Is the CTSS2019 Conference for Parents? No…and Yes!

Is the CTSS2019 Conference for Parents? No…and Yes!
CTSS2019 is primarily targeted toward educators–professionals who work in school systems and other programs that specifically work with children.

Countless longtime members of ATN are parenting children severely impacted by early trauma. They may carry the painful memories of searching far and wide for trauma-informed resources, as do many who serve on ATN’s staff and board. Each year, members ask whether or not parents should attend ATN’s Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools (CTSS) Conference.

The answer may be “No,” or at least “Not Really”

CTSS2019 takes place February 17-20 in Washington, DC. It is primarily targeted toward educators and professionals who work in school systems and other programs that specifically work with children. The goal is to bring together the best and brightest minds in trauma-informed education from all over the world. This initiative grew out of years of having ATN members tell us that sending their children to school was the second most challenging thing they faced. The first was learning how to parent more therapeutically to help their children heal.

Then again, it might be “Yes”

At the same time, CTSS2019 is chock-full of workshops and information that could enhance parents’ arsenal of trauma-informed, attachment-focused strategies. Here are just a few examples:

On Sunday:
  • Dr. Allison Jackson will kick off the conference with an inspirational message at our opening reception. Allison, who has her own history with early childhood trauma, will encourage adults to make a difference in the life of a child…and she truly understands how challenging this can be.
On Monday:
  • There will be numerous self-care sessions geared toward anyone working with or living with children who have experienced significant trauma.
  • There will be two sessions, complete with demonstrations, on neurofeedback.
  • A panel of older teens and young adults will share their stories and inspire those still in the trenches of parenting younger children.
  • Yet another session features parents and teachers working together to create trauma-sensitive schools.
  • And still another focuses on writing trauma-informed IEPs.
On Tuesday:
  • A session by NCFASD-Informed, a North Carolina non-profit, describes research into diagnosing and working with children affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
  • Jody McVittie and Stacy Lappin of Sound Discipline will show how to build resilience in our traumatized youth.
  • Nurse Wendy Degraffenried will talk about overcoming compassion fatigue.
  • Janyne McConnaughey, who is an ATN member-blogger, educator, and author, will change our perspective on trauma and dissociation as she shares her own incredible journey.

(You can get a preview of Janyne’s work by reading her ATN blog posts such as “Why Jeannie Can’t Tell Time” or “Brave: What I Chose to Tell” or you can wait until next week’s blog, when Janyne will tell you more about her connection to ATN).

Our presenters are educators and professionals. Many have either healed from their own early trauma and/or are parenting children impacted by developmental trauma. In addition to the highlights mentioned above, the conference also has workshops on popular evidence-based interventions such as Theraplay, the Sanctuary Model, NMT, and more.

To see the workshops and other events for our Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools Conference, check out the Conference App:

And while you’re there, if you’d like to register, just click the REGISTER button.

Hope to see you in DC!

Julie has been ATN's Executive Director since 2009. She joined the organization in 2004 after finding incredible support from fellow ATNers when she was searching for answers about her own daughter's early childhood trauma and attachment disorders. Julie leads a staff of passionate professionals and acts as spokesperson for the organization. Prior to ATN, Julie was the president of a marketing and communications consultancy, The Epiphany Group, and has over two decades of experience in professional services marketing, strategic planning and communication strategies. As a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and through personal experience, Julie has garnered a great deal of experience in the areas of special education, school issues, and disabilities advocacy. A published author, Julie wrote a chapter in the EMK Press Adoption Parenting book and was the special needs blogger at for two years. She frequently presents workshops on attachment and trauma to local and national groups. Email Julie. Julie holds an MBA from Avila College in Kansas City and was a Certified Professional Services Marketer. Julie, and her husband Dave, are parents to four (bio, step and adoptive), including their youngest daughter, adopted from China. This daughter’s attachment difficulties and developmental trauma disorder have changed their lives significantly…in amazing ways.

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