Poster Presentations

Virginia CEC 2016 Spring Conference: Poster Presentations

The Power of One

How Forest Preschools Remedy Behavioral Challenges in Preschoolers: Observations from the Woods

Alexandra Barnett

Assistant Director of the Center for Curriculum Development

Liberty University

Children in Forest Preschools spend at least three hours in the woods every day. The curriculum is play-based and child-directed and behavioral challenges appear almost non-existent. Sharing observations of Forest Preschools and how challenging behaviors are prevented in such schools are the foci of this session.


YOU Can Go Beyond the Walls: Providing Authentic Learning Experiences Outdoors

Diane Roy, Special Education Teacher

Zann Tweedy, Special Education Teacher

Addie Hedge, Instructional Aid

New Vistas School

New Vista’s staff researched the positive effects of outdoor learning and found that it leads to positive outcomes, especially with those who have learning differences.  A student-designed garden was constructed on campus and teachers were successful in offering authentic learning opportunities across the curriculum.  NVS would like to share how you can go beyond the classroom walls with exceptional students.


The Power of Play and Children with Disabilities

Amal Aldawoud, M.S.

PhD Student, Old Dominion University

The purpose of this presentation is to explain the argument between those advocating for using structured play and those supporting unstructured play to increase social skills for children with disabilities.  This presentation will highlight the importance of play, the characteristics of play, and advantages of structured play for children with disabilities.


The Application of Speech Recognition Technology for Students with Dysgraphia

I. Cinthia Lee, Ph.D.

Hope Jordan, Ph.D.

Elizabeth M. Hunter Ed.D.

Regent University

Although included under the category of “specific learning disabilities” with dyslexia under IDEA, dysgraphia has received notably less attention both in K-12 settings and the research field. This poster presentation will discuss the effects of Speech Recognition technology application upon the writing production and process of middle school students with dysgraphia. Implementation strategies and recommendations for teaching and assessment practices will be provided.


iPad® Apps that Provide Graphic Organizers and Vocabulary Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mary Briggs, EdD, English Schools Foundation, Hong Kong

This study was focused on the effectiveness of the use of two iPad® apps to embed direct curricular instruction for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) into inquiry based lessons in the inclusive classroom. The intervention was successfully implemented with five students in two international primary schools in Hong Kong.


Mindfulness and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Promising Intervention?

Demi Mabry, Undergraduate Student

Abigail Long, Undergraduate Student

Brianne Friberg, PhD, Associate Professor

Liberty University

Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness may benefit parents and educators, as well as children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Specifically, mindfulness-based interventions have demonstrated preliminary success in improving stress, anxiety, and depression levels in parents and educators, as well as reducing behavior problems in children with ASD.


Impact of Growth Mindset on Classroom Expectations

Christine Young, Program Specialist, Secondary Curriculum and Instruction

Kelley Neubert, Program Specialist, Behavior Specialist


Demonstrating growth mindset is believing one can change or develop understanding through persistence and effort. Some students arrive in our classroom believing they cannot improve their classroom behavior. This session will focus on building a growth mindset in students who have struggled to behave appropriately in the classroom (Ricci, 2013).


School Psychologists' Experiences with Teacher-To-Student Mistreatment

Sharon Lyles, EdD, School Psychologist, Culpeper County Public Schools

This qualitative study describes school psychologists’ experiences with teacher-to-student mistreatment. There are few United States studies presented in the literature on the topic of teacher-to-student mistreatment and its significant negative impact on students. The study indicates that 74.8% of school psychologists acknowledge that teacher-to-student mistreatment exists in the school environment.


School Based Strategies for Preventing & Responding to Student Bullying 

Cindi Spaulding, PhD, Associate Professor

Karis Hicks, Undergraduate Student

Acksanna Bell, Graduate Student

Liberty University

Educators play a powerful role in preventing or maintaining issues related to bullying; failure to intervene can be interpreted by bullies, bystanders, and victims, as tacit approval of behavior. This presentation provides educators with prevention, intervention, and response strategies for working with victims, bullies, bully–victims, and bystanders.


Special Education Teachers’ Experiences of Inclusion for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities: A Phenomenological Study

Shannon Anders, EdS, Liberty University 

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of special education teachers providing inclusion to students with moderate to severe disabilities in a rural setting. This study produced theoretical, empirical, and practical implications that emphasize the unique challenges and benefits of being a special education teacher.


The Power of an Effective Teacher of Diverse Students with Learning Disabilities

Sunita Sharma, EdD, Virginia Union University

This presentation matches the conference theme of The Power of One and provides highly effective easy to follow strategies for effective teaching and Learning for K-12 General and Special Education Teachers, School Administrators, Teacher Education Faculty, Education leadership, pre-service Teachers, Parents, and other Professionals.


Phenomenological Inquiry of Grade Retention as Experienced by Middle School Students Who Were Twice Retained

Dimetri Richardson, Doctoral Candidate, Liberty University 

The study’s purpose was to describe the experiences of grade retention for 10 twice retained, middle school students residing in Eastern Virginia.  Via a survey, interviews, and journal responses, participants revealed perceptions, experiences, and feelings related to grade retention. Participants disclosed grade retention’s impact on motivation, contributing factors, and alternatives.  


Doodle Notes: An Easy and Non-Threatening System to Boost Memory Retrieval

Sheri Nemec-Wies, General Education Teacher- 5th Grade

Pam Bolt, Special Education Teacher

Virginia Beach Schools

Pick up a colored pencil and start doodling.  This multi-layered memory retrieval system based on instructional doodling and color gives teachers a dynamic way to introduce information that engages multiple modalities.  Coloring is fun, so let this non-threatening skill help your students increase recall and retention.


Lesson Planning for All Learners: Universal Design for Learning

Patti Ralabate, EdD

Part-time Faculty/UDL Implementation Specialist

George Washington University 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) empowers educators to create engaging learning environments that activate deep understanding for all learners. To get started, teachers need an adaptable lesson planning process.  This session focuses on integrating UDL through a flexible lesson planning process that makes a difference for all learners.


Helping Students with Exceptionalities in Afterschool Programs

L. D. Bradshaw, PhD, Assistant Professor of Education

Liberty University 

Afterschool program teachers and administrators should provide quality instruction for students with exceptionalities.  This poster presentation will address planning and resources.


Engaging the Gifted and Talented Student Population in an Elementary Classroom Setting by Offering Choice

Becky Clark, M.Ed.

Fifth Grade Educator, New London Academy, Bedford County Schools

Doctoral Candidate (EdD), Lynchburg College 

Educators are challenged daily to find ways to engage and facilitate learning to the diverse population of students who enter the doors of their classroom. The purpose of this presentation is to provide educators with powerful tools such as choice boards and learning menus to use within the regular classroom setting to engage all students, particularly the gifted and talented population.


The TAC Toolbox: Helping Teachers Successfully Implement New Gifted Curriculum

Lisa Hall Foster, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education; Chair of Quantitative Research, Liberty University 

Fidelity is the bridge between a new curriculum and successful outcomes.  There are many factors and practices which teachers, building-level administrators and gifted coordinators can address to facilitate successful implementation and outcomes. This poster provides the blueprint and tools for a teacher to significantly impact student outcomes in gifted education. 


Effectiveness of Sensory Integration in Supporting Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Heidi LaMendola Nelson, M.Ed.

Special Education Teacher, Harbor Point Academy

Students with EBD are often fraught with varying degrees of symptomatology associated with diagnosis and require interventions that address their difficulties and low frustration tolerance.  When interventions focus on the over- or under-stimulation experienced by students, they are capable of spending extended time engaged in the classroom, and reduced aggression.


One Teacher, One Student: When a Child Makes a Difference in Her Own Life

Abigail Konopasky, Doctoral Candidate, George Mason University

Frederick Brigham, Professor, George Mason University 

We report a case study where students from a school dedicated to serving students with LD and related conditions describe how their understanding of their disabilities and the actions that specific teachers take encourage self-advocacy, self-direction in learning and self-management of behavior, as well as a more positive academic identity.

Factors that Impact Learning for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Post-Secondary Education

Bunnie Claxton, M.Ed., Adjunct Instructor, Liberty University

As diagnosis of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and higher education enrollment for students with ASD increases, so do the demand for effective support services, yet little empirical research exists. There is a need to investigate the factors that influence successful outcomes for students with ASD in higher education (Hart et al., 2010) in order to increase successful outcomes for this student population. 


Constructivist Methodologies: A Professor’s Approach to Facilitating Learning in College Classrooms through Cognitive Assessment Opportunities

Kathleen Mott, Ed.D., Adjunct Professor, Messiah College/Liberty University

Maria T. Spaulding, M.Ed., Adjunct Professor, Liberty University

Constance Mott, BA, Graduate Student Candidate, West Chester University

Learners with neurological disabilities struggle with skills, such as conservation, classification, seriation, and thinking/reasoning skills. Through constructivist pedagogies professors can facilitate student learning and applications by providing opportunities for students to instantly apply classroom cognitive assessments and methodologist with children of various age levels brought into the collegiate classroom.


Envisioning the Use of Online Open Courses as Supplemental Instruction for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

Randall Dunn, EdD, Associate Professor

Deanna Keith, EdD, Associate Professor

Liberty University 

This poster session focuses on the current uses of open courseware tools as a means of working with individuals with intellectual disabilities on life skills content.  This particular project is focused primarily on young adults, however the session will also explore the use of these tools for K-12 learning environments.


Professional Development of Paraprofessionals in a Postsecondary Education Program for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Kudirat (Kudy) Giwa-Lawal, University Coordinator, Mason LIFE Program

George Mason University 

Academic support service providers (paraprofessionals) who support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in postsecondary education (PSE) programs at institutions of higher education (IHE) require effective and efficient preparation.  This presentation discusses outcomes of specialized professional development (PD) trainings for paraprofessionals at a suburban Fairfax, Virginia IHE.


Students with Learning Disabilities (including ADHD) in Online Degree Programs: A Phenomenological Study

LeAnn Bunch, EdS, Liberty University 

Research is lacking in the area of understanding the experiences of students with learning disabilities in online college degree programs. In this study, students with learning disabilities (including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder) participate in an online focus group and in semi-structured individual interviews to share their experiences as online degree seekers.


Transition Planning Services for Secondary Students with Cognitive Deficiencies and Autism: A Comparison of Parent Perceptions

Mohammed Alshuayl, M.Ed., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The purpose of this research was to investigate the overall involvement of students with cognitive deficiency and autism with available postsecondary transition service providers. A survey identified variables perceived by parents of individuals with cognitive deficiency and autism to be strongly connected to resistance in seeking appropriate transition services. Recommendations are provided for school districts and post-graduation service providers working with parents involved in the process.


Characteristics of Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Information Sources and Emotional Support

Marian Marconyak, PhD, PT, Physical Therapist, Norfolk Public Schools

Linda K. Bennington, PhD, RN, Old Dominion University

Cindy M. Little, PhD, WHNP-BC, Drexel University

An internet survey was conducted among 149 mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They were asked to identify the source of information for their needs in raising their child, and who provided the most emotional support for coping with their responsibilities. 


A Parent’s Guide to Effectively Navigating the Private School IEP Referral Process

Maria T. Spaulding, M.Ed., Doctoral Candidate, Regent University

Kathleen Mott, Ed.D., Adjunct Professor, Liberty University

The Individuals for Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) ensures that all children are entitled to a free appropriate public education.  If the child attends a private school, a parent referral follows a different course of action which often initiates stress.  Educators and parents must work together to ensure the child’s needs are met.