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Lecture Series

Parents, caregivers, teachers and therapists: if there’s a child in your life with learning differences, chances are you are seeking some advice. Discover the Lab School's popular Lecture Series! Our monthly lectures are rich with information, insights and tips that will help you nurture the opportunities—and navigate the challenges—learning differences can present. 

At our Wednesday night lectures, you'll have the opportunity to listen to - and learn from - leading LD and ADHD specialists as they address early childhood, adolescent, and adult challenges and opportunities. Our lecturers are outstanding, recognized professionals in the learning differences field. Just as important, each is accessible and ready to answer your questions. 

All lectures are open to the public and offered free of charge – and now virtual! Registration is required – see registration links below.

Lectures will be 60-minutes long (7:00-8:00 pm).​

Lecture Series Videos

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"Using Classroom Reading and Writing Instruction as a Gateway to Address Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity: Practical Strategies and Examples for the Classroom"

Melissa A. Wood, MS, CCC-SLP 
Director Speech Language and Literacy
The Lab School of Washington 

Anthony Perry, PhD
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Lab School of Washington 

March 10 2021 Lecture Series
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“Playing with Math: Brain-Based Strategies to Improve Foundational Math Skills”
Steven G. Feifer, D. Ed., NCSP
Licensed Psychologist
Monocacy Neurodevelopmental Center 
Frederick, MD

Lecture Series Subject thumbnail Feb 2021
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“How Playfulness Can Help Us Use Change to Our Advantage”

Amy Oswalt
Elementary Division Head at The Lab School of Washington

Lecture Series
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“When Stimulants Are Not Enough: Alternative Strategies to Manage ADHD beyond Traditional Pharmacology”

Gonzalo Laje, MD, MHSc
Director, Washington Behavioral Medicine Associates

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"Rediscovering Our Resilience: A Mental Health Perspective on Parenting During the Pandemic"

Doug Fagen, PhD Director, Reservoir Psychology Group The Lab School of Washington

Organized Chaos: Executive Functioning Strategies for Learning in a Variety of Environments
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November 18, 2020

"Organized Chaos: Executive Functioning Strategies for Learning in a Variety of Environments"

Courtney Heldman, MS, OTR/L
Director of Occupational Therapy at The Lab School

presenting with

Martha Kiger, MA, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist at The Lab School

Anthony Perry October Lecture
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October 21, 2020

"The Fire This Time: Building an Equitable and Inclusive Community"

Dr. Anthony Perry
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at The Lab School of Washington

Lecture Series Sept 23 2020 Title Card
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September 23, 2020

"Managing Stress, Anxiety and Parenting under COVID-19"

Lisa Damour, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, best-selling author, columnist and news contributor

Kim Wargo, Head of School, The Lab School of Washington

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April 22, 2020

Are Coronavirus changes making you stressed? 10 Simple and Powerful Coping Strategies for Parents

Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, LCSW-C

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February 5, 2020

Anxiety and Other Emotional Problems in Youth: Understanding and Treatment

Daniel S. Pine, MD
Chief, Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience
National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program

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January 15, 2020

"Beyond Learning Differences and Executive Functioning Challenges: How to Solve Any Academic Problem with Study Skills and Time Management"

Paul Rivas, MA
Founder/Director, SMITH RIVAS Study Skills & Academic Coaching

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November 6, 2019

“Growing up with Learning Challenges: Emotional and Behavioral Consequences”

Judith M. Glasser, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

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September 25, 2019

Jonathan Mooney, Neuro-Diverse Writer and Advocate

Author: Normal Sucks - How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines” and “The Short Bus"

2021-2022 Lecture Series:

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
7:00 PM

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Dr. William Stixrud

Dr. William Stixrud
Clinical Neuropsychologist and Founder of The Stixrud Group

Dr. William Stixrud, co-author, with Ned Johnson, of the national best-seller, The Self-Driven Child, will talk about ideas from their new book, What Do You Say?  Talking with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home. The focus of his presentation will be how to communicate with kids in a way that supports the autonomy and self-drive that are so important for the healthy development of kids with learning-related challenges.  Although informed by extensive research, this talk will emphasize practical communication strategies for building a strong emotional connection with our kids, communicating healthy (versus toxic) expectations, fostering intrinsic motivation, and helping struggling students find their own reasons to change.  Because communication is hardest when things are not going well, the presentation will emphasize how to get “buy in” before we share our experience and advice, how to change the energy when it feels like we’re trying to force our kids, and how to manage conversations when emotions run high.  


Speaker Bio

William R. Stixrud, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist and founder of The Stixrud Group, as well as a faculty member at Children’s National Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine.  He is also the co-author, with Ned Johnson, of the national best-selling book, The Self-Driven Child, and of their new book, What Do You Say? Talking with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home. Dr. Stixrud’s work has been featured in media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Business Week, Barron's, and, New York Magazine. He is a long-time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, and he plays in the rock band Close Enough.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2021
7:00 PM

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Dr. Rebecca Resnik
Licensed Psychologist

It is common knowledge that evidence-based reading instruction “rewires” the brain, but there has long been a disconnect between neuroscience research and professional practice. Most parents and professionals are curious about how instruction changes the brain. Teachers, tutors and parents alike want to understand the logic behind “best practice.” Dr. Rebecca Resnik will break down how instruction triggers the brain to construct the “information superhighways” that are critical for literacy. Dr. Resnik shares exciting discoveries from the neuroscience of reading. She ties these discoveries to key “take-away concepts” that professionals and parents can use to guide instructional decision making and recognize the “red flags” of reading disability. The presentation will cover what’s happening in the brain during typical reading development versus what differences lead to learning difficulties. The goal of this presentation is to empower practitioners and parents to become changemakers --armed with knowledge about why things work (or don’t!). 


Speaker Bio

Dr. Rebecca Resnik is a Licensed Psychologist in private group practice with two offices in North Bethesda, Maryland. She trained in Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology and conducts evidence-informed neuropsychological assessments to diagnose learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and developmental delays. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Resnik earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities.  Dr. Resnik is author of A Family’s First Guide to ADHD (2016). She has served on the board of the Maryland Psychological Association for seven years and was recognized for excellence in service by the organization in 2017. Her research interests include use of computational methods to detect/diagnose psychological disorders and suicide risk. Dr. Resnik is a regular speaker at both local and national events and enjoys conducting continuing education for professionals. She is passionate about making brain science accessible to professionals and clinicians “in the trenches.”  

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
7:00 PM

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Linda Fleming McGhee, JD, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

This talk will examine the development of children of color and how they socialize around issues of race. We will also explore how racial identity and learning and developmental disorders intersect to present unique challenges for children and their families. Ways for parents and school professionals to best support children of color with developmental/learning challenges will also be addressed.


Speaker Bio

Dr. Linda Fleming McGhee is a licensed clinical psychologist who speaks and writes nationally on mental health, race, and education. She received her Psy.D. from George Washington University following a career as an attorney. Dr. McGhee is the owner of Dr. McGhee & Associates and is on the Board of Directors  and President Elect of the Maryland Psychological Association. She has served on the clinical faculty at the Washington School of Psychiatry and a former Adjunct Professor at George Washington University and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. McGhee is a speaker for the Steve Fund, an organization devoted to mental health for college students of color.  She is a contributor to The Son Rise Project, a support network for adolescent boys, and hosts a talk show on Radio One called Good Mental Health.  Dr. McGhee specializes in speaking and training on culturally competent therapy and assessment.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022
7:00 PM

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David Black, PhD
Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Director of the Center for Assessment And Treatment (CAAT)

Many neurodiverse students who struggle with executive functioning challenges also struggle with dysregulation, whether it be difficulty transitioning from video games to homework, listening to the teacher during lecture rather than talking with a friend, or having trouble regulating strong emotions when disappointed or upset. Effectively supporting a student’s ability to self-regulate requires understanding the underlying reasons why it is difficult. During this lecture, we will explore the most common neuropsychological reasons for dysregulation, including underlying anxiety, language weaknesses, inattention, inflexibility, disorganization, and slow processing speed. We will also discuss effective strategies to foster self-regulation, independence, and growth.  


Speaker Bio

David Black, PhD, is a pediatric neuropsychologist and director of the Center for Assessment And Treatment (CAAT), an integrated assessment and therapy practice serving individuals across the lifespan. With over twenty years of clinical experience, Dr. Black specializes in supporting children, adolescents, and adults with learning differences, attention disorders, anxiety, and other neurological conditions that impact self-regulation. He takes a strengths-based approach and is passionate about supporting individuals reach their potential.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
7:00 PM

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Mary K. Alvord, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Director of Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC

Colleen Cummings, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist and the Director of Research at Alvord, Baker, & Associates, LLC

Nina Shiffrin, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist and Associate Director of Research at Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC

Resilience is the ability to adapt despite challenges faced in life. Challenges are defined broadly and include trauma as well as daily frustrations and disappointments, learning issues and ADHD, for example. There is an accumulation of 60 years of longitudinal research identifying multiple factors and influences that help individuals thrive despite adversity. Fortunately, parents and teachers can do much to promote the set of skills that raise resilience -- across multiple settings and multiple difficulties. This presentation will provide practical suggestions and strategies for building resilience in children, teens and their families.  


Speaker Bios

Mary Karapetian Alvord, Ph.D. is a psychologist and director of Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC, a group practice in Rockville and Chevy Chase, MD,  Adjunct Associate Professor at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and President of the charity nonprofit, Resilience Across Borders. With more than 40 years of clinical experience, she specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults with anxiety disorders, ADHD and problems of emotional and behavioral regulation through individual and group therapy. Dr. Alvord's focus has been on promoting resilience and stress reduction using strength-based approaches and she has contributed to the American Psychological Association's (APA) public education guides on resilience, stress, and identification of emotional problems in children and teens. 

Dr. Alvord co-authored Resilience Builder Program for Children and Adolescents: Enhancing Social Competence and Self-Regulation (book), and two Relaxation CD’s and digital recordings for children and adults. Techniques (for adults): Mastering the Mind-Body Connection (CD and digital). Her newest book was released July 1, 2017: Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens: A Workbook to Break the Nine Thought Habits That Are Holding You Back.  

Dr. Colleen Cummings is a licensed psychologist and the Director of Research at Alvord, Baker, & Associates, LLC.  She has a strong interest in early intervention and prevention efforts, as well as the dissemination of effective treatments to the community. Her clinical approach emphasizes evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for problems including anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sleep difficulties, depression, and behavioral issues. 

Nina Shiffrin, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and the Associate Director of Research at Alvord Baker & Associates. She earned her B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University and her Ph.D in clinical psychology from Yale University. Dr. Shiffrin has provided evidence-based treatments for children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings. She is actively involved in research on cognitive-behavioral interventions for youth.

Both Drs. Cummings and Shiffrin are Fellows at Resilience Across Borders.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022
7:00 PM

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Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Anxiety in children and adolescents has become an epidemic, and for children and adolescents with learning differences the challenges to getting well can be even greater. Understandably, it can feel overwhelming to parents and caregivers.  Join Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, LCSW-C, an author, presenter and therapist who will provide insights about anxiety and teach you strategies to help your child feel less anxious and get back to enjoying life!   


Speaker Bio

Elizabeth DuPont Spencer is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in using cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders. She has been in private practice in Rockville for twenty-seven years, working with children, adolescents and adults. Elizabeth is co-owner of AnxietyTraining.com with a mission to train clinician’s nation-wide in evidence-based treatments. She is the co-author of three books: The Anxiety Cure, The Anxiety Cure for Kids, and CBT for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Training Manual.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
7:00 PM

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Headshot of Anthony Perry

Anthony Perry, PhD
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Lab School of Washington 

Peggy McIntosh, in her seminal article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” states that “white privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks” (1), arguing that “we need more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some [privileges] are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant and destructive” (2).
 
As a matter of policy, The Lab School of Washington does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. As a matter of practice, at Lab, we strive to provide an environment in which all individuals feel safe, supported, and fully included.
 
To achieve this, we acknowledge and mitigate for the ways in which our institutional operations have for so long been guided by the prevailing American cultural norms that categorized gender as strictly male or female, as determined at birth; associating with these two genders’ stereotypical masculine and feminine forms of expression; and assuming a heterosexual orientation on the part of all couples. Only with such acknowledgement and mitigation are we able to take steps to correct for this cultural legacy, thereby maximizing the achievement of equity and inclusion on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation for all community members.
 
In this session, it is my aim to provide families and educators with the tools to support and celebrate our LGBTQIAA+ students as they navigate a school and a world in which they have been historically marginalized.


Speaker Bio

Dr. Anthony Perry is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Lab School of Washington. A first–generation college graduate, he holds a B.A. in History and Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies from Georgetown University. As a scholar, he aims to critically interrogate the status quo through the examination of naturalized literary, historical and cultural structures. Through a Brace Center for Gender Studies Faculty Fellowship, he examined how Black masculinity in media can be unpacked and re-approached intersectionally. In addition to presenting his work to the Phillips Academy community in 2018, this he presented to educators at the Brace Center’s Summer Institute in 2019.