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 These lectures are free and open to the public. Welcome!
2015-16 Series:

Mondays, October 5 – November 23: 7:30 pm
Mindfulness Workshops for Parents

Dave Mullen
These evening workshops for parents offer a variety of mindfulness techniques similar to what Nora students learn. Parents and guardians from Nora – and from the community – are invited to gain insights into “managing ourselves while raising teens”.

 Wednesday Evening Lectures:

Wednesday, December 2, 7:00-8:30 pm
College Planning and Preparation for Students Who Learn Differently: Finding the right college environment to thrive in
Sue Cook Christakos, Kyle Kane, Lori Vise, Joan Wittan, The College Collaborative

Preparing for college is about more than grades, test scores, and a college list. The focus of this presentation will be on the six essential skills for college success, what colleges are looking for, the types of accommodations and services that are available, and finding the “right fit”.
The College Consulting Collaborative 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. Contact Joan Wittan, Sue Cook Christakos, Kyle Kane, and Lori Vise by visiting their website at

Wednesday, February 3, 7:00-8:30 pm
Technology, Teens and Family Boundaries: When is Technology Too Much Technology?
Panel: Edward Spector, Psy.D.,LLC, Clifford Sussman, MD, Marti Weston

In today’s world, our teenagers are immersed in temptations in the technological world. From the preoccupying and sometimes compulsive use of cell phones, computer and video games and the Internet, teens use their free time in starkly different ways than their parents did when they were their age. And parents use technology in today’s world too. How do we know when technology is too much? How do we regain a proper balance of time management in the family, and hopefully improve family dynamics with more face time, desired by the parents, balanced with the free choice of a teen’s down time, desired by the teen? How can we make changes now, at home, so they will succeed in high school, college and beyond with technology still demanding so much of their time?
Dr. Spector is a licensed psychologist with expertise in helping children, adolescents, and adults in individual and group therapy. He completed his postdoctoral training at Kingsbury Day School. Dr. Spector has extensive experience in a large group private practice helping clients with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism and Asperger’s Disorder, Anxiety and Depression, Social skills deficits, low self-esteem, Executive Functioning deficits, and poor motivation. In particular, Dr. Spector has a comprehensive knowledge of video games, computer games, and the Internet. He has helped many clients change how they use technology, so that they can lead more productive, balanced lives.
Clifford Sussman, MD has a private practice in psychiatry for children, adolescents, and young adults in Washington, DC. He completed an adult psychiatry residency at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA, and a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. He places a clinical emphasis on psychotherapy, often in combination with medication. Dr. Sussman has over 7 years of experience treating digital addictions, aided by a background in educational software and game development as well as motivational interviewing, a form of psychotherapy designed to treat addiction. He also works with many clients with co-morbid conditions, such as ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Marti Weston is a retired educator and technology chair with more than 25 years working with students, teachers and parents on instructional technology and digital world topics. She now blogs at, writing on technology topics such as individual behavior, privacy, personal information, and the responsibilities of digital life. Ms. Weston aims to provide parents, and also educators, with a personalized, thoughtful, and non-scary portrait of the digital world and the lives that digitally native children lead. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Media Literacy, Independent School Journal, and The Washington Post and have been carried by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. Ms. Weston earned a master’s degree from The University of Chicago and retired from Georgetown Day School last spring.

Wednesday, March 16, 7:00-8:30pm
Parenting the Anxious Teen: Counter-Intuitive Strategies for Easing Teen Anxiety
Jonathan Dalton Ph.D., The Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change

For parents of high schoolers with anxiety, the need for practical, yet sometimes 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 teach specific coping skills to your children, which types of positive reinforcement should be used to decrease anxiety, 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.

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To reserve a space, RSVP to Marcia Miller 301.495.6672 or We will contact all who have RSVP’d if there is a cancellation or rescheduling due to weather.

Earlier this year…

Wednesday, October 14, 7:00-8:30 pm
Growing Up with AD/HD: The Emotional Ramifications for Teens
Judith M. Glasser, Ph.D.

Shame and blame can be significant consequences of growing up with AD/HD. A lifetime of hearing things like these have an effect on teens: sit down, be quiet, why can’t you focus on your work, you aren’t working up to your potential. Meanwhile loving parents and teachers who don’t understand often blame their teenager and/or each other. Some of the emotional consequences of growing up with AD/HD will be addressed in this presentation. Specific ideas to help parents lessen the emotional impact of raising teenagers with AD/HD will be presented.
Dr. Glasser is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience working with families in the Washington DC metro area, specializing in therapy and assessment with children and teenagers. Over the years she has learned that many of the children she sees with emotional difficulties have associated and undiagnosed AD/HD. Dr. Glasser co-authored a chapter in a book edited by Sam Goldstein, Jack Naglieri and Melissa DeVries that was published in 2011: Learning and Attention Disorders in Adolescence and Adulthood: Assessment and Treatment (second edition). She also wrote a book for children with co-author Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., titled Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool: Emotional Regulation Tools for Kids with ADHD that was published by Magination Press in September 2013. Her most recent book coming out in October 2015: Learning to Be Kind and Understand Differences: Helping Kids with AD/HD Develop Empathy, will be available for purchase and signing at the end of this event.

Wednesday, November 4, 7:00-8:30 pm
Executive Functioning Boot Camp for Parents: Helping teens develop time management, organizational, and study skills for success
Carey A. Heller, Psy.D., The Heller Psychology Group LLC

Executive functioning refers to the mental skills involved in cognitive processes that relate to completing tasks successfully. Thus, attention, planning, organizing, use of working memory skills, and other related items are necessary for successful completion of tasks. Poor executive functioning abilities severely impede time management, organizational, and study skills. Deficits in executive functioning are extremely common in individuals with ADHD and learning disabilities. Many parents do not know how to effectively support their teens with executive functioning deficits and often use tools that may help in the moment (i.e., frequent reminders), but do not employ strategies that promote independence and improvement in executive functioning skills. This presentation will provide parents with an overview of executive functioning and tools to help determine what areas of executive functioning their teens struggle with. Many practical strategies that they can use to help their teens improve any deficits in this domain as well as how to implement these tools will be discussed. Furthermore, an emphasis on building on teens’ strengths to help bolster areas of limitation will be examined.
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 comorbid mood/behavioral disorders. His psychotherapy specializations include: ADHD/executive functioning and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Heller also blends his assessment knowledge and expertise in treatment to provide an executive functioning boot camp, which is a two hour one-on-one session where he assists individuals in developing effective time management, organizational, and study skills. Follow up sessions to ensure follow through are also used. Furthermore, Dr. Heller published a book last fall related to his executive functioning boot camp: A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Time Management and Organizational Skills for Students of All Ages: A brief guide for children and teens with easy to implement strategies for success. Finally, he completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at The George Washington University.

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Previous Speakers and Topics

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Parents of Teens
David Mullen, M.Ed.
(Fall 2014, Monday evenings, September 29-November 3)

Understanding Anxiety, ADHD and the Teenage Brain
Erin D. Berman Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health
(Wednesday, November 12, 2014)

College Planning and Preparation for Students Who Learn Differently
The College Consulting Collaborative
(Wednesday, December 3, 2014)

Teen Stress, Self-Propelled Motivation and the Human Brain
William Stixrud and Ned Johnson, A Sense of Control
See Front Page of Website for link to video.
(Wednesday, February 11, 2014)

Helping the Anxious Teen: Counter-Intuitive Strategies
Jonathan Dalton Ph.D., The Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change
(Wednesday, March 18, 2014)

Talking Points with Your Teen: ADHD, Communicating and Setting Family Boundaries
Janette Patterson, MSW, LCMFT
(Wednesday, January 21, 2014 (rescheduled to April 2014)

All talks are:
~ Free and open to the public, RSVPs are strongly encouraged;
~ 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 Strongly Suggested:
Email Marcia Miller at or call (301) 495-6672. By RSVP-ing, you will be notified by email if there are any last-minute changes or weather cancellations.

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