35th Annual Learning Differences Conference
October 9-10, 2020
EXECUTIVE FUNCTION STRATEGIES: The Antidote to Stress in School
Sponsored by The Research Institute for Learning and Development
Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D., Founder and Chair
To be held in a virtual format, details to be announced shortly

35th Annual Learning Differences Conference Details

Executive function and social emotional learning are increasingly recognized as the foundation of successful learning for all students, but especially students with learning differences, ADHD, and dyslexia. But how can educators apply the latest research to help students cope with academic demands as well as increasing stress and anxiety? This year’s conference will emphasize practical strategies educators can use to support students from elementary school through middle and high school, preparing them for a lifetime of success.

Conference Agenda

Day one


7:45 - 8:30         Welcome Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.

8:50 - 9:45         Metacognition and executive function: Reducing stress

                            and igniting success in all students Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.

9:50 - 10:40       The impact of a growth mindset on behavior and

                            performance Eduardo Briceño

10:40- 11:00      Coffee break

11:00 - 11:50     Stress management strategies to accelerate student 

                            performance Dave Anderson, Ph.D.

11:50 - 12:20     Panel: Q&A

                            Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D. Eduardo Briceño,

                            Dave Anderson, Ph.D. 

12:20 - 1:30         Networking lunch

1:30 - 2:45        Persistence, resilience, and EF strategies: Keys to

                           overcoming challenges in school and life

                           Tony Bashir, Ph.D., Chace Nolen, B.S., Billy Warren, B.S.

2:45 - 3:10        Break

3:15 - 4:45                      CONCURRENT SESSIONS

  1. Executive function and metacognitive awareness: Strategies to boost independent learning Michael Greschler, M.Ed., Wendy Stacey, M.S., Shelly Levy, M.Ed., M.S.

  2. Intergrating social-emotional development with academics Sara Krachman, A.B.

  3. Reading and the brain for educators and practitioners Joanna Christodoulou, Ed.D.

  4. When worrying takes over: Helping kids with ADHD overcome anxiety and build resiliency Sharon Saline, Ph.D.

  5. Self-Regulated Learning in English Language Learners Kalyani Krishnan, Ph.D.

4:45 - 6:30         Reception Faculty Reception for Speakers, LD

                           Conference Alumnae & SMARTS subscribers

Day two

8:30 - 8:45          Overview Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.

8:45 - 9:30          Executive function and school readiness

                           Stephanie Carlson,Ph.D.

9:30 - 10:20        Bright kids who can’t keep up

                           Ellen Braaten, Ph.D.

10:20 - 10:40      Coffee break

10:45 - 11:35      Smart but scattered

                           Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP

11:35 - 12:00      Panel: Q&A

                           Stephanie M. Carlson, Ph.D. , Ellen Braaten, Ph.D.,                                      Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP

12:00 - 1:15        Lunch (On your own in Harvard Square)

1:15 - 2:30          School recharge: Embedding EF strategies into the

                           curriculum Panel

                           Rajneet Goomer, M.Ed.& Kristina Mannino,M.Ed.,

                           Robbinsville Public Schools; Hilary Shea,M.Ed.,      

                           Cherelle Webster Payne, LICSW, Boston Public

                           Schools; Suellen Inwood,M.Ed., Easton Country Day


2:40 - 4:10               CONCURRENT SESSIONS

  1. Overcoming math phobia with EF strategies Joan Steinberg, M.Ed. Kathy Button, M.Ed.

  2. Flexible mindsets: Creating spaces that reduce stress and encourage young learners to take risks. Julie Dunstan, Ph.D. Suzanna Cole, M.Ed.

  3. Memory: A Key for Learning and Academics             Surina Basho, Ph.D.

  4. The magic of mentalizing: Applying innovations in Theory of Mind and Social Cognition to create effective interventions for Children with ASD Sucheta Kamath,MA.MA. BC-ANCDS,CCC-SLP

  5. Digital technologies for improving thinking skills in children Randy Kulman, Ph.D.

4:15 - 4:30         Closing Panel: Practical strategies for use on     

                          Monday morning Donna Kincaid, M.Ed. Nancy

                          Trautman, M.A.T.

Some of our featured conference speakers:

Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.

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Conference Chair, President of Institutes for Learning and Development

Session Title: Metacognition and executive function: Reducing stress and igniting success in all students.

Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP

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Psychologist, Center for Learning and Attention Disorders, program of Seacoast Mental Health Center, Portsmouth, NH

Session Title: Smart but scattered

Ellen Braaten, Ph.D.

Director, LEAP MGH, Associate Director, MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Session Title: Bright kids who can't keep up

Eduardo Briceño

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Co-Founder, CEO, Mindset Works

Session Title: The impact of a growth mindset on behavior and performance

Sharon Saline, Psy.D.

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Psychologist, Author and Consultant

Session Title: When worrying takes over: Helping Kids with ADHD overcome anxiety and build resiliency.

David Anderson, Ph.D.

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Senior Director of National Programs and Outreach, Child Mind Institute

Session Title: Stress Management strategies to accelerate student performance



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

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

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Research Institute for Learning and Development  

4 Militia Drive, Suite 20 

Lexington, Massachusetts 02421 



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