On learning disabilities: Eagle Hill conference a success

Alan Wachtel speaks to a large crowd about Living with ADHD at the recent program.

Alan Wachtel speaks to a large crowd about Living with ADHD at the recent program.

With its reputation for teaching children with language-based learning disabilities, it is no surprise that Eagle Hill School attracted more than 200 people to its recent conference on Best Practices and New Perspectives in the Field of Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficits.

The conference team was dedicated to providing registrants — parents, educators, and professionals — with a comprehensive educational experience on learning disabilities (LD). To achieve that goal, the team selected a leading expert from Harvard Medical School, Jerome Schultz, as the keynote speaker.

Dr. Schultz’s topic, Stress and the LD Puzzle, examined the role of stress in learning, which he covers at length in his new book Nowhere to Hide: The Real Reason Kids with LD and ADHD Hate School and What We Can Do About It.

Other leading professionals such as Lydia Soifer (The Soifer Center), Alan Wachtel (Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association), Betty Osman (psychologist/authority on LD and ADD), Kevin Kalikow (child psychiatrist, author), Mark Griffin (consultant/former head, Eagle Hill School), Donna Goldberg (The Organized Student) and Nelson Dorta (neuropsychologist) were joined by faculty and administrators of Eagle Hill to present workshops on a wide range of topics, including reading instruction, medication, assistive technology, proactive parenting, family dynamics, advocacy, the social-pragmatic puzzle, living with ADHD and more.

Many of the speakers are still immersed in the daily business of working with children and their families and thus provided those in attendance with not only the latest research and expertise, but also practical methods of implementation, both at home and in the classroom.

A highlight of the day for many in attendance was the presentation of the Distinguished Educator Award to Dr. Griffin, former headmaster of Eagle Hill School, in recognition of his leadership and dedication, and to his wife, Rayma Griffin, who served as director of admissions and placement. Both were integral to the school’s growth and development for more than 35 years.

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