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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.

Click here to download a registration form. Please be sure to indicate the name and date of the workshop, your full name and a telephone number where we may contact you.

Learning is your key to empowerment!

 

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

 

“Parenting with Dignity” (PWD) curriculum is a nine-part parenting series by the Bledsoe Foundation that teaches and encourages parents and caregivers to rethink their approach to discipline, punishment and empowerment. PWD teaches parents how to instill a sense of responsible decision making in their kids so that they can act responsibly when away from parents and to learn how to foster happy, self-directed children with a strong value structure and a sense of accountability for their actions. A Parents Workbook is provided that is used concurrently with the sessions that includes further explanations of the concepts along with many exercises and practical applications for parents to “try out” in their families. An additional hour class is added at the end (10 hours total) on Family Group Decision Making and healing tools.


York, Cumberland, Oxford and Androscoggin Counties

 
"Parenting with Dignity"
 
Location: Dana Center, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
#3 & 4 “Discipline: Deciding What You Want”
A guide for parents to focus on their own clear and precise vision of exactly what they want their children to do!
                             
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
#5 & 6 “Send a Constant Continual Message of LOVE”
Learn to communicate your love to your kids. Ten simple ways for parents to send messages of love to their children!
 
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
#7 “Teaching Your Values to Your Kids”
Help your kids to pick what they want to do, be or have. 
 
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
#8 “Goal Setting”
Help your kids to put their choices from #7 into productive action.
 
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
#9 “Reasons Why Punishment Does Not Work”
Learn why most uses of punishment do not produce lasting results. 
 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
#10 Extra Point! “G.E.A.R. Family Group Decision Making”
Healing tools/processes
 
“How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop by Rick Lavoie”
Presented by: Laurie Cavanaugh, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
This unique and interactive program allows participants to experience the same Frustration, Anxiety and Tension that children with learning disabilities face in their daily lives. See how teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents and friends who have participated in Richard Lavoie's workshop reflect upon their experience and the way it changed their approach to children who have a learning disability.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce, South Paris
 
“Special Education: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions”
Presented by: Jan Avery, Maine Parent Federation
Participants are encouraged to join in the discussion as we explore the current Special Education (SPED) Regulations, look at answers to some frequently asked Special Education questions, and review the legacy of SPED. You will receive a copy of the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations and learn how to navigate through it. This workshop provides participants with a chance to discover and share strategies for making the most of the IEP or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings. You are invited to bring your own questions and insights.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014, from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston
 
“Toxic Chemicals and Our Children’s Developing Brains”
Presented by: Laurie Cavanaugh, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Why is environmental health so important? Consider the following information: Twelve million American children or 17 percent of all Americans under the age of 18 have one or more developmental, learning or behavioral disabilities; more than 1.5 million Americans are autistic. In the 1970s, autism was estimated to have affected about 1 in 2,500 to 5,000 children; studies show that in Maine it occurs today 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.
            Wednesday, May 28, 2014, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce, South Paris

“ADHD 101 - What we want to know but forget to ask!”
Presented by: Laurie Cavanaugh, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success. 

Wednesday June 11, 2014, from 6-7:30 p.m., at St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston
 
“Managing Stress, Strategies for Recognizing & Reducing Stress”
Presented by: Laurie Cavanaugh, Regional Parent Support Coordinator   
We all have stress in our lives. The stress is even greater for parents of a child with behavioral health needs. Please join us in the conversation and discovery of what stress is, how stress affects us, how to differentiate between good and bad stress and learn about some different stress relief and reduction strategies that can help us to live healthier lives.
            Wednesday, June 25, 2014, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce, South Paris

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Kennebec, Somerset and Franklin Counties

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

“ADHD 101 - What we want to know but forget to ask!”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd., Augusta
Thursday, June 5, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Franklin Cty Children’s Task Force, 113 Church St., Farmington                              
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Ave., Skowhegan
 
“Making Friends with the IEP”
Presented by: Ann Long, 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 years old who has an IEP or 504 Plan.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Children’s Center, 1 Alden Ave., Augusta
 
“Raising a Reader”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Why is raising a reader so important? On a basic level, reading is a fundamental part of existing. Think about your typical day. How often are you reading something, street signs, reports, emails, grocery labels, medication, newspapers, websites, and stories to our kids? This workshop offers an understanding of how to engage your child in reading. Reading to our children routinely in their early years increases their language development, helps your child develop an attention span and concentration skills. A child who reads well is more likely to develop positive self esteem, independence and many other skills needed to last throughout their life. 
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Drive, Skowhegan
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd., Augusta
 
“Positive Behavioral Supports & Tantrum Management: Self-Preservation & Success in Parenting Children with Behavioral Health Needs”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard Regional Parent Support Coordinator
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 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.
Thursday, April 3, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Franklin County Children’s Task Force, 113 Church St., Farmington                              
Thursday, May 8, 2014, from 9-11 a.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville
 
“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, April 10, 2014, from 9-11 a.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Children’s Center, 1 Alden Ave., Augusta
 
“Autism and Strategies”
Presented by: Aimee Desroches, 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 skills strategies, educational strategies and classroom strategies.  
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Crisis & Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Rd., Augusta          
 
“How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop by Rick Lavoie”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
This unique and interactive program allows participants to experience the same Frustration, Anxiety and Tension that children with learning disabilities face in their daily lives. See how teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents and friends who have participated in Richard Lavoie's workshop reflect upon their experience and the way it changed their approach to children who have a learning disability.
Thursday, May 1, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Franklin County Children’s Task Force, 113 Church St., Farmington
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Kennebec Behavioral Health, 5 Commerce Drive, Skowhegan
 
“Why Can’t Johnny B. Goode at Home?”
Presented by: Jan Avery, Maine Parent Federation
In this "spin-off" from our popular, Why Can’t Johnny B. Goode at School? workshop, the discussion on challenging behaviors continues. The focus shifts from school to home. All children misbehave, but for some children that behavior is more frequent, intense and challenging. During this workshop participants will gain an understanding of some causes of challenging behaviors. Approaches that can be made at home that work for the whole family, not just the child, will be covered. Strategies that can influence a child’s behavior in positive ways will be discussed, and parents will learn some simple ways to take care of themselves.
Thursday, June 12, 2014, from 9-11 a.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville
 
“Have Fun in the Sun This Summer”
Presented by: Diane Bouffard, GEAR Regional Parent Support Coordinator & Katelyn Pushard, LSW-C, Children’s Center
Come learn how to make all-natural suntan lotion and bug repellant. Also learn some fun activities to do this summer for little or no cost. Talk to parents about some challenges that you may experience and some ideas to deal with the issues. This is a fun and relaxing workshop
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Children’s Center, 1 Alden Ave., Augusta

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Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties

 
“Child Abuse and Neglect: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility”
Presented by: Norm LeBlanc, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Our children are our future and child abuse and neglect is everybody’s business. This workshop will discuss what is considered child abuse, when to report and who to report to, state/national statistics, Maine law, “punishment” vs. “discipline,” behavioral management and protective factors.
Thursday, April 10, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.,  Mobius, Inc., 319 Main St., Damariscotta
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 pm, Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Room (2nd Flr), 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick
 
“Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Oh My!”
Presented by: Norman LeBlanc, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Are you raising a second set of children at a time you thought you would be planning your retirement? This discussion will focus on specific issues that may be challenging for grandparents today and uncover ideas and solutions for greater success and less stress. 
Thursday, April 17, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 pm at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Physicians Building, Conference Room D (on the ground floor), 4 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport
 
“Helping Your Child Manage Their Meltdowns
Presented by: Norm LeBlanc, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Are you feeling like you are always walking on eggshells when dealing with your child’s meltdowns? Are you at a loss about how to help your child to be successful? You’re not alone! Join in the discussion about what meltdowns are and strategies that can be used to help your child better manage these meltdowns. 
Thursday, May 8, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Mobius, Inc., 319 Main St., Damariscotta
 
“ADHD 101 - What we want to know but forget to ask!”
Presented by: Norm LeBlanc, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success. 
Thursday, May 15, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 pm at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Physicians Building, Conference Room D (on the ground floor), 4 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport
 
“Teenage Depression & High Risk Behaviors”
Presented by: Heidi Tucker, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist, Access Health & Mid Coast Hospital; Claudia Hatch, Clinical Supervisor, Sweetser School Based Services
Join in the discussion about Teenage Depression & High Risk Behavior. What does Teenage Depression look like? What are High Risk Behaviors? What are the treatment options? Learn some tips that may help to keep kids safe and help prevent them from engaging in drinking, drug use and other high risk behaviors.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (on 2nd Floor), 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick
 
Do You Speak Teen? “mnE Ps dnt bleev der is a gNR8N d/c b/t em n thr teen”
Presented by: Norm LeBlanc, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
Communicating with teens today is more challenging than ever but not impossible! This workshop will explore modern technology and give you some new ideas to peek into your teen’s world. The framework of the 40 Developmental Assets® will also be shared. Minneapolis-based Search Institute® has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development – known as “developmental assets” – that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring and responsible adults.
Thursday, June 12, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Mobius, Inc., 319 Main St., Damariscotta
Thursday, June 19, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Physicians Building, Conference Room D (on the ground floor), 4 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Curtis Memorial Library, Seminar Rm (2nd Floor), 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick


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Hancock and Waldo Counties

Karen Nix, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 207-469-0064, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“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.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m. (date change due to school vacation) at Head Start, 3 Back Searsport Rd., Searsport
 
“ADHD 101 - What we want to know but forget to ask!”
Presented by: Cindy Seekins, Program Manager
This workshop will offer the framework to help us understand what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, what causes it, how to diagnose and who can diagnose it; the symptoms, what helps, supports; and treatment and management. Come and join in the conversation as we journey together toward greater success.
            Friday, April 25, 2014, from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at KidsPeace, 16 KidsPeace Way, Ellsworth
 
 
“Positive Behavioral Supports & Tantrum Management: Self-Preservation & Success in Parenting Children with Behavioral Health Needs”
Presented by: Cindy Seekins, Program Manager; Karen Nix, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
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 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, May 23, 2014, from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at KidsPeace, 16 KidsPeace Way, Ellsworth
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Head Start, 3 Back Searsport Rd., Searsport
 
“How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop by Rick Lavoie”
Presented by: Cindy Seekins, Program Manager
This unique and interactive program allows participants to experience the same Frustration, Anxiety and Tension that children with learning disabilities face in their daily lives. See how teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents and friends who have participated in Richard Lavoie's workshop reflect upon their experience and the way it changed their approach to children who have a learning disability.
Friday, June 27, 2014, from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at KidsPeace, 16 KidsPeace Way, Ellsworth

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Penobscot, Piscataquis, Southern Aroostook, and Washington Counties

Cindy Seekins, Program Manager, 207-223-9993,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying”
Presented by: Jonathan Smith LCPC, UCP of Maine
Like it or not, we’re living in what is considered the Digital Age. We are increasingly reliant on electronic technologies for everything from banking to friendships, and by now most of us know that we are not free from harm or abuse in this technology-driven world. Knowing that close to 40 percent of high school students in America are victims of cyber bullying is evidence of this point, and should be reason for parents and caregivers to arm themselves and their children with the skills to protect themselves from this form of assault, among other dangers of the digital world. The goal of this workshop then is to be a venue for parents and caregivers to learn these skills, discuss experiences, and support one another as we learn together how to live safely in the Digital Age.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 1066 Kenduskeag Ave., Bangor
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor
 
“Maine Suicide Prevention Program: Education, Resources & Support-It’s Up to All of Us”
Presented by: Heather Carter, MA, NAMI-ME
Suicide is a significant concern in Maine and nationwide, but we can do something about it. Come learn more about what you can do to prevent suicide. The goals of the session are to heighten awareness about suicide in Maine and beyond, increase ability to speak about suicide, provide information about the risk and protective factors associated with suicide, warning signs and clues for suicidal behaviors, teach skills to intervene when concerned someone might be considering suicide, and provide helpful resources for participants.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 1066 Kenduskeag Ave., Bangor
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Mother Goose Playschool, 40 Highland Ave., Millinocket
 
“Positive Behavioral Supports & Tantrum Management: Self-Preservation & Success in Parenting Children with Behavioral Health Needs”
Presented by: Cindy Seekins, Program Manager; Karen Nix, Regional Parent Support Coordinator
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 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.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 1066 Kenduskeag Ave., Bangor
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at Wings for Families & Children, 900 Hammond St., Bangor 


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Workshop listings and registration forms are also located on our website at www.gearparentnetwork.org.