37th Annual Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders

February 21, 22, 23, 2019
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center
Kansas City, Missouri


Thursday, February 21 | Presymposium Workshops

Morning Sessions, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • 1. Teacher Behaviors: Using Effective Instruction and the Basics of Management to Maximize Student Success
    1. Teacher Behaviors: Using Effective Instruction and the Basics of Management to Maximize Student Success

    This session will focus on the interconnectedness of effective instruction and classroom management as a means of facilitating both academic and social success. Specific examples will highlight effective practices using video vignettes and real video representations. In addition, considerations for students with non-compliant, disrespectful, and disruptive behaviors.

    Terrance Scott, PhD, Professor, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

  • 2. The Struggle Is Real, People! Toxic Stress, Well-Being, and Implications for Educators
    2. The Struggle Is Real, People! Toxic Stress, Well-Being, and Implications for Educators

    Teachers and nurses tie for the highest rate of daily stress among all occupational groups. Additionally, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been shown to negatively impact physical and mental health. The prevalence of ACEs indicates that many teachers who serve students with ACEs and are likely to have a personal history of ACEs as well, increasing their vulnerability to compassion fatigue and even secondary trauma. This session will outline four major sources of teacher stress that can lead to burnout and provide strategies that research shows to be effective for reducing teacher stress and improving well-being, including workplace wellness, social emotional learning, and mindfulness/stress management programs. Strategies for enhancing well-being within both a professional and personal and context will be explored.

    Cherie Blanchart, LSCSW, Coordinator, State Trainer, Topeka, KS and Christin Sheldon, LMSW, State Trainer, Baldwin City, KS, Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) School Mental Health Initiative (SMHI)

  • 3. Teacher, Caregiver, or Parent Implemented Functional Assessment to Guide Treatment of Problem Behaviors: Practical Assessment Procedures and Resources

    Using a functional approach to assessment and treatment of problem behaviors is a hallmark of professional best practice for teachers and clinicians. This workshop will focus on practical suggestions for conducting functional assessment and treatment of problem behaviors exhibited in the classroom, community, and outpatient clinical settings. 

    David Richman, PhD, Professor, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

  • 4. Whose Future is it Anyway? Considering the Student-Directed IEP Process

    Participants in this session will learn about the advantages of elementary level student-led IEPs.  Specific teacher-friendly and teacher-tested activities to begin implementation of a student-led IEP program in their setting also will be covered along with strategies to support students in the writing and development of their IEP. Particular attention will be given to tools that increase self-advocacy and self-determination. Participants will receive links to resources, activities, and other “freebies” associated with student-led IEPs.

    Carrie Fairbairn, MEd, Structured Behavior Skills Special Educator, Sallye Vanderplas-Lee, BA, Resource Teacher, Millard Public Schools, and Jodie Tagel, MEd, Behavior and Autism Specialist, Westside Community Schools, Omaha, NE

  • 5. Information Overload? How to Understand and Use Evidence-based Practices for Students with Autism

    The identification and use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have become increasingly important over the past two decades. While educators understand the ethical imperative to use effective practices with their students, practical challenges make application difficult. Despite significant advances in research and teaching methods, due to the complexities of scientific findings, differences in EBP terminology and reviews, as well as a number of other factors, implementing EBPs for students with ASD can be confusing. The presenter will provide an overview of EBPs, including definitions and components, identify the guiding questions that should be asked about EBPs, discuss a process to choose, use and evaluate EBsP, and share how to locate and use free web-based EBP resources.

    Paul LaCava, PhD, Associate Professor, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

Afternoon Sessions, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

  • 6. Personalizing Interventions to Students with Social, Emotional and Behavioral Needs to Optimize Outcomes

    A one-size-fits-all approach to intervention programming for students with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties (SEBD) results in limited success and is wasteful of educators’ precious time and resources. This presentation will discuss an approach to personalizing interventions to students with SEBD that has been shown to significantly increase the probability of achieving successful outcomes. The process involves determining the root cause underlying the student's SEBD to inform the selection of an intervention. Attendees will learn about a specific approach to organizing intervention programming from beginning to end – intervention matching, mapping, monitoring, and meeting. Attendees will also be provided with free resources to guide and support successful implementation in their schools.

    Clayton Cook, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

  • 7. Behavioral Interventions Through a Trauma-Informed Lens: Strengthening Interventions for “Hard to Reach Kids”

    Interventions for challenging behaviors are generally effective at reaching most students if done with fidelity in all environments, but sometimes don’t work. This may be related to student difficulties forming healthy and trusting relationships with professional dedicated to helping them. This interactive workshop will focus on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on the behaviors that students demonstrate in classrooms and other school areas. Participants will explore the behaviors that are often exhibited by children who have been exposed to trauma and will work through several case studies looking at the role of trauma in behavioral interventions. Behavioral interventions that include the lens of trauma-informed practices will be discussed and applied to both case studies and participants’ own situations.

    Vanessa Tucker, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, Assistant Professor, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

  • 8. Operation Behavior: Making an Impact

    In order to intervene effectively, educators must be able to identify antecedents and consequences to determine the perceived functions of displayed behavior. Simple data collection is a must considering the wealth of expectations being placed upon educators, and a need exists for a basic understanding of the vital role of functional behavioral assessments for providing appropriate supports to students with varying needs. Educators must also recognize the benefits of providing positive and constructive feedback in order to guide students' behavior as well as the critical importance of a proactive approach to teaching social behaviors. This workshop will include strategies to help teachers implement reasonable interventions and supports. Additional emphasis will be on consistent, organized, and respectful learning environments that allow for student growth in the social, emotional, academic, and behavioral realms.

    Felicity Balluch, EdD, Assistant Professor, Peru State College

  • 9. Strategies for Success: Addressing Executive Functioning in Students with Challenging Behavior

    Executive functioning (EF) deficits have been associated with several behavioral challenges common in children including restricted interests, repetitive behaviors, stimulus overselectivity, generativity, and deficits in cognitive flexibility. This session will present instructional strategies targeting EF deficits commonly experienced by students with challenging behavior.

    Kaye Otten, PhD, BCBA, Consultant, Summit Behavioral Services, Kansas City, MO and Lisa Robbins, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO


Friday, February 22

Symposium activities on Friday include the following:

8:30 – 10:00 AM              Keynote Session
10:20 – 4:15 PM              36 Breakout Sessions
4:15 – 6:00 PM                Poster Session
8:00 – 11:00 PM              Symposium Party & Lip Sync Battle


Saturday, February 23 | 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. | Special Workshop Sessions

  • 1. Bully Prevention: Everything You Need to Know and More

    Bullying has become a pervasive problem among school-aged youth. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted anti-bullying legislation to address and prevent bullying within the nation’s schools. Presently, laws in 33 states, including Missouri, have specific language related to teacher awareness and prevention training. This session will meet state-mandated bully prevention training requirements and will cover topics such as: definition, types, risk characteristics, vulnerable populations, and developing a comprehensive bullying prevention plan. Participants will leave this session with a clear understanding of the bullying dynamic, resources related to bully prevention, and clear steps for addressing bullying within their school or district.

    Chad Rose, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

  • 2. Building a Better SPED Team: Tips to Train and Supervise Your Paraprofessionals

    Paraeducators are the lifeblood of effective special education programs, and having a team of strong paraeducators makes a teacher far more effective. Paraeducators need a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities, effective training, and teacher supervision strategies can make or break a program. In this session, you will learn strategies to train your paraprofessionals to implement evidence-based strategies with high fidelity. A practical model of training will be presented, using a “teach, model, practice, supervise, and fade support” approach. Participants will walk away from the session with ideas for zoning plans, training paraprofessionals, and easy supervision tips that will maximize the effectiveness of your entire special education program.

    Jessica Nelson, MS, BCBA, LBA, Instructor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS and Scott Fluke, PhD, Emotional Disturbance Program Facilitator, Olathe Public Schools, Olathe, KS

  • 3. Update on Legal Developments in Special Education: What Special Education Teachers Need to Know and Why they Need to Know it

    Our goal in this presentation is to provide information that teachers of students with behavioral disorders need to know. We will begin with a brief overview of the highlights of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (2017). Next, we will provide a legal update on recent court decisions, state level due process hearings, and policy letters from the U.S. Department of Education one and a half years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. Finally, we discuss litigation on behavior, mental health services, bullying, and discipline.

    Mitchell L. Yell, PhD, Professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; Carl R. Smith, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; Antonis Katsiyannis, EdD, Professor, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

  • 4. I Swear, I had No Idea He was Going to Melt Down

    As educators, parents, caregivers, and interventionists, we are often caught off guard by the behavior of those with whom we interact. The children and youth in our environment do not always respond to our interventions and when they do, nothing seems to be a permanent fix. Join us for a discussion that will center around creating predictable, positive environments in which children and youth are supported in ways that leads to academic and social-emotional growth. We will emphasize the importance of solid tier one and tier two practices and interventions that teach expectations and help establish pro-social routines. We will wrap up with a discussion of a process that will help us better support those students who need more individual, intense supports. Take a breath, assess what you see, and determine the best approach to de-escalate and calm your struggling student!

    Lee Stickle, MSEd, Director, TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports and Director, School Mental Health Initiative, Kansas State Department of Education, Lenexa, KS & Linda Wilkerson, MSEd, Co-Director, Kansas MTSS, Kansas Department of Education, Kansas City, MO