Friday,
Nov. 9


5:30-6:00 pm
Registration opens
 

6:00 pm
Opening Speaker - Kelly Denham

Seeing God’s Blessings During Unimaginable Suffering

Is it possible to see God’s blessings in your life while you watch your child suffer in unimaginable ways?  The answer to that question is an emphatic YES! Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” It is when we are in our greatest pain and at our weakest moments that the Lord is closest to us. In those times, if we choose to have eyes that see, we will experience the greatest blessings we have ever known.

7:00-8:00 pm
Breakout Session

Time Management - Ruth Steiff (F)

Is your child always a beat behind?  Are reminders required for most things?  Time is an elusive concept for many children.  Why? In this breakout session, this question will be answered. We’ll look at ways to move a child from being a beat behind even with adult assistance to a step ahead with greater independence.

Real Families/Real Needs - Joni & Friends (F)

We explore the “everyday” of being in a family affected by special needs. We also brainstorm ways to serve these families best, both personally and in our churches.

NOTE: Breakouts are labeled by focus area:
(M)= Ministry (F)= Family  


Saturday,
Nov. 10

7:30-8:30 am - Registration opens

Exhibitor Hall Opens

Continental Breakfast
 

9:00 am - Keynote Speaker - Lisa Jamieson

Finding Glory

Lisa’s family experienced God tangibly amidst extraordinary challenges raising their severely handicapped daughter, Carly. The process of navigating the way to surrender, faith, hope and joy was like a bumpy road. Yet God met her family and their church with His presence and power as they walked together in faith and obedience through adversity. Lisa shares encouraging and inspiring lessons about how God surprised an entire community with love.

10:00 am - Transition & Exhibitor Hall Open

10:30-11:30 am - Breakout Session A

  1. IEP Binder - Understood.org (F)

    • Your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be tricky to keep in order. Join Understood as we talk about IEPs, your rights and how to help get both parents involved in advocating for your children. We will provide a new binder with inserts and additional information, along with support and the opportunity to ask any questions.

  2. A Healthier Marriage - Falesa Ivory Horton (F)

    • Falesa Ivory-Horton is a licensed mental health counselor with a particular passion for working with couples and families coping with loved ones with special needs. In this session, Falesa will share ways to keep your marriage healthy while walking the journey with someone with special needs.

  3. Adapting the Five Love Languages for Kids with Special Needs & Disabilities - Joan Philo (F)

    • Whether you’re new to the five love languages or a longtime fan, this workshop offers strategies for identifying the primary language of a child with special needs and ideas for adapting how to speak the love languages to children with a wide variety of abilities and disabilities. This workshop’s content is based on more than 40 interviews Jolene conducted while doing research for the love languages book, slated for release in August of 2019, that she is co-writing with Dr. Gary Chapman.

  4. Pastor’s Q & A - Pastor Quintin & Ruth Steiff (M)

    • Pastor Quintin Stieff will share his views as a father and a pastor on some of the following topics: how to approach your pastor or next step to a special needs ministry; how a disability ministry changes your church for the better; how disability ministry helps you do outreach to the larger community; do's and don’ts from the pastors perspective in launching and growing a disability ministry in the church, etc.

    • Ruth Stieff is the mother of two married daughters and an adult son diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. She has worked in the field of behavior intervention doing 1:1 and small groups for children with learning differences. Ruth serves families through her business, One Piece, LLC. She also provides literacy and math interventions, social learning and executive function. Ruth also does parent coaching for families affected by disability as well as advocating at school meetings.

  5. Preventable Behavioral Strategies - Katie Hoover (M)

    1. If you are looking for effective prevention strategies for your classroom, come to this breakout session! You will leave knowing how to effectively utilize evidence-based strategies for a successful, positive, behavioral environment.

  6. How To Be an Irresistible Church: Changing the Culture - Joni & Friends (M)

    • What does an irresistible church look like? In what ways is my church irresistible, and how can it become more irresistible to families and individuals affected by disability? Includes shocking statistics, brainstorming time, and intriguing but doable take-a-ways.

11:30 am - Lunch & Exhibitor Hall Open

1:00-2:00 pm - Breakout Session B

  1. Developing Emotional Intelligence - Ruth Steiff (F)

    • Emotional Regulation and Awareness are building blocks for behavior, social skills, focus and attention, working memory and organization. Without emotional regulation and awareness in place, the other skills cannot develop as they should.  Come and learn ways to help a child with these important basic emotional skills.

  2. IEP Binder - Understood.org (F)

    • Your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be tricky to keep in order. Join Understood as we talk about IEPs, your rights and how to help get both parents involved in advocating for your children. We will provide a new binder with inserts and additional information, along with support and the opportunity to ask any questions.

  3. Building Family Connectedness - Lisa Jamieson (F)

    • The special needs of a child add strain to family life. Siblings wrestle for attention. Couples don’t always end up on the same page. Chronic stress and grief bring discouragement. But our families matter to God! Fighting for thriving relationships is one of our highest callings with benefits for our family, the community around us and generations to come. We’ll explore practical ways to strengthen family bonds, increase laughter, experience more joy and rest in greater peace - even when disability threatens to shake up your world.

  4. Visuals in the Home - Elizabeth Newton (F)

    • Blogger and special needs advocate, Elizabeth Newton, grew up with a sister with Down syndrome. That experience inspired her and her husband to begin their family by adopting a baby with Down syndrome. She documents her family’s story on the award-winning blog, “Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced.” Elizabeth will demonstrate easy ways parents can create visuals at home to help their children solve common problems and acquire skills in areas like potty training, self-dressing, and getting out the door on time in the morning. She’ll share fun ideas for how parents can help their children prepare for change and avoid problem behaviors.

  5. Mental Health Strategies - Jackie Duggan (M)

    • Mental health issues are on the rise and supporting those with mental illness should be a priority for our churches. This session will provide practical considerations for supporting those with mental health issues and during mental health crisis situations.

  6. Inclusion Should Be An Experience, Not a Place - Mosaic Haven (M)

    • A hands-on session with many examples of how to meet your child where they are by providing modifications and accommodations to help each them reach their God-given potential.

  7. Using Disability Manners - Joni & Friends (M)

    • We cover basic disability etiquette and how to put it into practice. This is a fun, eye-opening, hands-on workshop!

2:00 pm - Transition & Exhibitor Hall Open

2:15-3:15 pm - Breakout Session C

  1. Primitive Reflexes, Neurology and the Relation to Behaviors - Dr. Josh Madsen (F)

    • This session will provide an explanation of abnormal development of infantile reflexes and how this effects later learning and behaviors. Kids that have developmental delays still have reflexes present that should be developed before a year of life, and they effect all later neurological development. These reflexes are called primitive reflexes! They are extremely important for parents to know about so they can help their children develop as well as possible!

  2. Effectively Caring for Your Child with Special Needs While Caring for Yourself - Rebecca O’Connell (F)

    • This fun and interactive session will help you discover great ways to care for yourself in the midst of a difficult journey.

  3. Financial Planning for Families with Special Needs - Connect the Dots 4 Life (F)

    • Financial Planning in a Medicaid world. Understanding and keeping your benefits.

  4. Straight Talk & Strategies for Coping with Special Needs Parenting Stress - Jolene Philo (F)

    • Research shows that the stress level of parents raising kids with autism is close to that of combat veterans. This workshop briefly explores both why raising kids with special needs is stressful and why parents seldom acknowledge their daily, ongoing stress. The majority of the workshop will summarize practical strategies parents can implement to cope with and reduce stress, discuss when to seek professional help, and review therapy options proven to effectively minimize stress.

  5. Working with Assistive Tech - Easterseals (M)

    • An introduction in Assistive Technology and how we may use it in our daily lives to our benefit. Presentation will include device examples, references and resources, and time for questions. From recreation and safety to cooking and meal preparation, there is bound to be something for everyone! Come see how Easterseals Iowa can assist you!

  6. Modifying and Accommodating Lessons for All Learners - Enrichment Therapies (F & M)

    • A hands-on session with many examples of how to meet your child where they are by providing modifications and accommodations to help each of them reach their God-given potential.

  7. Inclusion Should Be An Experience, Not a Place - Mosaic Haven (M)

    • In this session participants will understand what inclusion means from a special community perspective, why it is important and the benefits for the individual and the community. Participants will be challenged to think outside the box with regards to inclusion. You’ll receive practical strategies that you can implement right away!

3:15-3:30 pm - Transition & Exhibitor Hall Open (last segment)

3:30-4:30 pm - Breakout Session D

  1. Men’s Roundtable (F)

    • Men and women process information in different ways. Join this round-table discussion on what parenting a child with special considerations is like from the perspective of a father/caregiver.

  2. Women’s Roundtable (F)

    • Women and men process information in different ways. Join this roundtable discussion on what parenting a child with special considerations is like from the perspective of a mother/caregiver.

  3. Autism Strategies - Ruth Steiff (M)

    • Come and learn simple strategies to use with children with autism and other disabilities. We’ll spend understanding how these children view life and the why behind the behaviors that are often seen. We’ll move on to ways to help make these children’s church experience to be meaningful. Emphasis will be place on simple behavioral and anxiety reducing strategies.  

  4. Mental Health Strategies - Jackie Duggan (M)

    • Mental health issues are on the rise and supporting those with mental illness should be a priority for our churches. This session will provide practical considerations for supporting those with mental health issues and during mental health crisis situations.

4:30 pm - Closing Remarks and Giveaways

NOTE: Breakouts are labeled by focus area: (M)= Ministry (F)= Family  

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