Early Years Symposium:
8:30am-4:00pm both days
Friday’s program will be geared to professionals, while the focus on Saturday will be for families as well as professionals.
Parent/Family Scholarships will be available due to the generosity of the William Silverman, M.D. Scholarship Fund
Linda Lawrence, M.D.
In response to a great need in her own community she began a program for Functional Vision Assessment and Intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities in conjunction with the Infant Childhood Development at Salina Regional Heath Center in 1992. This program has outreached to children in other communities, as well as the local school systems. Their finding, documenting the high rate of ocular pathology in children with disabilities, have been presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, as well as the World Ophthalmology Congress in 2006, and many other international meeting, advocating for early eye care and intervention in children with “different abilities”.
In 1998, Dr. Lawrence began as an international volunteer where she assisted in the establishment of Pediatric ophthalmology programs in two centers (one in India and in Guatemala). She began the Amaranth Foundation in 2003 to 2008 whose mission was “to help children achieve their full potential.” Her work continued in Peru, Guatemala, India, Nigeria, Vietnam, Brazil and Panama as a volunteer, where she advocates and teaches parents and professionals in early intervention and rehabilitation of children with special needs. She was honored by AAO with the International Humanitarian Services Award in 2009.
She is a volunteer faculty for project ORBIS, and Assistant Clinical faculty of the University of Kansas Medical School, Dept of Ophthalmology. She performs outreach in Kansas with the Kansas State School for the Blind for children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities through a Lion’s Sight International Grant. She trains local, national, and international teams in their own programs. In Kansas international professionals are trained through an ICO short course program on Early Intervention. She is a volunteer consultant for over 11 years for Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru (CASP) in Lima, Peru, an NGO that supports persons from newborn to adulthood with neuro-developmental disabilities.
Dr. Lawrence has been an invited speaker to many USA and international meetings and trainings for professionals in the area of early intervention especially for infants and toddlers with multiple disabilities and low vision.
She is coauthor of a book chapter on Pediatric Low Vision, and coauthored several articles. She is member of American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, as well as other professional organizations.
Terese Pawletko, Ph.D.
Dr. Terese Pawletko has worked with children since 1976, first as a teacher of the visually impaired, then as school and pediatric psychologist. Starting in 1989, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, she worked at UNC School of Medicine with chronically ill children, and with autistic students, their parents, and related service providers. In 1997 she joined the staff of the Maryland School for the Blind where she worked with multiply handicapped children (e.g., visual impairment, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disabilities), as well as training staff to work with these students. Dr. Pawletko and her colleagues developed the first program in the country for children with visual impairment and autism. She is considered a national expert in this area and has presented at regional, national, and international conferences, contributed to websites, conducted evaluations of children suspected of dual diagnosis, and provided consultation to and training of parents and service providers nationally and internationally. She continues to do so through her private practice.
· Blind Babies Foundation (BBF), A Program of Junior Blind
· California Deaf-Blind Services (CDBS)
· California School for the Blind (CSB)
· Northern California Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCAER)