Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM EDT
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Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center 
181 Boston Post Road W.
Marlborough, MA 01752

Driving Directions 


Melissa Manolis 
Special Needs Advocacy Network, Inc. 

Refund Policy:

  • No cash refunds will be offered for pre-registration if a workshop is held
  • If a pre-registrant provides a written request at least four (4) business days prior to the scheduled workshop; the registration fee can be applied to an upcoming workshop in the same programming year 
  • for our full refund policy please visit: click here

Food Alergies or Dietary restrictions: Please email conference@spanmass.org with any request related to special diet. 



Special Education Conference & 
9th Annual School Fair
Thursday, April 11, 2019

8:00am to 2:30pm

Ages and Stages: Developmental Perspectives Throughout the Education of a Child

The life of an IEP can be as short as 1 year or as long as 19 years. A child's development and the transitions along this timeline are vast. This year's Special Education Conference and School Fair will focus on what parents and professionals need to consider as children approach milestones, from ages 3 to 22.

Conference presentations will help advocates, parents, and education professionals work to develop IEPs that address a student's skill deficits in the context of developmental changes over the lifespan.  Presenters will include attorneys, legislative advocates, neuropsychologists and school program directors.  

  • Keynote Speakers
9:00am to 9:45am

Robert Crabtree, Esq.,
Kotin Crabtree & Strong
Yahaira Lopez,
Founder of Autism Sprinter, Inc

Morning Breakout Sessions (10:30am to 11:30 am)

What are the key developmental changes for students, the most r  elevant evaluations, and appropriate IEP goal areas for each of these three ages and stages over the educational life of a child with disabilities?

Ages 3-8 – From Playing to Learn to Learning to Read – the Transition from Preschool to Elementary School -  How do specialists identify early indicators of learning challenges.  How can advocates and specialists help parents to acquire the testing and services their children need so that, by intervening early in the child’s life, we promote ongoing educational success. Presented by  Cathy Mason, M.Ed.

Ages 9-13 – Changing Bodies, Changing Minds – Helping Tweens and Teens Acquire Skills for Learning and for Living in the World – What impact does puberty have on the learning and social/emotional functioning of the emerging teen.  How can we differentiate teens with typical developmental changes from kids who are struggling and need more supports? Presented by Brian Willoughby, PhD

Ages 14-22 – Identifying a Vision and Developing skills for Adult Life - How can advocates help teens and families frame the transition vision and identify appropriate transition assessments and related services to help young adults toward independence. Presented by Brooke Howard, MS, OTR/L 

Afternoon Panel Discussion: (1:00pm to 2:30pm) 

Policy Perspectives Across the Stages

Moderated by Rich Robison, join us in the afternoon for a lively interactive discussion as we address major transition stages from a legislative, developmental and practical perspective. Tying together the morning topics, the panel will continue the conversation on child development and the implications for crafting an IEP with appropriate goals and services.

Rich Robison, Executive Director Emeritus, 
Federation for Children with Special Needs,
Nancy Duggan, MA.S.C., Executive Director
Decoding Dyslexia Massachusetts
 Janet Thibeau, B.A.,
 President and Founder: BTA Education

Janine Solomon, Esq., Managing Attorney
Massachusetts Advocates for Children

Free IEP Clinics
Discuss your specific situation and concerns with an experienced Special Education Advocate/Parent Consultant.

The Forum:
Representatives from a wide range of Special Education Schools will present information regarding student profiles, program services, admission requirements and placement options to professionals within the special education field. 
Also Exhibiting
A select list of Special Education Resource vendors and service providers.

Who Will Attend?
Parents, Special Education Advocates, Special Education Administrators, Special Education Attorneys, Out of District Coordinators, Therapeutic Service Providers, Therapeutic or Clinical Evaluators, Related Service Providers.
All day registration includes, lunch, presentations, 2019 School Fair Catalog and full access to the exhibitors 
$80.00 early rate ends April 4th
$100.00 after April 4th

More Information about the Speakers

Member Event Registration

 (current member has paid an annual fee of $75 or more in tthe past 12 months)

Non-Member Event Registation

Cancellation/Weather Policy:  No refunds will be offered if a program is held, to view full policy click here. In case of severe weather, please check www.spanmass.org for information or call (508) 655-7999 for a recorded message.
For more information about this event, contact us at conference@spanmass.org or call 508-655-7999.