The Saskatoon Conference on Behavioural, Developmental & Emotional Challenges with Children & Adolescents

Live Streaming from Saskatoon, SK | November 4 - 6, 2024

Presented by Caroline Buzanko, Ph.D., R. Psych, Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP and Varleisha D. (Gibbs) Lyons, Ph.D, OTD, OTR/L

Sponsored by Sunshine Coast Health Centre & Georgia Strait Women's Clinic


Up To 18 Hours  |   Pre-approved for CEU’s




LIVE STREAM: November 4 – 6, 2024 from 8:30am – 4:00pm (Winnipeg, MB) Please adjust your start time according to your specific time zone. 

ON-DEMAND: Recorded footage & course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available November 18 – December 9, 2024. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances.

Registration will close November 3, 2024. 

Monday, November 4, 2024  |  Day One

Proven Brief Interventions to Help Students with Emotional and Behavioural Problems
PRESENTED BY Caroline Buzanko, Ph.D., R. Psych

Every child and teen experiences emotional ups and downs and engages in challenging behaviours from time to time. Though frustrating, these reactions are an important part of development for all kids. However, these outbursts become a problem when they happen frequently, when they are excessive, and when they begin to impair a child or youth’s functioning.

Emotional and behavioural challenges have increased drastically among children and adolescents over the years with alarmingly high prevalence rates. Unfortunately, most go without effective support, which makes them susceptible for developing severe emotional and/or behavioural disorders that impair their social and emotional well-being, relationships, and development.

Early intervention and treatment are critical to support children and teen’s social, emotional, and behavioural well-being and reduce future risk. Although teachers, parents, and mental health professionals know they need to help, they aren’t always confident in how to do so – especially in the heat of the moment. They may have tried different strategies, but with limited success. Thankfully, these children and teens can be supported easily with the right tools and know-how.

This dynamic workshop is vital for anyone working with children and teens. Participants will develop an understanding of what is going on for children and teens, what happens when the demands on them outweigh their capacity to cope, the underlying needs they have, and the function of an emotional or behavioural meltdown. Participants will also learn the typical strategies adults use when they are trying to help but instead makes the situation worse. Importantly, they will learn what is truly effective (hint: it’s not behaviour charts) to promote positive behaviours and emotion regulation proactively, before an emotional or behavioural blowout occurs, and reactively, in the heat of the moment. With these strategies, participants will help children and teens build their capacity to manage their emotions and behaviours successfully across contexts.

Worried & Distressed: Dealing with Anxiety Disorders in School Age Children
PRESENTED BY Caroline Buzanko, Ph.D., R. Psych

Think you’ve mastered everything you need to know about anxiety management? Think again – you might be surprised!

When it comes to supporting anxious students, most adults unknowingly perpetuate ineffective methods. For instance, do you provide accommodations to students to help relieve their anxiety? Do you advocate deep breathing or relaxation techniques as anxiety-busting strategies? If so, you may be unwittingly making student anxiety stronger.

Anxiety is at epidemic levels among children and teens. However, it is highly treatable when you know how to support students in helpful ways. This workshop is vital for every educator and school mental health professional committed to mastering their understanding of emotional health and to making a real difference in the lives of anxious students.

Revolutionize Your Approach to Enhance Student Well-Being

This is not just another workshop on anxiety – it’s a game-changer in mental health and education. Through practical applications and interactive learning, you will be equipped to support not just individual students but the entire classroom in managing anxiety and other big emotions while fostering emotional resilience.


Tuesday, November 5, 2024  |  Day Two

Fostering Social Emotional Learning Skills in Students
PRESENTED BY Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

In the wake of the global pandemic, the mental health landscape in Canada has undergone significant challenges, particularly among children and adolescents. This workshop delves into the impact of mental health conditions on academic performance and social-emotional well-being in young learners. Through a comprehensive exploration of assessment strategies, intervention techniques, and classroom accommodations, participants will gain insights into fostering emotional growth and resilience in students. From understanding the prevalence of emotional disabilities to dissecting the neurological underpinnings of stress and trauma, this course equips educators with practical tools to support students’ holistic development.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be equipped with actionable strategies to create nurturing environments that prioritize emotional wellness, thereby fostering academic success and social competence in children and adolescents.

Proven Interventions to Help Children & Adolescents with Reading and Writing Difficulties
PRESENTED BY Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

This intensive 3-hour course delves into the cognitive neuroscience behind language-based learning disorders in children and adolescents. Participants will explore reading and writing disorders through a brain-based educational lens, gaining insights into classification, assessment, and intervention strategies.

Wednesday, November 6, 2024  |  Day Three

Self-Regulation & Mindfulness for the Classroom: Practical Strategies and Interventions
PRESENTED BY Varleisha D. (Gibbs) Lyons, Ph.D, OTD, OTR/L

Embark on an illuminating journey with sought-after occupational therapist Dr. Varleisha (Gibbs) Lyons, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, ASDCS, FAOTA, as she guides you through a transformative six-hour workshop experience. Dr. Lyons will delve into the foundations of selecting appropriate interventions for students exhibiting challenging behaviors, including hyperactivity, aggressiveness, self-stimulatory behaviors, and inattentiveness, among others.

In this workshop, participants will be ignited by the revelations uncovered in Dr. Lyons’ evidence-based presentation. Through a simplistic yet profound exploration, attendees will gain a deep understanding of the connection between neuroscience and classroom performance, particularly in terms of self-regulation and sensory processing.

Additionally, participants will be introduced to the Classroom Self-Regulation and Mindfulness program, a cutting-edge approach designed to empower educators and therapists in fostering self-regulation skills among students.

Throughout this immersive workshop, attendees will navigate the intricacies of neurobiology and its intersection with various sensory strategies, techniques, and equipment used when working with children facing challenges with self-regulation. Diagnoses such as sensory processing disorder, trauma, autism, and ADHD will be addressed, with treatment techniques including mindfulness, social skill programs, music and movement, and respiratory-based approaches thoroughly analyzed.

Join Dr. Varleisha (Gibbs) Lyons on this enlightening journey as we unlock the keys to promoting self-regulation and sensory processing in the classroom, leaving equipped with invaluable insights and actionable strategies for transformative change.

Education and Clinical Professionals: All education and mental health or healthcare professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers and Community Police Officers.

Caroline Buzanko, Ph.D., R. Psych, is a Psychologist. Mother. International Speaker. Yoda of Anxiety. Neurodivergent Superhero. Changer of Lives. She is a dynamic force in the field of psychology, dedicating nearly three decades to transforming the lives of children, teens, and their families. With a dedicated commitment to fostering deep connections, instilling unwavering confidence, igniting motivation, and building resilience in the face of challenges, Dr. Buzanko’s mission is clear: to ensure that every child and teenager receive the understanding and support they deserve.

Renowned for her expertise in the assessment and support of anxiety, ADHD, ASD, learning, and behavioural challenges, Dr. Buzanko stands as a trusted ally, advocate, and go-to authority. Dr. Buzanko’s research pursuits delve into the realms of resilience and growth, directly informing her clinical approach and resulting in innovative training programs and workshops that have transformed the practices of countless educators, caregivers, allied mental health professionals, and medical doctors.

Dr. Caroline Buzanko is a captivating speaker and anyone who attends her workshops can expect to be enlightened, inspired, and equipped with practical strategies to empower the children and teens they work with. Together, let’s create a world where every child thrives and embraces their full potential.

Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABPdN is dually trained as both a nationally certified school psychologist and board certified pediatric neuropsychologist, having completed research stints at the National Institutes of Health.   Dr. Feifer has earned numerous distinctions throughout his career including the Maryland School Psychologist of the Year, the National School Psychologist of the Year, and the Outstanding Contribution to the Education and Training of Psychologists award by the Maryland Psychological Association.  He has authored eight books on learning and emotional disorders in children. Lastly, Dr. Feifer has authored three tests on diagnosing learning disabilities in children, all of which are published by PAR.

Varleisha D. (Gibbs) Lyons Ph.D, OTD, OTR/L is the Vice President of Practice Engagement and Capacity Building at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Prior to joining AOTA, she served as the Scientific Programs Officer at the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr. Gibbs is an international lecturer, researcher, and author. Along with being a tenured associate professor, she was the inaugural chair at Wesley College’s Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy, the first in the State of Delaware. Her areas of expertise include neuroanatomy, self-regulation strategies across the lifespan, health disparities, and paediatric therapeutic interventions. Dr. Gibbs founded and operated a private therapy firm for over 10 years.

Dr. Gibbs began her career after receiving her baccalaureate degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware.  She continued her studies in the field of Occupational Therapy receiving a Master’s of Science degree from Columbia University and a clinical doctorate from Thomas Jefferson University.  Dr. Gibbs completed her Ph.D. program in Health Sciences Leadership at Seton Hall University.

As an occupational therapist, Varleisha has a passion for designing strategies to support individuals in their journey to live their most independent and fulfilled lives. In addition to being a licensed occupational therapist, she is an author, renown international speaker, and expert in the areas of the neurological connections for self-regulation, sensory processing, trauma responsive care, and health and wellness.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this presentation belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.  Varleisha D. Gibbs Phd, otr/l is employed by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). This work is independent of her role and not affiliated with AOTA,inc.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual 1 Day Enrollment$269.00N/A
Individual 2 Day Enrollment$469.00N/A
Individual 3 Day Enrollment$669.00N/A
Full-Time Student$609.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

Fees are per person, seat sharing is not allowed. Please respect this policy, failure to comply will result in termination of access without a refund. For group rates please contact


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