Assessment of Learning Disabilities: DSM-5 and Beyond

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
1:00pm - 2:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits


Presented by:

Robin L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP/CN
Pediatric Neuropsychologist
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Children’s Hospital Colorado

This workshop will begin with a brief overview of current scientific knowledge about learning disabilities (LDs) impacting reading, writing, and mathematics, including their etiology, brain bases, neuropsychology, and cross-cultural manifestations. We will review the evidence bearing on various diagnostic models, including age discrepancy, IQ discrepancy, patterns of strengths and weaknesses, and response to intervention.  The remainder of the workshop will focus on the implications of this scientific background for individual diagnosis and treatment planning. We will explore common diagnostic quandaries in LD assessment related to severity, specificity, base rates, and etiology and will briefly discuss evidence-based interventions for LDs.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Discuss pros and cons of diagnostic models of learning disabilities (LDs), including age discrepancy, IQ discrepancy, patterns of strengths and weaknesses, and response to intervention.
2. Identify universals and cultural constraints in the manifestation of LDs across countries/languages as well as for different demographic groups within this country.
3. Describe the challenges of applying categorical diagnosis to a continuum of academic skill and discuss the implications for cases falling in the “gray area.”

Target Audience: Clinical Neuropsychologists and Neuropsychology Trainees
Instructional Level: Introductory

Dr. Robin L. Peterson is a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received a doctorate in child clinical psychology from the University of Denver and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology from the University of Denver and Children’s Hospital Colorado. She previously worked as director of the Developmental Neuropsychology Clinic at the University of Denver. She is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology and Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology.  She has clinical and research interests in neurodevelopmental disorders and pediatric traumatic brain injury. She is currently a co-Investigator for the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. She is an author on over 20 peer-reviewed publications, multiple book chapters, and the book Diagnosing Learning Disorders: From Science to Practice (3rd Edition) which was published by Guilford Press earlier this year.  She recently served as invited chair for a symposium titled Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Reading Disabilities at the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society. Before studying to be a psychologist, she taught kindergarten and first grade, which sparked her interest in understanding how all children learn to read. She remains active in teaching and training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


Sleep and Cognition in Neurodegenerative Disease

Thursday, July 18, 2019
12:00pm - 1:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:

Amy Amara, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
School of Medicine/Joint Health Services Foundation Faculty

Sleep dysfunction and cognitive decline are common features of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, sleep disruption can negatively influence cognitive performance, even in healthy adults. This webinar will include an overview of normal sleep architecture, descriptions of common sleep disorders in older adults at risk for neurodegenerative disease, and information about the relationship between sleep and cognition in neurodegenerative disease.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Describe normal sleep architecture.
2. Discuss common sleep disorders experienced by persons with neurodegenerative disease.
3. Analyze the relationships between sleep and cognition in neurodegenerative disease.

Target Audience: Clinical and Research Neuropsychologists
Instructional Level: Intermediate

Dr. Amy Amara is a physician scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Neurology. She has fellowship training in both Movement Disorders and Sleep Medicine, with a particular interest in sleep dysfunction and other non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Her main research focus includes investigation of non-pharmacological interventions, such as exercise, to improve sleep, cognition, vigilance, and safety in these patients.

New Frontiers in Brain Stimulation

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
12:00pm - 1:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Frank MacMaster, Ph.D.
Alberta Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (or NiBS) methods include Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Over the past decade, both of these methods have experienced explosive growth in their application both to understand the human brain and to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. In this course, we will discuss NiBS and its application in youth. First, we will explain the types of NiBS currently in use, and their potential risks and benefits. Second, we will address their use as a probe of brain function. Third, we will explore their application in neuropsychiatric disorders in youth.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Explain the types of NiBS currently in use, and list their potential risks and benefits. 
2. Discuss the use of NiBS methods as a probe of brain function. 
3. Describe the application of NiBS methods in neuropsychiatric disorders in youth.

Target Audience: Neuropsychologists who work with children and adolescents in clinical settings from hospitals to schools.
Instructional Level: Intermediate

Frank MacMaster is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Paediatrics, University of Calgary. He is also the Scientific for the Addictions and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network in Alberta Health Services. He received his bachelors in psychology for Saint Mary's University, completed doctoral work at Dalhousie University in neurobiology, and a postdoctoral fellowship in brain imaging in child psychiatry at Wayne State University. Dr. MacMaster has received funding from NARSAD, the Canadian Institute for Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, among other honors. 
He has over 88 peer-reviewed papers and has been cited over 3700 times. His work is focused on using neuroimaging methods to better understand the underlying neurobiology and impact of novel interventions like neurostimulation in child and adolescent mental health.