Tag Archives: Conference

Tourette Syndrome Plus Conference 2013

The Line-up of Expert Speakers at the National TSFC Tourette Syndrome Plus Conference 2013 September 26-28, 2013

Tourette Syndrome Plus Conference 2013 Neurologically Gifted


For more information about the conference see:

Neurologically Gifted  and Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada

Richard Lavoie, M.A., M.ED.


Rick Lavoie served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs for 30 years. He holds three degrees in Special Education and holds two Honorary Doctorates in Education from the University of Massachusetts (2003) and Mitchell College (CT – 2007). He has served as a visiting lecturer at numerous universities including Syracuse, Harvard, Manhattanville College, University of Alabama, University of Melbourne and Georgetown. His numerous national television appearances include The TODAY Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, ABC Evening News, and Walt Disney Presents.He has served as a consultant on Learning Disabilities to several agencies and organizations including Public Broadcasting Service, New York Times, National Centre for Learning Disabilities, USA Today, Girl Scouts of America, Child Magazine, INSTRUCTOR Magazine and National Public Radio.  He has delivered his message to over 500,000 parents and professionals throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. He has the distinction of having delivered Keynote Addresses for all three of the major special needs advocacy organizations in the United States (Learning Disabilities Association, Council for Exceptional Children, Children with Attention Deficit Disorder).  Rick is the author of the book It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success (Touchstone/ Simon and Schuster, 2005). The book addresses the direct link between learning disabilities and social skills issues that many children face. Rick provides specific strategies for parents, teachers and caregivers about how to assist the child in making and keeping friends. The Library Journal praised the book as “a breakthrough.”  Rick and his wife, Janet have three grown children and live in the shadows of historic Fenway Park in Boston.

When the Chips are Down: Behaviour Management Strategies for the Child with LD:

Presentation Summary:

This session will present dozens of field-tested behavior management techniques for use at home and in the classroom. These strategies are designed specifically for use with students with language and attentional deficits.

All of the techniques are presented within a context of support, structure and responsiveness. The philosophical underpinning of each strategy will also be presented.


Life in the Jungle: A Lovingly Critical Look at the Realities of the Special Needs Classroom:

Presentation Summary:

In this workshop, the presenter will explore the day to day realities and myths inherent in the education of students with Learning Disabilities. Drawing on thirty years of consulting and administrative experience, the speaker will present insights into frustrations felt by all educational professionals and will provide guidelines and advice for maintaining a healthy and productive perspective on the daily hassles and obstacles of life in the classroom.  As professions, it is important that we act as advocates and agents of change in our schools but we must always be willing to recognize and acknowledge thatsome things cannot be changed and we must reserve our energies and resources for the battles that can be won.


B. Duncan McKinlay, PH.D., C. PSYCH.


Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay, Psychologist (‘Dr. Dunc’) has Tourette Syndrome. That means he knows firsthand how annoying, embarrassing, misunderstood, painful, and disruptive tics can be. For close to 15 years he’s been educating people all around the world by means of his presentations and website, clinical practice, and through appearances on television, in magazines, and on film. Now he wants to share with you the treatment he’s used for years in himself and his patients that has recently set psychologists, academics, families, and the medical community abuzz.  Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay is a registered psychologist with the College of Psychologist of Ontario, practicing with children and adolescents in the areas of clinical and school psychology. He received his bachelors with honours at McMaster University and his Applied Masters and Doctorate at the University of Waterloo, focusing on educational psychology, clinical psychology and behavioural neuroscience. He is on the faculty of both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph, with appointments in departments of psychology and psychiatry. Dr. McKinlay currently works in “The Brake Shop”—a service he created for youth with Tourette Syndrome associated disorders at the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in London, Ontario.

An Overview of the CPRI Online Toolkit for New TS Parents


An Overview of CBIT and HRT/An Overview of the CPRI Online Toolkit for New TS Parents


Dr. Colin Shapiro

 Why Can’t I Sleep? Sleep Disorders and Tourette Syndrome


Dr. Tamara Pringsheim


Dr. Tamara Pringsheim is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. She is the director of the Calgary Tourette and Pediatric Movement Disorder Clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and also provides care for patients at the Movement Disorders Clinic at the Foothills Medical Centre.  Dr Pringsheim attended medical school at Queen’s University and completed her residency in neurology at the University of Toronto. Following that, she did a three year fellowship in movement disorders and neuropsychiatry at the Toronto Western Hospital, and her Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Her research efforts are focused on knowledge distillation and exchange, specifically pertaining to drug safety and effectiveness for neurological and psychiatric disorders. She has a special interest in the development of evidence-based guidelines, and the use of antipsychotic medications.  She serves as a methodology expert on the American Academy of Neurology Guidelines Subcommittee, and is a member of Knowledge Translation Canada.

Monitoring Drug Safety in Children


Canadian Guidelines for the Treatment of Tourette Syndrome


Tourette Syndrome Plus Conference Neurologically Gifted

Heather McEwan


Heather MacEwen has worked in the area of pediatrics as an occupational therapist for 14 years, both in the private and public practice settings. She has specialized in integrating therapy programs with the goal of providing effective and efficient therapy services to clients. Heather speaks, writes articles and participates in educational and media events.  Heather is also the cofounder of Blue Balloon Health Services, an organization committed to providing and improving the healthcare services available to children and young adults with learning and developmental challenges.

Understanding Sensory Processing & Self-Regulation


Dr. Trina Epstein


Dr. Epstein graduated from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers, The State University in 1998 and has been working in Toronto since that time.
She is a child and adolescent psychologist who works in the Tourette Syndrome Neurodevelopmental Clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital where she provides assessment and treatment to children and adolescents with Tourette Syndrome and its comorbidities (e.g., ADHD, OCD, Asperger Syndrome). Her work includes treatment for children and adolescents (e.g., CBT, CBIT, supportive counselling) and parenting intervention using Ross Greene’s Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach. Currently she is collaborating with Dr. Greene on a children’s book about CPS.

Expectations Without Explosions: Managing Inflexibility in Children:

Presentation Summary:

Many parents and educators of children with TS are challenged by children who are persistently rigid, argumentative, and non-compliant. Since these children typically have a number of

underlying challenges, and are not merely unmotivated to comply, they often do not respond to traditional behaviour management techniques like rewards and consequences. This presentation will focus on an approach called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), developed by Dr. Ross Greene, which offers parents and teachers an alternative way of responding to oppositional behaviours while also addressing children’s underlying difficulties.


Jennifer Kolari

 Connected Parenting


Kathy Giordano


As a behavioral consultant, former 7-12 grade teacher, parent of two adult children with TS, education advocate and the Education Specialist for the national Tourette Syndrome Association, Kathy Giordano has provided in-services for educators, parents, and mental health professionals nationally for over 25 years. Kathy has been a resource for schools and families regarding challenging behaviors and the effective, positive behavior plans that allow youngsters to manage symptoms and to be successful. She recently published A Family’s Quest for Rhythm: Living with Tourette, OCD, ADD and Challenging Behaviours.  This book including chapters by Kathy’s husband and son Matt, president of Drum Echoes, sharing the knowledge they gained regarding challenging behaviours with the goal of assisting families who feel isolated and the professionals who support them.

Exploring Reasons and Positive Supports for Challenging Behaviours:

Presentation Summary:

Combining research, personal and professional antidotes with Q&A throughout, participants gain an understanding of the reasons for challenging behavior issues at school and home. Tips and strategies for providing positive and effective supports/interventions that de-escalate anger and reduce the occurrence and degree of rage episodes will be shared. Audience members will be better prepared to identify and manage symptoms of Tourette syndrome and related disorders, behavioural concerns and the complex symptoms which are all too often misinterpreted.


How TS+ Impacts Educational Performance


Kim Edwards and Jenna Koning


Jenna Koning is a community behaviour consultant with the Brake Shop Clinic. She works extensively with families helping them to understand ‘leaky brake’ disorders and how to deal with the challenges leaky brakes present at school, in the community and in family homes. She developed a clinic admission model that is extremely successful in explaining difficult to understand disorders in a simple and easy to understand format.

Kim Edwards (affectionately known as Kim Possible by the youth and families she works with) is training to be a Clinical Psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with TS+. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in the area of humour and positive psychology (i.e., the science of what makes life worth living). Kim received her clinical training from a number of diverse settings in London, Ontario including the Brake Shop (a specialized clinic for children and youth with TS+) at the Child Parent Resource Institute, Vanier Children’s Services, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, Thames Valley District School Board, and The Fertility Clinic at University Hospital. Kim is excited to continue her training by pursuing a predoctoral residency at the Hospital for Sick Children during 2013-2014.  Over the past six years of graduate school, Kim helped develop and facilitate a number of evidence-based workshops, videos, games and resources for teachers, parents, and siblings working or living with youth with TS+. She has also delivered over 40 conference talks and invited lectures as well as worked as the Brake Shop Psychometrist, on contract. A former supervisor said, when presenting Kim with the award for the 2012-2013 Outstanding Contribution by a Psychology Student in London, Ontario: Kim is not at all afraid to be authentic, or silly. Her sense of fun, and a genuine enjoyment derived from helping children, makes her an exceptional therapist. This year’s National Conference will be her third time presenting at a TSFC Conference. Kim cannot wait to meet more incredible parents, youth, educators, and fellow clinicians that make her beyond excited to pursue a career working with youth with TS+ and their families.

TS+: Everything You Need to Know for the Newly Diagnosed


Amy Baskin


Amy Baskin is a freelance writer, educator and professional speaker. She is co-author of the award winning book More Than a Mom—Living a Full and Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs (Woodbine House). A popular media guest, Amy has appeared on national TV and radio, speaking about self care for parents of children with special needs. She writes about parenting and health for magazines including Reader’s Digest, Today’s Parent, Canadian Family and Best Health. Amy is the mother of two daughters; her youngest has autism. See www.amybaskin.com.


More Than A Parent: Living A Full and Balanced Life When your Child Has Special Needs:

Presentation Summary:

Parenting an amazing kid with TS? The happier and healthier you are, the more energy you have for your child. In this fun, interactive workshop, Amy shares stories, strategies and research tidbits to help you stay balanced while doing the best for your family. Amy will also share her family’s experience of starting a formal “support circle” with her daughter who has autism.


Tourette Syndrome Plus Conference 2013 Neurologically Gifted


Ken Shyminsky B.A., B.P.H.E., B.Ed., O.C.T. Specialist: Special Education, Member of the Ontario Principals Council,


Ken Shyminsky is a Vice Principal with the Halton District School Board. Specializing in challenging behaviours, he has drawn upon his personal experiences as an individual with Tourette Syndrome to help children with TS and related disorders. In addition to having TS himself, Ken’s experiences include extensive work as a Special Education teacher, mentoring teens that have TS, and counseling their families.

TS+ 101: Breaking the Paradigm of What TS Is and Isn’t

 Presentation Summary:

Using his own experiences as a student with Tourette Syndrome (TS), and as a Special Education Teacher of students affected by TS and its associated disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Executive Dysfunction, Mr. Shyminsky will provide participants with valuable insight and understanding into the challenges faced by students, Educators and administrators alike. You will also learn strategies to overcome the barriers that these conditions bring to today’s classroom.  Ken will share his understanding and his unique insight into this neurological mix through his own firsthand observations and experiences. Ken will also share a variety of preventative measures and effective solutions, and prepare participants to create their own solutions to school-related challenges.


Sarah Cannon


Sarah Cannon is the Executive Director of Parents for Children’s Mental Health. PCMH is the only provincial, family-led, non profit. Sarah sat on the inaugral Child and Youth Advisory Committee to the Mental Health Commission of Canada and continues to participate as an Ambassador. She also is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Ontario Provincial Centre of Excellence. She represents the family voice on many Provincial and National Committees. Sarah and her daughter Emily have spoken to media to raise awareness of child and youth mental health, having had stories featured on Canada AM, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO, as well as recently being featured in Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest and Maclean’s. In 2009 Sarah was awarded the For Kids Sake Award by Today’s Parent, in 2010 the Kinark’s Presidents Award and most recently was awarded the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award for her work in children’s mental health and the efforts that she makes to eradicate the stigma that surrounds children, youth and their families.

From the Inside: A Look at the Invisible Disability:

Presentation Summary:

From The Inside: A Look at the Invisible Disability is a workshop designed to allow participants to broaden their understanding of what it may be like for children and youth in classrooms who deal with a variety of mental health disorders and illnesses. With input from children and youth with mental illness, the workshop brings to life for participants the struggles that children and youth face, that often go unnoticed due to the invisible nature of their illness. It examines emotions, reactions, and also explores strategies and tools that provide safer and more comfortable environments where students can be allowed to achieve their full potential. The goal of the workshop is to increase the capacity of understanding of these illnesses and the effects of on children and youth in the classroom, to explore proactive solutions for classroom management, and to allow a unique view and understanding of illnesses that are often kept in the shadows.