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Please see below (click on "Read More") for all available workshops and events this spring, including:
Workshops for Families and Professionals
The "Planning for the Future" Series of Workshops, 
and
Social Relationships and Sexuality Education

All workshops will take place via Google Meet. If you are interested, please register. 

To Register: 
Please contact Lynn LaFave at 518-640-3370 or fss@wildwoodprograms.org. 
Within your email or phone call please share the following: 

  1. Your preferred email
  2. Your preferred phone number
  3. The title of the workshop(s) you will be attending
  4. Your interest in the training (professional/agency affiliation or family member)
  5. The age of your child (if applicable)
  6. If you are FSS eligible (if a family member, does your child/loved one live with you, and are they OPWDD eligible?) - this is not required to attend the training, but we do use the information for grant purposes
  7. The number of people that will be attending

To attend, you must visit the Google Meet link/address at the designated time of the training. Or, call the number shared with you upon registration. 
Questions? Please contact Michelle Singh at 518-640-3350 or msingh@wildwoodprograms.org

 

Wildwood Presents: Workshops for Families and Professionals, Spring 2021

 
The Brain's Response to Trauma

Monday, May 3, 2021 from 9:00-10:30am
Presented via Google Meet: meet.google.com/etw-poxo-txv
Presented by Ingrid Martines, LMSW, Behavior Intervention Specialist and Brittany DeBell, LMHC, Behavior Intervention Specialist.

In this presentation we will be reviewing the main areas of the brain that are involved when someone experiences long term and/or momentary trauma. You will learn about the connection between brain responses and behavior. Current research will be shared. At the end, there will be a discussion about next steps for you or a loved one dealing with trauma. 

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder: The Winter Time Blues 

Monday, May 10, 2021  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/fbn-nnrh-gfj
Presented by Alyssa Fountaine, Social Work Student/MSW Intern at Wildwood Programs 

This workshop will focus on understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – prevalence, clinical treatment methods and home remedies to ease this discomfort.

 

Dementia in the Intellectual/Developmental Disability Population

Monday, May 24, 2021  9:00 am – 10:00 am
Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/zhx-eniq-rzm
Presented by: Ingrid Martinez, LMSW, Behavior Intervention Specialist and Brittany DeBell, LMHC, Behavior Intervention Specialist, Wildwood Programs 

Join us to learn how dementia looks in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We will discuss the five most common types of dementia and how they affect the focused population. We hope that at the end of the training you'll be able to take proactive approaches to use at home or in your workplace that will increase the quality of life of the people you care for who are living with dementia.

Increasing Financial Wellness

Tuesday, June 1, 2021  10:00 am – 11:00 am
Presented via Google Meet – meet.google.com/cph-vwde-giy
Presented by Melinda Burns, Director of Adult Education, Wildwood Programs

Help your son or daughter develop their financial wellness! This workshop will review the skills and knowledge that are the building blocks of a solid financial foundation. Practical ideas will be shared to encourage the application of basic money management skills. A financial behavior tracking tool will be reviewed.

 

Chair Yoga: It’s for You, Me, & Everyone! 

Wednesdays in April and May  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

Presented via Google Meet 
Presented by Amrit Michelle Singh, LMSW, RYT 500 

Many of us have been spending more time than ever in our chairs and in our homes, and our physical health may be suffering. But, in this 1- hour class we will practice breathing, meditation and postures from our chair or using our chair as a prop. A yoga mat is not needed, but could be utilized under your feet for additional support and cushioning. Blankets & pillows could be available as additional props, as well.

 

Wildwood Presents: The "Planning for the Future Series," Workshops for Families and Professionals

 

Guardianship and the Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities

Wednesday, March 31, 2021  9:00 am – 10:30 am

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/iqq-wjze-mvy
Presented by Ed Wilcenski, Esq.  

Some individuals with disabilities will never be fully capable of making independent personal and financial decisions.  This presentation will focus on the different ways in which parents and other family members can ensure that there will always be a legally empowered advocate to make decisions on behalf of a loved one with a disability.

 

Special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning for the Special Needs Family

Wednesday, April 14, 2021  9:00 am – 10:30 am
Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/kzw-tyur-mwm
Presented by Ed Wilcenski, Esq. 

Some individuals with disabilities are unable to make good financial decisions.  Moreover, many will rely on means tested government benefit programs to support themselves in the community. When preparing their estate plans, parents should strive to accomplish two objectives on behalf of a family member with a disability: reliable financial management and continuing eligibility for government benefit programs. This presentation will review the essential components of a Special Needs Estate Plan, and will include an explanation of the different types of Special Needs Trusts used in this type of planning.

Ed Wilcenski is an attorney who concentrates his practice in the areas of guardianship, trusts, and estate planning for individuals with disabilities and their families.  He is a Trustee of the Wildwood Pooled Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust, and the brother of a person receiving services from Wildwood.

An Overview of Social Security Benefits

Thursday, April 22, 2021  9:00 am – 10:00 am

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/qck-kmjk-jzk
Presented by Elaine Verstandig, Employment Specialist & Benefits Advocate & Jennifer DeCosmo, Associate Director of Employment Services, Wildwood Programs 

Who is eligible for Social Security/SSI benefits and when? How do Social Security benefits apply when someone is working? Join Elaine and Jenn as they provide an overview of these benefits and the eligibility criteria.

 

Understanding Medicaid Eligibility and Coverage Types 

Thursday, April 29, 2021  6:00 pm – 7:30 pm 

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/kcd-eqnq-hpz
Presented by Kristina Cunningham, Director of Benefits & Entitlements, Care Design NY   

This session will introduce participants to the ways of obtaining Medicaid coverage and the types of coverage that are available. Topics include obtaining Medicaid via New York State of Health (NYSoH) versus obtaining Medicaid from the Department of Social Services (DSS), categorical eligibility for recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), OPWDD’s Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver and its relation to Medicaid, Medicaid spenddowns, Disabled Adult Child (DAC) budgeting, and the Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD). Special attention will be paid to the importance of recertifications and the Fair Hearing process.

 

Wildwood Presents: Social Relationships and Sexuality Education Program

Online Social Skills Part 1: Self-Awareness and Emotional Coping Skills

Wednesday, March 24, 2021  12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/iis-bfwi-hfs
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

Why are YOU going online? Do you know what you’re really looking for? It’s perfectly normal if you’re interested in socializing, making friends, trying to look for people to date, or trying to find a sexual partner. Those motivations can bring out emotions: eagerness, loneliness, longing, joy, excitement, frustration, or even sadness and anger if we unfortunately feel pressured, bullied or rejected. Sometimes, those emotions can be hard to navigate, so going on the internet to socialize becomes complicated. 

In this first spring workshop, we’re going to look at online safety via stopping and developing: Self-Awareness, Specific Social Goals, Emotional Coping Skills, and Basic Safety Skills, so you can understand yourself better, protect your feelings better, and have a better chance of achieving your desires safely. This will go more in-depth than last fall’s original Online Safety workshop, so we encourage everyone to come! Your internet safety starts with you and the choices you make. This workshop is generally targeted for teens, adults, and parents.

Online Social Skills Part 2: Trust-Building, Scams and Navigating Popular Apps

Friday, April 30, 2021  10:00 am – 11:00 am

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/yix-kkhb-stq
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

So, assuming you’ve attended Part 1 above, now that you’ve developed a sense of why you’re using the internet to socialize, let’s talk about how to improve your social skills so you can have safer, more satisfying interactions. With an emphasis on the topic of trust, we’ll do a brief overview of popular social media apps and popular dating apps, and talk about what’s considered polite/safe, and rude/unsafe interaction. We’ll also look at some common social scams online, cyberbullying, and what you can do to protect yourself. Additionally, we’ll look in-depth at how, online and in-person, to build trust with someone new, and what steps you can take to help new relationships successfully grow. This workshop is generally targeted for teens, adults, and parents.

 

 

Online Social Skills Part 3: Moving from Friend to Sweetheart and/or Moving from Online Dating to Public Meet-up

Wednesday, May 26, 2021  1:00 pm – 2:00 pm 

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/fuw-vpmy-ake
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

So you’ve been socializing online for a while, and you want to move from being “just friends” to dating. Maybe you also want to move from online to in-person interaction. Let’s talk about how to do each of these things fun and safely! We have lots of special considerations to make, especially this year: we’ll look at how to protect yourself physically, emotionally and financially. We’ll also talk about where we’re at with the COVID pandemic and current special considerations.

Further, we’ll talk about general social interaction, too, and how that differs from online dating. We all want to feel confident, and like we know how to appeal to someone else! We’ll touch on typical parts of dating like being polite, flirting, assertiveness, listening skills, and how to know if it’s a “match” or not. Let’s help you feel confident and like you know how to kindly treat your potential partners, so you both can have a fun, fulfilling time! This workshop is generally targeted for teens, adults, and parents.

Online Social Skills Part 4: Special Spotlight on Porn, Sexting, Safety and Privacy

Wednesday, June 30, 2021  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/pcu-sdtb-kgh
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

Sexual gratification is a very popular way people use the internet. It can also be a very challenging subject for people to talk about for many understandable reasons. And yet, information and discussion is important because of all of the related physical, emotional and legal safety issues at stake.

This workshop will provide education about how people do use the internet for sexual fulfillment. We will look at issues including: common types of sexual materials; how to avoid bumping into porn online if you hope to avoid it and if you do want it, how to make sure one accesses material that is legal; how to avoid being sexually exploited yourself; understanding how to protect yourself from financial scams; and how to protect your privacy. We will also look at practical, every day social issues related to porn use: such as, if I choose to use porn and I live with others, what is the appropriate way to handle, store, and discuss it? How do I masturbate safely and privately? If I run into a problem online, what should I do? What are a person’s legal rights regarding accessing porn and other sexual materials? We will also solicit attendees questions ahead of time to make sure we are discussing issues that are relevant to people’s concerns. This workshop is generally targeted for teens, adults, and parents.

Sex Education for People Who are Non-verbal

Wednesday, August 25, 2021  10:00 am – 11:00 am

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/uob-uiin-weu (Registration will begin July 1, 2021)
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

Not everyone is able to communicate with speech, and everyone learns differently. Helping people with communication challenges to engage their sexuality with safety and satisfaction is a topic that has presented a few times for us since this new SORSE initiative launched last year. We want to honor that interest with a special spotlight. As a public workshop, this program is limited to being able to provide a general overview and general recommendations only, but we will look at the latest that science and psychology has to offer. Further, we can discuss what options Wildwood and other local agencies may have to be able to help individuals’ unique situations, as needed. This workshop is generally targeted for teens, adults, and parents.

 

Parents, Disability and Sexuality:
Helping parents find the right balance of being supportive and maintaining boundaries as their children emerge into adulthood

Friday, September 24, 2021  12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/ivc-skyv-zod (Registration will begin July 1, 2021)
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

Being a parent, especially over this last year with so much at-home time, is NOT easy to say the least. While many aspects of parenting are certainly challenging, sexuality is perhaps one of the toughest for many, and for a lot of understandable reasons. This workshop is appropriate for anyone who is a parent or has a parent. It’s meant to be a reflective workshop, where we can all check in about how we’re doing with whatever role(s) we have in this very important type of life relationship.

We’ll explore issues like: the emotions that can come with parenting children with disabilities, and how they can healthily or unhealthily impact your choices; parent-child communication, and how those dynamics usually demand change as your child grows; how to identify when it’s time to make shifts about things like privacy, communication and boundaries; NY State Legal rights pertaining to your growing child. We’ll emphasize specific healthy communication skills for parents and their young adult children to continue maintaining, to improve relationship quality overall.

 

LGBTQIA+, Kink, Poly lifestyles and Disability

Wednesday, October 27, 2021  10:00 am – 11:00 am

Presented via Google Meet - meet.google.com/ohs-pcvq-viz (Registration will begin July 1, 2021)
Presented by Kate Napolitano, MA, LCSW, Social Relationships and Sexuality Educator

This is a general educational workshop for anyone who wishes to improve their awareness and understanding of the broad spectrum of sexual, romantic, and affectionate identities that exist, and how, indeed, having a disability can nuance such lived experiences. For example, people who identify with both the LGBTQIA+ population and with disability can have the experience of a “multiple marginalized identity,” and are typically at an increased risk for discrimination, depression, and other well-being-related issues. 

We’ll take a look at some of the basic definitions of a variety of sexual and affectionate identities to increase your comfort with discussing them. The emphasis of this workshop will be that multiple sexual and affectionate identities do exist, and we all have a daily responsibility to treat each other safely and respectfully, no matter our sexuality. However, no one will be specifically encouraged to adopt a particular identity. Everyone is welcome.

We’ll also examine: how to respectfully include the existence of such identities into sex education discussions with your child in ways that also respect your own culture; what can happen for a person with disabilities who realizes they identify with anything considered outside the sexual or affectionate “norms,” and how everyone can best support them. This workshop is generally targeted for teens, adults, and parents.

 

 

SAVE THE DATE! 

Our Second Annual Conference on Sexuality and Disability will take place all day on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Theme and whether online or in-person still TBA.  Generally speaking, we’ll host speakers from throughout the Capital Region and beyond who will provide workshops and activities for education on different topics related to sexuality and disability. Keep an eye on our upcoming Fall 2021 program announcements to get all of the details! Our First Annual Conference was a huge success - hope to see you for our second-time around!

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