Behavior Management
Behavior Management

Each year, the Child Neurology Foundation selects a topic that we believe is important to our community and in 2019 our annual education was Management of Disruptive and Harmful Behaviors and it was such an important topic, with support from our partners Greenwich Biosciences and UCB, we have been able to continue behavior management as one of our ongoing programs. 

Age-Appropriate Behavior Management: Strategies to Address Difficult Behaviors in Children with Neurologic Conditions

We know that children with neurologic conditions have a greater incidence of challenging behaviors and that age matters when handling it. We know that traditional behavior management strategies, with consequences and rewards, often don’t work and can sometimes make the behavior worse. We know that caregivers need tools to address both the physical, emotional and intellectual age of their child.

And, we also know that there are a lot of books and theories out there about how to manage difficult behavior, but most focus on young children.

In this webinar, recorded live on Feb. 10, 2021, we discuss:

  • Age-appropriate strategies for managing difficult behavior
  • New tools and techniques for better understanding your child’s behavior
  • Approaches to help stop difficult behavior before it starts

Big thank you to our two speakers:

Eileen Devine, LCSW
Eileen has over a dozen years of clinical experience and is the adoptive mother of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Karin Kelley 
Karin Kelley is a single mother of three amazing children – a neurotypical son, age 11, and identical twin daughters, age 8, who have autism and ADHD. In addition to being a mom, Karin has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and is the Executive Director of Teen Success, Inc.

Telehealth Best Practices for Children with Behavior Challenges: Tips and Tricks to Make Visits More Successful

Last year, we surveyed over 2,000 families last year and 90% reported at least one behavioral challenge and heard many stories of how these behaviors impacted caregivers’ and doctors’ ability to effectively treat children.

And, when we surveyed families about telehealth experiences since the pandemic, we learned that 34% of families would never choose telehealth again if given the choice. We heard from families that had unsuccessful telehealth visits, specifically due to behavior. We also heard families worried that a doctor can’t effectively evaluate their child while remote.

In this webinar, recorded live on Jan. 13, 2021, we discuss:

● Best practices for telehealth visits learned through research and personal experience
● Tips and tricks to make telehealth visits more successful
● Steps to consider as you prepare for a telehealth call
● How to collaborate with doctors and stay focused during a call
● How to manage behaviors during the call to make the most of each visit

Our speakers are:

  • Nathan Call, PhD, BCBA-D
    Clinical Director, Psychologist, Marcus Autism Center
    Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
  • Tanjala Gipson, MD
    Director, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Clinic, Boling Center for Disabilities Director, TSC-Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders Clinic, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital 


Communication Strategies to Improve and Prevent Challenging Behaviors for Minimally Verbal Children

In the assessments we conducted last year, we discovered just how much behavior impacted families.  We also learned that one of the greatest challenges caregivers dealt with was harmful and disruptive behavior brought on, by what they believed, was their child’s difficulty with communication.  This feedback inspired the fall 2020 webinar “Communication Strategies to Improve and Prevent Challenging Behaviors for Minimally Verbal Children.”

In the webinar, recorded live on Oct. 6, 2020, Dr. Kristina Gerencser, PhD, BCBA-D, shares her expertise and helps caregivers expand their toolbox to deal with these challenging behaviors and replace them with more appropriate communication skills. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and a board-certified behavior analyst doctorate (BCBA-D) and Program Manager for the Language and Learning Program at Marcus Autism Center. 

*To download the slides from this webinar, click here. To download a tip sheet of information from Dr. Kristina Gerencser, click here

The 2019 Annual Education Initiative on Management of Disruptive and Harmful Behavior in Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Child Neurology Foundation’s (CNF) Board of Directors identified Management of Disruptive and Harmful Behavior in Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder as the focus of its 2019 education initiative.

CNF’s mission to serve as a collaborative center of education and support of children and families living with neurologic conditions ideally situates us to explore the existing chasm between healthcare provider’s ability to offer behavior management support guidance, and families’ desires to have access to the best treatment available for their children.

What Does CNF Accomplish With This Initiative?

In partnership with our lead advocacy partner, the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance), this initiative focuses on:

  1. Understanding neurologists’ current practices towards addressing disruptive and harmful behavior management.
  2. Understanding families’ and advocates’ concerns and preferences about behavior management support.
  3. Identifying current science related to disruptive and harmful behavior management and understand its implications for providers and families.
  4. Highlighting best practices for behavior management, and how treatment options and resources can be applied to child neurology clinical practice.

Webinar Replay – Management of Harmful and Disruptive Behavior for Caregivers

In November 2019, we hosted a webinar for Caregivers on Management of Harmful and Disruptive Behavior in Epilepsy and ASD. During this one hour webinar, former CNF President Dr. Ann Tilton shared our findings from surveys that CNF conducted of both families and child neurologists. Dr. Nathan Call from the Marcus Autism Center provided information on effective behavioral treatments for children with severe behavior disorders. Dr. David Dunn, from Indiana University, shared information on using medication to manage behavior. We hope this webinar will give you some ideas for treatment options that you can discuss with your child’s medical team. While this webinar focused on the more severe behavior challenges in epilepsy and autism, we believe the information can be beneficial for both medical professionals and caregivers looking for strategies to address any behavior issues in children with any neurologic conditions.

How Do We Achieve These Goals?

Some of the steps we have taken so far include:

  1. Developed and distributed needs assessment surveys to both neurologists and caregivers. Results from both surveys were presented at the fall 2019 symposium, as well used to guide subsequent education efforts.
  2. Hosted a 4-hour symposium for healthcare professionals at the annual Child Neurology Society Meeting on October 26, 2019, in Charlotte, NC.
  3. Hosted a webinar for parents and caregivers in November 2019, titled “Child Neurology Community Conversations from the Voices of the Provider, Caregiver, and Advocate,” on the topic of “Disruptive and Harmful Behavior Management in Children with Neurologic Conditions”.

The 2019 Education initiative is supported by

Lead Advocacy Partner

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

Lead Sponsors, continued sponsorship into 2020

Greenwich Biosciences


Believer Partner
Epilepsy Foundation 

Activist Partners
Brain Recovery Project

Community Partners
Dravet Syndrome Foundation
National Association for Epilepsy Centers

Other partners
ADNP Kids Research Foundation
Autism Science Foundation
Autism Society of America
CDKL5 Research Collaborative
Child Neurology Society
Danny Did Foundation
Global Genes
GRIN2B Foundation
Hope for Harper
Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas
International Foundation for CDKL5 Research
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Foundation
Mickie’s Miracles
Myhre Syndrome Group
Patrick Ring Foundation
PCDH19 Alliance
Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation
Rett Foundation
Ring14 USA Outreach
Seizure Tracker
Tess Research Foundation
The UK Infantile Spasms Trust

Partnership opportunities are available for each of the initiative’s activities. Contact Cyndi Wright, CNF’s Consultant of Strategic Initiatives, to learn how to become a partner.

*Since 2015, CNF has hosted a half-day symposium during the CNS meeting that provides CME in a non-traditional format. Each year, the symposium brings together parents, patients, advocates, and fellow physicians to provide a unique education experience. This symposium has become popular since its inception, selling out the past 4 years; with positive feedback from the CNS membership.

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