2018 Conference At-A-Glance


NOTE:  Please be aware of times that Registration will be open.  
These times will be strictly adhered to so the volunteers on the Registration Desk may attend workshops


Disclaimer: Please be aware this is the FINAL schedule of the 2018 AAC Conference.
All events, times and locations may have to change according to late breaking events during the conference. Little things like, say a tornado, can simply wreak havoc on a well-planned conference schedule! 
All Keynotes, Plenary Sessions, Screenings and Performances will be held in the Grand Pavilion Ballroom. 
Workshop rooms will be assigned as we get closer to the conference.

 

Click Here to Register Now
    
Time Workshop
Title
Presenters/Degree Workshop Description
Wednesday - April 18, 2018
    3:00 PM
    5:00 PM
REGISTRATION OPEN Conference Registrar     Located just off the elevators on the second floor
    5:00 PM
    6:30 PM
Opening Reception   Fiesta Room
    7:00 PM
    8:30 PM    
Awards Dinner   Enchantment Ballroom
    9:00 PM
    Midnight
Hospitality   TBA
Thursday April 19, 2018
    6:30 AM
    8:00 AM
Breakfast    
    7:00 AM
    8:30 AM
REGISTRATION OPEN Conference Registrar         Just off the elevators on the second floor
    8:00 AM
    8:30 AM
Official Opening    
    8:30 AM
  10:00 AM
KEYNOTE: Linking AAC’s past to the future:  Paying homage to our elders whose wisdom and values we stand upon and who guide us still Sharon Kaplan Roszia, MS Sharon will explore the impact of the Seven Core Issues in Adoption on this organization as well as the AAC’s impact on her and her professional outlook.  “The potential of this group (ACC conference attendees) to bring together all of the constellation and redefine the future for children and families can be powerful”.
  10:00 AM
  10:15 AM
Break    
  10:15 AM
  11:15 AM
  Workshop 1  
  Angie Bush Description Pending
    Workshop 2  
  Treatment of the Adopted Adolescent & Adult: Our Challenge to the Mental Health Field Doris Bertocci LCSW

 
The presenters bring the perspective of a New York-based group of adoption-knowledgeable clinicians with extensive generic experience treating adolescents and adults, integrated with the unique understanding that the majority of the group bring as adopted persons. They maintain that the mental health field misunderstands adoptive status as (just) a past event that left trauma to be healed. Thus, currently treatment practitioners and programs follow their usual practices without making distinctions about the special needs of the adopted patients in their care. Adopted patients follow an alternative and complex developmental sequence throughout life, continually influenced by adoptive status. This requires that, regardless of the treatment venue, therapists include an adoption-specific perspective for the adopted patient. 
    Workshop 3  
  Post Adoption Tools: DNA & Social Media
Susan Walker MSW, LISW, PACC
 
Learn about the ever-evolving world of DNA testing, social media and intermediary post adoption services. Explore expectations and potential outcomes of reaching out to birth family members through the use of DNA & social media. When the party you find is closed and wants full confidentiality, what's next?
  11:15 AM
  11:30 AM
Break    
  11:30 AM
  12:30 AM
  Workshop 4  
  Generational Trauma and the Baby Scoop Era Diana Edwards Ph.D., LPCC In earlier decades the dominant cultural narrative for unmarried pregnant women was "If you really love your baby you will give him up to adoption." Millions of vulnerable women with no support for parenting thus lost their infants to couples who could "give your baby everything that you cannot." What have we learned from that peculiarly American phase of child adoption? 
    Workshop 5  
  The Impact of Adoptive Status on Emerging Adulthood Jesse Viner MD
David Daskovsky
Drs. Viner and Daskovsky will discuss the unique developmental issues particular to young people who have been adopted. They will address ways that emerging adulthood activates fantasies about the birth family and struggles with the meanings of having two sets of parents, with their attending economic and cultural disparities. These greatly complicate the adopted person's expectable struggles with identity formation and their ability to complete the critical tasks of early adulthood. This will be illustrated by clinical case examples, along with discussion of treatment approaches.
 
    Workshop 6  
  Temperament: How it impacts parenting and parent child relationships    Leslie Livingston MS
Jill Copeland
In addition to parenting styles, temperament plays a significant role in how relationships between parents and children develop. Learn about one’s own temperament and that of one’s child/children and how they contribute to building a healthy, trusting relationship particularly for children who have trauma histories.                      
  12:15 AM
  12:30 PM
Break    
  12:30 PM
    1:45 PM
Lunch with Keynote    
  12:30 PM
    2:00 PM
KEYNOTE: “Student Outcomes Don't Change until Adult Behaviors Change”? AJ Crabill AJ will share his extensive experience working in the education field. He states that: “Few populations of students are more vulnerable or farther behind their peers than our abused and neglected children trapped in underperforming foster and adoptive systems.” But AJ message is ultimately uplifting. He believes: “… there are solutions -- if we are willing. If we are open to questioning our adult behaviors. And there are already signs of hope on the horizon.” He will invite us to join the challenge: “Want to maximize your role in the co-creation of that possibility? Let's talk about it!”
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
REGISTRATION OPEN Conference Registrar     Second Floor Registration Table
    2:00 PM
    2:15 PM
Break    
    2:15 PM
    3:15 PM
  Workshop 7  
  Welcome to DNA GEDCOM
Rob Warthen
DNA analysis requires the use of third party tools to be effective. This presentation is an introduction to the tools at DNAGEDCOM including the DNAGEDCOM Client, Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer, GWORKS, JWORKS, and KWORKS. This topic is not recommended for DNA beginners. 
    Workshop 8  
  The Science of Secrecy Kris Probasco
Thomas Rector
Adoption and donor conceptions share a history of secrecy, anonymity, and reform (hopeful for donor conceptions). The parent child attachment is stated through an untruth causing trust and identity issues. BioSocial Cognition methodology explains how secrecy affects the dynamics and processes of the brain relative to adoption, safety, and survival. 
    Workshop 9  
    Searching on Your Own: Keys to Reunion Success
Varda Makovsky LCSW-C, LICSW Genetic testing and social media enable many adoptees and birth parents to search and reunite independent of adoption professionals. While empowering, at times this results in limited pre-search guidance preparation, and/or ongoing counseling. This session will explore how independent searchers can best emotionally prepare for search/reunion, and access ongoing resources.
 
3:15 PM
3:30 PM
Break    
3:30 PM
4:30 PM
  Workshop 10  
  Introduction to using DNA for Searching or to be Found Rob Warthen Genealogical DNA testing has expanded the possibility of successful searches as well as increasing the possibility of birth family members being found. This presentation provides an overview of the types of DNA tests and the companies involved, key concepts such as mirror trees and the companies involved, strategies & methods for searching or maximizing the possibility of being found, as well as providing reputable resources to turn to for help. 
    Workshop 11  
  Owning the Right to Exist: Healing for the Adopted Young Adult Leanne Lemire MSW MCSW The attachment disruption that stems from adoption can lead to a deep sense of abandonment, rejection, loss, confusion, identity issues, and shame. Often experienced in early childhood without conscious awareness, recognition or vocabulary, by the time the adopted child becomes a young adult the effects are still felt on a very profound level coupled with present day emotional dis-regulation and relational difficulties. Left untreated, this underlying trauma fuels addictions, mood disorders, risk-taking behaviors, self-sabotage, expectations of further abandonment and chronic suicidal tendencies. The young adult often maintains the shamed-based belief that he/she does not have the right to exist. Leanne Lemire, MSW, will discuss the various traumas experienced by the adopted young adult and what differentiates them from the non-adopted young adult. She will also describe treatment interventions utilized to assist the client in recognizing the impact adoption has had on their development, challenging shame-based beliefs, and beginning to heal layers of delayed grief. 
    Workshop 12  
  Sorry Harper Lee; You CAN Choose Your Family! Chantel Tremitiere PhD MBA Growing up one of 12 adopted kids in a family of 15 is tough. Chantel overcame emotional, social and racial issues to become a WNBA athlete, Disney Actress, and motivational speaker. She talks how adoption is not who the child is; but instead who the parent helps the child become. 
    4:30 PM
    4:45 PM
Break    
    4:45 PM
    5:45 PM
  Support Groups  
    5:45 PM
    7:00 PM
Dinner on Your Own    
    7:00 PM
    9:00 PM
Special Screening- Thank you for coming Sara Lamm Thank You For Coming tells a story about nature, nurture, and one woman's desire to connect with her roots.
    9:00 PM
    Midnight
Hospitality   TBA
Friday April 20, 2018
    6:30 AM
    9:00 AM
Breakfast    
    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
REGISTRATION OPEN Conference Registrar     Second Floor Registration Table
    8:00 AM
    9:30 AM
KEYNOTE: The Neurobiology of “Heeling” Trauma from the Inside Out Scott Kuenneke MS, LPC, BCN
Jeanna Osborn – Calo Programs
Scott will explain the concept of neurobiology and show you how it actually works to help to quiet the fear driven brain. Jeanna will join Scott with one of the CALO golden retrievers to demonstrate how, from this quiet spot, they can encourage connection and integration of neurological systems while fostering relational connections. Scott states this is measurable science, that the use of qEEG helps to measure the success of these interventions.
    9:30 AM
    9:45 AM
Break    
    9:45 AM
   10:45 AM
  Workshop 13  
  A family without a plan, a look inside a second chance family      Collobert panel What do you call a group of people who include foster kids, adoptee’s, adult adoptee’s, mothers and a step-mother? Family! Meet our family, after a quick presentation we will open it up to answer your questions regarding our experiences. Not one of us is biologically related but we are a family. 
    Workshop 14  
  Adoption and Addiction: "Facing the Self, Finding the Hope, Feeling the Love"     
Sarah Burns MA, MPA
Miguel Caballero
Candy Finnigan

 
This panel will discuss why triad members are over-represented in the addiction community (e.g., adoptees are eleven times more likely to struggle with mental health issues than the general population.) We will examine what happens when adoptees lose their original connection to family, home, culture, history, sometimes their country, and their own identities.          
    Workshop 15  
  Richard Gitelman - The Adoption Matchmaker Debra Allen Presentation of how I stumbled upon the adoptions facilitated by Richard Gitelman, an art dealer, turned baby matchmaker. The games and tricks he used and the manipulation of birth mothers and adopting parents, to get them to agree to the child placement.
   10:45 AM
   11:00 AM
Break    
   11:00 AM
   12:00 PM
  Workshop 16  
  Digging at the Roots: Advancing Beyond PTSD in Developmental Trauma Specific Treatment Steve Sawyer LCSW, CSAC This seminar expands awareness of the full spectrum of symptoms that modern research has clearly demonstrated are specific to developmental trauma. The research examined in this presentation clearly develops focus points that drive treatment direction and techniques to use when working with individuals who have high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) scores. The implications of the diagnosis of PTSD in developmental trauma treatment will be approached, and the newly proposed Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) diagnosis will be carefully examined. 
    Workshop 17  
  Adoption Math and its Co-Opting influence on Adoptee Rights: Access for Many Versus Rights for All Panel: Emm Paul, Marley Grenier, Gregory Luce and Mirren Kara Theiding After a rush of successful unconditional open records bills in the late 1990's and early 2000's, the adoptee rights movement seemed to stall. In its place came the rise of severely compromised bills that included reductions, access tiers, vetoes and worse. Despite recent successes in Oregon and Hawai'i, the proponents of restricted bills have begun to repudiate the concept of adoptee rights entirely, instead relying on mathematical arguments concerning information access for many at the expense of equal rights for all. In the process, two movements that historically have been divided by simple differences of opinion in terms of strategy, have now become adversaries over the most fundamental of issues - do adoptees have a right to the original, unaltered records of their births and adoptions. 
    Workshop 18  
  Taking Control of our Adoption Stories Dr Meg Kearney  Even within the most loving families, talking about adoption can be difficult—talking with adopted teens about the subject even more so. Author and adoptee Meg Kearney will discuss how poetry and the “mask” of fiction made it possible for her to speak her own emotional truth, and how her three young-adult novels can be used with teens to create a platform for open discussion and to empower teens to write and take control of their own stories. 
   12:00 PM
   12:15 PM
Break    
   12:15 PM
     1:45 PM
Lunch with Plenary Session    
   12:15 PM
     1:45 PM
Plenary Session Sara Lamm In her new documentary, director Sara Lamm asks the question: "What makes someone family?" She asks relatives near and far as she explores issues raised by her parents' divorce, her mother’s death, her children's lives, and learning at age 29 that she was conceived via sperm donor. Part genealogical detective story and part funny, bittersweet meditation on the heartbreak of loss and the hope of friendship, Thank You For Coming tells a story about nature, nurture, and one woman's desire to connect with her roots.
     1:45 PM
     2:00 PM
Break    
     1:30 PM
     2:00 PM
REGISTRATION OPEN    
     2:00 PM
     3:00 PM
  Workshop 19  
  The Challenge of DSM Diagnoses and Mental Health Norman Thibault PhD, LMFT
Bruce Kellogg
For many adoptive families, understanding different diagnoses and issues related to complex trauma can be very challenging. This presentation will clarify some misconceptions and confusion around these important topics. 
    Workshop 20  
  Mom, please, I don't want to talk about it! Gail Ward MA
Muhammad Ishmael
What do you do when your adopted child does not want to talk about adoption? What do you do when the birth family wants contact? How do I convince my child your feelings are o.k. and the birth family that you understand.
    Workshop 21  
  Moved  
     3:00 PM
     3:15 PM
Break    
     3:15 PM
     4:15 PM
  Workshop 22  
  Healing the Dark Side of Adoption, Part 2 Thomas Ahern MA
Rob Gent
In Part 2 of this epic presentation, Calo Programs Rob Gent and Thomas Ahern will engage the audience in a more intimate and contemporary conversation around Thomas's search for self. Thomas Ahern, an adoptee in reunion has struggled with the impact of early relinquishment and developmental trauma throughout his life. Under the guidance of Chief Clinical Officer Rob Gent, this interview will go deeper than Part 1 into the meaning and purpose of the search and reunion, the lifelong challenges of integration and explore some of the lasting difficulties in Thomas' interpersonal relationships that mental illness, death and being raised in a family of four other adopted children had on him and his family. Thomas will once again utilize authentic manuscripts, audio tape and other personal artifacts from his journey to create meaningful and relevant dialogue with the audience. 
    Workshop 23  
  Open Adoption: Authentic Family - Authentic Child Thomas Rector This workshop explains a methodology based upon current neuro-scientific research and practical application of the “BioSocial Cognition Model”. Utilizing this model takes child and family relationships to a new level supporting child development creating positive self-esteem and tools bolstering potential. Participants explore the use of these tools enabling constructive, rich communication 
    Workshop 24  
  When Adoptive Parents Fear Birth Parents Maryl Millard PhD Understanding Adoptive Parents’ PTSD, in order to better navigate our adoption experience. This syndrome is created and made worse through events in infertility and adoption: (a) contact with birth parents/birth family in open adoption (b) navigating search/reunion dynamics whether adoptive parents oppose or support (c) difficulties with birth parents (real) or imagined (irrational phobic perceptions) throughout the family life cycle.
     4:15 PM
     4:30 PM
Break    
     4:30 PM
     5:30 PM
  Workshop 25  
  A case for Open Adoptions: twenty five years down the line Sharon Kaplan Roszia MS Co Author of the Open Adoption Experience reflects on the open adoptions she has been following for twenty five years. What went well and what has failed? What can strengthen the future of this practice? 
                 Workshop 26  
  Brain Energizer for all Gail Ward MA
Ishmael Muhammad 
Brain Power Today will shake your nerves and ignite your brain, too much sitting without movement will make “ALL” insane, we’ll get you energized, oh what a thrill… Goodness gracious, great strategies BPT will reveal! 
    Workshop 27  
  The ABCs of OBC Legislation: Analysis, Baby Steps, and Cooperation Mary Weber PhD ABD Based on research of other states’ OBC laws and my experience of introduction of OBC legislation in ND, this will be a presentation of what went wrong, what went right, and what has happened since. A presentation will be followed by discussion, encouraging input from others who have experience and questions from those who want to get involved. 
    5:30 PM
    5:45 PM
Break    
     5:45 PM
     6:45 PM 
Support Group    
  Dinner on your own    
     7:00 PM
     9:00 PM
State Representative Dinner    
    9:00 PM
   Midnight
Hospitality    
Saturday April 21, 2018
    6:00 AM
    8:30 AM
Breakfast    
    6:30 AM
    7:45 AM
REGISTRATION OPEN    
    8:00 AM
    9:30 AM
KEYNOTE: DNA Testing: Triumphs, Pitfalls and Understanding Angie Bush She will speak to the “…innumerable stories of success dotting the DNA and adoption landscape”. As she relates it: “The ability to use the biological record in our cells to uncover our genealogical history has opened doors for everyone, not just adoptees. This is a new frontier that genealogists, adoptees and families are navigating together. How should adoptees, genealogists and family members approach this new-found information? What are the best practices that can be adopted by everyone to give the greatest chance of a successful outcome? While there are no “one size fits all” answers to these questions, building bridges of understanding are key to a successful resolution”.
   9:30 AM
   9:45 AM
Break    
   9:45 AM
 10:45 AM
  Workshop 28  
  Keys to Reunion Success When Those We Seek Say No Marietta Hummons M.Ed.
Jordan Hummons
This workshop addresses the roles of adoptive parents, professionals, birth parents, and the adoptive child in reunification when the adopted child turns eighteen and the birth mother is not prepared for a face-to-face reunion. Reunification will be addressed from the perspectives of the adoptive parents, the birth mother, and the adopted child. 
    Workshop 29  
  Adoptive Parents; Culture, Ethnicity and Racial Differences Cecilia Jackson PhD This workshop teaches adoptive parents, prospective parents, and introductory professionals the definitions and values of embracing multi-cultural, multi-ethnicity, and multi-racial differences in adopted children and helps to secure the bridge of endearment and acceptance between the adoptee and adoptive parents by dispelling myths and offering strategies for understand and embracing differences.
    Workshop 30  
  Understanding Birthmother Grief Fran Levin MS, CAS, NCC How can first mothers, and those who love them, learn to deal with the unresolved and complicated grief of relinquishment? Whether in a closed or open adoption, whether in reunion or not, grief often impedes the health of a woman and reverberates through her other relationships and through the generations.
  10:45 AM
  11:00 AM
Break    
  11:00 AM
  12:00 PM
  Workshop 31  
  Locating Family Connections on the Internet Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh MA Searching for family members on the Internet can be difficult if you don’t know sites that can be helpful. Learn how to search with free websites and low cost resources. Several handouts, with search examples, will be provided to participants. A question/answer discussion period will follow the presentation.
    Workshop 32  
  Legislation 101 Tim  Monti-Wohlpart MS Ed
Erica Babino
The workshop is a PowerPoint and interactive presentation addresses or answers the following: 1) what is adoptee rights legislation? 2) why is it important and why would someone want to volunteer to help 3) how does one start and lobby legislation, 4) importance and how to get the community involved and 5) how to manage the road blocks and pitfalls. Concepts related to potential federal action will also be outlined. It is for new and seasoned adoptee rights advocates.
  12:00 PM
  12:15 PM
Break    
  12:15 PM
    1:45 PM
KEYNOTE: “Historical Trauma in Adoption in Indian Country”  Sandra WhiteHawk Sandra is a Sicangu Lakota adoptee from the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota and the founder and Director of First Nations Repatriation Institute, who has been working tirelessly for decades to bring a future back to her fellow First Nation adoptees and their families. Her keynote will highlight the generational trauma and solutions for the errors of the past.
   2:00 PM
   3:00 PM
Town Hall Meeting All Attendees Our time together is at an end and a beginning. Thank you for being a vital part of the 39th Annual AAC Conference!
   3:15 PM
   4:15 PM
Board Meeting