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Date:  Wednesday, November 2, 2022 
Time:  8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (registration starts at 7:30)
Place: Homewood Church of Christ
         265 W Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209     

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**School Teachers**
CEUs will be awarded- Details provided as date gets closer!



***If you are interested in being an Exhibitor***
Contact Denise Gillespie: or call/text (205)612-4458
                                                                 ****WALK-UPS ARE WELCOME!! *****
                                                      (No personal checks accepted)

Individual Tickets:  

Early bird (ends Wed., Oct. 14th) = $100 per person                              
Beginning Oct. 15th = $125 per person

Please visit/click on:   
Bham's 7th Unlocking the Mystery of Developmental Disorders Conference Tickets, Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 7:30 AM | Eventbrite

Purchase Orders for 1-4 Individuals:  Please contact Chenique Jeffress (Community Outreach Coordinator)
Phone #: 334-430-9291
Early bird (ends Wed., Oct. 14th) = $100 per person
Beginning Oct. 15th = $125 per person

Groups of 5 or more: (using Purchase Orders or other payments) **EMAIL ADDRESS HAS BEEN CORRECTED!!**
                                                                                                    Sorry for any inconvenience!!        
Please contact
Denise Gillespie (SECCO organizer)
Phone (text or call): 205-612-4458

Early bird
(ends Frid. Oct. 14th) = $80 per person
Beginning Oct. 15th = $100 per person



Special Education Consultants & Conference Organizers' mission is working to "unlock the mystery" of developmental disabilities by providing current information and professional expertise that will empower parents and educators. 

This conference is designed to educate parents, teachers, and other professionals on critical issues associated with disabilities! Speakers will cover topics including special education law, behavior concerns and plans, transition options, first response advocacy/safety and managing compassion/fatigue.

What others are saying....

"To say I enjoyed the conference today is an understatement! I was bombarded with knowledge and tidbits to assist my students to improve behavior and access the curriculum. I was very impressed with the fundamentals of Special Education Law. Leslie Allen was phenomenal! Sarah from UAB Sparks was amazing! As special education teachers we get so wrapped up in the behaviors we see on the surface forgetting the function or triggers that cause the behaviors. Laura Cole was inspiring! Her reminder of getting in the Awe-tism world and take the small steps to help bridge communication is core to improving language skills in all students.
I have saved the best for last, Dustin. I am amazed by his story and his dedication to changing the lives of others, heartwarming! I am not a sky diver yet but I am inspired to take risks.
I have called and emailed several other teachers and next year hope to represent (our) County Schools well at the conference!" Huntsville Conference, 2019

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Keynote Speaker

DaLee Chambers, Ph., J.D.
There Is a Leader in Us All!!

Come discuss ways each of us can be a leader daily!! Participants will interactively discuss leadership and specific strategies for being a strong leader in normal and difficult situations. The second part of the presentation will focus on hot topics and an Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) update.

Speaker_Picture_Anna McConnell_Aug 2019.

Anna McConnell with Cody Farmer

"Autism in Alabama"

Anna and Cody will provide an update of statewide activities related to ASD, to include the Autism Council and ADMH
Autism Services.


Leslie Allen – Partner, Resolutions in Special Education, Inc.
“Special Ed Law 101: A Crash Course for Educators”
Special education law is complex and litigious with many moving parts to be considered when trying to understand the legal requirements of educating students with disabilities. This session will provide educators with an overview of significant areas of special education law, including child-find, evaluation, eligibility, IEP/placement, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)/the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues. The overview is designed to highlight basic rules and common (and typically unintentional) missteps that can result in legal difficulties for school systems.

Dr. Ayesha Bryant
"Auditory Processing Disorder – A scientist's and parent's perspective"
A basic overview about auditory processing disorder – what it is, what it “looks” like, current treatments, and measures to help those affected.

Bama Hagar, Ph. D  
"Creating a Meaningful Daily Routine After Transition Age"

The topics of daily living and effective approach to employment, social and recreational
activities in adulthood will be presented.

Tish MacInnis - - Ambassador of the CDC and Prevention Learn the Signs Act. Early
"Developmental Milestones - Helping Parents Monitor their Child's Development"

Attendees will be provided information to recognize developmental milestones. Small group activities and power point presentation will offer examples of CDC resources and other Alabama state partners for Learn the Sign Act early.

Dr. Jewoong Moon - - Assistant Professor, Adaptive Design of Immersive e-learning Lab, The
University of Alabama

"Virtual reality- and game-based social and cognitive skill training for learnings with autism"
This presentation introduces virtual reality-based and game-based social and cognitive skills training for learners with autism. Learners with ASD living in rural areas are particularly experiencing learning challenges due to limited services and geographical barriers. This technology-enhanced and fully -remote training program will serve as a digital learning platform that enables students to develop creativity, design problem-solving skills, and social skills. This training program aims at developing students’ interdisciplinary and collaborative design problem-solving through gameplay and 3D simulations.

Carley Frensley - -Alabama Lifespan Respite (ALR) Project Coordinator Carley Frensley
"Give Me a Break! How to Identify and Why to Use Respite"
This presentation will be an overview of the importance of respite, Alabama Lifespan Respite’s statewide program, and specifically ALR’s Universal Respite reimbursement program, which provides funding to enable family caregivers to take needed respite breaks.

Jared Hendricks With Suzanne Hoy and Melissa Walters - -Safe in Home
"Empowering Independent Living Through Remote Supports"
This presentation will focus on solutions that can support independence with safety.  Remote Supports can help meet an individual’s goals of medication management, transitional living, prompts for ADL’s, kitchen safety, visitor safety, and more.  The focus of our presentation is to communicate how remote supports and assistive technology can help unlock new possibilities for individuals while driving self-determination and creating opportunities for learning.  This is accomplished through supported independence, dignity of risk, and the opportunity to control one’s environment.

Jared Hendricks

Suzanne Hoy

Melissa Walters

Dr. Stephanie Corcoran
"Culturally Responsive ASD Assessments"
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing neurodevelopmental disorder in the United States (Harris et al., 2019). Current prevalence rates are 1 in 54. Yet, despite the dramatic rise in ASD prevalence, children from select culturally and linguistically minoritized (CLM) groups and economically vulnerable populations are more likely to receive delayed ASD identification (Mandell et al., 2002; 2009) or misidentification presenting as overrepresentation (e.g. Asian children; Marks & Kurth, 2013) and underrepresentation (e.g. females; Blacks, Maenner et al., 2020). Baio, et al. (2018) found that children from Black and Latino populations are less likely to receive an ASD diagnosis or educational identification than White children. Disparities in ASD identification are also impacted by socioeconomic status (SES), as low SES populations are less likely to be diagnosed with ASD (Durkin et al, 2017). This presentation will:
1)Discuss assessment strategies that reduce the disparities in ASD identification by employing
culturally and linguistically responsive assessment methodologies (observation methods, interview
methods, autism rating scales, the ADOS-2 instrument)
2) Present strategies for effective collaboration with inter-other disciplinary professionals (OT, PT, SLP, Special Education Teachers, etc.) to provide quality school-based ASD evaluations


Ashley H. Cawley, Ph.D.
"Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Building a Winning Team with Families of Children with Developmental Disabilities"
Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a team to work together to achieve a common goal. A winning team made up of the family of an individual with a disability and the professionals who educate or support them is one of the most powerful supports an individual with a disability can receive. This presentation will explore best practices that serve as the foundation of winning family-professional partnerships.

Stephanie Wright
"Equipping Families to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect"
This session will discuss the prevalence of child abuse and the neglect in children with special needs.  It will also address the importance of equipping families with protective factors which research has shown to strengthen families and decrease the risk of child abuse and neglect.  Participants will also learn the harmful effects oof Abusive Head Trauma.


Dawn Ellis with Meredith Mitchell
"How To Gain Input From All Parties To Write A Better IEP"
Building rapport and gaining insight from parents, students and teachers helps the IEP team
develop a better IEP. In this session, you will gain insight on how to build rapport and input.



7:30- 8:15 a.m.


12:15-12:45  p. m.

Break/Lunch Pickup

8:15-8:30 a.m.

Cindy Nelson

8:30-9:45 a.m.

Dr. DaLee Chambers


12:45-1:45 p.m.

1:45-1:55 p.m.

SESSION THREE: (Lunch Session)
Choir Room:  Leslie Allen
Room 113: Stephanie Wright
Tri Room: Tish McInnis

Rm 113:


9:45-10:05 a.m.


1:55- 2:55 p.m.
Sanctuary: Anna McConnell
Choir Room: Jewong Moon
Room 113: Tish MacInnis
Tri Room: 


10:05-11:05 a.m.

Sanctuary: Dr. Stephanie Corcoran
Choir Room: Dr. Jewong Moon
Rm 113: 
Tri Room: Bama Hagar


2:55 p.m.

Dismissal/ Pick up Certificates 

11:05-11:15 p.m.

11:15- 12:15 p.m.
Sanctuary: Dawn Ellis
Choir room
: Carley Frensley
Room 113: Dr. Ayesha Bryant

Tri Room: Jared Hendricks, etc.

Contact Us


CINDY NELSON: 205-356-7213


ALICE MURDOCH: 205-447-8594
DENISE GILLESPIE:  205-612-4458


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Alabama Lifespan Respite
Discovery Toys
The Exceptional Foundation
Laurel Heights Hospital
Mitchell's Place
People First of Alabama
Cognition, Brain and Autism Lab (U of A)
Special Equestrians, Inc.
Triumph Services
The Horizons School
Doss & Co.
The Bell Center
Glenwood, Inc.


Edgar's Bakery
Bud' Best Cookies
Express Oil

Birmingham Zoo
Home Depot
Autobahn Axe
Winn Dixie
Ballantrae Gold Club
Mandu in Homewood
Birmingham Southern University
Rosa Parks Museum-Montgomery
Hank Williams Museum- Montgomery
Theatre Tuscaloosa
Demetri's BBQ
Roly Poly
Ashley Mac's
Smart Skin Med Spa
Fab' Rik
The Bright Star
On Tap Sports Cafe
Mister Full Service Car Wash
Goo-Goo Car Wash
Sam's Super Samwiches
The Loft- Homewood
Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa
Outback Steakhouse
Full Mon BBQ- Fultondale
Effies. Inc.

Total Basketball

Cracker Barrel

Taco mama


Alys Stephens Center

Dale's Wheels Through Time North Carolina

Barber's Motor Sports

Tannehill State Park

Red Mountain Theatre

Soho Social

Smart Skin Med Spa

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