Speaking Topics

List of Speaking Event Topics

(Topics can be combined as needed)

Reducing Anxiety in the Classroom

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen to eighteen-year-olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.  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 avoid the reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans and focus instead on the use of preventive strategies and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses

 and Educational Best Practices for Students with Mental Health Disabilities

About 10 percent of kids in school –approximately 9-13 million students — struggle with mental health problems. Whether they’re running out of a class, not doing their homework, disrupting others, or quietly being defiant, their behavior is often misread and misdiagnosed. The frustration level teachers and parents face can be overwhelming, and traditional behavior plans are often ineffective and even unhelpful in addressing certain behaviors because they do not acknowledge the underlying causes.  The training will provide empathetic, flexible, practical, and more importantly effective strategies for preventing inappropriate behavior from the start in the classroom, and dealing with it once it’s already happening.

Kids who Challenge Us: Increasing Work Engagement and Reducing Oppositional Behavior in Students

Among the many reasons new teachers leave the field within their first five years, disruptive students are on the top of the list. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. Overwhelming, negative, and inaccurate thoughts can contribute to student disengagement. When this is the case, traditional suggestions such as incentives, offering breaks, graphic organizers, or even checklists will not help the student initiate an activity. As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to easily implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing oppositional behavior, increasing work engagement, initiation, persistence, and self-monitoring.

Reaching the Withdrawn Child

When we see a child who is withdrawn and shut down teachers will sympathize and make attempts to cheer up the student. When these attempts fail and the child continues to have low engagement, to be irritable, and never express happiness, teachers can feel at a loss. This workshop will give teachers the right tools to make these students feel better, think more accurately, and become more engaged.

Proactive, preventative approach for reducing problem behavior for students

Ninety percent of any effective behavior program is preventative.  This workshop will review easy to implement evidence-based strategies to prevent challenging behavior from occurring in children with autism.

Effective Intervention for Students with Sexualized Behavior

Sexualized behavior can be relatively uncommon in school-aged children but can be very upsetting to professionals and parents.  Students display sexualized behavior for a host of reasons, and there is not a single common profile.  For most students pointing out the behavior is inappropriate and it needs to stop is all that is needed but for many, the behavior will persist and requires specific interventions.  Myths about sexualized behavior will be tackled and practical and effective interventions will be taught.

Speaking Event Formats

All workshops are ready for presentation to your group. They feature a dynamic and interactive format with accompanying handouts and materials. Additional workshops can be developed to focus on specific clinical and behavioral issues to meet staff and student needs.  Any training listed can be provided in the following formats:

Through the use of case studies, humorous stories, and examples of common challenging classroom situations, participants in Jessica’s keynote session will learn an understanding of students with mental health challenges, as well as easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring.

Train the Trainer format:  Focusing on building capacity within your district or school, this workshop format is intensive skill-building experience including case studies, in-depth training on intervention selection and practice creating effective behavior intervention plans.

Classroom Educators Overview:  Training classroom teachers is an essential way to support students. Teachers want to understand the impact of mental health challenges on learning and behavior, as well as practical, field-tested strategies that are easy to implement in a busy classroom.

Special Educator/School Mental Health Training:  An advanced training geared to professionals consulting to teachers and student programs in schools. Including issues such as choosing appropriate interventions, identifying common school stressors, and promoting buy-in from teachers.

Speaking Events for Parents: Jessica also offers a variety of parent education programs designed to teach effective parenting techniques in a fun and interactive format.