Presentations | Additional Talks | Professional
Continuing Ed. Workshops
Co-Presentations with Family Members
Lieberman is a popular national speaker who provides workshops,
presentations, consultation and training to parents and professionals
in a variety of settings. She believes strongly in the importance
of building a respectful bridge to children and young adults with
disabilities. Her presentations range from one hour to a full-day
workshop, and can be geared to a specific diagnosis or a broader
range of disabilities. Presentations include lecture, group discussion,
small group activities, and practical handouts. Learning objectives
for each workshop are available upon request. By sharing real-life
stories interspersed throughout her presentations, she will touch
your heart and tickle your funny bone.
is a list and description of some of her past presentations:
6 Tools for Navigating the Emotional Journey When Parenting a
Child with a Disability
session explores six essential tools for managing the ongoing
emotional demands involved in parenting children with disabilities.
Format includes lecture, small group discussion, individual (and
couple) brainstorming time and laughter. Participants will leave
with concrete ideas, and a sense of renewed hope for the journey
ahead. Includes concrete suggestions for professionals to effectively
My Child is Different and sometimes it hurts: Supporting Parents
of Children with Disabilities
on understanding the needs and concerns of parents whose children
have special challenges, addressing the differences in how dads
and moms cope. Discuss 6 tools parents can use to navigate this
lifelong journey. To best support these parents, professionals
must first grasp, on more than a conceptual level, the emotional
aspects of special needs parenting. Time will be allotted for
questions and discussion.
Maintaining your Intimate Relationship When Your Child Has a Disability
Provides an opportunity for couples to understand the unique challenges
faced when parenting a child with a disability. Will explore differences
in how dads and moms typically manage parenting, with a goal of
helping couples learn to talk more positively with each other,
and to gain concrete ideas for rekindling what's been set aside
in addressing a child's needs.
Effective Parent-Professional Collaboration in a School Setting
wins when parents and professionals collaborate on behalf of a
student with disabilities. If each person strives to respect all
perspectives, team members can experience satisfying results.
Workshop addresses the developmental process by which parents
come to terms with a child's disability, offers concrete suggestions
for effective collaboration and a description of successful collaboration
Parenting Older Teens and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum
any adolescent is a challenge in today's world. The unique concerns
of older teens with ASD add a layer of complexity that requires
greater forethought and guidance for both teens and their parents.
The stakes are high for parents to feel comfortable with a young
adult's developmental readiness to move on. We will discuss specific
issues involved in parenting older teens with ASD, and explore
the necessary balance required between supporting, protecting
and letting go appropriately. Session also includes suggestions
for professionals on how to support parents of older teens and
Nobody survives all alone: Reaching for Help as an Essential Skill
of us can handle everything alone! This session emphasizes the
importance of gaining comfort with developing a sense of community
in our lives, in a variety of ways. It covers the importance of
interdependence, how to ask for help, how to foster support from
family or "chosen" family, and whether to consider hiring
paid providers. All discussion is based on the assumption that
when we allow others to enter the circle of our lives, everyone
How to successfully hire one-to-one support providers for children
and young adults with disabilities
on her book entitled, "A Stranger Among Us"©2005,
participants will receive thorough information about all aspects
of hiring in-home providers. When choosing to hire in-home providers,
people face the challenge of finding that "stranger"
who can safely and adequately care for a person with complex needs.
This session will provide comprehensive "nuts and bolts"
to successfully hire in-home providers. Participants will gain
concrete ideas for accomplishing all aspects of hiring: defining
needs; writing a job description; advertising, screening, interviewing,
training, and supervision. Hazards to avoid in hiring will also
Workshops for Professional Continuing
Asperger's Syndrome and Intimate Relationships: Key Issues and
health clinicians are seeing an increasing number of adults with
ASD seeking counseling, both diagnosed and undiagnosed. Asperger
marriages share many of the same features and challenges of regular
marriages. But there are also unique aspects to these relationships.
If professionals are not educated and attuned to these differences,
therapy will be, at best, ineffective, and possibly detrimental
to AS couples. Session summarizes pertinent themes in AS marriages
as well as providing suggestions for helpful interventions.
A Positive Approach to Counseling for Adults on the Spectrum
with ASD sometimes report feeling frustrated and misunderstood
by mental health professionals. Counselors may try to change behavior
without understanding its meaning for that client. For the relationship
to work, Counselors in private and agency practice should have
experience with ASD and practical knowledge of pertinent issues.
Session discusses key adult issues, suggestions for choosing a
good counselor, and explores best practices for professionals.
Working with Couples when there is Disability in the Family
least one tenth of the population faces some kind of disability
impacting one's quality of life in varying degrees. Work with
couples who live with disability within the immediate family can
be much more effective when a practitioner is tuned into unique
issues that may arise within the context of an intimate relationship.
Issues addressed include dependency, gender roles and perspectives,
defining new dreams as a couple, and confronting barriers to asking
Effective Work with Parents of Special Needs Children
family in ten has a child with some form of disability (cognitive,
emotional, and/or physical). With such a significant part of our
population parenting children with special needs, mental health
practitioners must be aware of the issues unique to this population,
and know how to best assist parents to cope with these challenges.
From a strengths perspective, participants will gain insight concerning
day to day life with a special needs child, learn important areas
to explore when working with parents, and identify counter-transference
issues that can compromise quality of services. The course will
include lecture, video, group discussion and case presentation.
Examples of co-presentations with her
own family members
Efforts towards Greater Inclusion in High School: A recent grad
and his mom
schools must provide programs that reflect a microcosm of the
larger society in which they exist, if students are to be prepared
for a meaningful life beyond high school. Jordan Ackerson, a high
school graduate with ASD, and his mother outline concrete steps
taken in moving from a primarily self-contained placement towards
greater inclusion in the school as a whole. Suggestions are offered
that are applicable to a variety of students, incorporating self-advocacy
and collaborative team efforts.
Making MORE than the Most of It: Snapshots of Our Family Life
and her husband, Craig Ackerson share an uplifting and entertaining
view of how they have faced numerous life challenges in their
family. Craig has been living with a progressive form of multiple
sclerosis for thirty-five years, gradually becoming quadriplegic.
He needs help with all functions of daily life. Together they
raised their son, Jordan who has a diagnosis of autism and is
just about to embark on his own adult life journey. What could
have been construed as mostly tragedy has been transformed into
an inspiring view of creativity and courage.