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Friday, October 20


Executive Function, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Adolescence: The Perfect Storm

Many students with attention deficit disorder and executive function disabilities are not diagnosed until adolescence. Does the biochemistry of the adolescent brain contribute to the plethora of symptoms associated with these disorders? Does the amount of technology and screen time exacerbate the manifestations of these disabilities in adolescents? Using current research and anecdotal evidence, this presentation will focus on these questions and will provide treatment options in classrooms and educational therapy sessions.

Participants will be able to: identify and differentiate various forms of executive functions; explain how attention deficit disorder manifests itself in adolescence; describe the role of the adolescent brain in executive function and attention deficit disorders; and apply strategies for  remediation of attention deficit disorders and executive function challenges.


Maralyn Soifer, MA, MEd, BCET

Educational Therapist, Educational Therapist
Maralyn Soifer is a Board Certified Educational Therapist currently working in private practice. She is a retired LAUSD special education administrator and has taught at Yeshiva University High School in Los Angeles, as well as several independent schools. She holds dual master’s degrees in education and educational administration. Maralyn is... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 8:30am - 10:00am


That’s Not How Your Brain Works: The Role of Educational Therapists in Dispelling Neuro-myths

The private, brain-based, educational industry is a $300 million per year market. With the changing political climate of education at the federal level, parents and students will inadvertently turn to technologies to help their struggling learners. The role that educational therapists play in demystifying neuroscience, dispelling myths and helping students use effective technologies to their advantage has become paramount. This presentation will focus on the social justice implications of the brain-based technologies boom and the role educational therapists can and must play to support effective learning.

Participants will be able to: identify neuro-myths and the technologies that support them; describe the social justice implications of neuro-myth technologies; and explain the therapist’s role in identifying, clarifying, and resisting the push for such technologies.


Bibinaz Pirayesh, MA

Bibinaz Pirayesh holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and education from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in developmental psychology from Columbia University, where her research focused on children's development of mathematical thinking and cognitive neuro... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 8:30am - 10:00am


There is No Such Thing as a Sight Word

If you find yourself telling your students that English is crazy, and they just have to memorize the spelling of words, then this session is for you. Learn why there is a “g” in sign and how morphology, etymology, and phonology all work together to make perfect sense of words like “two” or “their” and so many more! This presentation will set you on a journey of understanding the English writing system from a linguist's point of view. In addition, the presenters will demonstrate how to use web resources to investigate the most common sight words and provide instructions to facilitate the analysis.

Participants will be able to: describe the underpinnings of English orthography as representative of more than just phonology; explain the importance of using graphemes in teaching; use word sums and matrices to help students see the underlying structure of a word; investigate the etymology of a word in order to explain and teach its current spelling; and explain why most “sight words” are not really sight words at all.


Kelli Sandman-Hurley, EdD

Kelli Sandman-Hurley received her doctorate in literacy from San Diego State University. Trained in Structured Word Inquiry and the Orton-Gillingham approach, Kelli is the past-president of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and author of the well-received book, Dyslexia Advocate! How to Advocate for a Child with Dyslexia within the Public Educational System. She also co-created and produced the... Read More →

Tracy Block-Zaretsky, EdD

Tracy Block-Zaretsky has provided remediation for children and adults with dyslexia for the past 20 years. She is a certified special education advocate, assisting parents and children through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 Plan process. She is a past-president of th... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 8:30am - 12:00pm


Executive Function In and Out of the Classroom

Today, many children lack the necessary executive function skills needed to be successful in and out of the classroom. Learn about executive function issues and leave with both low-tech and high-tech interventions and resources that lead to the development of these skills for K-12 students of ALL abilities in any authentic educational setting.

Participants will be able to: define and describe the various executive functions; explain how executive function issues impact learning; and identify low-tech and high-tech intervention resources for executive function weakness.

avatar for Kaye Ragland, EdD, LMFT, BCET

Kaye Ragland, EdD, LMFT, BCET

AET Secretary, Private Practice
Kaye Ragland is a Board Certified Educational Therapist and retired special education director with experience in counseling, teacher education, and administration. Kaye serves on the AET Board of Directors as Secretary, Chair of the Member and Public Information Committee, and is... Read More →

Karen Caruso, MA ED, MA Clinical Psychology, NBCT

Karen Caruso is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher with 30 years’ classroom experience. She specializes in bridging the gap between school and home for her students. Karen is the CEO of Lola Tech Systems, an online system to help teachers manage communications and track special... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm


Math! The Only Subject That Counts

This presentation will provide participants with a link between the latest research and effective practices in mathematics education, while delivering dynamic, adaptable strategies for immediate use. Special education research shows that technological tools support performance and autonomy when used strategically and in combination with well-developed curriculum. Participants will receive explicit instruction on using technology to boost children’s understanding and application of math concepts.

Participants will be able to: describe the connections between research in special education and effective practices, as they relate to mathematics; implement practical, ready-to-use strategies that can be adapted for classrooms, one-to-one settings, or at home, all of which are designed to increase the mathematics achievement of students with challenges; and integrate technology, a high-interest platform, into their educational therapy practices.

avatar for José M. Chávez, MA, ET/P

José M. Chávez, MA, ET/P

Educational Therapist, Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center
José M. Chávez works as an educational therapist for Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center in the South Los Angeles area. He also has a private practice in the San Fernando Valley, providing educational assessments, developing  treatment plans, and collaborating with allied professionals. His professional expertise emphasizes educational support for all types of learners and helping his students unlock the love for learning through a multimodal and relationship-based approach... Read More →

Orli Lahav, MA, ET/P

Educational Therapist, Educational Therapist
Orli Lahav is an educational therapist who works in private practice and at the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center in Los Angeles. In this clinical setting, she meets with students individually and in small groups, teaches a parent education class, and present... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm
Saturday, October 21


Educational Therapy Meets Technology: Setting up an Online Educational Therapy Practice

Learn the nuts and bolts of how to set up an online educational therapy practice. Several different models will be shared. Suggested tools will be discussed, as well as general best practices regarding strategies for obtaining clients and developing a referral network, factors that can determine whether sessions should be weekly or bi-weekly, and protocols for follow-up and parent conferences. Bonnie Terry will share the knowledge and methods she has gathered from her seven years of experience as an online practitioner.

Participants will be able to: choose technology that suits their needs; implement their teaching methods using online platforms; use effective strategies for building their practices; maintain appropriate follow-up with their online clients; and demonstrate a new model for conferencing with parents.

avatar for Bonnie Terry M.Ed., BCET

Bonnie Terry M.Ed., BCET

Educational Therapist, Author, Owner, Bonnie Terry Learning
Bonnie Terry is a learning disability specialist, a dyslexia and ADHD expert, and an online educator. She is the bestselling author of Family Strategies for ADHD Kids, School Strategies for ADHD Kids, Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills, Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills, and... Read More →

Saturday October 21, 2017 1:30pm - 3:00pm


Understanding How Neuro-training Can Impact Vision and Cognitive Functioning to Remediate Reading, Working Memory, and Attention

PATH neuro-training via computer interaction uses a unique, patented paradigm that engages the user in visual discrimination and movement training exercises that support development of cognitive pathways to address reading, attention, and working memory challenges. Learn the neuroscience behind the visual processing and attention-activating neuro-pathways that, in controlled-validation studies, have been found to improve the speed and sensitivity of figure-ground movement discrimination. These improvements can remediate visual timing deficits in the visual dorsal stream. Through several case examples, Dr. Lawton will illustrate how the neuroscience behind changing cognitive networks can support improvement in processing speed and reading fluency, as well as the executive control functions of attention and working memory. Her research compares both dyslexic and typically-developing readers who have had PATH neuro-training with those who have had no neuro-training using the PATH to Reading computer-based program.

Participants will be able to: describe the neuroscience behind the cognitive circuitry involved in developing the attention network; explain how visual pathways in the brain develop and can impact reading fluency and working memory; discuss how neuro-training can improve reading, attention, and working memory in children and adults with cognitive impairment; and analyze the effectiveness of new methods that work to improve cognitive skills.

*During the poster sessions on Saturday, Dr. Lawton will be available to demonstrate the PATH technology.


Teri Lawton, PhD

Teri Lawton earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan and her PhD in experimental psychology from UC Santa Barbara. She has served as a research scientist at CalTech and a faculty member at various educational institutions. Currently, as CEO and Director of Research for Perception Dynamics Institute and the non-profit Early Childhood Parenting Institute... Read More →

Saturday October 21, 2017 1:30pm - 3:00pm


Using Technology in College Planning

This presentation will discuss how assistive technology can support college planning. Participants will learn about tools and techniques that help identify personality and temperament, explore careers, construct resumes, keep track of testing and application schedules, interpret descriptions in virtual college tours, and guide the completion of college applications, including essay composition.

Participants will be able to: identify specific AT tools needed to complete the tasks associated with college admissions; integrate technology into complex and novel projects, such as the college application; and justify the use of AT tools to assist in time management.

avatar for Jan Kerchner, MBA, CEP

Jan Kerchner, MBA, CEP

CEO, The College Blueprint, LLC
Jan Kerchner has been an educational consultant in Southern California for more than 15 years. She is the founder and CEO of The College Blueprint (TCB). Jan has an MBA from Cornell University, a BS in human development from Penn State, and a College Counseling Certificate from U... Read More →

Karen Lerner, MA, ET/P

Karen Lerner works as an educational therapist at The College Blueprint and as an educational case manager at the UC Irvine Child Development School. She holds a teaching credential and an administrative credential from UC Irvine, a special education credential from Chapman Unive... Read More →

Sahar Zandi, MS

Sahar Zandi is a college counselor at The College Blueprint (TCB), where she also serves as the lead for assistive technology support. She has a BA in psychology and social behavior from UC Irvine and an MS in counseling from CSU Fullerton. Prior to her work at TCB, she was a sch... Read More →

Saturday October 21, 2017 1:30pm - 3:00pm


What’s Math Got to Do With It? Math Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and ADHD: Understanding the Connections and Remediating Effectively

Do my students have a math learning disability (MLD), or do they struggle because of their dyslexia or their ADHD, or is it a mixture? How do I know? How do I best help them? Join BCET Diana Kennedy to learn the symptoms and causes of MLDs and their relationships with dyslexia and ADHD. Explore concept/procedure integration, explicit teaching, incremental instruction and accommodations for students with MLD. Participants will leave with guidelines and games to help all math students excel.

Participants will be able to: describe the neuropsychological processes involved in mathematics; differentiate between domain general and domain specific causes of MLD; analyze the overlaps between MLD, dyslexia, and ADHD; apply an understanding of connections to a framework for remediation and accommodation; and analyze teaching techniques to optimize them for students.

avatar for Diana Black Kennedy, MA, BCET

Diana Black Kennedy, MA, BCET

Educational Therapist, MindSpark
Diana Black Kennedy is a Board Certified Educational Therapist with a thriving private practice in Marin County, California. Her extensive classroom experience spans second through twelfth grade in rural, urban, and suburban settings. Her students represent a wide range of learning profiles, and she loves them all. Diana presents nationally and internationally and writes an education blog for her company, Mindspark Learning. She leads... Read More →

Saturday October 21, 2017 1:30pm - 5:00pm


iATTEST - integrated Assistive Technology System for Diverse Learning Needs

It may be impossible to fulfill the learning needs of diverse learners with traditional approaches. This presentation offers a concept of developing iATTEST - integrated AssisTive TEchnology SysTem - for teens with diverse learning needs. This is a student-centered approach to address selection of assistive technology (AT) and matching the AT with a learner, their environment, and the task they need to complete. Participants will observe outcome-driven iATTESTs developed using Apple products and the App Store to meet the educational needs of a college student with severe congenital upper and lower limb deformities.

Participants will be able to: identify the components of each iATTEST - the theoretical frameworks and Apple products behind each system; describe how iATTESTs improve the functional capabilities of the student; explain why iATTEST works best when the student, family, and school staff work as a team; and outline the selection, matching, implementation, and monitoring of an iATTEST.


Mohamed Samunn, MA, ET/P

Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Senior Educational Therapist
Mohamed Samunn is an educational therapist with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. He provides educational therapy services to mainstream school children with dyslexia and delivers personalized online learning experiences to students outside Singapore. Mohamed holds an MA in... Read More →

Saturday October 21, 2017 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Sunday, October 22


The Benefits of Online Learning Modalities for the Learning Different Population

Online learning has the potential to reduce social anxieties associated with the learning environment, develop skills needed in the 21st century and improve executive functioning. This presentation will explore the various learning differences most commonly experienced by educational therapists and their associated treatment recommendations given by neuropsychologists through the lens of online teaching. Our discussion will focus on how today’s assistive technologies empower students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, and auditory or visual processing issues.

Participants will be able to: describe the benefits of technology-based learning; explain how today’s assistive technology empowers populations who learn differently; apply different aspects of educational technologies in the context of individualized learning programs to improve various learning skills and reduce anxieties; analyze the effectiveness of novel methodologies for online education; and explain why online learning is highly beneficial in helping students with learning differences and warrants further use in educational therapy.


Hasan Ali, BA

Founder, Air Tutors
Hasan Ali is an Educational Technology Specialist and one of the founders of Air Tutors, an online resource that provides one-on-one tutoring and academic support 24/7. A former medical student, Hasan has a degree in biochemistry from UC Berkeley and 12 years of teaching experien... Read More →

Sunday October 22, 2017 8:30am - 10:00am


Ethics Panel

Educational therapists periodically encounter practice dilemmas that must be handled ethically and effectively. Have you ever struggled to resolve a disagreement with a parent, teacher, or allied professional? Do you find it difficult to manage boundaries when faced with a parent who demands excessive time and drains your emotional energy? What useful information might you learn by analyzing your feelings about that parent? Who can you consult for advice and support? Business practices can also present ethical dilemmas. Is it difficult for you to set fees or discuss fee collection with clients? How do you represent yourself professionally on your business cards, website, or brochures?

A panel of Board Certified Educational Therapists moderated by Risa Graff, MA, BCET, FAET, will discuss ethical issues that often arise in the practice of educational therapy. The panel will offer anecdotes from private practice and settings such as schools, clinics and learning centers. The presentation will include ample time for questions and discussion of specific case examples from the audience.

Participants will be able to: generate solutions when there are disagreements between educational therapists and other professionals or parents; decide when professional consultation is needed in order to understand and maintain boundaries that promote healthy relationships with difficult parents; and identify areas of business practice that often present us with practical and/or ethical dilemmas.


Risa Graff, MA, BCET, FAET

Educational Therapist
Risa Graff has had a private practice in educational therapy in Olympia Fields, Illinois for forty years. A past president of AET and currently the Chair of the Ethics/Scope of Practice SubCommittee, Risa was also an instructor for the Educational Therapy Institute. She enjo... Read More →

Sunday October 22, 2017 8:30am - 12:00pm


Video Workshops - BCET Case Study Modules

AET promotes the gold standard of excellence in educational therapy practices. Our certification workshop with Ann Kaganoff, PhD, BCET, FAET, and Marion Marshall, MS, BCET, FAET, was videotaped during the 2014 conference and has been edited into four modules:

Part 1: Getting Started - The Five Elements of the Case Study @ 8:30 am

Part 2: Presenting Problem @ 9:30 am

Part 3: Formal & Informal Assessment @ 10:30 am

Part 4: Academic & Non-academic Interventions and Closing Remarks @ 11:15 am

Sunday October 22, 2017 8:30am - 12:00pm


The Why, When, What, and How of Improving Educational Therapy Outcomes Through Technology

Educational therapists are faced with a world of students who appear to have become “screen zombies,” practically addicted to their electronic devices. Neurologically, when a child is successfully engaged with these activities, a pleasure response in their brain lights up, increasing the child’s motivation and attention to similar activities. Whether you work in a school or private practice, ETs can leverage technology to support student success. This session will discuss the ways in which the integration of technological tools in treatment sessions can produce breakthroughs in literacy, academic achievement, executive functioning, motivation, and emotional well-being for those we serve.

Participants will be able to: explain how a client’s motivation, attention, organization, and academic, and social/emotional skills are enhanced by integrating technology tools into ET sessions; utilize a framework for the development of personalized strategies that integrate technology into regular sessions; identify appropriate technological tools and apply them with students who demonstrate learning, developmental, social/emotional, behavioral, and/or cognitive difficulties.


Barbara Cull, MEd, MBA, ET/P

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Special Education Consultants, Inc.
Barbara Cull founded the nonprofit Kayne-Eras Center in 1980. Now merged with the Exceptional Children’s Foundation, the Center is a nationally recognized institution, developing and disseminating researched-based education, human services, professional training, and organization... Read More →

Sunday October 22, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm