Family Tree Therapies
Core Strength Presentation
Kent County Health Dept Vendor


                                     Register Here: LEAP Conference Sign Up

                                                   March 4, 2017

                                                 Kent Intermediate School District

                                                 Educational Service Center 

                                                     2930 Knapp Ave NE 

                                                  Grand Rapids, MI 49525                           


 Keynote Speaker: Janice Fialka

Janice Fialka is an author & advocate for creating a life that matters for ALL our children. She has helped assist parents & providers to gain insight as they work together. Her message is both inspiring and hopeful. 

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship: Strategies for Couples
Courtney Kowalczyk, MS, LLP 

 Parenting a child with special needs can strain the lives of adult caregivers. Our focus will be on the importance of couples building and maintaining a healthy relationship with each other. Strategies for reducing stress and improving communication will be presented.



Legal Planning for  Child with Disabilities 

Dan Blauw & Sarah Kirkpatrick, Attorneys

Parents of children with disabilities often wonder if they should seek legal guardianship or powers of attorney for older children. What public benefits are available to children and adults with disabilities? Can I arrange my estate planning so an inheritance does not disqualify my child from these benefits? Attorneys Dan Blauw and Sarah Kirkpatrick will provide helpful planning tips on these and other legal questions.

Building Communication Through Play

Stacy Pulley CCC, SLP & Terri Zartman OTR, Family Tree Therapies
Come and learn our top tips for building communication through play. Develop an understanding of child-led play based intervention. Take away an immediate understanding of basic concepts that will grow and develop your child into a successful communicator, all while taking into consideration his/her individual differences.


Caring for the Caregiver 

 Kristina Donaldson, Parent Leader, State of MI & Kent County, Kristin Hawkins, Parent Coordinator-MPHI

 Caring for a child with a disability is challenging and can lead to chronic stress. This presentation will focus on the importance of self-care, the benefits and barriers to self-care, and strategies for self-care specifically for caregivers of a child with special needs. Includes hands-on activities to use at home.


Navigating Insurance & Other Community Resources

Chris Buczek, Kent County Health Dept, Children's Special Healthcare 

 The maze of services can be overwhelming! Knowing where to go for what can be confusing. This session will provide a road map of what the service systems are and how they work or don’t. Questions such as, “Why can’t my child get more therapy” will be discussed.


When Nothing Else Works! Strategies for Decreasing Challenging Behaviors

Clinical Staff, BRAINS 

 Behaviors such as temper tantrums, physical aggression, property damage and meltdowns can be stressful for both parents and children. This breakout session will focus on promoting confidence in caregivers by providing strategies for supporting positive behaviors at home. Topics include ways to prevent challenging behaviors, and methods of teaching children new skills to manage their emotions.


Calming, Energizing & Body Awareness

Kindy Segovia, OTR, Assistive Technology Consultant, Kent ISD  

 Our children and their behavior, reactions, emotions and movements can be a puzzle! Their brains and bodies are complex machines, trying to make sense of what they see, touch, hear, smell, and feel. Join us to experience and learn about triggers for outbursts and impulsiveness, reasons for laziness or clumsiness, and road blocks to typical social, sensory and motor development. Leave with some practical strategies for calming, energizing and building an awareness of movements and coordination.


Creating a Circle of Support

Janice Fialka LMSW,ACSW

Details coming soon! 


I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream...Let's Stop! A Workshop to Reduce Parent & Child Stress

Tom Rutledge PhD Pyschologist, Comprehensive Therapy Center

Using Common sense, humor and a surprisingly simple but powerful strategy, Pyschologist Dr. Tom Rutledge Ph.D. provides tools that anyone can use to increase their parent comfort zone and their parent effectiveness. Dr Tom presents an effective remedy to the often embarrassing and always uncomfortable screaming and yelling that most of us parents have exhibited on too many occasions.


MiABLE: Saving & Investing Without Jeopardizing Benefits 

Kara Scheenema, Departmental Specialist, MiAble

The Achieving a Better Life Experence program was created to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities. Learn more about securing funding for 


5 Simple Steps for Reducing Mealtime Stress 

Erin Roon, MA, CCC-SLP

Having a picky eater can make mealtimes defficult for the whole family. There are some simple strategies that can make eating more pleasant for everyone involved. Come explore ideas for making food exciting and enjoyable for even the pickiest eater. 


Low Tech vs. High Tech in the Classroom

Liesha Crawford, Special Education Teacher, Grand Rapids Public Schools

We will explore strategies that assist children with significant learning, behavioral and sensory needs with access to their learning environment with greater success. Learn practical strategies that you can implement with your child that has complex needs, playing on their strengths and interests. From no-tech/low-tech through high tect, learn how we can tackle everything from determining what they know and understand through strategies and activities that build on what they can do. 


Understanding Transition

Tammy Finn, The Arc Kent County

Details Coming Soon!



How to Understand the Meaning of Your Child's Behavior
Alissa Hofstee, Kent ISD Behavioral Supports Consultant 
Details Coming Soon! 


Sponsored by:

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Helpful Links 

Kindy Segovia's Assistive Technology Wiki