Behavioral Challenges in Children with Special Needs

Thursday, Feb 2, 2023 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Live on Zoom


$ 240.00

Behavioral Challenges in Children with Special Needs – A Relationship-based Developmental Perspective

Linda Cervenka, MA, CCC-SLP

Starting Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 7:30 pm Eastern Time

Scheduled Dates: 2/2; 2/9; 2/16; 2/23; 3/2; 3/9; 3/16; 3/23

8 sessions | 1.5 hours per session | Weekly

Online via Zoom


Dysregulation challenges in school, home and clinics can take a variety of forms from self-injury (SIB), aggression towards self or others, property destruction, and verbal fight/flight. This course will focus on conceptualizing challenges utilizing the child’s Functional Emotional Developmental Levels (FEDLs) and Developmental Language thinking. Utilizing these two models, the potential reasons for the child’s stress response and possible preventative and proactive strategies to consider will be discussed. The importance of adapting the environment, recognizing early signs of challenge, and understanding the child’s individual differences will be highlighted. Additionally, a significant focus will be placed on areas rarely connected to dysregulation – What is the child understanding? What is the child communicating? Developing a consistent plan of response, involving all stake holders in the process and working collaboratively across school, clinic and home will be highlighted. Components of the Mandt System utilized at Soaring Eagle Academy will be embedded, including prevention, de- escalation, and everyone feeling safe. Participants will be encouraged and invited to provide case examples.

Learning Objectives

Participants will understand the importance of relationship building with the child, teams, and parents and how to facilitate that relationship

Participants will broaden their understanding of the language components that need to be considered in supporting regulation – language comprehension, early precursors, and supporting ideas.

Participants will expand their ability understand how the child’s Individual Differences (the “I” in DIR) impact stress responses

Participants will broaden their understanding of possible precursors to dysregulation and the importance of identifying challenges early.

Participant will broaden their understanding of meeting the child at the “just right” level in their developmental process during challenges.

Who should attend?

Teachers, therapists at all levels of DIR® practice across disciplines and parents/caregivers.

Linda Cervenka, MA, CCC-SLP, is a co-founder and DIR® expert clinician at Soaring Eagle Academy, a Director on the SEA Board and a licensed speech-language pathologist. Linda received her Bachelor’s Degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL and her Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked for over 30 years with children with special needs in home-based and clinic-based therapeutic services and public and private schools providing consultation, training and support for children and families. Linda is a developmental speech language pathologist and is certified in DIR® as a speech-language pathologist and trainer/tutor through Profectum. She a Senior Faculty member of Profectum and teaches courses to those in the certification process. Linda is married and resides in Riverside, IL with her husband Tom. They are the parents of two adult children.