Spring Symposium

"Dynamic Differences: LD/ADHD Superheroes"

LDA's 8th Spring Symposium is scheduled for Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Lionsgate Academy in Minnetonka, MN. 

Today through Wednesday, April 19th, get 2 registrations for the price of one!  

Register online now!



Symposium Details

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Location: Lionsgate Academy, 5605 Green Circle Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55343

Registration: $50 for individuals; $40 for students (student ID required). Register online, or call 952-582-6000.

Symposium Schedule*

8:30 - 9:00am Registration and continental breakfast

9:00 - 9:10am Welcome

9:15 - 10:15am  Breakout sessions: Round 1 

  • Tools of Differentiation for the Modern Classroom with Dr. Rachel David (for teachers/professionals)
    This session will discuss what differentiation is and suggestions for ways to implement strategies in the classroom.  Educators will be provided with practical tools to use to differentiate instruction in all academic areas - or easily generalize ideas that could be used in any subject area. Attendees will leave with a take away to immediately implement in your classroom on Monday!

  • The Imagery-Language Connection: Teaching All Children to Read and Comprehend with Dana Kernik (for parents)
    Imagery is a critical factor in cognition andl language comprehension. Sensory input is what connects us to the language that we hear and the language that we read. This presentation examines how concept and symbol imagery are related, and how improvements in imagery can have a lasting effect on spelling, reading, comprehension and math. 

  • The Personal Effects of ADHD and Trauma with Alison Canty (for individuals with learning/attention challenges)
    This presentation will address the many complexities of ADHD, trauma, geography and race through a personal story. This powerful discussion will address the coping skills necessary for one woman to overcome trauma and adversity.


10:30 - 11:30am  Breakout sessions: Round 2

  • Perfect Spelling: Assuring Success and Defeating Despair through Activating Automatic Visualization with Dr. Lyelle Palmer (for teachers/professionals)
    Weekly spelling tests can be challenging for the student, the parents and the teacher. Successful mastery on a weekly basis demonstrates competence and is life-changing for students with spelling difficulties. This simple tracing method is priceless and effective for students of all ages. Tracing words activates brain visualization every time. 

  • Top Tips for Successful Transitions to College: Getting from here to there with Vita Cohen & Jenny Buyens (for parents)
    Making successful transition from high school to college can be especially challenging for students living with learning disabilities.  As parents and professionals, we can help make this journey smoother and less overwhelming for you and your student. This session will discuss critical factors needed to help your student thrive academically before and after arriving on campus. These include: suggestions for choosing colleges, understanding types of services offered, how to evaluate effective LD programs, identifying the law, and much more.

  • CONQUER the CLUTTER! with Dee Dee Welles (for individuals with learning/attention challenges)
    Learn de-cluttering and organization strategies, tips, and tricks to conquer your clutter and create peaceful organized spaces. Learn how to set up systems to keep everything organized with less time and effort, including how to handle the influx of paper and deal with sentimental belongings. Resources for donation, sale, and recycling of unwanted items provided. This session is designed to be interactive, relaxed and fun!


11:45am -12:45pm  Lunch & visit exhibitors

1:00 - 2:00pm  Breakout sessions: Round 3

  • Sit Still, Pay Attention, Concentrate, Yearn to Learn? Neuro-Developmental Teacher Expectations Accomplished!  with Dr. Lyelle Palmer and Janet Oliver (for teachers/professionals)
    In this session, attendees will learn to identify, understand and improve classroom inattention and motor actions to maintain a calm climate for academic concentration. Inhibitory networks make up half of the brain's neurons; they are sometimes incompletely formed in children with ADHD and seen as wiggly, fidgety, squirmy, restlessness and impulse behaviors, but can be improved for self-control that calms the entire classroom. Simple structured movements for whole-class participation can produce mature concentration and consistent focus by preventing sudden shifts in mental focus and distracting discomfort.

  • Understanding Due Process: An Open Discussion with Dr. Kathy Seifert (for parents)
    Parents are oftentimes given due process documents regarding the education of their children without fully understanding the meaning of those documents and the special education process. Parents are encouraged to bring their questions along with their documents and questions to this open discussion session.  Questions will be answered via legislative mandates by a scholar in special education due process.  Keep in mind, this session is an open discussion about individual concerns in the hope that we can all learn from each other.

  • Adult ADD/ADHD: What's Stress Got to Do With It?  with Linda Taylor  (for individuals with learning/attention challenges)
    This session will discuss stress and how stress leads to chaos and chaos leads to more stress. Such can be the life with Adult ADHD.  What are the effects of chronic stress on your brain? What are the short and long-term effects of this stress on you and your loved ones? How does your stress show up for you day-to-day? What can you do to more effectively manage this powerful combination? This will be an interactive workshop providing an opportunity for participants to ask questions and share their experiences for adults with an ADHD diagnosis, as well as their partners and friends. 

2:15 - 3:15pm  Breakout sessions: Round 4

  • Evidence-based Strategies for Dyslexia with Dr. Victoria Weinberg (for teachers/professionals)
    This session will break down what dyslexia is and specifically how it impacts academic areas. Specific strategies based on research will be shared.  Focus will be on early intervention, along with some strategies that can be adapted for older children.

  • Federal Special Education Law and Hot Topics Education Law with Luke Seifert (for parents)
    This session will introduce federal legislation regarding special education laws and provide a case studies to help understand and discuss the law. A general overview of the laws that govern federal special education, including but not limited to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504).  "Hot Topics" in education law will discuss the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Child Find Requirements, and Bullying and Disability Harrassment. Resources for parents and students on how to find out what the law states concerning issues or problems which you encounter will be provided.  

  • Organization Strategies with Diane Gambrel (for individuals with learning/attention challenges)
    Do you wonder at the end of the week why you have not done the things you wanted to do? Learn about common stumbling blocks that could be sabotaging your ability to get organized. Learn to use time wisely and how to make progress on your projects and hobbies. This session will include kitchen, home office, and bedroom closet tips.  This session is for anyone who struggles with clutter in their home.

3:20 - 3:30pm  Wrap up and closing remarks

*Subject to change

Speaker Profiles

Lyelle Palmer, Ph.D.
Dr. Palmer is a former professor of Learning Disabilities and Accelerated Learning at Winona State University and co-developer of the K-3 Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training (SMART) staff development high-performance mastery of basic skills through the legislature-founded Minnesota Learning Resource Center in Minneapolis. He researches and trains teachers in the tools for students with learning problems for catching up and keeping up in regular and special classrooms, including assuring attention, concentration and mastery through neuro-developmental maturity and Cybernetic II direct instruction.

Janet Oliver, M.A.
Ms. Oliver is a clinical and educational practitioner in neurodevelopment and reflex integration for over two decades. She is also the course instructor for The HANDLE Institute in neurodevelopment and Plan for Learning and Living presentations about reflex integration in North America and Europe.  She has a master degree in Human Development from St. Mary's in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is trained in Montessori preschool, elementary education with teacher training from University of Washington, and is a doctoral candidate at Grand Canyon University.

Kathy Seifert, Ph.D.
Dr. Seifert is an instructor and senior lecturer at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches pre-service special education teachers on teaching methods and due process compliance. She was a classroom special education teacher for 10 years in outstate MN serving students with special needs prior to joining the University.  She specializes in reading, learning strategies, data driven decision making, and due process.  She believes in the importance of collaboration between parents and teachers to ensure positive educational outcomes for children with IEPs.

Dana Kernik
Ms. Kernik received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  Dana has worked for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes since 2010, working in many capacities including Clinician, Consultant, and Associate Center Director. In addition, Dana managed Seasonal Learning Clinics in several locations including Singapore and Tokyo in 2014. Currently, Ms. Kernik serves as the Director of the Twin Cities Learning Center, overseeing operations, instruction and outreach. Dana is passionate about helping people reach their potential and has worked directly with hundreds of children and their families to help improve their language and literacy skills.

Rachel David, Ed.D.
Dr. David oversees LDA Minnesota's Learning Connections community-based program.  In her role, Rachel coaches 20 part-time teachers who provide academic interventions to K-12 students across the Twin Cities.  Rachel has an extensive background in the field of education and educational leadership with over 14 years to improving the achievement gap in urban education systems. Over the past six years, Rachel refined her leadership skills in a variety of roles including leading Professional Learning Communities, mentoring novice educators, and developing curriculum. Rachel has a passion and desire to improve education by increasing teacher efficacy, as well as improving teacher retention in order to close student achievement gaps.

Linda C. Taylor, BS, SCAC, BCC
Linda Taylor is the parent and spouse of loved ones with ADD/ADHD.  She knows firsthand the frustration, fear, and chaos others may be struggling with due to the distraction, disorganization, and other behaviors that accompany ADD/ADHD.  As an experienced and board certified ADD/ADHD Coach, Linda helps others manage the challenges, whether it is a parent, a couple, adult, or students by co-developing and supporting the solutions that work for the individual/s. She created the Taylor Solution (http://adhdtreatmentsolutions.com).

Luke Seifert, JD
Luke has a unique set of skills as a successful trial lawyer.  In addition he has served on a variety of local and state committees on behalf of the legal community.  He understands both sides of the law representing plaintiff and defendants and has handled a wide variety of cases, including education law.  Luke spent twelve years as an adjunct professor at Rasmussen College.  His course titles included Business Law, American Government and Politics, International Law, and Criminal Justice.  Luke is a member of LDA Minnesota's Board of Directors and currently serves as Board Treasurer.

Alison Canty
Alison is a victim of trauma and is a person who has ADHD.  Ms. Canty is involved throughout the Twin Cities bringing awareness to mental health, trauma, disabilities, diversity and change.  She feels it is important to share her story with others to bring about change. Alison is actively engaged in the community including her role as Treasurer of the Disability DFL Caucus, presenter for NAMI for those impacted by mental illness, and appointed member to the MN Star Advisory Council.  Alison strives to help make a way towards changing policy to help individuals with disabilities and victims of trauma, help increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and to educate others about disabilities. 

Vita Cohen & Jenny Buyens
As experienced educational consultants, Jenny Buyens and Vita Cohen help families navigate each step of planning their child's academic journey. They serve as the bridge between parents and students, and families and college admissions offices. Offering advice about standardized tests, finding the right college fit, helping with college visits, applications and essays, Jenny & Vita guide families throughout the process. Vita Cohen holds degrees from Northwestern University and Brown University.  She taught English for over 20 years before becoming and Certified Educational Planner.  Jenny Buyens earned an MBA in marketing; after a successful business career, she founded and ran a college and career center, and worked extensively as a counselor in a school for students with LD.  Both Jenny & Vita are professional members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, among only 500 nationwide.  Both hold Certificates in College Consulting from the University of California and serve as co-chairs of the MN-IECA Regional group.

Victoria Weinberg, Ph.D.
Dr. Weinberg has been the Specific Learning Disabilities Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education for the past 10 years. Vicki earned her B.S. in Special Education (K-12) from Northern Illinois University and completed her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota.  Her teaching experience with LD and EBS students extends from facilitating inclusion in regular education settings through teaching juvenile offenders in residential treatment.  She experience providing professional development for teachers and preparing pre-service teachers at the University level.

Diane Gambrl
Diane works with people who struggle with high levels of clutter.  Many of her clients have ADHD or are seniors.  Diane is a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and is active in the Minnesota Hoarding Taskforce. She holds 8 certificates of study from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD).  Check out Diane's work at www.smarterspaces.net

DeeDee Wells
DeeDee is Founder/Owner of DETAILS Organizing for ALL.  She started organizing when she was quite young.  DeeDee was the "neatnik" in her family and enjoyed organizing her three sisters' messes. Oddly enough, they never appreciated her efforts. She spent many years working with nonprofits - fundraising, organizing benefit events, and coordinating volunteers before founded DETAILS Organizing It All.  Check out her website  at www.detailsorganizingitall.com.




Register online, or call 952-582-6000.