The Nora School Parent Education Series


The Nora School Parent Education Series features experts in their fields talking about topics of particular interest to parents of high school students. Lectures appeal to parents of current students, teachers, and the wider community. To reserve a space, RSVP to Marcia Miller 301.495.6672 or Lectures are free and open to the public.  

Please stay tuned to this page for the upcoming 2014-15 series!

2013-14 Schedule:
Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 7–8:30pm
Parenting the Disorganized Teen: Tips for Calm Parenting while Supporting Your Teenager
Janette Patterson, MSW, LCMFT

Parenting teens, especially those who are unorganized and unfocused, brings many challenges. In this lecture we will start out with an overview of some of the underlying issues and factors that can cause complications and breakdowns in parenting teens. Then we will open up the floor for a Question and Answer Session for how to deal with the toughest concerns in parenting your teen. We will explore how to reduce your own anxieties that are triggered when wrestling with supporting your teen with organization, focus, homework production, loss of motivation, family chores and more.

Janette Patterson, MSW, LCMFT, is a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist with experience supporting and guiding parents in coping with parenting kids with ADHD and other learning and emotional challenges. Janette has worked in a variety of alternative and special educational settings as well as in private practice as a psychotherapist, and in non-profit agencies and hospitals as a social worker and therapist, to support individuals and families with mental health and educational concerns.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 7–8:30 p.m.
College Planning and Preparation for Students Who Learn Differently
Joan Wittan, College Consulting Collaborative

If you are starting to think about college, you are probably asking many questions. How do you help your son or daughter prepare for college? What supports and services will be available? How do you find the right fit for your student’s needs? Join us for these answers and more as we review the college planning, preparation, and placement process. We’ll focus on essential skills for college success, improving college readiness, the types of accommodations and services for standardized testing and college, and finding the “right fit”.

The College Consulting Collaborative (Joan Wittan, Sue Cook Christakos, Kyle Kane and Lori Vise) is a partnership of independent educational consultants who work with students with a wide variety of learning differences. They love the challenge of finding and building on the student’s strengths and maximizing their potential. They have expertise in language-based learning differences, GTLD students, autism spectrum disorders, NLD, special education policies and procedures, accommodations and adaptations, promoting college readiness, assistive technology and adoption. Visit their website at

Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 7–8:30 p.m.
Growing Up with ADHD: Letting Go While Helping Your Adolescent Become Independent
Carey Heller, Psy.D., The Heller Psychology Group LLC

Adolescence in general, can be a difficult time for both parents and teens. Teens struggle to manage their time effectively, make good decisions, and act responsibly. Parents struggle with achieving the right balance in terms of giving their children increasing amounts of autonomy while decreasing the amount and nature of the micromanagement they associate with “good parenting.” But this balancing act becomes much more complicated when the adolescent has ADHD with its characteristic disorganization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, and “letting go” can seem irresponsible. This presentation will focus on helping parents to understand how they can best assist adolescents with ADHD in a manner that will help their teens develop the necessary skills for successful independence as adults.

Carey A. Heller, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and partner at The Heller Psychology Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. He provides psychotherapy and assessment services for children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Heller specializes in the evaluation of ADHD, learning disabilities, and mood/behavioral disorders. His psychotherapy specializations include: ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, anger management, and family conflict. Dr. Heller also runs therapy groups to assist with management of ADHD symptoms and other issues, provides parent training, and works as a parent coach/child specialist in collaborative divorce cases. Additionally, as an assistant clinical professor of clinical psychology at The George Washington University, where he also completed his doctorate, he provides therapy and testing supervision to graduate students. Dr. Heller completed his pre-doctoral internship at Jewish Family Services in Richmond, Virginia.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 7–8:30 p.m.
Parenting the Anxious Teen: Counter-Intuitive Strategies for Easing Teen Anxiety
Jonathan Dalton Ph.D., The Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change

For parents, the need for practical, yet counter-intuitive evidence-based skills and techniques is essential to help their teens experience less anxiety and develop greater tolerance for emotional distress. Specific topics include why anxiety and avoidance are teammates, how to use positive reinforcement to decrease anxiety, how to teach specific coping skills to your children, and when active ignoring of anxious behavior is the best method to decrease the child’s experience of anxiety.

Dr. Dalton Ph.D., founded the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change (CABC) in Rockville, MD. Dr. Dalton served as director of the school refusal, social phobia, and group treatment programs at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Fordham University with a specialization in child and family psychology. He completed two years of pre-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine – Kennedy Krieger Institute, and advanced postdoctoral training at the Maryland Center for Anxiety Disorders at the University of Maryland. He specializes in the treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders, including anxiety-based school refusal. He is also a published author and frequently lectures on the treatment of anxiety disorders and school refusal.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7–8:30 p.m. (Rescheduled from February’s snow cancellation)
Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential: Educating Smart Teens with Learning Differences
Rich Weinfeld, Director, Weinfeld Education Group, LLC

Many students simultaneously have gifts as well as learning differences or even learning disabilities, ranging from mild to significant. We’ll discuss ways to approach school settings and develop strategies for working with your teen’s school to help your student achieve personal and academic success in high school and toward a successful college career. We’ll focus on the four areas that often present obstacles for students (writing, organization, reading and memory) and share strategies that work to overcome each. Tips for understanding the twice-exceptional student, developing steps and defining desired outcomes, and achieving positive follow up will be discussed.

Richard Weinfeld directs Weinfeld Education Group, LLC. In addition to advocacy work, Mr. Weinfeld does extensive parent and staff training and consults with schools. Twenty-six years of his thirty-year career, with Montgomery County Public Schools, were spent in a variety of leadership roles in special education, including as coordinator of programs for students who are simultaneously gifted and learning disabled. Mr. Weinfeld’s books include his newest, the second edition of Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential; Helping Boys Succeed in School; School Success for Student’s with Asperger’s Syndrome; and Special Needs advocacy Resource Book. Mr. Weinfeld presents at numerous national conferences. Mr.Weinfeld received his Masters degree from Trinity College and is certified in early childhood and elementary education, special education, administration and supervision. Mr. Weinfeld and his co-authors will have their new book available at this presentation.

All talks are free to the public and are held in the Main Hall of The Nora School. Free parking is available in the Fenton Street Garage next to the school. Directions can be found on our website. Reservations Suggested: Email or call (301) 495-6672.

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