34th Annual Learning Differences Conference
March 22-23, 2019
EXECUTIVE FUNCTION AND METACOGNITION: Reducing Stress and Promoting Resilience in the classroom
At the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Sponsored by The Research Institute for Learning and Development
Lynn Meltzer, Ph. D., Chair

34th Annual Learning Differences Conference Details

This 34th Annual Learning Differences conference will emphasize current work on the importance of executive function strategies in mediating stress and fostering persistence and resilience in students as they navigate the many school challenges.  Presentations will focus on innovative research and the implications for effective clinical practice and classroom teaching.  There will be an emphasis on executive function strategies that benefit all students from kindergarten into high school and the college years and span reading, writing, math, and content area subjects.

Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D

Conference Chair, President of Institutes for Learning and Development

Session Title:

Stretching and flexing the mind: Metacognition and executive function strategies that promote resilience and academic success

Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D.

Director of Brown Clinic for Attention & Related Disorders

Session Title:

Executive function, motivation and stress in students with ADHD.

Kelly B. Cartwright, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Teacher Preparation

Session Title:

Executive Function strategies to support reading comprehension

Michelle Garcia Winner, SLP, MA-CC

Founder & CEO, Center for Social Thinking, Speech & Language Pathologist

Session Title:

Social thinking and competencies: Teaching more than social skills

Steven Schlozman, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Co-Director, Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds MGH

Session Title:

​Bright students who can’t keep up: The impact of slow processing speed on performance

Joan Sedita, Ph.D.

Founder and Author of Keys to Literacy.

Session Title:

Keys to comprehension: Teaching main ideas, note-taking, and summarizing

Conference Agenda

Day One

7:45 - 8:30a.m.

8:30 - 8:50a.m.


8:50 - 9:45a.m.





9:50 - 10:40a.m.



10:40 - 11:00a.m.

11:00 - 11:50a.m.




11:50 - 12:20a.m.



12:20 - 1:30p.m.


1:30 - 2:30p.m.




2:50 - 4:30p.m










4:45 - 6:30p.m.​​




Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.


Stretching and flexing the mind: Metacognition and executive function strategies that promote resilience and academic success

Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.​

Executive function, motivation and stress in students with ADHD

Thomas Brown, Ph.D.


Coffee break

Bright students who can’t keep up: The impact of slow processing speed on performance

Steven Schlozman, M.D.


Panel: Questions and answers

Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D., Thomas Brown, Ph.D., Ellen Braaten, Ph.D.

Networking Lunch

Panel: Learning and attention differences: The building blocks of creative thinking and leadership

Lynn Meltzer Ph.D, Dan Koh M.B.A., Sasha Forbath, Billy Warren B.S.

Concurrent Sessions


1 .  Michael Greschler, M.Ed., Wendy Stacey, M.S., Kim Davis M.Ed., Shelly Levy, M.Ed., M.S.

      Promoting EF processes across the grades: Fun, form, and content

2.   Joan Sedita, M.A.

      Keys to comprehension:Teaching main ideas,note taking and summarizing to support comprehension

​3.  Joan Steinberg, M.Ed., Kathy Button, M.Ed. 

     Reaching for joy in math learning: Embracing ef processes and strategic instruction for students who struggle 

4.   Sucheta Kamath, M.A.

      Building resilience in children with language learning difficulties using mental flexibility and perspective taking strategies

5.   Anthony Bashir, Ph.D., Bonnie Singer, Ph.D.

      Verbal working memory: Its role in executive control and language performance

Reception for Faculty, Alumnae, and SMARTS Subscribers

Day Two













































4:05 - 4:30p.m. 


Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D

Executive function strategies to support reading comprehension

Kelly Cartwright, Ph.D.

Social thinking and social competencies: Teaching more than social skills

Michelle Garcia Winner, SLP, MA-CCC

Coffee break


The power of mentoring in school based after-school settings: From research to practice

Jean Rhodes,Ph.D.

Panel/ Questions and Answers


Lunch (on your own in Harvard Square)

Panel: SMARTS: Embedding executive function strategies  into the classroom using the SMARTS curriculum.  Administrators and teachers from selected schools 


Concurrent  Sessions


1. Colin Meltzer, M.A., Josh Mulready B.S.

    Developing students' strengths through projects and technology: Why makerspaces matter for students with learning differences

2.  Jessica Minahan, M.Ed., BCBA

     Embedding technology into project-based learning: 3-D printers and beyond


3.  Kalyani Krishnan, M.A., M.Ed.

     Self-regulated learning in urban English language learners: A first look


4.  Christopher Willard, Ph.D., Mark Bertin, M.D.

     Making mindfulness stick for kids with executive function challenges


5.  Michelle Garcia Winner, SLP, MA-CCC

     Case studies of Adolescents with ASD:  Strategies to promote social competencies while also managing anxiety and sadness 


Closing Panel: Practical strategies for use on Monday morning

What People are Saying about the Learning Differences Conference

I felt as if I was in the presence of greatness. The best of the best. What an amazing experience all around. 

       School Administrator

This is my second time at this conference. Once again it is the most valuable conference I’ve ever been to. 

       SPED, middle school         teacher, public schools 


Nearby Hotels

Nearby parking garages

We are grateful for the support of community-minded foundations and corporations that help us bring the power of SMARTS to students everywhere.

Bain's Capital Logo

Research Institute for Learning and Development  

4 Militia Drive, Suite 20 

Lexington, Massachusetts 02421 



  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

© Copyright 2019 by Research Institute for Learning & Development.