn’t try to be perfect parents, offers suggestions for managing overwhelm, and shares inspiration for discovering the good and gorgeous in every single child.

  • Creating micro-connections between siblings or parent and child
  • Helping resentful siblings get their needs met, and their cups filled up
  • The gifts of letting kids see us struggling with our “big, ugly feelings”
  • How to help children answer questions like, “What’s wrong with your sister?”
Rachel Macy Stafford: Author, Hands Free Mama, and Only Love Today

I adore talking with Rachel because she delivers such practical nuggets for managing life’s ups and downs. In this conversation, you’ll hear her reframe weaknesses as strengths (her daughter with distracted tendencies is a cherished “Noticer”), share how lists helped her special ed students, and challenge the impossible standards parents create for themselves.

  • Seeing problems (“too sensitive”) can be reframed as gifts
  • Creating a “Safe Haven” for a child with additional needs
  • Why we must take time to offload, recharge, and replenish ourselves
  • Empowering behaviorally-challenged children to identify and ask for what they need
Jennifer Cook O'Toole, creator, Asperkids

Jennifer is bubbly, bright, and full of heart as she shares stories of life with Asperger’s while offering practical strategies for celebrating children on the spectrum. She shares valuable indicators that a child’s quirkiness may warrant a diagnosis. You’ll better understand anyong in your life who is a little different by giving this a listen.

  • “Identified” rather than “Diagnosed”
  • Differences in symptom presentation between boys and girls
  • Indicators that an evaluation might be helpful, beyond “no eye contact” or perseverating behaviors
  • Why teaching life skills is so critical for those on the spectrum

Day Three Interviews (March 22 9:00 AM PDT until March 24 9:00 AM PDT)

Cara Koscinski, The Pocket OT

This woman is a gentle but powerful force for families with children who are differently-wired. Whether it’s offering suggestions for kids who struggle with loud noises or sharing tips for kids who have a hard time socially, Cara offers hope and encouragement for helping children shine.

  • How to tell if it’s a sensory processing difficulty or a behavior issue
  • Helping children with social skills deficits
  • Tips for kids who get easily flooded with sensory stimulation
  • How OT can help children develop skills and competencies
Susan Kaiser Greenland, author, The Mindful Child

You’ll get loads of ideas for helping children find greater regulation in this conversation with Susan. She shares great suggestions for helping restless, stressed, or overwhelmed children and teens find their calm center. And Susan makes it clear that Mindfulness includes movement–not just sitting still which isn’t easy for many children–or adults!

  • How Mindfulness can help kids who struggle with focus and attention
  • Physical activities that can settle down restless or agitated children
  • Games to play with kids to help them stay grounded
  • How we can model presence to help our children develop lifelong habits of mindful awareness
Linda Nargi, Communications Director, International Down Syndrome Coalition

One of my hopes for this summit has been to provide a platform for people like Linda who help us recognize that every child brings unique gifts into our lives. Tune in to hear her talk about her wonderful daughters, and how she has helped them integrate into the classroom, and the world at large.

  • How to help classmates understand a child’s differences to foster inclusion and friendship
  • The importance of seeing children through the lens of strengths rather than challenges
  • Helping children understand their diagnosis
  • The importance of having a wide circle of support
Katie Hurley, author, No More Mean Girls
In this wide-ranging conversation we cover a lot of territory: bullying, anxiety, and learning disabilities. Katie shares great tips for helping anxious children manage their worries, talks about how parents can coach socially awkward kids around friendship, and discusses accommodations for children with learning challenges. Lots of good advice here!

  • How to help children see below the tip of the iceberg to understand a friend’s frustrating behaviors
  • Coaching kids who may have trouble giving their only friend space to play with others
  • Ways to help children manage their “Worry Brain”
  • Suggestions for reducing bullying between friends and classmates
Dr. Michael Postma

Wow! If you’ve wondered why bright kids are sometimes socially awkward or your brilliant twelve year old acts like he’s seven if he loses a board game, tune in to this fast-paced discussion of the brain, development and behavior! Tons of information and great, practical tips. Absolutely fascinating and so important!

  • Why gifted kids learn so much faster–and the challenges that brings
  • Empowering children to use special signals before they melt down at school or home
  • Using a Calming Buddy to help kids parachute out of overwhelm
  • Supporting gifted children with anxiety, Aspergers and other challenges
Dr. Temple Grandin, animal rights advocate and author

Temple Grandin is a treasure, helping people understand autism with dedication and clarity. Our conversation covers a wide range of issues, always with tips and practical advice for parents that will help them support their children. I learned so much for talking with her, and am honored to share her words of wisdom with you!

  • Tips and strategies for helping children manage sensory overload
  • The importance of early and one-on-one intervention and social skills training
  • Why eye-contact can be so challenging
  • Solutions for multitasking, long strings of instructions, and managing sequences
Helen Irlen, author and creator, The Irlen Revolution

I met Helen when I went through training to become an Irlen screener years ago. Her work continues to fascinate me, especially when such a small adjustment–the overlays or tinted lenses–can make such a huge difference for those with learning difficulties, ADHD, sensory processing issues, migraines or spectrum disorders. Tune in to this fascinating conversations!

  • How simple colored overlays can help children with dyslexia
  • Why some children are so negatively impacted by fluorescent lighting
  • Keys to determining whether light sensitivity is affecting a child who is reading averse
  • Understanding Irlen Syndrome and why it can lead to breakthroughs for children
Dr. Dan Siegel: Author, Brainstorm, The Whole-Brain Child

Dr. Dan Siegel is a fountain of information and insight, and offers both in this riveting dialogue. He addresses the risks and limitations of labels, frames challenges as issues of integration, and shares a beautiful story of bonding with a child on the spectrum.

  • How to understand a child’s challenges in terms of Chaos and Rigidity
  • The importance of addressing child’s need for attachment, even when eye contact is difficult
  • How mindfulness has been proven to help monitor and modify emotions
  • Seeing the child, rather than the label
Peggy O'Neill

Peggy has lived life in a body with limitations that might have made life difficult. Instead, she has embraced the adventure of living, from hiking the Grand Canyon to trekking in Bhutan. Tune in for joyful inspiration and practical ideas for raising children who refuse to be defined by their challenges.

  • Helping children manage stares, teasing, and bullying
  • How parents can support and empower their child
  • Fostering confidence in children with challenges
  • Honoring tough moments with emotional release
Dr. Laura Markham, Author, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

I always love my conversations with Dr. Laura Markham because everything she shares is wrapped in great kindness and compassion. Tune in as we talk about helping siblings manage their feelings when a brother or sister has “additional needs”, how to manage with our own big feelings when we’re overwhelmed or frustrated, and how to help kids with “additional needs” managing theirs.

  • The importance of modeling how to manage big emotions
  • Allowing siblings their feelings about a brother or sister’s “additional needs”
  • How the brain can change as we learn to manage big emotions when we’re flooded
  • Dealing with grief as we adjust to who our child is

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