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Workshops

To find your nearest workshop please look in the list or click your county in the map below and then call us toll free at 1-800-264-9224 to book your place. (If you live near the border of another county, feel free to take a look at those workshops as well.) All workshops are free and open to parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators of children with emotional or behavioral health concerns.

Learning is your key to empowerment!

 

Aroostook somerset Piscataguis Penobscot Washington Hancock Oxford Franklin Waldo Knox Kennebec Lincoin Sagadahoc Androscoggin Cumberland York


York, Cumberland, Oxford and Androscoggin Counties

 
“Making Friends with the IEP”
Presented by: Ann Long, Parent Training and Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
IEP meetings, IEP Teams, the IEP, timeframes, notices and evaluations can be confusing and overwhelming. Join us as we follow the IEP process and review common terms and definitions. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and will receive a copy of the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations. This workshop is designed for parents, foster parents or anyone who has or works with a child between the ages of 2 and 20 who has an IEP or 504 Plan.
          Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Hospital, 93 Campus Ave., Lewiston
          Wednesday, April 22, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Dana Center, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall St., Portland

“Tips for Being Your Child’s Best Advocate: Communication, Advocacy and Conflict Resolution”
Presented by: Ann Long, Parent Training and Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
We will take a close look at our advocacy skills and explore the various aspects of communication, conflict and advocacy styles during this training. We will discuss effective communication, learn strategies to help us achieve successful communication outcomes, and explore other methods to resolve conflict.
          Wednesday, April 15, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce, 4 Western Ave., South Paris

“Family Fun & Wellness Activities”
Hosted by Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Join us for a special afternoon of family fun and health and wellness activities in celebration of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 3-9)! This year’s theme is “Mental Health is Fundamental.” There will be family friendly hiking, scavenger hunts and seed planting. Come grow with the G.E.A.R. Parent Network.
            Wednesday, May 6, 2015, from 2-5 p.m. at The Progress Center, 35 Cottage St., Norway

“Transition Planning: The High School Years”
Presented by Ann Long, Parent Training and Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
All parents want their child to be the leader of his or her future, but how do you get there? If you have a child receiving special education services and they are approaching transition age (14 and up), or are already transition age, this is the workshop for you. During this workshop participants will explore ways to prepare for their child’s future and learn how to involve their child in transition planning. You will also learn about the IEP requirements for transition plans and begin the process of developing a transition plan for your son or daughter. The information covered can be used to better understand and advocate for your child during transition planning at IEP meetings and in the future.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Hospital, 93 Campus Ave., Lewiston
Wednesday, May 27, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Dana Center, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall St., Portland
 
“Non-Toxic Housekeeping Class”
Presented by: Michelle Hill, G.E.A.R. Parent Representative
Save money and reduce your family’s exposure to toxic cleaners! Join us and learn: how to avoid using toxic chemicals and still provide a clean, healthy and comfortable home; how to save money and time with simple cleaning techniques; and easy and inexpensive recipes to make safe, effective homemade household cleaners.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Hospital, 93 Campus Ave., Lewiston
 
“Families Detained in Maine: Coping & Parenting When Your Son or Daughter is Involved with Juvenile Corrections”
Presented by: Laurie Cavanaugh, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator (Portland) & Rebecca Williams, G.E.A.R. Parent Representative (South Paris)
If you have a son or daughter in the corrections system, detained or facing juvenile detention, your whole family has been affected. You may be feeling overwhelmed with an array of different emotions: anger, guilt, shame and the frustration of not knowing what to do next. How do I parent from a distance? How do I stay involved and work with the systems? How do I prepare for their return home? Please join us and other parents/caregivers as we open the discussion about the challenges, barriers and strategies for greater success for our family and youth. You don’t have to go it alone!      
            Wednesday, May 20, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce, 4 Western Ave., South Paris
            Wednesday, June 24, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Dana Center, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall St., Portland

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Kennebec, Somerset, Franklin & Waldo Counties

Diane Bouffard, CPSP, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 207-612-8996, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“Toxic Chemicals and Our Children’s Developing Brains”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard, CPSP
Why is environmental health so important? Consider that 12 million American children (17 percent of all Americans under the age of 18) have one or more developmental, learning or behavioral disabilities. Today more than 1.5 million Americans have autism. Studies show that in Maine autism occurs in 1 in 66 children; 127,000 adults and children in Maine are identified as having learning disabilities; and 37 percent of the children receiving special education services in our public schools have learning or attention disabilities. Learn why it is important to protect you family from toxic chemical exposures.
            Thursday, April 2, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Community Concepts, 103 Deerfield Lane, Farmington

“Autism and Strategies”
Guest Speaker: Erin Dumbleby, Information Specialist, Autism Society of Maine
Participants will learn a basic understanding of autism along with general strategies, environmental strategies, sensory strategies, communication strategies, behavioral strategies, social skill strategies, educational strategies and classroom strategies.
            Tuesday, April 14, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd., Augusta
            Thursday, June 11, 2015, from 9-11 a.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville

“Cooking Matters at the Store: Shopping Healthy and Saving at the Grocery Store”
Presented by Denise Robinson, Nutrition Education Coordinator of Somerset Public Health, a Healthy Maine Partnership serving Somerset County
Join us for a fun shopping tour at your local grocery store. Learn easy ways to buy healthy foods for your family while sticking to your budget.
            Tuesday, April 28, 2015, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Hannaford Supermarket, 100 Fairgrounds Market Place, Skowhegan

“Transition To Kindergarten: A Natural Progression”
Presented by: Jan Avery, Maine Parent Federation
Changes and transitions affect us all. You or your child may feel overwhelmed by all the changes. Preparing for your child’s transition to kindergarten is an exciting and, at times, chaotic journey. For parents of children with disabilities and special needs, the transition from the Child Development Services (CDS) to public school can seem to be confusing and overwhelming. Learn some of the changes to expect as you and your child move from the pre-school to the public school experience. Join us for this exciting workshop and discover how to orchestrate the transition process and feel more comfortable with the changes that will take place.
            Thursday, May 7, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Community Concepts, 103 Deerfield Lane, Farmington

“HECK of a Problem with Rx Medications”
Presented by Ashley McCarthy and Kelsey Cler, Maine General Prevention Center
Join us for a free training to learn about how prescription drug misuse is a growing problem in Maine that affects our Health, Environment, Crime rates and Kids (HECK). This training will provide you with information about prescription drug abuse, and the skills and resources you need to share in your personal and professional life.
               Tuesday, May 12, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd., Augusta

“Sesame Street’s Little Children BIG Challenges: Incarceration”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard, CPSP
One in 28 children in the United States has a parent in state or federal prison. Chances are you or someone you know is dealing with some big challenges. If you or a loved one is returning home to parenting after being incarcerated, or if you are a parent facing incarceration, this training video may help your children with understanding incarceration. Free kit giveaway includes: Sesame Street DVD, Guide for Parents and Caregivers, and a Children’s Storybook.
            Thursday, May 14, 2014, from 9-11 a.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville

“Making Friends with the IEP”

Presented by: Ann Long, Parent Training & Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
IEP meetings, IEP Teams, the IEP, timeframes, notices and evaluations can be confusing and overwhelming. Join us as we follow the IEP process and review common terms and definitions. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and will receive a copy of the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations. This workshop is designed for parents, foster parents or anyone who has or works with a child between the ages of 2 and 20 who has an IEP or 504 Plan.
         Thursday, June 4, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Community Concepts, 103 Deerfield Lane, Farmington

“Maine Snap-Ed: Eating Healthy on a Budget”
Presented by Denise Robinson, Nutrition Education Coordinator of Somerset Public Health, a Healthy Maine Partnership serving Somerset County
Join G.E.A.R. Parent Network and Somerset Public Health in four fun and interactive monthly classes based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Each class highlights key nutrition concepts accompanied by hands-on cooking demonstrations and food tastings.
          “Eating Better on a Budget”: Tuesday, June 23, 2015, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Drive, Skowhegan
          “Building a Healthy Meal”: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Drive, Skowhegan
          “Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits”: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Drive, Skowhegan
          “Saving More at the Grocery Store”: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Drive, Skowhegan

“Eight Great Strategies for Supporting Individuals with Autism”
Guest Speaker: Eric Campbell, MS, BCBA, Senior Program Director of Educational Services, Spurwink
Receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder can be very overwhelming. Where do I begin to look for help? What can I do as a parent to help support my child? This presentation will give a brief introduction to eight research-based intervention strategies for individuals with Autism, and give examples of each that can be applied to everyday  
              Tuesday, April 28, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Waldo County Head Start, 3 Back Searsport Road, Searsport

“Disaster Preparedness 101: Families Prepare and Empower Themselves to Persevere Through Traumatic Events and Unexpected Disaster”
Presented by: Karen Nix, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
When disaster strikes will you be ready? Flooding, blizzards, power outages and intense storms are common disasters in Maine. This workshop focuses on the reactions and needs of children and adolescents in times of unexpected disaster. Participants will learn how to engage their communities and emergency teams to effectively respond to the unique health and well-being needs of their children and youth. Families will begin to plan and prepare for an emergency evacuation and learn strategies to make the unforeseen event more bearable and less traumatic.
            Tuesday, May 26, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Waldo County Head Start, 3 Back Searsport Road, Searsport

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Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties

“Navigating the Transition from School to Adult Life”
Presented by Karen Gorris-Hickock, Information Specialist, Autism Society of Maine
Join us and learn information about the transition from school to adult life for individuals with an autism diagnosis.  Discussion topics will focus on eligibility requirements, assessments and timeframe for assessing services in the areas of post-secondary education, employment, independent living and guardianship.
               Tuesday, April 14, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Penobscot Bay Medical Ctr, Physicians Bldg, Conf Rm D (ground flr), 4 Glen Cove Dr, Rockport
               Thursday, April 23, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd Flr), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

“Making Friends with the IEP”
Presented by: Ann Long, Parent Training & Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
IEP meetings, IEP Teams, the IEP, timeframes, notices and evaluations can be confusing and overwhelming. Join us as we follow the IEP process and review common terms and definitions. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and will receive a copy of the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations. This workshop is designed for parents, foster parents or anyone who has or works with a child between the ages of 2 and 20 who has an IEP or 504 Plan.
        
Tuesday, May 12, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Physicians Bldg, Conf Rm D (ground floor), 4 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport

“Tips for Being Your Child’s Best Advocate: Communication, Advocacy and Conflict Resolution”
Presented by: Ann Long, Parent Training and Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
We will take a close look at our advocacy skills and explore the various aspects of communication, conflict and advocacy styles during this training. We will discuss effective communication, learn strategies to help us achieve successful communication outcomes, and explore other methods to resolve conflict.
         Tuesday, June 9, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Physicians Bldg, Conf Rm D (ground floor), 4 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport
         Thursday, June 25, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd Floor), 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick

“Putting Floortime™ Into Action to Connect with Your Child”
Presented by Sandy Doctoroff, Ph.D., Special Educator, Certified DIR®/Floortime™ Practitioner, Play Partners Maine
Please join us and learn a technique that helps to foster a deeper and more enjoyable connection with your child while encouraging his/her developmental growth.  DIR®/Floortime™ is an evidence-based intervention model tailored to the unique challenges and strengths of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental challenges.  In this model parents and professionals follow their child’s natural emotional interests (lead) while at the same time challenging the child toward greater and greater mastery of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.  You will be given an overview of the major features of the DIR®/Floortime™ model, as well as tips that will help you when using the Floortime™ technique.
               Thursday, May 28, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd Flr), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

“ME Dads Who Care”
Facilitated by: Norm LeBlanc, CPSP
Have you wondered what goes on at a parent support group for fathers? Are you a dad of a child with behavioral, emotional or developmental health needs? Please come and join in the discussion with other fathers, who are on a similar journey as yours.
            Bangor: Meets 2nd Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Acadia Hospital, Osprey Rm, 268 Stillwater Ave.
            Brunswick: Meets 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Providence’s Merrymeeting Center (back entrance), 62 Pegasus St, Brunswick Landing (Old Naval Base), Brunswick (rear entrance shared with Mid-Coast Veterans Resource Center)
            Augusta: Meets 4th Tuesday of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd.   

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Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Southern Aroostook & Washington Counties

Cynthia Levasseur, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 207-951-2614, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)
Presented by: Cindy Levasseur, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
ACEs are the influence of adverse childhood experiences that may affect you as an adult. Research has proven that ACEs account for a significant portion of a wide array of physical and mental health problems. Understanding that each person’s life history impacts who they are, how they develop relationships, and how they respond to opportunities is critical in creating healthy and safe families. This ACEs presentation will provide you information about what happened to you versus what is wrong with you. Target audience: parents/caregivers of children with behavioral health issues, but all are welcome.
Friday, April 3, 2015, from 10 a.m.to noon at Community Health & Counseling Services, 103 West Main St., Dover-Foxcroft
Tuesday, April 14, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor

“Take Action Against Bullying”
Presented by: Cindy Levasseur, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Bullying has become such a widespread problem it is now being recognized as a major mental health concern for children and youth, having been found to leave long-term emotional scars and psychological effects similar to anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress. This workshop will help you identify the warning signs of both the victim and the bully. Prevention and effective coping skills will be explored. 
            Friday, May 1, 2015, from 10 a.m. to noon at Community Health & Counseling Services, 103 West Main St., Dover-Foxcroft
            Tuesday, May 12, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor

“Family Fun & Wellness Activities”
Hosted by Karen Nix & Cindy Levasseur, Regional Parent Support Coordinators
Join us for a special afternoon of family fun and health and wellness activities in celebration of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 3-9)! This year’s theme is “Mental Health is Fundamental.” There will be family friendly hiking, scavenger hunts and seed planting. Come grow with the G.E.A.R. Parent Network.
            Sunday, May 3, 2015, from 1-4 p.m. at South Gate, Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, Rt. 1, Orland

"Positive Behavioral Supports & Tantrum Management: Self-Preservation & Success in Parenting Children with Behavioral Health Needs"
Presented by: Cindy Levasseur, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, and Cindy Seekins, CPSP, Program Director
Do you sometimes feel like you don’t know how to help your child? Children with behavioral health needs do not come with a manual! This workshop will offer a framework to understand the nature of your child’s behavior and methods to flexibly respond to the needs your child presents. Positive behavioral supports emphasizes practical ideas about how to meet your child where they are at and utilize their motivation to increase success. Understanding and using Stage of Change concepts, maximizing provider involvement and enhancing natural supports will be emphasized to provide usable tools that can be applied in a variety of real life situations. Temper tantrums are disruptive behavior or emotional outbursts displayed in response to unmet needs or desires. Come and learn how to control your child’s tantrums by using behavior management.
Friday, June 5, 2015, from 10 a.m. to noon at Community Health & Counseling Services, 103 West Main St., Dover-Foxcroft

“Maine Snap-Ed: Eating Healthy on a Budget”
Presented by: Gail Lane, Bangor Public Health
Join G.E.A.R. Parent Network in four fun and interactive monthly workshops based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Each class highlights key nutrition concepts accompanied by hands-on cooking demonstrations and food tastings.
          “Eating Better on a Budget”: Tuesday, June 9, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor
          “Building a Healthy Meal”: Tuesday, July 14, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor
          “Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits”: Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor
          “Saving More at the Grocery Store”: Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor
 
“Family Fun & Wellness Activities”
Hosted by Karen Nix & Cindy Levasseur, Regional Parent Support Coordinators
Join us for a special afternoon of family fun and health and wellness activities in celebration of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 3-9)! This year’s theme is “Mental Health is Fundamental.” There will be family friendly hiking, scavenger hunts and seed planting. Come grow with the G.E.A.R. Parent Network.
            Sunday, May 3, 2015, from 1-4 p.m. at South Gate, Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, Rt. 1, Orland

“Bullying”
Presented by Ann Long, Parent Training and Information Specialist, Maine Parent Federation
During this interactive workshop, we will take a look at what bullying is and isn’t. We will provide tips to help prevent bullying, discuss what happens when we encounter bullying, and identify some of the outcomes from bullying.  Parents, educators and people working with children are welcome to discuss this very concerning topic, and share their experiences and solutions.
               Monday, May 18, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Sedgwick Elementary School, 272 Snow’s Cove Rd., Sedgwick

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