Building Best Practice

BBP Logo

April 19th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central
April 20th from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Central

Embassy Suites Murfreesboro
1200 Conference Center Boulevard
Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Registration

Early Registration - April 18th from 4 to 6 p.m.
Registration - April 19th from 7:45 to 9 a.m.

Click here to view the BBP Program.

Click here to download handouts.

Scholarship Information - FULL

Building Best Practice scholarship will be available beginning February 15, 2022. Submissions will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to approved applications. Scholarships will cover the cost of the hotel room for two nights. Mileage and meal reimbursement will be the responsibility of the agency. The maximum number of rooms that will be awarded to any one agency is two rooms for a two-night stay. Agency directors will be notified of the scholarship award no later than March 13, 2022.

An agency must meet the following criteria to receive a scholarship award:

  • Must be attending full length of the conference
  • Agency location must be 100 miles, one way, from the conference location
  • All rooms will be double occupancy

Day  1

Leading Families in Their Journey with Conscious Discipline
Abbi Kruse, Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor

This session will introduce Conscious Discipline® as a tool helping parents reflect on their own skills for discipline as well as their own emotional triggers. We will discuss adult perceptions of behaviors, attachment, co-regulation, and ways to build connections into everyday routines.

Rockstar Parent Panel
Mandy Royston, Service Coordinator

Three rockstar families are excited to include you on their journey through TEIS by sharing their story of how a family moves from having a concern about their child to being confident at embedding intervention in their daily routines. Hear what has had the most impact on their family and their life, and the one thing they want all providers to know.

Coaching Caregivers Through Challenging Situations: Lessons Learned from a Community of Providers
Ashley Vogel, Behavior Analyst

In this workshop, we will discuss strategies for coaching caregivers to respond to challenging situations. A portion of the content covered in TRIAD’s Virtual Professional Learning Community will be shared and developmental therapists will share applied examples highlighting how they used information from the VPLC to successfully coach caregivers.

Creating Active Learning Spaces for Young Children with Complex Learning/Medical Needs
Danna Conn, Program Coordinator and Suzanne Dinwiddie, Educational Consultant

Over 85% of children with complex needs have decreased hearing levels, vision loss or sensory processing difficulties. These challenges require adapted materials, unique teaching strategies and positioning. This presentation will focus on how to establish rich environments to enhance residual senses and encourage active learning.

What Does Simon Say About Goals?
Mitzi Myers and Kristine Moore, TEIS Staff and Development Team

THIRD WORD! MUNDANE MOMENTS! MAPPING!

Playing a childhood game can help you with goal writing! Come to this session to discover a simple concept to ensure the IFSP goals you develop meet the needs of children and families. Lighthearted but with a specific focus. 

Leading Families in their Journey with Conscious Discipline
Abbi Kruse, Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor

This session will introduce Conscious Discipline® as a tool helping parents reflect on their own skills for discipline as well as their own emotional triggers. We will discuss adult perceptions of behaviors, attachment, co-regulation, and ways to build connections into everyday routines.

Connecting the Dots: Adult Learning Principles and FGRBI Indicators
Amy Jenkins, Early Childhood Specialist

This interactive workshop will discuss the 6 early intervention adult learning principles that providers can use to support caregiver learning during regular visits with the family. We will share strategies for implementing these principles during balanced intervention and provide an understanding of how to apply the practice within the context of a triadic learning environment. Learn the what, how, and why of family-centered practices and how we use the adult learning principles to guide us.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome & Intrauterine Substance Exposure: Pragmatic Approaches to Support Children and Families
Tiffani Dixon, Developmental Therapist

Presentation on current information and new strategies for children diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The session will address system disturbances and related complications, trauma-informed care, and advocating for children with NAS. The session will also discuss how substances have affected the brain and how this correlates with various delays and symptoms. Participants will gain an understanding of intervention strategies to implement with families and caregivers of children with NAS.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Early Intervention
Allison Wegman, Clinical Assistant Professor and Co-Director of Clinical Director in SLP, and Jestina Bunch

Do you think EI children can use AAC?  In this workshop, we would like to explore appropriate AAC systems for EI and bring awareness to when it is time to request and evaluate.  We would like to highlight coaching/training families and other communication partners on how to effectively utilize AAC strategies.  

Helpful Tips to Improve Motor Function in Our Children
Nancy Cogburn, Early Intervention Physical Therapist

We will discuss how we can assist families to improve their child’s motor function, including positions of play to improve core strength, atypical red flags and exposure vs. deficits.

 

Fundamentals of Threat Awareness
Levi Montgomery, Chief Instructor for Priority One's "Self Defense Nashville/Lebanon Self Defense"

This workshop provides an explanation of the “anatomy of an attack”. By applying the “colors of awareness” and playing the “what-if” game, personal awareness is peaked to the max providing the participant with the strategies needed to recognize, avoid or survive an altercation.

Increasing Engagement During Daily Routines
Marie Martinez, Educational Consultant, Elaina Schnelle, Educational Consultant and Amanda Spiess, Registered Behavior Technician

During this presentation, participants will learn about engaging young children in daily routines and why it is foundational for teaching a variety of skills. Presenters will discuss the dyadic and triadic models of engagement and how to support child-specific engagement. Practical resources will be provided. 

Early Intervention for the Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Emily Noss, Clinical Associate Professor and Co-Director for Clinical Education in SLP, Autumn Sanderson, and Ashley Irick

What is different about speech therapy with a child when a diagnosis of hearing loss is confirmed?  This workshop will highlight key aspects of teaching children who are ages birth-3 how to listen and communicate.   Features of coaching and guiding a family will also be discussed.  

Katie Beckett Program
Cara Kumari, DIDD Assistant Commissioner of Communications and External Affairs and Bo Hickman, Deputy Director of Intake & Case Management 

More than 1000 children across Tennessee are enrolled in the Katie Beckett Program, and families are using the benefits in a variety of ways to improve their child’s quality of life.  This presentation will go through an overview of the program, discuss the details of the application and intake for the program, explain how the benefits can be used hand-in-hand with early intervention services for qualifying children, and answer any questions about the program.

EIRA Directors' Quarterly Meeting

For EIRA Directors only*

Day 2 Speakers

Keynote

So, What's Wrong with Kids These Days? An Exploration of What We Can Do to Support Children in a Complicated World
Jim Harris, MSW, Ed.D., Owner of Opportunities Consulting Services, LLC

It is no secret that we live in an increasingly complex world and that this complexity has resulted in a number of challenges for social and emotional development of youth today.  In this session, Jim gets back to the developmental basics and helps to give you some ideas about how we can better understand and support youth in an ever-changing and complicated world.

From A to Gen Z: How to understand, connect, and communicate with young parents
Jessica Stollings-Holder, President of ReGenerations

Gen Z is America’s teens. They are coming of age during a pandemic and a time of tension and division.

Gen Z has experienced both the benefits and pitfalls of being constantly connected by technology and, as the most diverse generation in history, Gen Z instinctively values inclusion.

How do these factors shape Gen Z views and communication styles? How can you effectively reach them with your message, tools, and training? 

In this workshop, national speaker and author Jessica Stollings-Holder will connect the dots, empowering you with insights to understand and reach Gen Z parents and progress your mission during a time of monumental change.

No Slipping Through the Cracks with Scattered Skills: Which preemies need early intervention and how to help them best
Jeni Yielding, Occupational Therapist and Melissa Riddle, Physical Therapist

Guidance of what we see to send preemies for evaluations of service eligibility. The importance of communication with providers about skills, or lack of skills. Ensuring infants don’t slip through the cracks of getting important EI services because of scattered skills. Some practical tips on how to help them best, and when to bring in therapy.

Through a Child’s Eye: Understanding the effects of trauma on children
Jim Harris

Unfortunately, if you are working with children and families today, you are likely encountering trauma and its’ effects.  In this session, Dr. Harris helps you better understand how the experience of trauma can have a profound effect on the physiology and psychology of children.  Dr. Harris will explore different types of trauma and how they impact the developmental trajectory of children.  He will also explore how understanding these potential effects can help us provide more responsible and effective interventions.

Foundations of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
Diana Morelen, Assistant Professor Dept. of Psychology, Associate Director of Training Dissemination and Implementation Strong BRAIN Insitute, Regional Lead for AIMHiTN

This workshop will cover foundations of infant and early childhood mental health including the core components of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and early childhood development, trauma and resilience-informed approaches with young children and families, attachment theory and relationship-based practice with infants and young children, reflective practice, and cultural humility. 

Providing Feedback that Increases Caregiver Capacity
Jenny Brown, Associate Professor

In this session, we will explore the what, why, and how of providing feedback to caregivers in the context of Family Guided Routines Based Intervention (FGRBI). Practical ways to increase frequency and types of feedback that increase caregiver capacity will be discussed and practiced.  

Tremendous Teaming: How to honor, include and align diverse perspectives to fuel success on your own
Jessica Stollings-Holder, President of ReGenerations

Our personal backgrounds influence our perspectives. Among a wide spectrum of backgrounds, it’s no wonder perspectives collide and cause conflict… even when everyone means well.  It doesn’t have to be that way. With the right understanding, our different views can serve as our greatest strength.

In this workshop, Jessica Stollings-Holder will share how to break down barriers that divide and build up awareness that unites- harnessing all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to create positive progress towards a common goal. 

Katie Beckett Program
Cara Kumari, DIDD Assistant Commissioner of Communications and External Affairs and Bo Hickman, DIDD Deputy Director of Intake and Case Management

More than 1000 children across Tennessee are enrolled in the Katie Beckett Program, and families are using the benefits in a variety of ways to improve their child’s quality of life.  This presentation will go through an overview of the program, discuss the details of the application and intake for the program, explain how the benefits can be used hand-in-hand with early intervention services for qualifying children, and answer any questions about the program.

Baby Blues: Considering Perinatal Mental Health in working with families and young children
Alison Peak, Executive Director at Allied Behavioral Health Solutions

This workshop will provide education on Perinatal Mental Health, common presentations, and general knowledge of supports and interventions. Didactic conversations will be facilitated to support participants' consideration of the impact of Perinatal Mental Health on early relationships and early development. Vignettes will be used to support participants in considering their role in supporting families and children experiencing perinatal mental health concerns. 

You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup: Reducing burnout and promoting well-being in early childhood workforce
Diana Morelen, Assistant Professor Dept. of Psychology, Associate Director of Training Dissemination and Implementation Strong BRAIN Institute, Regional Lead for AIMHiTN 

This workshop will discuss and apply evidence-based strategies to recognize and reduce burnout and to promote sustainable well-being at work and beyond. Participants will be invited to develop a personalized plan for sustainable self-care and reflective practice.

Joint Session Planning to Set the Stage for Meaningful Practice in Family-Guided Routines
Jenny Brown, Associate Professor

This session will focus on information sharing, discussion, and application of how to clarify session targets, strategies, and routines jointly with families.  We will explore both the planning process and practical identification of targets, strategies, and routines as the foundation for moving into active practice in family-guided routines.

Coaching Caregivers through Challenging Situations: Lessons learned from a community of providers
Ashley Vogel, Behavior Analyst

In this workshop, we will discuss strategies for coaching caregivers to respond to challenging situations. A portion of the content covered in TRIAD’s Virtual Professional Learning Community will be shared and developmental therapists will share applied examples highlighting how they used information from the VPLC to successfully coach caregivers.

Child Safety: Community Overview
Christina Moody

The Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is Tennessee’s public child welfare agency.

There are four main offices that support the children and families we work with - Child Health, Child Programs, Juvenile Justice, and Child Safety.

We will focus on the Office of Child Safety which supports two main divisions:

Child Abuse Hotline
Reporting and screening referrals of abuse and neglect
Child Protection Services Investigations
Investigating referrals of child abuse and neglect

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: The role of genetics and environment in early childhood formation
Alison Peak, Executive Director at Allied Behavioral Health Solutions

This workshop will provide an educational overview of mental health presentations common in adults and children. The overview will look at the genetic components and environmental stressors common to mental health concerns. The discussion will be facilitated regarding how symptomology may impact parenting and attachment as well as how providers can support healthy relationships in the context of stressors.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention: Practical ideas for helping families build connections with the child who has experienced trauma
Deidra Love

When young children experience trauma, their brains are changed, impacting behavior and connection with their families. Parents can learn to identify the need behind challenging behaviors and use intentional techniques during daily activities to establish trust and correct behavior while maintaining connection. EI providers will learn techniques of TBRI (with practical examples) to help families empower, connect with, and correct young children from hard places.

The “A” Word: What is autism, how do I talk about it, and what is my role?
Thelma Uzonyi, Director of the Pediatric Language Clinic and Leanne Widmer, Developmental Therapist

In this interactive workshop, you will (1) learn about the defining characteristics of autism, (2) receive guidance on how to communicate autism concerns through teaming, and (3) explore your role in helping identify early signs of autism.