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AANE’s Summer 2020 Virtual Conference

August 15 @ 10:00 am - August 16 @ 2:00 pm, $60 – $75


Students in Distress: School-Based Anxiety from Professional, Parent & Student Perspectives

Saturday, August 15, 2020: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT
Sunday, August 16, 2020: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT


Standard Virtual Attendee $60 per person

Scholarships are available for those in need.  Please contact Stephanie Birkdale prior to registering at stephanie.birkdale@aane.org, or 617-393-3824 ext. 232.

*Professional Virtual Attendee: $75 per person

*Please note that this ticket is for Massachusetts Licensed Social Workers, Massachusetts Licensed Psychologists, and Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselors seeking continuing education credits.


Live, Virtual Conference

This conference is for parents of children and teens on the spectrum and professionals.


Conference Agenda


AUGUST 15, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Rethinking Behavioral Interventions
Jessica Minehan, M.Ed, BCBA

Description: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen-eighteen-year-olds in the general population has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Students with Autism are at greater risk than their typically developing peers for developing anxiety and anxiety disorders such as phobias, OCD, and social anxiety disorder. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. Understanding the role anxiety plays in a student’s behavior is crucial and using preventive strategies are key to successful intervention. Effective behavior plans for these students must focus on the use of preventive strategies and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses. As a result of this workshop participants will be able to easily implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring.



AUGUST 16, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Fostering Effective Anxiety Management Practices Through Special Education Home-School Collaboration
Elise Wulff, M.Ed

Description: Home-School collaboration is critical for student success, especially in supporting anxiety management. We know that anxiety expresses itself differently by different people and also expresses itself differently by the same person in different environments. We can expect team members to have varying perspectives and should work to use all the information available to better understand student and caregiver needs in helping to understand, learn, and apply strategies to make progress managing anxiety. In this workshop, we’ll discuss best practices for home-school collaboration around social-emotional domains as well as recommendations specific to supporting caregivers to help their student make progress on anxiety management goals.


AUGUST 16, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Anxiety at School: One Family’s Story of Teamwork and Transparency
Lynne Mitchell, MSW, LICSW & Jason Mitchell

Description: This presentation will incorporate both the student perspective and the parent perspective of how to support a student with anxiety in the school setting through Jason and Lynne’s own experience. Jason will outline what some of the major causes of anxiety were for him at various times in his education. He will describe interventions by the professionals that were helpful and some that were less helpful. He will also describe ways that his parents and siblings supported him that were both helpful and less helpful (although well-meaning). Lynne will comment on ways in which the professionals at Jason’s school worked with her to meet Jason’s needs and ways in which support from the school fell short. Lynne and Jason will use a number of anecdotes to highlight the importance of open, honest and consistent communication between everyone. The presentation will conclude with time for questions and answers to ensure that conference participants can be part of the learning.

*Conference Agenda is subject to change. Attendees will be informed of any changes.



Jessica Minahan, M.Ed., BCBA, is a licensed and board-certified behavior analyst, special educator, as well as a consultant to schools internationally. Jessica has over seventeen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems. She is the co-author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014). Learn More About Jessica


Elise Wulff, M.Ed., has more than a decade of experience working with a neurodiverse population, their families, and professionals in both the public and private sectors. With MGH Aspire since 2008, Elise oversees Child programming and related services where participants engage in multi-disciplinary, strengths-based curricula with activities that help to teach and build skills through preferred interests and play. Prior to joining Aspire, Elise worked as an Inclusion Facilitator for a therapeutic intervention program for students with Asperger’s, NVLD, ADHD, and similar profiles. In collaboration with Aspire, Elise co-wrote a multi-year tiered self-awareness curriculum based on Aspire’s model ‘The Science of Me,’ as well as curricula to address enhancing Executive Functioning skills and supporting resistant writers. Elise is recognized for her work supporting school districts to enhance their inclusion practices and foster healthy social-emotional development and self-awareness. She has specific expertise in program design, social-emotional curriculum, tools to build student independence, and strategies for positive behavioral interventions. Elise provides personalized parent coaching, school-based consultation, and professional development for providers. Elise received her undergraduate degree in psychology and theater arts from Emory University and her master’s degree in special education from Lesley University.


Lynne Mitchell, a licensed social worker and her adult son Jason Mitchell present a heartwarming and inspiring story of their journey towards self understanding and independence as mother and son. Jason Mitchell was diagnosed with AS at the end of 1st grade in 1998. He is now 28 years old and has graduated from Bridgewater State College. He currently has a number of volunteer and part time jobs as he searches for his “real job.” Lynne Mitchell is a clinical social worker and is currently the clinical director of Granite Academy a middle/high school that serves students with a variety of social-emotional needs as well as students with ASD. Lynne began specializing in AS professionally even before she was faced with AS at home. This mother/son team has been presenting to parent groups and at conferences giving both the perspective of the child and the parent as they face the ups and downs that come with living with AS as both a child and parent.



Please specify on your registration if you will need an ASL interpreter, CART, or additional accommodations. ASL or CART accommodations must be requested by August 1, 2020.

Ticket Options:

Standard Virtual Attendee $60 per person

Scholarships are available for those in need.  Please contact Stephanie Birkdale prior to registering at stephanie.birkdale@aane.org, or 617-393-3824 ext. 232.

Professional Virtual Attendee: $75 per person (Please note that this ticket is for Massachusetts Licensed Social Workers, Massachusetts Licensed Psychologists, and Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselors seeking continuing education credits.)

“This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886829221-2682) for 5 continuing education contact hours.

“This program has been approved for 5 Category I MaMHCA hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 262 CMR.”

“This program has been approved for 5 CE Credits for Psychologists. This program is co-sponsored by Child & Family Psychological Services (CFPS). CFPS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor Continuing Education for psychologists. CFPS maintains responsibility for this program and its content.”



August 15 @ 10:00 am
August 16 @ 2:00 pm
$60 – $75
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Stephanie Birkdale, AANE
617-393-3824 x232