The Eighteenth Annual Awareness Expo is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at Edison Intermediate School, 800 Rahway Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

The Awareness Expo is a symposium designed for parents and educators to explore issues that concern them most about children.  Every year for more than a decade, the Awareness Expo has showcased distinguished speakers ranging from highly acclaimed authors to neurologists to therapists who provide insight into a variety of issues that empower parents to help their children.  The goal of the Awareness Expo always has been to educate the community at large about issues that impact our students and their ability to succeed.    The Expo includes something for everyone and promises to be a rewarding and educational way to spend an evening learning about issues that impact school-age children.

The panel for this year’s Expo consists of several distinguished speakers who will discuss the many resources available to parents and educators to help students achieve their maximum potential.    The program includes two, one-hour “break out” type sessions starting promptly at 7:30 pm, covering an assortment of child related topics.   Every program has been approved for Professional Development Hours.   This year’s Expo will include the following topics and speakers of interest:

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PARENT POWER: EMPOWERING THE PARENTS TO DEAL WITH BULLYING BEHAVIOR

Presented by Dr. Roberta R. Fallig, Ph.D., Clinical and Exec. Director of Psychological Assoc. of North Jersey, LLC.

 

TECHNOLOGY: TEENAGER'S FRIEND OR FOE?

Presented by Joann Corrao Spera, MA in Counseling & School Social Worker, BA in Early Childhood Education

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEECH/LANGUAGE & AUDITORY DEVELOPMENT TO LEARNING & LITERACY Presented by Dr. Alan B. Gertner, Assoc. Professor, School of Communication Disorders & Deafness, Kean University

 

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD BECOME A SUCCESSFUL READER

Presented by David Katz, MAT, Certified AOGPE

 

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY & TIC DISORDERS IN CHILDREN?: PANDAS, TOURETTE'S & OCD Presented by Dr. Trifiletti, Professor at Columbia-Cornell, St. Vincent's & Former Chief of Child Neurology, UMDNJ-Newark

 

HOW TO BUILD A STRONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR AUTISTIC CHILD

 Presented by Lisa Strata, Owner, Spectrum Consulting, Inc.

 

THE ADHD STUDENT: OPTIONS FOR THEIR IEP OR 504 PLAN

Presented by Evelina E.G. Padilla, Esq, Hinkle, Fingles & Prior

 

TO MEDICATE OR NOT TO MEDICATE: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CHILD'S MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION Presented by Louise Walpin, Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse, Children's Specialized Hospital

 

WHAT ABOUT COLLEGE? OPTIONS FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS OR ADHD

Presented by Lisa Bleich, President of College Bound Mentor, LLC & Diane Forman, MA, LDT-C

 

OCCUPATIONAL & PHYSICAL THERAPY: WHAT'S NEW & INNOVATIVE IN THE FIELD?

Presented by Trinitas Children Services, Kevin Nelson, Director, Jami Hughes (OT), Ben Lipman (PT)

 

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR KIDS

Presented by Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D., Assistive Technology, Consultant & Owner, Assistivetek.com

 

ESTATE PLANNING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS

Presented by S. Paul Prior, Esq., Partner of Hinkle, Fingles & Prior

The Westfield PTC-Special Education Committee also will award the “Make a Difference Award” at the Awareness Expo.   The “Make a Difference” award is given annually to an individual or group of individuals who display exemplary efforts in support of Special Education.  This year, the Make a Difference Award  will be presented to the Alice Hunnicutt  who has been an advocate for persons with disabilities for more than twenty years.  Alice has  been a devoted member of the Westfield Board of Education since 2002, has served as a liaison to PTC Special Education Committee and, in fact, was a founding member of the Committee when her children were students in Westfield.  Alice is the founding board president of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) and spent 17 years on staff there as its transition project director. Last year, Alice accepted a position as the new Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  The PTC-Special Ed. Committee is honored to recognize the hard work, dedication and spirit of Alice Hunnicutt who has served not only the Westfield Community so well, but has been a champion for young people with disabilities throughout the State. 

The Awareness Expo is sponsored by the Westfield PTC-Special Education Committee, an organization that serves as a resource for teachers and the parents of regular education and special education students.  The Committee is a not funded by the school budget and collects donations to support its programs and annual fund-raiser: The Katherine E. Cuthbertson Memorial Fund.  The Fund was established several years ago in memory of ten-year-old Katie Cuthbertson, a Westfield resident and one of the first students to pioneer inclusive education in the State of New Jersey.  Each year, in honor of Katie’s pioneering spiritthe Special Education Committeepresents a limited number of monetary awards to eligible Westfield high school seniors. Unlike academic scholarships, this award recognizes the student's personal achievement and growth through both their schooling and outside activities.  Additionally, the Fund is used to provide barrier-free initiatives in the schools and/or free educational programs for parents and teachers. 

 The Awareness Expo is open to the public and free of charge; pre-registration is not required.  FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION EMAIL specialedparents@westfieldnjk12.org  or Visit www.westfieldnjk12.org/specialedparents