The Role of Social Emotional Learning in Special Education

Thursday, May 20, 10 am – 11 am

Sponsored by Darien SEPAC

Webinar – Please RSVP at

Board Certified Behavioral Analyst, Meghan Cave, and Attorney-at-Law, Michael Gilberg, will discuss the benefit of social emotional learning experiences in the classroom and the requirement to provide a social emotional curriculum in public schools. Their presentation will focus on prioritizing skills for instruction, the use of evidenced-based programming, progress monitoring and the legal perspective of COVID-19 compensatory services.

Michael Gilberg, Attorney-at-Law, has years of special education and disability rights/advocacy experience. Attorney Gilberg also has his own personal story as someone on the autism spectrum. His life experiences drive his desire to advocate for children with disabilities and their families.

Meghan Cave, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT) and Co-Founder & CEO of the Hangout Spot, has over fourteen years of experience providing special education and behavior analytic services. Meghan has co-authored publications in Autism Parenting Magazine and Behavioral Science in the 21st Century blog and serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Saint Joseph.

Supporting Students with ADHD

 Attention & Behavior
Dr. David Anderson, The Child Mind Institute
Tuesday, April 27.
Noon – 1 PM, Webinar

With the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, constructively supporting students with ADHD is more important than ever. On Tuesday, April 27 from noon- 1 PM, Dr. David Anderson, Vice President of School and Community Programs and former Senior Director of the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute will present Supporting Students with ADHD: Attention and Behavior.  Dr. Anderson will outline the signs and symptoms of ADHD, common ways kids and teens with ADHD have faced challenges during the pandemic, and outline effective strategies to manage ADHD symptoms and restore balance both at school and at home.  Please RSVP at

Dr. Anderson is a clinical psychologist who specializes in evaluating and treating children and adolescents with ADHD, behavior, anxiety, and mood disorders. Child Mind Institute school-based programs directed by Dr. Anderson have provided clinical interventions, social-emotional skill building, professional development, and workshops for more than 50,000 students, educators, and parents. Dr. Anderson frequently lectures and leads workshops on a variety of topics for parents, educators, and policymakers, and he has contributed to television and print media for organizations such as ABC, Time, CBS, Fox, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New York Times, and NPR. Dr. Anderson received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University.

The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.

The program is co-sponsored by Darien SEPAC and Darien Library. 

Colleges with Support Services: Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion – WEBINAR
Monday, March 15, 2021, 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Please RSVP:

Students with IEPs/504s and parents are invited to attend a panel discussion, which will include representatives from colleges and universities offering support services. The panel will share details about available academic, social, and living supports. Meghan Emanuelson, Director of Guidance, Darien High School, will moderate.  

The program is co-sponsored by Darien Library, DHSPA, and Darien SEPAC. Panelists include:

Sacred Heart University
Kathy Radziunas
Director, Office of Student Accessibility

St. Lawrence University
Lyndsay Malcomb
Senior Associate Director of Admissions & Mid-Atlantic Regional Counselor

Syracuse University
Karen M. Toole 
Academic Support | OnTrack at SU | Tutoring

Rutgers University
Erin G. Leuthold, MS Ed
Director, Office of Disability Services

New York University
Mary Liz McNamara, M.Ed., CRC
Associate Director, Moses Center for Student Accessibility

Neurodiversity in Schools: Creating a Culture of Belonging

Tuesday, February 9
 Noon – 1 PM, Webinar
 Please RSVP:

In a neurodiverse world, actively supporting inclusion and celebrating neurodiversity is critical — especially in our schools. This intentional choice requires more than just laminated strategies for our students with autism, ADHD and other learning differences; it requires a real change in mindset.

In this presentation, autism and inclusion specialist Lauren Hough Williams, MSEd, will explore neurodiversity and discuss the many ways we can support neurodivergent students in our schools. If we can find ways to shift to focusing on strengths, commit to the principles of universal design, and celebrate neurodiversity, we can create inclusive environments where all learners can thrive. 

Co-sponsored by Darien SEPAC, Darien Library and YWCA Darien/Norwalk.

Lauren Hough Williams, MSEd, is an autism and inclusion specialist, but first, she is an educator. She began her career as a special educator for the NYC Department of Education before working for over a decade to define, refine, and expand the NYU ASD Nest Support Project. Her development process includes partnering with the autistic community to shift the paradigm in special education from focusing on deficits to a focus on strengths. From Lauren’s experience working with educators, she has seen that those who know better can do better. She is committed to helping school systems understand the needs of their neurodiverse students so that they can build inclusive classrooms where everyone can thrive.

Lauren is the co-editor of The ASD Nest Model and co-author of Everyday Classroom Strategies and Practices for Supporting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as several articles on autism-related subjects in special education and disabilities journals. She also co-designed the New York Transit Museum’s Subways Sleuths program for autistic train enthusiasts, and is a part of the NYU Connections Program for autistic undergraduate and graduate students.

Upcoming Presentation

Post High School and College Planning for Students on the Spectrum: Helping Our Students Prepare for Their Future and Find the Right PathJane Thierfeld Brown, EdD
Thursday, January 21, 2021
10:00- 11:00 AM


Transitioning from high school to college or employment can be difficult for any student, but especially for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The structure and predictability provided in high school are gone. The social and academic supports these students may have relied on during their high school years are suddenly removed. The organization, communication, social, and “life” skills required in a college or employment setting are heightened. Our role as “parent” changes legally when our “child” turns 18.

For all these reasons, it is important to encourage students with ASD to develop critical academic, social, and life skills while in high school so they can transition to college or employment successfully. Jane Thierfeld Brown, EdD, Director of College Autism Spectrum and former Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Child Study, will provide helpful tips for how to help our students develop the necessary skills for life beyond high school and plan for college and employment.

More about Jane Thierfeld Brown

Co-sponsored by SPED*NET WiltonWilton Public SchoolsWilton SEPTA, and Darien SEPAC

SPED*NET Wilton does not provide medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material in this webinar is provided for educational purposes only.