OPWSA Virtual Conference & AGM 2020

Registration is now closed for OPWSA's Virtual Conference and AGM taking place on Thursday, November 12, 2020 from 6:30pm-8:30pm!

The virtual conference is applicable to families with individuals with PWS of all ages. The virtual conference will cover topics on:

  • Behavioural help for home (ages 2 and up)

  • Increasing truth telling skills in individuals with PWS (ages 12 and up)

  • How to get back on track (ages 4 and up)

 

Time will be allocated for attendees to be able to ask questions to our presenters.

Please note, there has been a slight change to our conference. Stacy Ward is unable to participate due to a family emergency, but her colleague, Kim Tula, will be filling in for her.

AGENDA:
 

6:30pm - 6:35pm - Welcome Remarks
Jennifer Coens, OPWSA Executive Director


6:35pm - 7:05pm - Behavioural Help for Home (ages 2 and up)
Cindy Szapacs, M.Ed. BCBA

Cindy will present evidence-based interventions for addressing behavioral symptoms of Prader-Willi Syndrome, including suggestions for structuring meal and snack times. The interventions presented are meant to be practical enough for parents and caregivers to use at home.

 

7:05pm - 7:35pm - Increasing Truth Telling Skills in Individuals with PWS (ages 12 and up)

Nancy Brennan, B.A., B.S.T , Behaviour Consultant – CHEO-Behavioural Services, Development & Rehabilitation

The presentation will focus on decreasing the likelihood that the individual with PWS will lie by teaching replacement behavior and changing parental/caregiver responses. Skill building strategies will be reviewed to promote truth telling and provide options to decrease problem behaviour.
 

7:35pm - 8:05pm - How To Get Back On Track (ages 4 and up)
Kim Tula, Alterman Family Support Counselor, PWSA|USA

We know that structure, consistency and clear expectations are great tools to manage your child’s behavior. Everyone strays and gives in from time to time.  Learn how to get back on track and decrease challenging behaviors after having strayed from the paved path.


8:05pm - 8:30pm - OPWSA AGM

Holly Sine & Rob Pividor, OPWSA Co-Chairs

PRESENTER BIOS:
 

Cindy Szapacs, M.Ed. BCBA

Cindy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who currently works as a consultant for classrooms run by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit in the state of Pennsylvania. She began supporting individuals who have disabilities in high school and has been lucky enough to continue on that path as she moved through college and into a career.

Through the years, she has been both a direct service provider and a consultant for individuals ranging in age from 1 – 21 years of age as well as for families and school teams in homes, public schools and private schools.

In addition, Cindy is a parent to a child who has Prader-Willi Syndrome. She is dedicated to helping other families who have a relative with PWS understand their loved one’s behavior and use behavior strategies rooted in science.

Nancy Brennan, B.A., B.S.T., Behaviour Consultant - CHEO-Behavioural Services, Development & Rehabilitation

After graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology/Sociology & Anthropology in 1994, Ms. Brennan was one of the first students to obtain a Behavioural Science Technician Diploma/ BA option from St. Lawrence College (Queens) in 1999. Upon graduation, Ms. Brennan began practicing Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) with the Behaviour Management Program (now known as CHEO-Behavioural Services) and is now a senior member of a team of consultants, behavior analysts and psychologists.  

She has participated in province wide committees of the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis as the organization pursues the regulation of ABA in Ontario. Ms. Brennan is well versed in legislation related to supporting Adults with special needs in residential, recreational and vocational settings.

Her interest in behavioural support for persons diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome began at the outset of her career.  The first person assigned to her case load had a diagnosis, thus leading her to a journey of learning, teaching and advocating for the past  21  years.

She consulted to school boards on the subject of Prader Willi Syndrome, has presented training programs to group home staff, school staff and parents on a wide variety of topics during her career, including several individually designed presentations  to address the challenges and rewards of working with this special community.

Kim Tula, Alterman Family Support Counselor, PWSA|USA

Kim is a Family Support Counselor with PWSA USA since 2019. She holds a Master’s in Human Services with a specialization in Multidisciplinary Human Services and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. Kim is also a Certified Social Worker in Wisconsin and a Grief Support Specialist. She had worked in a residential care setting since 1990, working with a wide variety of client populations, including children and adults diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and, with intensive treatment needs.

Prior to joining PWSA USA as a Family Support Counselor, Kim held positions as a Direct Care Staff, Behavior Specialist, Clinical Coordinator, and a Behavior Services Coordinator. Kim has also been involved in the Youth and Adult Program (YAP), at the National PWSA conference since 2011. In 2015, she was tasked with organizing YAP. In 2020 Kim became the Director of the YAP, YIP, and Siblings Programs for the National PWSA convention.

Kim loves working with and supporting individuals with PWS and their families. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with my husband and daughter, horseback riding, and gardening.