Education & Seminars


Free trainings to support you and your child!

All parent trainings are free and brought to you by the BCPS Special Education Resource Center! Register

via Eventbrite links and login information will be emailed to you one day in advance.

Questions? Email: SERC@BCPS.ORG


Ben Hartranft’s Journey: One Kind Person Can Change the World

Thursday, May 12, 2022 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Kindness and inclusion have shaped Ben’s life. We may never see how our actions affect others. Ben
gives credit to those who have helped him. Through the many highs and lows of Ben’s life
he has found others to support him with kindness and inclusion. Ben seeks to encourage
everyone to display this same kindness and inclusion. Be the one kind person. Be the one
who includes others. Be the one to change lives. The cost of kindness is low, but the impact
is immense. Presented by Ben Hartranft, Self-Advocate, Public Speaker, Benergy1
Register via Eventbrite:

About Ben Hartranft: Diagnosed with autism at age 2, I knew only 20 words. I have gone
beyond all expectations and am strengthened continually by my faith in God. My journey
began when I started raising money for the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Challenge. After a
few years of fundraising, I was invited to be a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to
promote autism awareness and raise funds for research. From that moment on I knew my
dream was to be an advocate for autism awareness, taking awareness into action.

The IEP Process: Building Partnership Through Conversations

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Why are IEP meetings often uncomfortable, awkward, and stiff? Educators and families all
have a common goal—to support the development of the child. Yet, educators often feel
confused that families act like reluctant participants who are just fulfilling a requirement.
And families often feel that they’re viewed as intruders, whose insights and dreams for
their child don’t count. In this webinar, our presenter will explain perspectives of both
families and educators and suggest questions families should ask to make the IEP process
a productive experience for all. Presented by Amy Pleet-Odle, Ed.D., Inclusion Focused
Coaching Register via Eventbrite:

Being a Social Media Liaison: Social Media Strategies for Parents, Guardians, and
Caretakers of Individuals with I/DD

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Social media use has many benefits for individuals
with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), including maintaining
connections with others, being included within the digital world/society, and having a way
to contact others in case of an emergency. However, there are also dangers and risks that
come with using social media. In this presentation, social media safety strategies and
resources formed specifically for parents, guardians, and caretakers supporting positive
and safe social media use for their family member with I/DD will be shared. At the closure
of this webinar, opportunities to ask questions will be given. Presented by Dr. Mary Jo Krile,
Assistant Professor, Eastern Kentucky University Register via Eventbrite:

Wonder Words: Using the Power of Language to Help Kids Learn and Thrive

Thursday, May 26, 2022 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Thespoken word is the primary tool adults use to educate, motivate, and positively influence
the social and emotional health of children and youth. In this workshop, parents and
helping adults will learn the three pillars of “Wonder Words” to elevate the critical tool of
verbally engaging with kids: 1) Word choice; 2) Delivery style and 3) Context. Strategies for
building emotionally safe environments, boosting motivation, shaping behavior,
developing effective academic habits, and promoting resilience will be shared and
practiced. Participants will walk away from this learning experience with practices they can
apply immediately to respond to the needs and opportunities children and youth bring to
our ever-changing home and learning contexts. Presented by Frank Kros, MSW, JD, Kros
Learning Group Register via Eventbrite:

10 Top Parenting Tools: Breaking Them Down and Putting Them into Action

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 12:00-1:30 PM 


Wednesday, June 8, 2022 6:30-8:00 

In “Home Behavior Management” or “Parenting” workshops we often learn only the basics about
many parenting tools and strategies. This workshop aims to go beyond the basics and
teach you the “how-to”. We will delve specifically into steps required to effectively create
and/or implement 10 common parenting tools. Tools and strategies broken down for
immediate use include “Giving Good Directions, Creating Charts, Chore Charts, Choosing
Effective Rewards, Giving Meaningful Consequences, Over Correction and Positive Practice,
Setting up Homework Routines, Teaching Perspective Taking Skills, Managing Bedtime, and
Being an Active Listener”. Presented by Tana Hope, Ph.D. The Child and Family Therapy
Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute Register via Eventbrite: