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NILD Canada Annual Conference 2016

April 22, 2016 - April 23, 2016

Register now for NILD’s Annual Spring Conference!DSC_9307


April 22 – 23, 2016


Dr. Steve Sider & Dr. Kimberly Maich

Tyndale University College, 3377 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON

Accommodation Option:
Comfort Inn Toronto Northeast, 8330 Woodbine Avenue, Markham, ON
King or two doubles are $86 +tax per night. Call 905-477-6077 to book and mention conference at Tyndale.


Regular Rate – $260
Therapist/Associate Rate – $235
Student/Spouse Rate – $175

Click here to view the conference brochure



Friday April 22 at 6:30pm
Cost: $25 (charitable receipts issued for gifts above cost)

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Steve Sider, Ph.D

Dr. Steve Sider (Ph.D., 2006, Western University) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He teaches courses in special education, global education, and school leadership. His research interest is in educational leadership in international contexts. He is currently leading a study on how school principals can foster supportive, inclusive schools for students with special education needs. Recent publications have included a co-edited book which provides comparative and international perspectives on education and articles in International Studies in Educational Administration and Canadian and International Education. He travels regularly to Haiti where he is involved in an effort to develop special education supports for teachers there. Prior to his work in the Faculty of Education, Dr. Sider was a school administrator, special education teacher, and classroom teacher for 15 years. He never turns down a good chocolate chip cookie.

Dr. Kimberly Maich, Ph.D, OCT, BCBA

Dr. Kimberly Maich is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Brock University and is affiliated with the Centre for Applied Disability Studies. She has studied and taught from coast-to-coast from Vancouver, BC, to St. Anthony, NL. She has spent most of her career as a resource teacher, supporting students with exceptionalities from Kindergarten to Grade 12, but has also had roles as a Guidance Counsellor, Vice-Principal, Librarian, Classroom Teacher, Computer Lab Coordinator. Previously, she also worked as an ASD Consultant and Program Coordinator with McMaster Children’s Hospital, and before moving to Brock, she was a professor in Fanshawe College’s Bachelor of Applied Arts in Early Childhood Leadership. Her primary interests lie in special education; specifically, Autism Spectrum Disorders in inclusive school environments.


We are excited to have the following exhibitors showcase their products and services at the conference.
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Conference Schedule

Friday April 22

7:30 – 8:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 General Session I

“Upstairs, Downstairs: The Whole-Brained Child”, Mary-Lou Maclean, M.S. – NILD Canada Executive Director

Emotional intelligence and working memory are two aspects of executive function which play key roles in “upstairs” brain of a child when making decisions and balancing emotions. In this workshop we will investigate the completed  meta-analysis of evaluation studies showing  improved academic accomplishments linked to strategic programs that train in social and emotional learning. Learn how to implement these learning strategies to create enriched classrooms and enhance struggling learners.

9:35 – 10:45 Session II

Option 1: “High School Students and Exceptionalities”, Dr. Steve Sider, Ph.D

High school teachers often look to subject “streaming” as a solution to differentiating for students with special education needs. A cultural shift needs to occur in high schools so that students with special education needs can be better supported. We will consider ways that educators at the high school level can foster learning environments that respond to a wide variety of learning needs.

Option 2: “Early Identification and Intervention”, Diane VandeMeent, CET – Search & Teach Instructor

What does the research say about the importance of identifying vulnerability in reading failure and implementing an early intervention? In this session we will discuss this as well as demonstrate a scan that can be used by any resource or classroom teacher as well as some techniques we use to work with our youngest students in a program called Search & Teach®.

10:45 – 11:15 Refreshment Break

11:15 – 12:30 General Session III

“Twice Exceptional – Gifted and a Learning Disability”, Dr. Steve Sider, Ph.D

In this seminar, we will examine the challenges, and opportunities, for students who have a learning disability and who are gifted. We will consider the typical programs established for these students and creative ways that we might better support them.

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 Session IV

Option 1: “Glimpse into an Educational Therapy Session”

Come observe and experienced Educational Therapist demonstrate some of a typical session with a student. Discussion and explanation of the “why” behind what is done will help the observer develop an understanding of the power of NILD methodology.

Option 2: “Empowering Struggling Writers: A Toolbox for Writing”, Jane Hoogendam, CET

This workshop will focus on how to encourage struggling students to become confident in their writing, using a variety of ideas and “tools”. Included will be examples of how some of the NILD educational therapy techniques can be used to enrich the writing process.

2:45 – 3:45 Session V

Option 1: “Morpheme Mania”, Diane VandeMeent, CET

Spice up your classroom or therapy sessions with morpheme mania! Discover how knowledge of morphemes (roots, affixes) can powerfully impact student performance in reading, spelling and vocabulary.

Option 2: “Acrobatic Alphabet”, Robin Biller, CET

A fun, interactive session demonstrating the effectiveness of using moveable, tactile letters to teach strategies for phonics and spelling rules.

Option 3: “Leadership for Special Education”, Drs. Steve Sider, Ph.D & Kimberly Maich, Ph.D

Based on a research project completed in 2015, we will share key ideas for how school administrators can foster supportive school environments for students with special education needs. Using a case study approach, participants will consider practices that other leaders have used to support healthy school cultures.

3:45 – 4:15 Refreshment Break

4:15 – 5:30 General Session VI

“Visual Strategies for Supporting Students with ASD”, Dr. Kimberly Maich, Ph.D, OCT, BCBA

Students with and without ASD at any age and stage can benefit from visual strategies! Find out why visuals strategies work, and how to use them every day for structure, organization, motivation, self-regulation, and skill building. Learn the best go-to sites for creating your own visuals!


6:30 Fundraiser Banquet

Cost: $25 (charitable receipts issued for gifts above cost)

“The Brain Paradox: Hope in a Rigid World”, Dr. Steve Sider, Ph.D

Research in neuroscience over the past 30 years has remarkably changed our awareness of how malleable the brain can be. As a result, new interventions have resulted in transformative experiences for individuals. Yet, despite the astonishing progress that has been made, a paradox exists: the brain is seen as malleable while the systems and structures that could support a new understanding of the plasticity of the brain are becoming increasingly rigid. In this keynote, I will examine some of the key developments in understanding the plasticity of the brain and how we can work toward enabling organizational systems to support innovative ways to foster the power of the brain.


Saturday April 23

7:30 – 8:00 Breakfast

8:00 – 9:15 General Session VII

“Successful and Effective Behaviour Change”, Dr. Kimberly Maich, Ph.D, OCT, BCBA

Think about behaviour from a functional point of view! Understanding behaviour functionally leads to successful strategies. Learn the basics of data collection (e.g., scatterplots), functional behaviour assessment (e.g., questionnaires), and how to complete a competing behaviour pathway analysis to move away from problem behaviours and towards socially acceptable ones. Take away a “Turn ‘n’ Learn” as a quick reference tool for effective replacement behaviours. 

9:30 – 10:30 Session VIII

Option 1: “Introduction to Educational Therapy: NILD Distinctives”, Rhonda Gorham, CET – NILD Canada Director

Conference visitors are invited to learn more about NILD Educational Therapy™. Come with questions…leave with answers. Participants will learn a brief history of NILD and explore the benefits of NILD Educational Therapy™ for our students, families, schools and community. Hands-on fun!

Option 2: “Beyond Memorization: The Importance of Critical Thinking”, Diane Geerlinks, CET – NILD Canada Director

It’s one thing to teach facts. It’s another thing to have our students understand concepts, explain them and then defend their answers. This is the crux of higher level thinking – to guide them to think outside of the box! How can we as educators be intentional about developing these critical thinking skills in our children? In this workshop, Diane will share some educational insights and tools for making this leap in your teaching.

Option 3: “Apps for Literacy Accommodations: The Basics”, Dr. Kimberly Maich, Ph.D, OCT, BCBA

Learn about apps for literacy learning! Students who struggle with print-based learning disabilities can benefit from apps for reading, writing, and organization. Learn about both traditional laptop-based software options, and free or low-cost iPad apps, Apple’s built-in options for accessibility, and go-to resources. Take away a copy of “Assistive Technology Tools: Supporting Literacy Learning for All Learners in the Inclusive Classroom.”

10:30 – 11:30 Refreshment Break

11:00 – 12:15 Final General Session 

“Going for Gold: Identifying Islands of Competence”, Trix Bradley, M.Ed

In an ocean of inadequacy there must be islands of competency…areas with the potential to be sources of pride and accomplishment. As parents, educators and therapists, if we can identify and reinforce these islands of strength we can create a powerful ripple effect in which students may be more willing  to venture forth, take risks and focus on what they can do. Let’s learn together how to ask the right questions, grow a new mindset and shift our energy to mending deficits by reinforcing strengths.

12:15 – 12:30 Closing


April 22, 2016
April 23, 2016