By Francine Britton, SEDF Coordinator
The Student Educational Development Fund (SEDF) ended a nationwide series of five informative, cutting edge conferences on February 25, 2011 with Dr. George McCloskey presenting at the Martin Luther King Student Union at UC Berkeley. It was a perfect spring day in California, and we had a very lively, interactive group.
Dr. McCloskey spoke to 66 attendees (a totally full house) about Assessment and Intervention for Executive Function Difficulties in a timely presentation entitled: The Dog Ate My Homework.
During this informative day, Dr. McCloskey directed his presentation to the needs of parents, clinicians, teachers and Berkeley Center College Internship Program staff. He talked about day-to-day and long-term interventions and gave the group innovative tools and techniques to use when dealing with executive function difficulties in young adults “on the spectrum.” The lecture was very interactive, and questions and on-going discussions continued at a wine and cheese reception at CIP’s Berkeley campus following his six-hour presentation.
Janet Miller (CIP’s Berkeley director) greeted guests at the wine and cheese reception, and tours were given of the Berkeley Center; a student apartment was also on display. Staff interacted with conference attendees and Dr. George McCloskey, while enjoying a wonderful selection of food and desserts. No one wanted to leave, and guests stayed until 6PM that evenin – very remarkable considering that the event day started at 8:30AM.
Aishani Patel was the SEDF on-site coordinator for the conference, and she worked tirelessly to see that all the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed. Her expertise behind the scenes made the day go smoothly. Her problem-solving abilities and attention to detail came into full play on the day of the conference, and her cheerful demeanor and wonderful organizational skills ensured that all participants had a terrific conference experience.
The silent auctions at all five conferences garnered GENEROUS donations for the SEDF Scholarship Fund, including a gift of all book sales that were purchased during the Berkeley conference presentation from Dr. George McCloskey.
With the success of the conferences behind us, SEDF is now planning the next series of six conferences that will take place in the autumn of 2011 and the winter/spring of 2012. It is very exciting and rewarding for the foundation to present professional development conferences to those responsible for providing the education and support services for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome, non-verbal Learning Disabilities, high functioning Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and other Learning Differences.
“I have been to a lot of workshops and conferences and I have to say that this may “the best” in terms of what I got out of it. The day was well organized, and I will look forward to the next SEDF event.” John Aldana, Ph.D. (Berkeley Attendee)