The 2019 program will take place Friday 30 - Saturday 31 August featuring four key areas including Autism, Mental Health & Childhood Trauma, Challenging Behaviours and Language & Processing Disorders.
The 2018 program below has concluded. The full 2019 program will be announced soon.
School Success for Learners with Special Needs, covering ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism and Anxiety
The Special Needs Symposium 2018 is designed to provide in depth knowledge, dispel myths, promote research and explore strategies to create an inclusive classroom. The four key topics covered are ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia and Anxiety. The symposium will bring educators together with the common goal of building capacity to facilitate appropriate classroom strategies for students. Held on Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September 2018 featuring two streams per day, you may choose to attend one stream, two streams or all four.
The symposium addresses the following PD accreditation criteria: APST 1.5, 1.6 & 4.1 Australia wide
Registration – $88
Group bookings are available and all prices are inclusive of GST
Please note: catering not included
Stream 1: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Speaker: Ruth Devine
Journalist & Mother of 3 sons with ADHD
9.00am - 9.45am
What it means to be the parent or Carer of a child with ADHD
Ruth Devine presents a candid and uniquely personal session on what it means to be the parent or carer of a child experiencing ADHD. Ruth will give insight into her experience over the last 19 years of being a Mum to three sons with the disorder. As well as providing advice for educators to get the best outcomes for ADHD students in a classroom setting. Ruth’s session includes practical tips and participants will gain insights into:
What ADHD means in real terms for children
ADHD myths and half-truths debunked
The incredible potential of an ADHD brain
Top 10 challenges for students with ADHD (and how to manage them)
Speaker: Dr Emma Sciberras,
Clinical Psychologist, Deakin University; Community Health Services Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
9.45am - 10.20am
Educational outcomes for children with ADHD: Can we make a difference?
This presentation will provide delegates with practical strategies for improving outcomes for learners with ADHD. Participants will gain an understanding of:
Educational outcomes for children with ADHD;
Information about evidence-based programs that improve educational outcomes for children with ADHD; and
Practical strategies that can be used to assist youth with ADHD in the classroom..
Speakers: Cressida Crossley &
Special Needs Teaching Specialists, NESTS
11am – 11.45am
School success for students with ADHD
Hear how schools can best support students with ADHD in the classroom and within the wider school community to set students up for success beyond school. Participants will gain an understanding of:
Presentation of ADHD
How to implement practical school based supports for the ADHD learner
How to implement effective social supports for the ADHD student
Why creating an inclusive community is a key goal for all educators
Stream 2: Dyslexia
Speaker: Dr. Daryl Greaves,
Educational and Developmental Psychologist formerly of SPELD (Specific Learning Difficulties Association of Vic.)
1.00PM - 2.00PM
What teachers and parents need to know about Dyslexia
This session covers the most up-to-date information about Dyslexia and strategies to assist learners. Participants will gain an understanding of:
Getting technology to read text aloud
Using technology to write
Keeping track when reading
Decoding in reading
How to make reasonable adjustments
School requirements to make special provision or reasonable adjustments will be outlined with practical examples and strategies that will be relevant to all subject teachers.
Speaker: Sarah Asome,
Learning and Curriculum Support Leader, Bentleigh West Primary School; Associate Member of Australian Dyslexia Association
2.00PM - 2.45PM
Step into their shoes – early & evidence based intervention for Dyslexia
Sarah will focus heavily on Early and Evidence Based Intervention. She will explore how students with dyslexia must be identified early and receive evidence based intervention in order to succeed. Why wait? Eight is too late!
Find out what to look for and how we must change our teaching in order for students with dyslexia to fly. Sarah will explore how reasonable accommodations and assistive technology is the key for students who struggle with literacy, especially in the older years.
Speaker: Lara Lasnitzki
Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist, Practice Principal of Speech4Kids
2.45pm – 3.30pm
Interaction between language and literacy
Lara will present on the interaction between language and literacy. She will discuss the components of language and how impairments in each area impact on literacy skills. Lara will discuss strategies to address these deficits and will address the role of a speech Pathologist in the classroom.
Stream 3: Anxiety and Keynote Presentation
Dr Jo Martin, Paediatrician
Complete Children’s Health
Dr Renee Testa
Neuropsychologist, The Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Group
9am – 11am
Keynote presentation: “Square pegs in round holes” – Why children with special needs face significant challenges in mainstream classrooms and what can be done to improve their outcome
This 2 hour session will outline the common diagnoses that children with special needs face in the majority of mainstream classrooms in Australia, including ASD, ADHD, Language Disorders, Anxiety Disorder, and Specific Learning Disabilities. The diagnostic process will be explained, including the vital role that teachers and educators have in assisting clinicians in this process. Practical recommendations that can be applied to the classroom to improve outcomes for each condition will be discussed, with consideration to limited resources schools face. In addition, time will be allocated to discuss aspirations for a better system to cater for students with special needs in mainstream schools in the future. An important holistic session for educators, in which participants will gain an understanding of:
The prevalence and key features of common Special Needs conditions including ASD, ADHD, Language Disorders, Anxiety Disorder and Specific Learning Disabilities, and how they commonly co-exist.
The diagnostic process for each condition and the role of specific clinicians in this process and what important information teachers and educators can contribute during this process
Medical and allied health treatment/therapy available for each condition after diagnosis, and the different settings this may be offered in
Practical recommendations for schools and classrooms to better support these vulnerable children, especially given the resource constraints schools are facing
Discussion of several complex case studies featuring children with multiple special needs, incorporating time for Q&A
Psychologist, The ASD Clinic
11.30am – 12.15pm
Hear Sally Rigley, a Developmental and Educational Psychologist talk about anxiety and how it affects people’s language ability and sensory processing and can often be disguised as anger, particularly for people with special needs. She will also cover how anxiety is often unrecognised by the child with the special needs and misunderstood by their teachers.
Organising Expert, Academic Coach, Writer, Speaker, Educator; Consultant of Organising Students
12.15am - 1.oopm
The importance of organisational and time management skills for students
Amanda Lecaude will share her knowledge and experience working with students (Year 6 through to Year 12) both in a classroom environment and 1:1, as to why students need strong organisational and time management skills and without them how they are prone to experiencing increased stress, overwhelm and anxiety which can affect them both academically and in life. Participants will gain an understanding of:
Why organisation and time management lead to increased success and result in less stress and anxiety
What time management really means, why it is important and the need for students to actually ‘see time’
The role organisation plays and the impact it can have on the lives of students;
Clear tips and strategies to take back to the classroom or use at home in supporting students on their academic journey; and
How these skills are vital for a successful transition from primary to secondary school.
Stream 4: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Dr Alexandra Ure
Senior Clinical Psychologist, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Ms Charmaine Bernie
Occupational Therapist, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Ms Veronica Rose
Speech Pathologist, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
2pm – 2.45pm
A multidisciplinary approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Children on the autism spectrum present with a range of strengths and challenges which are often amplified in the school environment. This overview session will present facts and myths about autism spectrum disorder, discuss the diagnostic process and reflect on the reported rise in autism diagnosis. Drawing on recent research, this session will take a multidisciplinary approach to evidenced based intervention strategies from the perspectives of a clinical psychologist, speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist.
Discuss latest research in autism spectrum disorder
Update their knowledge on the diagnostic process and the important role played by educators
Develop an understanding of where and from whom to access resources and how educators and clinicians can work together to support children on the autism spectrum
Speakers: Cressida Crossley and
Special Needs Teaching Specialists, NESTS
2.45pm – 3.30pm
School success for students with ASD
Hear how schools can best support students with ASD in the classroom and within the school community to set students up for success beyond school.
Deepen their understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Learn strategies to addressing Anxiety
Understand how to establish effective social supports within your educational setting
Learn why creating an inclusive community must be the key goal of all educators
Speaker: Miles Glaspole
Student & Comedian
3.30pm – 4.00pm
Life on the spectrum – True tales & experiences from a young man with ASD
Miles Glaspole is a 21-year-old student and comedian with Asperger’s syndrome. Miles talks with humour and frankness about the ways in which both individual teachers and his school experiences helped his learning journey and in some cases hindered it. Miles has appeared on The Chase Australia and featured in the first episode of Tom Gleeson’s ABC quiz show Hard Quiz with the wholly non-autistic subject of Doctor Who. In 2017, Miles joined the writing team for Hard Quiz and began 2018 completing another top secret writing opportunity, as well as studying Arts at the University of Melbourne. Miles’ story is deeply personal, engaging and honest.