C Workshops


Please remember to list a 1st and 2nd choice for each workshop block when registering, as workshop spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

C1. The Journey to Becoming a Trauma Informed Organization

Addressing trauma requires more than just therapeutic interventions, it requires creating healthy relationships and environments in all systems that impact the child. Trauma informed organizations realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand potential paths for recovery; recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and seek to actively resist re-traumatization (SAMHSA). Being trauma informed is not a program or service, rather it is a shift in an organization’s culture. This presentation will talk about how to begin the process and shares one state’s model on trauma informed organization.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/ Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Providers

Presenter: Patsy Carter, Ph.D., Missouri Department of Mental Health

C2. Supporting Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Relational Approach

In this program participants will explore the complex consequences of attachment trauma. Attachment trauma refers to development in the early years of life characterized by significant neglect or impingements, often in the form of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. This workshop will review the multiple consequences of attachment trauma, with a specific focus on the development of disorganized attachment. Participants will explore various strategies for supporting children with this type of trauma in school settings. The goal and purpose of this presentation will be to provide insight and understanding into the nature of trauma: it is relational and complex, and to provide ideas for identifying and supporting these children to their benefit and the benefit of other children. This workshop will last 90 minutes and can accept up to 50 participants. The presenters have presented at several different conferences.

Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers

Presenters: Tina Manierino, Ph.D., LEARN & Ellen Nasper, Ph.D., Yale School of Medicine

C3. Screen Time and Video Games for Children, Tweens, and Teens: How Much is Too Much?

The presentation reviews the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for screen time, as well as research on consumption of screen media by children of all ages and the problems and benefits associated with screen media. In addition, resources for parents, including online tools and local resources, are provided. Screen media topics span TV, video games, violence in the media, and sexting”.

Recommendations span the full range of ages from toddlers to teenagers.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Mental Health Providers

Presenter: Kristyn Zajac, Ph.D., University of Connecticut School of Medicine

C4. Strengthening the Safety Circuit: Promoting Safety, Security, and Connectedness

Babies are born with the biological expectancy of being socially engaged with their mothers and family. The presence of at least one caring and supportive adult
caregiver who is sensitive, attuned and responsive builds resilience that mitigates the impact of future stresses. The violation of the expected social connectedness,
if chronic, is potentially traumatic for infants and young children. If there is no response to the baby’s needs, over time, the baby feels his very life is threatened,
and the baby may sink into despair and be withdrawn and apathetic. This session will explore the relationship between the “felt” sense of safety, danger, or life
threat and behaviors and how adult caregivers increase their sensitivity to babies’ communications of safety, danger or life threat and respond effectively? How
do we as caregivers monitor our own unconscious nervous systems? Finally, implications of traumatic disruptions of connectedness for outcomes in early
childhood and adulthood will be discussed.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Providers

Presenter: Marilyn R. Sanders, MD, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and UCONN School of Medicine

C5. Less is More: Minimal Facts for Discoverers

Child sexual abuse is disturbing, complex and extremely difficult to investigate. How professionals react and respond to a suspected child sexual abuse allegation will have a direct impact on the child’s recovery from the traumatic act and on the integrity of the subsequent investigation. This training is designed to give school and childcare personnel, along with medical, mental health and other therapeutic providers the tools needed to optimally respond when a child discloses or indicates that he or she may be a victim of sexual abuse. The training is approximately 1 hour long and includes handouts that can be used by the professional in his or her respective agency/setting.

Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider

Presenter: Krystal Rich, Connecticut Children’s Alliance

C6. Homelessness is Toxic Stress: The Significant Impact on both the Social Emotional Health and the Development of Very Young Children

The person in the US who is most likely to experience homelessness hasn’t yet reached their first birthday. The next person most likely to experience homelessness is between the ages of 1-5; and almost half of the children living in shelters in this country are under the age of 6. The traumatic experience of being homeless, or the risk of becoming homeless, is characterized by instability, a lack of consistency and predictability, and loss of control over one’s daily life. All of this can have profound and lasting effects on early attachment relationships; as well as the overall health and social emotional development of a very young child. But, what are the causes of homelessness; how is homelessness defined; what are the social emotional and health impacts on young children and families; who meets the eligibility criteria; what services and supports are children and families entitled to under the federal law; and how can providers successfully engage with those who are parenting under such stressful conditions?

Target audience: Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Providers

Presenter: Anne Giordiano, MA, DSP, IMH-E, EdAdvance

C7. Adventure Education in Your Classroom

Adventure education is the promotion of learning through adventure centered experiences. Adventure education often employs practical skills that will benefit an individual in areas beyond the activities in an adventure program. It is our goal to provide leaders with practical applications in group leadership through the following program tactics: group formation, selection of activities, briefing, leading, and debriefing the group. During this presentation we will give you tools to support social and emotional development of the children you work with. The presentation will also allow experiences in group activities that can be brought back to the classroom. There will be many take always that can be useful to any program. “I see, I forget. I hear, I remember. I do, and I understand.” Ancient Chinese proverb.

Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers, Elementary Teachers, After School Professionals

Presenter: Sarah Maffiolini & Jennifer Filer, Town of Windsor

For a full list of our presenters and their bios, visit the Speakers page.