Lecture Series for Parents and Professionals

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 link below.

Unless otherwise noted, each lecture is 90-minutes long (7:30-9:00pm).

Lecture Series Videos

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
Click to play the video

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

Lecture Series for Parents and Professionals Video Title Card
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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

Lecture Series for Parents and Professionals Video Title Card
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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

Lecture Series for Parents and Professionals Video Title Card
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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

Lecture Series for Parents and Professionals Video Title Card
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November 6, 2019

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

Judith M. Glasser, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Lecture Series for Parents and Professionals Video Title Card
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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"


Our Next Lecture: 

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
7:00 - 8:00 pm *

*Please note new, earlier time*
 

Register Now

 

Doug Fagen

Douglas B. Fagen, PhD
Director, Reservoir Psychology Group

This pandemic has upended many of the parenting strategies that we rely on to support our children with learning differences.  Our families have faced unprecedented stressors, and have had to cope in new ways.  This lecture will focus on pandemic-friendly strategies that can help support mental health in both children and parents. 


Speaker Bio

Dr. Doug Fagen has been the Director of the Reservoir Psychology Group, Lab's in-house mental health department, since 2010.  He served as a staff psychologist at The Lab School beginning in 1999, before assuming leadership of the department.  

Dr. Fagen obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester.  He received postdoctoral training in child psychology at The Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, where he focused on providing school-based psychotherapy to students with both emotional and learning disabilities.  

Dr. Fagen has special interests in the role of mindfulness in mental health, as well as the impact of technology on mental health in children and teens.

  

2020-2021 Lecture Series:

Lisa Damour, PhD Psychologist Book covers

Lisa Damour, PhD 
Psychologist, Author
New York Times Columnist
Beechwood, Ohio

in conversation with

 

Headshot of Kim Wargo

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

Dr. Damour explains the psychological science key to understanding how stress and anxiety operate, both under everyday conditions and at times of heightened concern and disruption. Join us to learn more about:

  • how to keep pressure and tension from reaching toxic levels

  • how to parent effectively in the current circumstances

  • the most reliable strategies for managing ongoing stress

 


Speaker Bios

Lisa Damour, PhD
Recognized as a thought leader by the American Psychological Association for her work on stress and anxiety, Dr. Lisa Damour is the author of two New York Times best selling parenting books, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood and Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. Dr. Damour also writes the monthly Adolescence column for the New York Times, serves as a regular contributor to CBS News, maintains a private practice, consults and speaks internationally, is a Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University, and serves as the Executive Director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls.

Kim Wargo
Kim has over 20 years of experience in education, beginning her career as an award winning teacher and serving as Head of School at two highly regarded independent schools, Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco and Hockaday School in Dallas. Before coming to Lab in July, she was the Associate Head of School at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. Kim currently serves on the board of ERB and The Heads Network. She has served on the boards of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, the Southwest Preparatory Athletic Conference, and Aim High in San Francisco.

Wednesday, October 21
7:30-9:00 pm

Headshot of Anthony Perry

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

It is not hyperbole to say that we live in a world that is systemically inequitable and exclusive. After all, this made my role as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion necessary. I believe that the purpose and role of education is to mold civic-minded individuals, that is, we must prepare our students to, in the words of Lani Guinier, “participate in the decisions that affect their lives as individuals and the society they create as a collective.” 

In addition to preparing students for an everchanging and more multicultural world, we must prepare them to change that world to reflect the values they, themselves, hold dear. Guinier, in The Tyranny of the Meritocracy, pushes us, as educators, to reconsider the educational status quo—a status quo that centers individual competition above all else, a status quo that replicates inequities and does not adequately prepare students to be civic-minded individuals in a democratic society. 

The rallying call as of late has been: “Education, not incarceration;” however, as Ericka Huggins, activist, educator, and former Director of the Oakland Community School, said in a recent conversation with Angela Davis, “Education as it exists today cannot be the solution.”
 
As the world is full of complex problems for us to solve, including, but not limited to, the role of technology, climate change, gender equity, and racial justice, I believe there are three essential skills that we must cultivate in a modern, meaningful student experience: 1. collaborative problem solving, 2. independent thinking, and 3. creative leadership. Additionally, and arguably more importantly, there is a lens through which said students must view and approach those skills: the lens of equity and inclusion.

In this talk, I hope to discuss the ways in which our educational system reproduces systemic racism as well as the need for and the ways in which we can collectively build systems and practices equitable and inclusive of race.


Speaker Bio

Anthony Perry, PhD
Currently, 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. 
 
Previous to Lab, he spent three years living and working in the Bay Area, first at The Nueva School and then at The Branson School. While at Nueva, in addition to teaching Spanish-language and literature courses, Dr. Perry served as the inaugural coordinator for THRIVE, a program that supports students and families who have been historically underrepresented in independent schools. In his 14-year career, he also has served as a Spanish-language and literature instructor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, the ABC Language School in Washington, DC, and the Language Immersion Trips Abroad (LITA) Summer Program in Peñafiel, Spain. 

Courtney Heldman

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

Presenting with

Headshot of smiling Martha Kiger

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
7:30-9:00 PM

Whether learning virtually, in person, or through a combination, executive functioning skills and strategies are necessary to manage daily workload, homework, and maintain organization.  This lecture will address key strategies and tips for all students, from elementary to high school, and will target such topics as time management, physical and digital organization of workspace, ergonomics, planning, and more.


Speaker Bios

Courtney Heldman, MS, OTR/L
Courtney Heldman is the Director of Occupational Therapy (OT) at the Lab School of Washington for the past 2 and ½ years, and has worked as a Clinical OT across Divisions for 9 years prior. She has a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis and worked in the St. Louis Public Schools for 1 and ½ years before joining the Lab School team. She has a passion for helping children of all abilities thrive in their occupational role as students through collaboration with teachers, parents, and clinicians. Courtney lives in Kensington, MD with her wife and infant daughter.

Martha Kiger, MA, OTR/L
Martha Kiger has her Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy from The New York University. She has been an occupational therapist working primarily with children since 1986. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Individual Studies/Art Therapy at the University of Maryland in College Park. This area of study helped foster a greater understanding of the importance of the arts as a teaching tool for students of all ages, with or without disabilities. Martha has been an occupational therapist at the Lab School of Washington since 1994. She has had an opportunity to work in all of the divisions at Lab and currently works in the Junior High and High School. Prior to the Lab School, she worked at the Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore, and in the Los Angeles County School system.  She has also worked across the lifespan as a clinician in an early intervention clinic in Los Angeles, ​with geriatric nursing home patients and in acute and inpatient rehabilitation. Prior to pursuing her degree in occupational therapy, Martha worked as a teacher’s assistant and respite care worker with children with severe/profound disabilities for the Center’s for the Handicapped in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Doug Fagen

Douglas B. Fagen, PhD
Director, Reservoir Psychology Group

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
7:00-8:00 PM

Register Now

This pandemic has upended many of the parenting strategies that we rely on to support our children with learning differences.  Our families have faced unprecedented stressors, and have had to cope in new ways.  This lecture will focus on pandemic-friendly strategies that can help support mental health in both children and parents. 


Speaker Bio

Dr. Doug Fagen has been the Director of the Reservoir Psychology Group, Lab's in-house mental health department, since 2010.  He served as a staff psychologist at The Lab School beginning in 1999, before assuming leadership of the department.  

Dr. Fagen obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester.  He received postdoctoral training in child psychology at The Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, where he focused on providing school-based psychotherapy to students with both emotional and learning disabilities.  

Dr. Fagen has special interests in the role of mindfulness in mental health, as well as the impact of technology on mental health in children and teens.

Headshot of Gonzalo Laje

Gonzalo Laje, MD, MHSc
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Director, Washington Behavioral Medicine Associates

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
7:30-9:00 PM

Register Now

For over a half century, methylphenidate and more recently, other stimulants, have been the gold standard in the treatment of ADHD. However, many children and adolescents do not fully respond or tolerate stimulant medication. This talk will discuss other interventions that include non-stimulant medication, diet and food supplements, sleep and brain modulation methods that may help with the management of ADHD.


Speaker Bio

After completing his medical education at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, Dr. Laje moved to the U.S. and worked at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Columbia University. He completed his training in general psychiatry at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and his training in child and adolescent psychiatry through the combined program NIMH/Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. He completed a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in psychiatric genetics and became an Associate Clinical Investigator. His research has focused on pharmacogenetics, clinical trials and neuroimaging, as well as, pharmacological interventions to address behavioral and emotional difficulties in genetic disorders. Dr. Laje is author and co-author of peer-reviewed publications in major psychiatric and genetics journals. Dr. Laje earned a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research from Duke University.

He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A former member of the American Society of Human Genetics and the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics. He is a former Board member of the Washington Psychiatric Society (WPS), the Winter Conference on Brain Research (WCBR), the Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Madison House Autism Foundation, and has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith-Magenis Syndrome (PRISMS). He serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Child Psychiatry & Human Development. Dr. Laje is the founder of Washington Behavioral Medicine Associates, LLC. 
 

Amy Oswalt

Amy Oswalt
Elementary Division Head
The Lab School of Washington

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
7:30-9:00 PM

Registration coming soon

As we can all attest, the only certain in life is that life is uncertain.  How can we take this truth and make it work for us?  In this interactive conversation, we will discover how important experiences are in our lives and why it is critical that we use these experiences to discover new methods of problem solving.  We will discuss why making mistakes is a key component in this and how embracing a more playful attitude helps us accept our mistakes and broaden our experiences. 


Speaker Bio

Amy has a degrees in Linguistics, Special Education, and Education Administration.  She has worked in schools on three continents and has taught in a variety of teaching situations including public schools receiving significant Title 1 funding to a private schools in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Amy has spent a significant amount of time working in International Baccalaureate schools and has worked with two schools to move them through the authorization process.  This is Amy’s third year at the Elementary Division at Lab.

Headshot of Steven Feifer in suit

Steven G. Feifer, DEd, ABSNP

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
7:30-9:00 PM

Registration coming soon

This presentation will explore how children learn and acquire basic mathematical skills from a brain-based educational perspective.  Keeping math fun, interactive, and meaningful through games and activities will be featured.   A discussion of how parents can help minimize math anxiety and maximize math performance will be an important component of the talk.   The role of language, picture cues, memory strategies, and symbolic thinking will be critical in developing automatic fact retrieval, quantitative reasoning, and the development of number sense for children with learning differences.


Speaker Bio

Dr Feifer is an internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of learning disabilities, and has authored seven books on learning and emotional disorders in children.  He has nearly 20 years of experience as a school psychologist, and was voted the Maryland School Psychologist of the Year in 2008, and awarded the 2009 National School Psychologist of the Year.  He was the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to the Education and Training of Psychologists award by the Maryland Psychological Association.   Dr. Feifer serves as a consultant to a variety of school districts, and is a popular presenter at state and national conferences.  He has authored two tests on diagnosing learning disabilities in children; the FAR and FAM, both published by PAR. 

Melissa Wood

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

Headshot of Anthony Perry

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
7:30-9:00 PM


Registration coming soon

In this workshop participants will discuss how specific oral and written language strategies can facilitate powerful classroom discourse and connections.  We will also discuss a framework for selecting literature to promote cultural competency and cultural humility.


Speaker Bios

Melissa A. Wood, MS, CCC-SLP 
Melissa Wood is the Director of Speech, Language and Literacy at The Lab School.  She is passionate about the integration of spoken and written language and has worked on these skills and curriculum areas with students, parents, clinicians, and teachers throughout her career.  Melissa holds a MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Reading Concentration from the MGH Institute of Health Professions and a BA from Williams College. 

Anthony Perry, PhD
Currently, 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. 
 
Previous to Lab, he spent three years living and working in the Bay Area, first at The Nueva School and then at The Branson School. While at Nueva, in addition to teaching Spanish-language and literature courses, Dr. Perry served as the inaugural coordinator for THRIVE, a program that supports students and families who have been historically underrepresented in independent schools. In his 14-year career, he also has served as a Spanish-language and literature instructor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, the ABC Language School in Washington, DC, and the Language Immersion Trips Abroad (LITA) Summer Program in Peñafiel, Spain.