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CORSE expands successful lecture program

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 16, 2011 04:25 PM

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After packing the basement of the Scituate Town Library with over 150 people last year, Scituate's CORSE (Community of Resources for Special Education) is hopeful that Sara Ward’s lecture on function skills for children will be just as popular this time around.

“All of her speaking engagements are very full. She’s an excellent speaker and often speaks on the topic of executive function skills,” said Lorraine Devin, the co-vice president of CORSE and organizer of the event. “A lot of her lectures are privately held, so not all are open to the public, so we expect a huge crowd.”

Ward has given dozens of lectures over the years about “executive function skills,” a term used by doctors, teachers, and parents to describe difficulties associated with goal setting, carrying out organized steps, and modifying a plan to complete a task successfully.

With over 14 years experience in diagnostic evaluations, treatment, and case management of children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of developmental learning difficulties and behavioral problems, Ward comes to the table with suggestions and guidance for struggling parents and teachers.

And it’s not just advice for those struggling with a learning disability or behavioral problem, Devin said, but suggestions on how to handle all children developmentally.

“As more and more parents are having their children evaluated, they are understanding the different components of learning disabilities, one being executive function skill, and trying to figure out ways they can raise their children to have a positive effect in this area,” Devin said.

The lecture focuses on ideas and suggestions as well as understanding the nature of the impairment in order to help children and adolescents succeed.

“They give you ideas and suggestions on approaching your child’s needs,” Devin said. “Instead of saying to your child, 'Get your backpack, hang up a picture,' to give your child a visual cue of th'Ts is how I want you to look.' [Sara] gives you a lot of different tips and ideas on how to help your child organize their time, themselves, and manage their day.”

Although three-fourths of the audience at last year’s program, which was hosted in the fall, were parents, Devin expects more teachers to come this year.

An entire preschool worth of teachers has already called up and said that they would come, Devin said.

Certificates of attendance will also be handed out to any teacher wishing to use the class as an opportunity for professional development.

This year, the lecture will be hosted before the school year begins, something Devin hopes will work better with parents’ hectic schedules.

There is no registration required, and donations can be given at the door.

Like all CORSE events, Devin was mindful that the organization couldn’t provide these types of things to the community if it weren’t for the support the club receives year-round.

The workshop will be hosted on Thursday, Aug. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St Mary of the Nativity Parish Center, 1 Kent Street, in Scituate. There is a 200-person cap on this event, and Devin expects it to be completely filled again.

“There will be plenty of seating, but we do expect a full house. We’ve already been receiving calls, even though we said no regisration is required!” she said.

For more information regarding CORSE programs please visit our website

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