Westfield PTC Special Education Committee, an organization that serves as a resource for teachers and the parents of regular and special education students, will present the 19th annual Awareness Expo from 7 to 10 p.m. tonight at .
The symposium was designed for parents and educators to explore issues that concern them most about children. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
For nearly two decades, the Awareness Expo has showcased distinguished speakers ranging from highly-acclaimed physicians and educators to attorneys who provide insight into a variety of issues that empower parents to help their children.
The goal of the Awareness Expo always has been to educate the community at large about issues that impact our students and their ability to succeed. The Expo includes something for everyone and promises to be a rewarding and educational way to spend an evening learning about issues that impact school-age children.
The panel for this year’s Expo consists of several distinguished speakers who will discuss the many resources available to parents and educators to help students achieve their maximum potential.
Attendees can choose any two of 10 “break out” type sessions starting promptly at 7:30 p.m., covering an assortment of child-related topics. Most programs have been approved for Professional Development Hours.
This year’s Expo will include the following topics and speakers of interest:
ADHD ACROSS THE AGES: THE CHANGING PICTURE
Presented by Dr. Ilyse O'Desky, Assistant Professor, Kean University and Chief of Psychology, St. Barnabas Medical Center
LATEST ADVANCEMENTS & TREATMENT OF AUTISM
Presented by Dr. Suzanne Goh, Assistant Professor, Clinical Neurology, Columbia University
USING IPOD AND IPAD TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS
Presented by Randall Palmer, Ed. S., Computer Specialist, The Children's Institute
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPEECH & LANGUAGE IN SCHOOL-BASED THERAPY
Presented by Erin Herits Wauters, M.S.CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Westfield Schools
SENSORY INTEGRATION IN THE CLASSROOM
Presented by Walter Chavez, MS, Licensed OT & Founder, Therapy Tree LLC
TRANSITION TO ADULT LIFE
Presented by Amy M. Perrine, BS, Special Ed, SEAT, Information Director, Autism New Jersey
Presented by Paula Lieb, JD, President & CEO of NJCIE (NJ Coalition for Inclusion Education)
THE POWER OF DRAMA: TECHNIQUES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
Presented by Brooke Campbell, Professional Actor, LCAT, RDT, BCT, Founder & Director-Creative Kinections LLC
SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING--WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT (1ST SESSION ONLY)
Presented by David J. Burns, Financial Rep, Jeff S. Rembisz, CLU,ChFC,CTLC, Financial Advisor
MONEY IN YOUR POCKET--WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU FILE YOUR TAXES! (2ND SESSION ONLY)
Presented by Seth E. Schneider, CLTC, MassMutual Financial Group, Barry Laub, CPF, CLTC, CHSNC, President, Infinite Resources, Inc.
The Westfield PTC-Special Education Committee also will award the “Make a Difference Award” at the Awareness Expo. The “Make a Difference” award is given annually to an individual or group of individuals who display exemplary efforts in support of Special Education.
This year, the "Make a Difference Award" will be presented to Kathie Caminiti who has been an advocate for children with disabilities for more than 10 years and believes that children with disabilities can realize tremendous success when they are provided a solid educational foundation, and challenged to achieve their personal best, supported both at home and in the classroom.
Caminiti has been a devoted member of the Westfield PTC Special Education Committee since 1999, chairing the committee from 2007-2010. An attorney by profession, Caminiti has been involved with the district's long-term strategic planning committee and the Bullying Task Force. She has been a champion for fulfilling the goal of our committee—bridging the gap between special and general education.
The PTC-Special Ed. Committee is honored to recognize the hard work, dedication and spirit of Kathie Caminiti who has served the Westfield community selflessly for all these years.
The Committee, dedicated to provide programming which highlights topics of concern to parents and educators of children with special needs, is not funded by the school budget and collects donations to support its programs via the annual fundraiser The Katherine E. Cuthbertson Memorial Fund.
The Fund was established a decade ago in memory of 10-year-old Katie Cuthbertson, a Westfield resident and one of the first students to pioneer inclusive education in the State of New Jersey. Each year, in honor of Katie’s pioneering spirit, the Special Ed. Committee presents a limited number of monetary awards to eligible Westfield high school seniors.
Unlike academic scholarships, this award recognizes the student's personal achievement and growth through both their schooling and outside activities. Additionally, the Fund is used to provide barrier-free initiatives in the schools and/or free educational programs for parents and teachers.