Training Descriptions/Schedule a Training

2018-2019 PNCR Parent and Family Trainings

Thank you for your interest in PNCR's trainings and workshops.  PNCR is committed to providing parents and professionals with relevant information and practical strategies for successully navigating and understanding the special education process, CSE meetings, IEPs, 504 plans, common disabilities, and other special education related issues. Thus, providing individuals with knowledge, skills and resources empowers each to meaningfully and comfortably participate in the special education process and fosters long-term positve and productive relationships between parents and school districts.

The following is a list of our current workshop and descriptions.  Workshops highlighted in yellow are new or revised offerings.  To download a printable version please Click Here.  Workshops are typically 2 hours in length and include relevant handouts, materials and resources.  To arrange for a workshop with your group in your community, school, or agency, please contact Sheri Gaylord at or 518-640-3333.   


The ABCs of an IEP

This training is for parents who want to gain a better understanding of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This workshop takes participants through each section of the IEP and provides information on what the New York State-required content is for each section. The training also discusses the IEP as a strategic planning document emphasizing how the IEP is developed; that the parent is part of that process and how each section builds upon the next in order to guide instruction for the coming year. Participants will gain an understanding of the CSE/ CPSE process in general and the meaning of frequently used terminology in special education. 

** College? No Thanks, Not Interested!**

For some high school students with learning differences, attending college is of little or no interest to them after completing their high school education. In this workshop we will discuss with parents the options relating to open competitive employment, supported employment, day programming, volunteering, and the agencies (ACCES-VR, OPWDD, CBVH, etc) that can assist individuals as they transition to post-high school life.

Cracking the Code: Graduation Options for Students with Disabilities

Learn about the graduation and diploma options available to students with disabilities; including the new Career Development and Occupational Studies Credential (CDOS), and the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC). Discover the essential, but often overlooked skills needed for life after high school and how to use your student's IEP transition plan to achieve them.

The Great Paper Chase: Organizing Your Child’s Special Education Records

This interactive workshop is for parents, guardians and advocates of children with special needs. Bring your child's educational records including: evaluations, quarterly reports, report cards, copy of IEP, etc. The PNCR will provide binders, tabbed page dividers, 3-hole punch and cover page. During this workshop, participants will learn which documents are important to keep and will organize them into a useful binder that they can add to in the future.

Helping Your Child with ADHD or Learning Disabilities Improve Performance in Class Work & Homework

This training will provide an overview of skills that children with ADHD and Learning Disabilities often struggle with such as: organization, focus, time management, and task completion. These skills are also known as executive function (EF) skills. We will discuss the role that EF skills plays in class work and homework activities. Strategies for supporting the child through accommodations and teaching new skills to assist with school performance and homework tasks will be explored. Parents will be provided with checklists, sample forms, and other handouts that will serve as useful tools in working with your child’s school.

It’s All in the Way You Say It: Communicating Effectively with Your Educational Team

The research is clear, when parents and schools work together, kids are more successful. This workshop will highlight essential elements of effective communication that are critical for positive home/school relationships. Participants will learn simple, practical steps for working with their child's educational team to build effective communication and more effective IEPs. The focus will be on the prevention of conflict and how to address conflict when it does arise. Learn how to be a more confident player on your child’s educational team.

Leveling the Playing Field: Accommodations and Modifications for Students with Disabilities

For many students with disabilities, the key to success in the classroom lies in having appropriate accommodations, and modifications made to instruction and other classroom activities. Some adaptations are as simple as moving a distractible student to the front of the class or away from the pencil sharpener or window. Other modifications may involve changing the way material is presented or the way that students respond to show they are learning. In this workshop we will discuss the difference between modifications and accommodations, and will talk about ensuring that necessary accommodations and modifications are part of the students Individualized Education Program. 

** Navigating the Next Phase: College Learning Without an IEP **

Having a son or daughter with learning differences heading off to college is a proud experience. At the same time, this proud experience may cause anxiety and concern for many of these students and their parents as new educational challenges are faced in a post high school learning environment. Participants will explore and discuss the differences between high school and college supports/accommodations, laws that apply, campus compliance issues, student self-advocacy strategies, and tips for success.

** Parents’ Interactive Guide to Drafting an IEP **

This is a “hands-on” experience where participants will learn about and explore a resource tool that helps parents and students gather and share relevant information related to the student's learning including abilities, needs, strengths, challenges, preferences, etc. This resource will help prepare parents and students to actively participate in the CSE process in a collaborative and meaningful way. Involving student's in the development of their IEP also promotes self-advocacy skills and self-determination.

** Progress Monitoring: Are We There Yet? **

Progress monitoring is the process of evaluating student performance on a repeated basis to determine how well a student is (or is not) responding to instruction and intervention. Information gained from this process is essential to developing quality IEP goals, planning and delivering effective intervention, and determining if the current instruction, support, and intervention is appropriate for the learner.

Strategies to Support Learners with Executive Function Challenges

Participants will learn about and discuss how executive function (EF) skills support learning and the impact EF challenges have on learning for individuals with disabilities. After a brief overview, resources and tools for supporting and teaching your child lifelong skills will be shared. We will exchange ideas and brainstorm solutions that are applicable to school age children with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Learning Disabilities, behavioral challenges, and/or other needs.

Struggling Learner? IEPs, 504 Plans and Response to Intervention as Support Options

Are you concerned that your child is falling behind or struggling at school? Do you suspect that your child may not learn as quickly or in the same way as other students? Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD or another disability that impacts learning? In this workshop, participants will learn about the options available to address the needs of students who are struggling at school.

The 3R’s of Special Education: Regulations, Responsibilities, and Recommendations

This training is for parents and professionals that are new to the special education process. Topics will include: special education regulations, how to work with the special education team and responsibilities of both parties, services that children ages birth to 21 are entitled to, and a description of the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and recommendations of what it should include. This workshop can be customized to focus on a specific age group (e.g., early childhood, pre-school, or school age).

Tips and Tools for a Successful CSE-IEP Annual Review Meeting

This training will give parents of students with disabilities the tools and tips they need to help prepare for their child’s Annual Review CSE Meeting. Content will also cover sections of the IEP and how they relate to the CSE meeting. 


Bullying in School and Special Considerations for Students with Disabilities

We all know that the impact of bullying can be devastating, particularly for students with disabilities. This workshop provides an overview of bullying in school and special considerations for students with disabilities including strategies used by schools to prevent bullying, federal and state laws addressing bullying and what parents can do if they are concerned their child is/has been bullied.

** Homework Help Toolbox **

Does your child struggle to begin/finish homework or plan a project? Does homework time begin like a dream only to end with both of you in tears? Does the “homework environment” support your child’s learning style? Join us as we explore and discuss common homework challenges and learn useful tips and strategies that support the educational needs of your child while working on homework.

Just for Parents: What You Should Know if You Suspect Your Child has a Disability or is Newly Diagnosed

In this workshop, parents of children birth through school age will learn what do if they suspect their child has a disability. Information about available supports as well as the process for understanding special education services will be explored.

Self Determination: Helping Youth with Disabilities Find a Voice and Take Charge of Their Lives

Using information and video excerpts from the “I’m Determined Project”, this workshop will share resources and promote a dialogue with parents of students with disabilities, regarding how they can help their children develop self-determination skills and find their voice. Participants will walk away with useful materials and suggestions to facilitate and promote their child’s self-determination and skill building efforts. “Self-determination is a concept reflecting the belief that all individuals have the right to direct their own lives. Students who have self- determination skills have a stronger chance of being successful in making the transition to adulthood, including employment and independence.” (Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997).

This is Not the Life I Imagined: Grief & Coping Skills for Parents of Children with Disabilities

When a child is diagnosed with a disability, the whole family is affected. Parents of children with disabilities often experience “chronic sorrow” described as a long-term form of grief that begins at the time of a child’s diagnosis and recurs at various times throughout the child’s life. This training provides an overview of the grief cycle, focusing on the impact of grief on the family. In addition, information will be provided on coping mechanisms that can be helpful in dealing with stress related to caring for a child with a disability.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): The Basics

Participants will gain a basic understanding of ASD and how ASD characteristics can impact children in the school, community, and home environments. Educating and supporting children with ASD involves a partnership between schools, families, and communities. The better we understand ASD, the better prepared we are to help students maximize their potential.

Understanding Challenging Behavior: Part 1

Too often, behavior challenges related to student disability can interfere with learning. This workshop will give participants an understanding of Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP). How do I know if my child needs an FBA and what is the process involved? What if it doesn't work? Part 1 and Part 2 can be combined into one training session.

Understanding Challenging Behavior: Part 2

In Part 2 of this workshop will look more closely at challenging behavior. We will discuss specific strategies for modifying the environment and teaching new behaviors to children both at home and in school. We will work in groups to analyze specific behaviors and develop strategies to address these behavioral challenges. Part 1 and Part 2 can be combined into one training session.

Understanding Anxiety and Depression in School Age Learners: What Should I Know? How Can I Help?

Children cannot learn well when they are anxious and depressed. Research shows that untreated, children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. This workshop will provide an overview of anxiety and depression in school age learners. Participants will learn how anxiety and depression may present in youth, how each may impact learning, and discover tools and strategies to help in the home and school environments. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children.

Understanding Specific Learning Disabilities

In order to be successful, students with Learning Disabilities need to learn to be strategic learners/thinkers. In this workshop participants will develop an understanding of learning disabilities and characteristics that are often present in students with learning disabilities. We will explore strategies for supporting students and will discuss the need for academic accommodations and modifications for students with LD. 


Effective Communication Between Schools and Families is the Key to Success

This training was developed to promote quality special education services for all students with disabilities. The modules contained within this training are intended to help families and school personnel to build their communication skills and their role as a team member that is consistent with State law and regulation. The goals of this training are:

• Participants will understand both their role and the student’s role in Special Education process
• Participants will understand the barriers that interfere with effective communication and strategies to overcome the barriers
• Participants will gain a basic understanding of the essential elements of effective communication
• Participants will learn about strategies and tools that will establish and maintain effective collaboration between families and schools.

Helping Parents and School Districts Become More Effective Partners
Special Education Mediation: A Collaborative Option for Resolving Disputes
This two-hour informational session will offer attendees an opportunity to look at conflict differently, learn about tools and resources to enable people to communicate more effectively and meet representatives from organizations available to assist parents and schools with communication issues. This program will also educate attendees on dispute resolution options, in particular mediation and other collaborative processes. This workshop is provided in collaboration with the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). Attendees will leave the program with:

Practical tips and tools for effective communication Information on programs developed to assist parents and schools in conflict resolution Resources for information, advice and support

Training of the Parent Member of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and Committee on Special Education (CSE)
This training was developed for use by the Special Education Parent Centers and Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) to promote quality special education services for all students with disabilities. The modules contained within this training are intended to provide CPSE and CSE Parent Members with a best practices approach to the CPSE/CSE process and their role as a Parent Member that is consistent with State law and regulation. The goals of this training are for Parent Members to have:

• A greater understanding of the role and requirements of a Parent Member and the special education process; and • Techniques and strategies to fulfill the Parent Member role in a meeting

Transition for Families: Preparing for Life After High School

This training was developed by the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) and the New York State Special Education Parent Centers. The information contained within this module is intended to advance parent and family collaboration with Committees on Special Education (CSE) toward successful student transitions from school to adult life. Parents and family members of transitioning youth with disabilities will understand the links between successful transition planning, services and post-school outcomes. The goals of this training are to ensure that parents, family members and students can work with their CSE to collaboratively:

• Assess their child's strengths, interests, and needs

• Establish measurable post-secondary goals and annual goals; and Identify appropriate transition services and coordinated activities. 


Is there a cost associated with PNCR trainings? 

No. Our trainings and workshops are presented at no cost through our grant with the New York State Education Department.

Will PNCR travel into the community to present a training?

Yes. We are able to travel to various locations within the 13 counties that we serve. In order to travel to an off-site location, we need to have a minimum of 6-8 individuals registered in advance for the training. We frequently present our trainings at community libraries, universities, community centers, school districts, non-profit provider agencies, and other locations. We can also speak at SEPTAs and parent support group meetings.  

How do I schedule a training in my area?

If you would like to schedule a training in your area, please contact Sheri Gaylord at 518-640-3333 to discuss your needs. You will be asked for details such as your topic of interest, date and time options, and a brief description of your target audience. Per our grant requirements, PNCR is not permitted to provide professional development trainings. Our training content and delivery is focused on and designed to meet the needs of parents and families whose school age children have disabilities.