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Managing Distressed Behavior for Professionals

Managing Distressed Behavior for Professionals

Level: Beginner

For: Professionals, Parents/caregivers/family members

Saturday, April 20 @ 9:30 am 3:30 pm PDT

Presented by Allison Balfour, Sharon Power, and Heather Lavigne

This in-person introductory course is designed to emphasize practical, non-confrontational approaches for assisting individuals experiencing significant distress and exhibiting challenging behaviors.

Attend this program to learn:

  • Legal issues and the role of policies
  • Qualitative differences in the nature of violence
  • Carer’s levels of tolerance and reactions to distressed behaviour
  • Causes of distressed behaviour
  • An Introduction to Low Arousal Approaches (including interaction, defusing, and distraction strategies)
  • An introduction to debriefing (why it is necessary and how to do it)
  • Coping with distressed behaviour
  • Managing versus changing behaviours

Training will be in-person at the Langley campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Room 2045. The courses will be facilitated by certified instructors. The program has a 15-person capacity.

Questions about the event? Please email Allison Balfour at [email protected]


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*Last day to register is April 19 at 11:59pm, 2024

Allison Balfour

Allison has been active in inclusive education, including mental health and developmental disabilities for approximately 15 years. These experiences, as well as being a parent of neurodivergent children, have equipped Allison with the extensive knowledge and skills required to liaise with and develop community capacity.

As a member of the District Action Team for Autism in Surrey Schools, Allison worked as a Practical Functional Assessment/Skill-based treatment implementation coach and provided Low-arousal training.  Allison has been involved with and supported the Intensive Intervention teams, incorporating trauma-assumed approaches. Allison’s expertise extends to teaching de-escalation strategies and facilitating social skills classes. Beyond the classroom, Allison is committed to helping families navigate the intricacies of the Ministry, medical, and education systems as part of a multidisciplinary team, as well advocating for her own neurodivergent children.

Sharon Power

Sharon Power is a Lead Low Arousal Trainer at Studio 3 and serves as an Inclusive Support Teacher specializing in autism within the Surrey School District. With a commitment spanning five years, Sharon has been instrumental in delivering Low Arousal Approach training and facilitating its integration into daily practices among district staff. Her dedication extends to both students experiencing distressed behaviors and the staff who support them during challenging times.

Sharon holds a Master of Education in Developmental Disabilities from the University of British Columbia and is a certified teacher in British Columbia. Since 2004, she has provided invaluable behavioral and consultative services to children and youth with autism and developmental disabilities, showcasing her expertise and passion for inclusive education.

Heather Lavigne

Heather Lavigne is a Lead Low Arousal Trainer with Studio 3 and is currently a District Behaviour Specialist Teacher in the Surrey School District. For the past 5 years, she has been delivering the Low Arousal training to staff as well as supporting with the implementation of the approach to teams across the district. She is dedicated to promoting positive behaviour management techniques as well as creating an inclusive learning environment for all students. Heather incorporates an understanding of the impact of trauma on student learning and behaviour when supporting the implementation of Low Arousal and other evidence-based practices to promote emotional regulation and resilience.

Heather has 27 years of teaching experience with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour, and trauma. She is passionate about fostering a culture of respect and feels strongly about providing practical strategies to help individuals and staff to regulate their emotions and behaviours effectively. Heather strives to empower adults to respond both empathetically and proactively in challenging situations, promoting a safety and well-being for all. Her experience helps teams implement low arousal techniques to support managing heightened arousal states.

The program cost is $125.

ACT is unable to provide bursaries to this workshop as the price is determined by Studio 3.

*Last day to register is April 19 at 11:59pm, 2024

Group Discounts

Registering 3 or more attendees at a time? Receive a 10% discount!

Friends of ACT Receive 10% Off

Join here to become a Friend of ACT. This FREE program keeps you up to date with all the latest events and resources from ACT, and provides a 10% discount on a single ticket for all events.

Autism Funding

If you wish to use your child’s Autism Funding to pay for your registration, ACT can invoice the Autism Funding Branch directly. If you are paying in advance to be reimbursed, you must contact the Autism Funding Branch for approval first.

For information on how to register with your Autism Funding, visit Workshop Registration Using Autism Funding.

Please note ACT cannot accept responsibility for any expenses incurred by the participant from charges that involve travel, accommodations, or other costs related to attending an ACT event. These are the sole responsibility of the participant as well as all risks associated with non-refundable, non-changeable purchases. ACT strongly recommends that participants purchase cancellation insurance for travel, etc. where possible.

20901 Langley Bypass
Langley, BC V3A 8G9 Canada
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