Special Needs Symposium

in partnership with Matrix Parent Network + Resource Center & Star Academy

Presented by Professionals Empowering Parents (PEP)

An all day speaker series focusing on topics most critical to families of individuals with disabilities including; conservatorships, advocacy, transition, as well as behavioral and emotional support.


February 11, 2017

8:30 am – Coffee and Introductions


9:00-10:00 am – Self-Compassion for Special Needs Families
Dr. Maggie Benedict-Montgomery
Self-compassion has been found to reduce parenting stress and promote well-being for caretakers. Join us in a discussion of self-compassion for special needs families.


10:10-11:10 am – Understanding Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans
Colleen Arnold, M.S.
This training will discuss the why and when of conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and it will give the critical factors to consider when writing a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).


11:20-12:20 pm – California ABLE Act
Ruth Holton-Hodson, CA Treasurer’s Office
The new ABLE Accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits.


12:20-1:00 pm – Lunch Break/ Mingle with Presenters


1:00-2:00 pm – Conservatorships
Alexis Lynch,
Attorney at Law
This workshop will provide an overview of what conservatorship entails and the steps necessary for being appointed a conservator through the local courts.


2:10-3:10 pm – Transition for Independent Living and Integrated Employment
Abby Yim, Executive Director Integrated Community Services
This workshop will discuss what resources are available in Marin County for transition age youth seeking employment and independent living along with some ways to start laying the groundwork with children before they are ready to work or move out.


3:20-4:20 pm – Teen Advocacy/Independence
Christina Mills,
Deputy Director of California Foundation for Independent Living Centers
Learn what programs and services Independent Living Centers provide, including a focus on teaching individuals with disabilities to be self-advocates in all areas of their lives, while also engaging the statewide youth transition program, Youth Organizing (YO!) Disabled and Proud.

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Event Info

February 11, 2017


8:30 am – 4:20 pm


Star Academy
4470 Redwood Hwy, San Rafael


COST: Free (with a suggested donation of $20 to Matrix)


ATTEND: Single or multiple presentations

Special Needs Symposium Professionals Empowering Parents
Special Needs Symposium logo
Matrix Parent Network
Resource Center Star Academy logo