Psychologists, Educators and Specialists to Provide Workshops and Resources for Teachers and Families with Special Needs Children

The 27th Annual Awareness Expo is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 11, at Edison Intermediate School, 800 Rahway Ave., Westfield, NJ from 7:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.  Presented by the Westfield PTC – Special Education Committee, the Awareness Expo will provide parents and educators of special needs children with information and resources to aid in their ongoing education and growth.  

Since 1993, the Awareness Expo has showcased distinguished speakers ranging from highly acclaimed psychologists and educators to financial experts and attorneys whose varied insights empower parents and educators to better serve their children and students.

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With an estimated 300 attendees anticipated, each session at the Expo will be presented twice, allowing attendees of the event to participate in two presentations.

The Expo will feature the following well-regarded specialists:

What’s Going On? How to Navigate Diagnosis and Treatment of Behavior, presented by Megan Brown, Ph.D., Jaime Lehrhoff, M.A., LDT-C, and Jodi Prupis, M.Ed., OT

Our panel of experts will discuss their approach to differential diagnosis and treatment of various disabilities and behaviors. Learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, neurological disorders, and more all result in behavioral issues often clouding root causes and treatments needed. It takes a village, and this team will explain assessment and treatment as well as collaboration between home and school.

Stuck in the Muck Doesn’t Have to Be So Yuck: Developing Flexible Responses to Difficult Thoughts, presented by Jill Saxon, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Children and adults often get stuck in the muck – muck made of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings – and this stuck-ness can prevent us from doing things that are important.  This workshop will introduce parents and educators to the critical skill of behavioral flexibility – the ability to hold our difficult thoughts and feelings a bit more lightly, enabling us to act on what’s important to us rather than acting on our short-term impulses.  Participants should expect to leave with a set of tools that they can put to work in their classrooms and homes right away.

Parenting in 2020: Finding Balance in a Changing World, presented by Matthew Liebman, Psy.D., and Megan Cook, LPC

The art of parenting in 2020 brings its own new rewards and challenges. Being an effective parent in the ever-changing landscape of new mediums can be amazing, difficult, and confusing, all at the same time. This talk will focus on ways parents can try to be as effective as possible. Understanding ways in which the lives of our kids are impacted by the environment in which they are a part, and how we can best integrate ourselves into that environment, will be the focus. 

Post Secondary Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities, ASD, and/or ADHD, presented by Nicole Oringer, M.A., M.Ed., and Christina Mangano, M.Ed.

This session will help students and their parents navigate the college search and application process, as well as post secondary planning for students who have learning differences, ASD, and/or ADHD. We will cover accommodations on standardized testing, laws and rights for those with disabilities, the differences between accommodations in high school and college, as well as levels of support in college. Finally, we will address the numerous options for post secondary planning.

The Westfield PTC – Special Education Committee will award the “Make a Difference Award” to Christopher Tafelski and Samuel Haimann of Blue Devil XC/Track & Field and WHS Faculty, who truly make a difference to the Westfield Special Education community. This award is given annually to an individual or group who displays exemplary efforts in support of Special Education.

The Expo is open to the public and is free of charge; please pre-register at:

1.5 professional development hours per session will be offered.