The Lab School of Washington

4759 Reservoir Road, NW 20007 Washington, DC
Phone: 202-965-6600
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.
There is no reserved seating. Seating is limited.
Registration is required – see registration links below each lecture title.

Lectures are held in The Commons on the Reservoir Campus:
4759 Reservoir Road NW Washington, D.C. 20007

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

Check out more Lecture Series videos!

Click here for more Lecture Series videos.
Dr. Erin Berman’s Dec. 6, 2017 lecture on Adolescent Anxiety was not filmed. She very kindly shared the above video of a similar presentation.

2017-2018 Lecture Series Lineup:

List of 8 items.

  • September 27: Why Arts Integration Matters: Academic Benefits for ALL Students

    Mariale Hardiman, Ed.D.
    Professor and Vice Dean of Academic Affairs;
    Director of Neuro-Education Initiative. Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, MD

    A growing number of arts advocates support the view that the arts can make important contributions to the teaching and learning process in non-arts subjects—often referred to as arts integration. To test this theory, Dr. Mariale Hardiman and her team at Johns Hopkins University conducted pilot randomized control trials comparing arts-integrated and conventional science instruction. In her presentation, Hardiman will share preliminary results showing advantages for arts-integrated learning. Findings point to the benefits of arts integration especially for students performing at the lowest levels of reading achievement.
    Speaker Bio
  • October 18: Stress Less, Laugh More: Strategies for Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness for Families

    Heather Tedesco, Ph.D.
    McLean, VA

    Children and parents are under stress from many sources – busy schedules, high academic expectations, numerous extracurricular activities, and peer pressure. When learning differences, ADHD and/or executive functioning issues are present, children and parents can face additional challenges. However, our bodies are not designed to withstand chronic stress and as a result, the health of today’s children (and parents!) is suffering. Join psychologist Dr. Heather Tedesco as she discusses factors increasing stress on children and on parents, shares ways to recognize stress in kids, gives strategies for reducing stress, and explains how parents can encourage the key characteristics research links to long-term psychological health and happiness.
    Speaker Bio
  • November 1: Spatial Cognition in Mathematics Learning: Mapping Numbers to the World around Us

    Luke F. Rinne, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
    University of Maryland

    The link between spatial cognition and mathematics has long been of interest to psychologists, and has recently begun to receive attention in educational circles. This talk will present a background of prior research on the relationship between spatial and mathematics abilities, followed by findings from original research on place value and fractions learning. Finally, there will be a discussion of how spatial aspects of numerical representations and everyday mathematical activities could potentially be integrated into arts-based instruction.
    Speaker Bio
  • December 6: Adolescent Anxiety: What It Looks Like and How to Support

    Erin Berman, Ph.D.
    Clinical Psychologist
    National Institute of Mental Health
    Bethesda, MD

    Worry is a normal part of adolescent life. Adolescents might feel anxious before taking a test or making important decisions. But for many of them, this anxiety involves more than temporary worry. They can experience excessive worry for months or years about a variety of everyday things. Anxiety Disorders can interfere with an adolescent's ability to function at school and socially. This talk will focus on how to spot these symptoms. Specifically, attendees will learn how to identify anxiety consistent with excessive worry (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and Social Anxiety Disorder and learn strategies to aid in coping with excessive anxiety. There will also be a brief review of the most recent research on Anxiety Disorders.
    Speaker Bio
  • January 10: Mastering the ‘Process’ of School: How to help your student who struggles with Executive Functioning

    Kathy Essig, M.Ed.
    Founder, Coach and Head of Curriculum at The StudyPro
    McLean, VA

    Debbie Rosen
    Founder, Parent Advocate and Head of Business Operations at The StudyPro
    McLean. VA


    Executive Functioning, such as managing time, organizing materials, planning and prioritization, and getting started and completing work, comprise the skills that are critical for student success.

    We have often labeled students who struggle with Executive Functioning as “the lazy kid,” or we have written them off as lacking motivation. Today, we understand that these bright students may simply be lacking skills. Neuroscience now corroborates that learners develop their executive functioning skills at vastly different times in their academic careers. The continuum for brain maturation is natural and appropriate, but not forgiving to the student who has not internalized necessary skills to meet the demands of their school curriculum.

    This presentation will share both an educator’s and a parent’s perspective on how mastering Executive Functions create skills students will use throughout life. It will describe what exactly Executive Functioning (EF) is, why cultivating EF skills is at least as important as mastering content, and what parents can do to help students bolster EF skills.
    Speaker Bio
  • February 7: Parenting in the Digital Age

    Adam Pletter, Ph.D.
    Clinical Psychologist
    Bethesda, MD

    Learn how to protect your children by combining basic parental controls with proven behavior techniques to empower them to use technology safely. Dr. Pletter will discuss the challenges of Digital Parenting and show parents how to use the built-in controls of their children’s electronic devices and to create clearly defined family rules around their use. He will also include developmental recommendations for digital access so that parents are better equipped to teach their children as they grow and demonstrate good digital citizenship.
    Speaker Bio
  • March 14: The Self-Driven Child

    William Stixrud, Ph.D.
    Clinical Neuropsychologist and Director
    The Stixrud Group
    Silver Spring, MD

    Drawing from his new book coauthored by Ned Johnson, called The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives (Viking Books), Dr. Stixrud will discuss ways to foster a strong sense of autonomy or agency in children in order to lower stress and build self-motivation. The benefits of giving children healthier control over their lives empowers them to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. Dr. Stixrud will also discuss the wisdom of letting parents be “consultants” to their kids rather than managers or enforcers and how young people benefit when parents serve as a nonanxious presence in their lives.
    Speaker Bio
  • April 18: Enhancing Resilience: Helping our Children Thrive and Be Happy

    Mary Karapetian Alvord, Ph.D.
    Psychologist and Director
    Alvord, Baker & Associates
    Rockville and Silver Spring, MD

    Resilience is the ability to adapt despite challenges faced in life. Challenges are defined broadly and include trauma as well as learning issues and ADHD, for example. There is now an accumulation of 60 years of longitudinal research identifying multiple factors and influences that help individuals thrive despite adversity. The good news is that parents and teachers can do much to promote the set of skills that enhance resilience -- across multiple settings and multiple difficulties. This presentation will describe pertinent research and provide practical suggestions and strategies for building resilience in families and classrooms.
    Speaker Bio
Visit Lecture Series Resources for information from past sessions.
The Difference is Extraordinary
The Lab School of Washington
4759 Reservoir Road, NW | Washington, DC 20007-1921 | 202-965-6600