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tuesday, july 4 2023

7:30 – 8:30 AM

Coffee & Connecting

8:30 – 8:45 AM


8:45 – 10:00 AM

Stuart Shanker Luminary (LIVE!)

No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: How Self-Reg supports Quality, Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care

Followed by Q & A session hosted by Susan Hopkins

“THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD KID.” That was the first sentence of blurb on the inside cover of Dr. Shanker’s groundbreaking book, Self-Reg, How to help your child (and you) break the stress cycle and fully engage with life. It’s also one of his most oft-repeated quotes.

Dr. Shanker will kickstart SRSS 2023 Luminary talks by breaking down this core belief and what it means in terms of early years education: the kids we work with, the adults who care for and educate them, and the parents of our youngest children. Primarily, he will address this key question: If there is no such thing as a bad kid, how should we look at, think about, and most importantly, help the children who were traditionally regarded as: difficult, challenging and just plain bad, and who seem to be increasing in number?

 Dr. Shanker will touch on many points about stress and self-regulation including:  

  • How children’s internal stress response and self-regulation systems are shaped by experience and relationships in the early years 
  • What young children need in order for their brains and bodies to feel safe enough to learn, engage in social relationships, and as a result, flourish in educational settings
  • The self-control mindset that is so ingrained in our minds and educational structures and why we need to shift to a self-regulation mindset.
  •  Although children with special needs are all unique individuals, they all have one thing in common: excess stress. Why that awareness is so important in inclusive early education. 
  • How the Self-Reg Framework and the science behind it can free us from self-control thinking 
  • The difference that Self-Reg can make, not only for children’s stress, but also for educator stress

10:00 – 10:30 AM


10:30 – 11:45 AM

Susan Hopkins Luminary

What do Dysregulated Kids Need Most at School? And How Self-Reg Enables Us to Give it to Them

We’ve all heard about how schools and even early learning centres are dealing with more and more challenging kids these days. We even hear stories about kids getting “expelled from daycare.”

At TMC we think of such challenging kids, to as disobedient or dysfunctional, but as easily dysregulated. That means their “stress backpacks” are heavier than those of their peers. Their little stress systems are working overtime and their internal threat detection mechanisms are always on high alert. Emotionally and behaviourally, dysregulated children can go from 0 to 60 in, like 10 seconds. What do these kids really need in school. In this keynote, Susan Hopkins will argue that what they need is something different from what well-meaning adults and systems have traditionally given highest priority. What do they really need? Spoiler alert! Relationships and a deep, inner sense of safety! 


  • It’s much more than just protecting kids from injury and bullying.
  • Concrete practical steps can schools take to help dysregulated children feel more safe at school


  • How relationships help kids feel safe
  • How can Self-Reg help me develop good relationships with my most challenging kids, when I have all these other kids who need me too?

Self-Reg Havens:

  • How Havens help dysregulated kids and the adults who work with them feel safe and build relationships
  • How to build a Self-Reg Haven at your school

11:45 – 1:00 PM


1:00 – 2:00 PM

Guest Luminary

Stress Across the 5 Domains: What Changed and How Can Self-Reg Help?

Description Coming Soon!

2:00 – 2:15 PM


2:15 – 3:30 PM

Applied Self-Reg Sessions

1. Unpacking the Challenges in Red Brain – Elementary Schools, with Claudio Moschella

Dr. Shanker uses the phrases “Red Brain” and “Blue Brain” to describe functions in our brains that are influenced by varying levels of stress. The “Red Brain” detects and responds to threats and stress.  We usually use Red Brain to describe individuals, but groups, even whole schools can be in a “Red Brain” state. Claudio will share that phenomenon with a combination of stress science and personal experience.

  • What does a Red Brain school look like, sound like, feel like?
  • What are some common stressors that induce red brain schools?
  • How can leaders respond helpfully without making everyone’s stress worse?
  • Real life stories of how educators detected and reduced stress in red brain schools
  • How can we set things up to reduce the chances of a school going red brain?

2. Co-Reg in the Early Years Panel

Description Coming Soon!

3. Stories & Strategies: Supporting Dysregulated Youth

Description Coming Soon!

4:00 – 5:00 PM

Connect & Restore

wednesday, july 5 2023

7:30 – 8:30 AM

Coffee & Connecting

8:30 – 8:45 AM


8:45 – 10:00 AM

Jean Clinton Luminary

The Kids Who Challenge Us The Most Need Us The Most: Why that’s True and what to do about it

If there is one thing virtually any adult who works with or cares for kids would like to know it’s this. How can I get through to “that” kid? The ever popular and engaging Dr. Jean Clinton will tackle this conundrum head on, and show a fresh way to look at it with her characteristic honesty, realism, understanding and compassion for both children and the adults in their lives.

  • Why are our most challenging kids the hardest to reach?
  • How do we go about connecting with them, especially when we’ve got other kids who need us too?
  • If we’re understanding and kind, are we going too easy on them?
  • How can Self-Reg help?

10:00 – 10:30 AM


10:30 – 11:45 AM

Susan Hopkins Luminary

Can Early Childhood Kindergarten Programs Be Self-Reg Havens?

Description Coming Soon!

11:45 – 1:00 PM


1:00 – 2:00 PM

Paula Jurczak Luminary

The Science of Belonging and Self-Reg

Relationships are at the heart of Self-Reg. In the hierarchy of human stress responses the number one way we are designed to deal with stress is social engagement. This presentation will explore how Belonging is different from Attachment. How various relationships and interactions help us mitigate, cope with, recover and restore from the negative impacts of excessive stress. In this session, Paula will explore:

  • What happens when our sense of belonging is threatened 
  • What happens when our need to belong is co-opted 
  • How relationships, co-regulation and limbic resonance can weave together the strands of belonging in healthy, adaptive ways.

2:00 – 2:15 PM


2:15 – 3:30 PM

Applied Self-Reg Sessions

1. Unpacking the Stress Behaviour in Early Childhood Settings

2. Co-Reg in schools Panel

3. Stories & Strategies: Supporting Dysregulated Parents

Description Coming Soon!

4:00 – 5:00 PM

Connect & Restore

thursday, july 6 2023

7:30 – 8:30 AM

Coffee & Connecting

8:30 – 8:45 AM


8:45 – 10:00 AM

Cathy Lethbridge Luminary

When the Rubber Meets the Road: One Principal’s Self-Reg Journey

Cathy Lethbridge first heard of Self-Reg from a single Tweet. Since then she has been on a fascinating journey as she learned the science, theory and practice of Self-Reg and supported the Self-Reg learning of colleagues, friends, in fact, her whole school board. But learning the theory is one thing. It’s what happens on the ground that really matters.

In this luminary talk, Cathy will tell her story including:

  • The problems she was seeking solutions for when she came to Self-Reg
  • Some of her big “aha moments” and even some missteps
  • Her biggest lessons about how to implement Self-Reg in schools
  • Barriers and how to overcome them


10:00 – 10:30 AM


10:30 – 11:45 AM

Applied Self-Reg Sessions

1. Unpacking the Stress Behaviour in Educators

2. Co-Reg with Teens and Tweens: Is It Possible?

3. Stories & Strategies: Supporting Dysregulated Children

Description Coming Soon!

11:45 – 1:00 PM


1:00 – 2:00 PM

Stuart Shanker Luminary (LIVE!)

We’re Losing Them: How Self-Reg Can Turn the Tide in the Teenage Years

Followed by Q & A session hosted by Susan Hopkins

We place so much importance on the early years that it’s sometimes possible to forget that adolescence is also a crucial stage of life. We all know this of course. But sometimes adults forget, partly because it can be hard to know how to be a positive influence on young people who don’t seem to need us anywhere near as much as preschoolers. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Well, she’s 17 now. She’s gonna do what she’s gonna do,” or “He doesn’t care what I think anymore. He’s only interested in his friends.”

If we want to still have at least an influence, if not the amount of control we might sometimes wish for, we need to be mindful of stress. How teenagers stress us. How we stress them. What the biggest stressors are and what we can do about them? How stress affects our relationships with them. 

In this keynote Stuart Shanker will pull together the neuroscience of the adolescent brain, the latest research and his personal experience as the dad of two teenagers to help us see how Self-Reg can help us navigate our relationships and work with adolescents.

  • Inside the adolescent stress system
  • What’s unique about the teenage brain
  • A Self-Reg view of teen risky taking and independence seeking
  • Building and keeping a relationship with a kid who is not always easy to like

2:00 – 2:15 PM


2:15 – 3:30 PM

We Are the Strategy

SRSS 2023 We are the Strategy: Full Circle with Susan Hopkins & Guests

Description Coming Soon!

online & on demand content

Stuart Shanker Luminary

The Explosion of Behavioural and Mental Health Challenges in K – 6: How Self-Reg Can Help

In recent years educators, parents and professionals have seen a sharp increase in mental health and behaviour problems in younger children (K-6). This escalation was very noticeable in the wake of challenges and disruptions related to the COVID pandemic. But Stuart Shanker and other observers would tell you that the rise in children with serious issues goes back at least 20 years. In this online presentation, Stuart Shanker will unpack that phenomenon.

  • Is it just that we’re quicker to diagnose issues as “problems” or are there really more kids with challenges? Why? Why now?
  • Why we need to develop a fundamentally different perspective on young children’s behaviour and mental health issues.
  • What role does excess stress play? Are there more stressors and /or new ones these days?
  • Why cognitive-based strategies and programs are not the whole answer
  • What difference is Self-Reg making?

Self-Reg Mini Talks

The following Self-Reg mini talks from our Self-Reg Community are pre-recorded TED-style talks and will be available on the Self-Reg Learning Hub in early June. Check out all the great talks we have planned!

Once I was told, the next time I saw everything. A journey becoming the strategy.

By: Gloria Andrade

Gloria will share her story.
The things she thought about.  

The things she thought a little bit more,  
The things she thought about a lot more. 
First steps. 

Co-Regulators in the Dojo: Promoting Self-Reg through the Martial Arts

By: Susan Baldassi

Mirror neurons, close proximity, signals of safety and soft eyes…what does that look like in a martial arts dojo?  How can we scaffold and support children to build their capacity to regulate while they are learning to kick, punch and block?  Wait, is that a co-regulator who is holding the hand of a 5 year old child who is running through the obstacle course?  What are you noticing about the same child who a few minutes ago was reluctant to join in class and was clinging to their parent?  This Self-Reg talk will provide an inside look at Susan’s karate class (with pics, video, commentary and short clips from parents/kids/co-regulators).  It’s Susan’s hope to inspire others to explore these ways of using Self-Reg in unique settings.  It makes a difference!

Co-Regulation in the Red Rocks: Highlights of our Mother/Son trip to Sedona

By: Susan Baldassi

Following impulses, staggered starts to the day, honouring rhythms and Whole Food Grocery Buffet take out….how Susan and her 24 year old son navigated/co-regulated/enjoyed their way through a 6 day trip to Sedona, Arizona complete with an unexpected snowstorm, flight/luggage delays and completely different sleep/waking schedules and eating habits.  They found a rhythm that worked!  This presentation will provide an inside look at co-regulation in action with pictures, videos and commentary.


Mom and Me: We are the Strategy

By: Casey Burgess and daughter

Casey’s daughter, __________ (just turned 18) has typically been an excellent self-regulator and co-regulator by nature. Lately, __________ has struggled through a pretty rough year, and Casey and her have reflected a lot together throughout these challenges. Together they will share their experience around the impact that Self-Reg has had on them individually and in their relationship together as a mother and teen. 

When I Become The Strategy

By: Liela Maria Dos Santos

Leila shares her experience trying to apply Self-Reg into her daily routine at school with her students and how everything changed when she finally understood what limbic resonance was and that she had to take care of herself before trying to calm the students.

Co-Regulating Is Not Just For Kids: Exploring The Spiralling Effect

By: Aviva Dunsiger

In her current role as a Reading Specialist, Aviva spends a lot of time working with educators as well as with kids. Prioritizing relationships with classroom educators has helped with reflecting on student behaviour as a team: what might students be telling us, what stressors might be at play, and what changes might reduce the stress for them and for us? Aviva will be sharing some experiences from her role, and the spiraling effect that happens when we begin by co-regulating the caring adults.


Relationships First

By: Aviva Dunsiger

 In her role as a Reading Specialist, Aviva no longer has one class of her own, but instead, supports students and educators from across 11 different classes. This has made building relationships a challenge, but some recent experiences have shown Aviva that even in a drop-in role, there is a need to find ways to connect with kids. In this short video, Aviva will share a couple of different stories about these moments of connection and the impact that these made.

Marie Ph(inishe)D

By: Marie Edwards

Over all years Marie has been coming to SRSS, she has been working on her PhD centering  around Self-Reg. This mini-talk summarizes key takeaways from her research investigating how teachers developed self-regulation to support their stress management. Marie will touch on both the research outcomes and personal Self-Reg moments that accompanied the journey.


By: Marie Edwards

Marie met Daniel when he was a Grade 1 student in her very first class back in 1991. Marie was fresh out of teachers’ college and he … well let’s say – Daniel was very definitely unforgettable. Although Self-Reg was yet to be shaped by Stuart Shanker at the time, marie looks back now on the 2 years she and Daniel spent together with a much deeper understanding of what was happening for him and for her. Although years, now decades have gone by, Marie often wondered what had become of him, then one day… Marie found out what it feels like to learn that YOU were the strategy. It brings Marie great joy to share this story spanning more than 3 decades so far.


Safely Divergent: The Power of Self-Reg

By: Kristie Ellen Connie Herman

For most of her life, Kristie wore a heavy mask to disguise her divergence. This was a recipe for maladaptive habits, spiraling shame and an utter lack of resiliency. Kristie’s Self-Reg story has become the “how” to transformation and continued growth through her journey of life.

By: Connie Herman

By: Melissa Holland Mansika

By: Betsy Lamberson


Stressors lost in Translation

By: Jo Gmyz-Lowndes

Jo will share a story of a family of 4 relocating across the World.  We will find out how they have handled the whole process and coped with multiple stressors on the way – stressors that turned out to have various meanings and magnitudes in different languages and cultures

Diaries of a College DropOut Turned Around

By: Justin Langlois

For most of us, the term Children were to be seen and not heard might make sense when talking about our childhoods, or terms like I’ll give you something to cry about. We all might have our versions of these sayings because that’s just what our parents knew. There was no Self Reg symposiums or nifty handouts for parents back then. They knew what they knew and that’s what they followed but it doesn’t mean parents couldn’t learn as they matured and got older. Listen carefully to how Justin’s parents practiced self regulation without even knowing it when Justin became an adult. Justin will share the influence of a couple of the courses from The Mehrit Centre influenced his understanding. The idea of College after high school was the dream for parents and Justin will  share with you how he shattered that dream and how his parents handled that situation. Follow along as Justin shares the Self-Reg his parents used with him in a time he thought he was done

Self-Reg Impossible with Tiger mom and teacher

By: Yu Wen (Lucy) Lin

Self-Reg has both supported Yu-Wen’s parenting in different cultures and the navigation of the education systems in Canada and Taiwan. After living in Canada for 21 years Yu-Wen has returned ‘home’ to slay the dragons. While family and friends may expect a ‘tiger mom’, they don’t expect the Self-Reg mom and educator that she has become. As she states, “Self-Reg saves me.”


Co-Regulation: Through the Lens of Adult Children

By: Kay Matharoo

How do we co-regulate with our adult children when they are looking to launch out into the world?  This talk will explore what co-regulation and strategies look like when your adult children are at the cross roads of big decisions and dealing with the stress of post secondary education. Kay will share with us her experience of how understanding Self-Reg helped navigate the journey.

Neurodivergent Women Social Trauma and Self-Reg: A Story of Three Generations Parenting

By: Gabriela Michaca

Autistic women have been part of human diverse genes that run in Gabriela’s family. Each has a different phenotype from a mosaic to severe. When you realize the challenges that these women went through, you can begin to understand why co-regulation is an important ingredient for wellbeing. Society has made habits and routines stressful. That’s why parenting a neurodivergent family has become a very stressful role in life. Come and let Gabriela guide you to a journey where you will learn how autism runs in her family and how self-reg has helped Gabriela support her parenting role. Meet three autistic women who struggled with parenting through the past and present century. Learn the benefits of self-Reg in the process of parenting, and how can we work to change society to improve wellbeing.

From Shoemaker and Engineer to Mom: How Self-Reg Helped Me

By: Alexandra Mihai

Alexandra will share how becoming a mom wasn’t an easy transition. Self-Reg taught her self-compassion. Alexandra will share how she learned to give up quick fixes and enjoy being present as with the help of Self-Reg she developed a compassionate mindset as well as finding daily balance.


Self-Reg and the Many Layer of Me

By: Karen Patton

Self-Reg means different things to different people. We all interpret it based on our own experiences.   For example, we all learned about self regulation but what means for me will be different to what it means for you.  Join Karen to discover her account of how Self-Reg has influenced her life – as an individual, as a mother and as a lecturer/professional.

Never Before Have I Noticed More My Own Need to Restore

By: Joe Persia

We are pulled in so many different directions, and polarized around so many issues, that we can’t help but be spending a good deal of our time in a vigilant, or even hyper-vigilant state.  This often positions us to be easily triggered, if we are not taking full advantage of Reflect and Restore in the Shanker Framework. Joe will reflect on the “need to restore” as a part of his Self-Reg practise.

The Power of We

By: Lisa Pinhorn

The talk will cover how co-regulation is so powerful because of the deep connectedness of humans. When we pause and think about connection, we can ride the wave of emotional dysregulation together. Because at the end of the day, we are all interconnected – we feel each other’s stress and joy. When we tap into the current that flows between people, we can co-regulate to a deeper understanding of each other. We lose all the beautiful by-products of feeling safe and seen within relationships if we feel disconnected. It’s more than just changing lanes to a new place of thinking; understanding our interconnectedness will take us to places we never thought possible within our relationships.  Lisa will share a story about herself and a 16 year old – their tangled domains ,and the interconnectedness to find solutions.


Helping parents see their Child Differently

By: Melissa Pinnell

Working with parents and families Melissa has found many times when parents get stuck seeing only labels or diagnosis.  Time and again Melissa  has noticed the power of slowing down, valuing relationships and attachment.  Reducing parents’ stress and helping parents to see their child apart from labels while focusing on their strengths. Based on this, Melissa will share her stories of seeing shifts happening both in the parent child relationship and in the childrens’ academic trajectory. 

We! - It's All in the Relationships!

By: Ali Porteous & Bridget McBride

Ali and Bridget will explore with us how Their current practice of continuity of care (educators staying with a group of children from when they start childcare to when they go to school) and how these relationships have deepened our ability to help children with their self-regulation.  This is specifically true with co-regulating children.  Come hear their stories!

Labels and Trajectories: The impact of Labeling a Child can last a Lifetime.

By: Lorraine Purgret

As Lorraine shares her story, we will explore how our role in the care and education of young children is crucial to how they see themselves, as well as to how others see them. This is the story of Brian, or as he was better known in the school community, Bad Brian. Everyone in the school, teachers, students, bus drivers and families, referred to Brian as Bad Brian. This story highlights that a negative label snowball effect happens very quickly, and the child may never be able to overcome this label. The relationship we have with a child can change a child’s trajectory for life.


Calm Isn't Just for TABS: Self-Reg for Illness and Disability

By: Anne Showalter

As Anne shares her experience we will learn more about TABS (Temporarily Able Bodied) by exploring how Self-Reg can support those with disability to recognize the unique stressors that can come with exceptionalities.  These are distinguished from the calm energy of abled bodies.  Anne will show us how we can simultaneously help everyone around to imagine a different experience.  

Nature and Creativity as Self Care: Maximizing both as Self Reg

By: Deborah Stewardson

At the beginning of the lock down Deborah was so worried about students, families, and fellow staff that she needed to look beyond her current skill set for higher levels of support. Deborah has followed Dr. Stuart Shanker for years and decided she needed to dive in even deeper. Deborah looked to Self-Reg through the Mehrit Centre with Dr. Stuart Shanker and Dr. Susan Hopkins as a way to support students, families, and staff. Little did she know that she was embarking on a path that would also change her life. Join Deborah as she shares how she dusted off a dormant creative practice, more fully embraced all that nature embodies, and dove deeper into her Self-Reg studies.

The Power of the Pause

By: Erika Wainwright

This year at Erika’s school she worked with a student who displayed a lot of behaviours that were triggering to the staff who supported him, and it was hard work for the adults to stay calm and co-regulate. This student demonstrated to Erika how powerful reframing is and how hard it can be for the adults supporting, when the behavoiur is triggering and goes against our social norms and rules. The pause allowed them to check their biases at the door, focus on safety and connection, attune to the student needs in that moment and support co-regulation.  Erika will share with us how we are the tool when we are able to reframe and provide a struggling student with an unconditional relationship.


No. You Are Not In Trouble

By: Yi Han Wang

Yi Han will share a personal story about a three year old girl in her care who was struggling.  She will share how witnessing and supporting ‘stress behaviour’ lead to a relationship in which a child flourishe

By: Kristin Wiens


Self-Reg activities

Explore the Delegate Bag

  • Write a note to co-regulate a friend
  • Use the small wooden pieces to collaborate with fellow Self-Reggers to build a ‘Haven’
  • Use Recipe card to share A Memory:  Tell us about a warm moment in your life that sustains you, soothes you, revitalizes you – you get the idea!  You can include just the memory or add in why it is special.  As we say, take this any direction you like.  We will compile these and share them post SRSS
  • Create a friendship bracelet – find a new friend to swap some colours, make and share!!

Explore the Outdoors

  • Walking Trails (guided walks by volunteers)
  • Borrow a bike (register for a time at the ‘store’)

On Your Own or with a Friend

  • Yoga (more details soon)
  • Board games, crafts
  • Photography Scavenger Hunt – can you get all ten?  (Please email these to arlene@self-reg or see Arlene to download them to a computer – please bring your own connections to do so)
    • Pictures/Videos of presentations
    • Candids of participants(capture a hug, a genuine laugh, someone helping someone else, etc)
    • Self-Reg activities
    • Landscapes of Trent U (sunrise, sunset)
    • Stuart
    • Susan
    • Stuart and Susan together
    • #CoRegInAction
    • Interactions/connections among people
    • other!!

Explore Town!

SRSS Evenings

  • Self-Reg talks discussion groups
  • Our fan favourite Campfire!

presenter biographies

Stuart Shanker

Dr. Stuart Shanker (D.Phil) is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology, the Founder & Visionary of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd., and Self-Reg Global Inc. One of his many books, “Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation (2012)”, is a top-selling educational publication in Canada. Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage With Life (2016), has garnered enthusiastic reviews and media attention throughout North America and has also been published in the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Germany, China, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Georgia and the Czech Republic. His latest books are Self-Reg Schools: A Handbook for Educators (2019) and Reframed: Self-Reg for a Just Society (2020)

Over the past decade, Dr. Shanker has served as an advisor on early child development to government organizations across Canada and the United States, and in countries around the world. During this period, he became increasingly interested in the impact of excessive stress on child development and behaviour.  Dr. Shanker’s five-step Self-Reg model, The Shanker Method®, is a powerful process for understanding and managing stress in children, youth and adults.

In 2012 Dr. Shanker founded The MEHRIT Centre as a Self-Reg learning and information centre. Dr. Shanker commits considerable time to bringing the research and science of Self-Reg to parents, early childhood educators, teachers, educational leaders, health practitioners and communities through presentations, master classes, online courses, webinars, publications, social media and blogs.

Susan Hopkins

A passionate advocate for children, families, schools and communities, Dr. Susan Hopkins is the Executive Director of The MEHRIT Centre. Over Susan’s two decades of experience in education, she has worked in roles in the early years, K-12 and post-secondary across contexts from Italy to the Northwest Territories (NWT) including classroom teacher, program support teacher, vice-principal, district coordinator for inclusion, researcher, curriculum developer, and post-secondary instructor. Susan led the NWT implementation of the Early Development Instrument in kindergarten, co-authored the 10-Year Early Childhood Framework, developed the NWT play and culture-based kindergarten curriculum and led the Planning, Research and Evaluation division for the Department of Education. Under 5+ years of Susan’s leadership, The MEHRIT Centre has evolved into a highly respected, accessible, and successful center for teaching and learning Self-Reg. Susan recently co-authored the Self-Reg Schools Handbook for Educators and developed the online resources for the Principal’s edition with Stuart Shanker (Pearson, 2019).

Jean Clinton

Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, division of Child Psychiatry, Ontario Canada. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education 2014 – 2018.

Dr. Clinton is a trainer in Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model in Education (NME). She works intensively with Michael Fullan and his New Pedagogies for Deep Learning team. She is also a member on the MindUP Scientific Advisory Board, as well as a MindUp for Families advisor. Dr. Clinton was a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, and has been a Zero to Three Academy Fellow since 2013.

She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 35 years. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships, belonging and connectedness play.

Jean optimistically believes that having a system of compassionate system awareness leadership, competency based, deep learning and relationally focussed education of our children and young people is the road to a better and sustainable world. Good at learning, good at life. 

Dr. Clinton has authored her first book, Love Builds Brains.

Gerard Costa

Gerard Costa served as the founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental and a Professor in the Department of  Teaching and Learning at Montclair State University.   He is a member of  the faculty of the Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) Ph.D. program at Fielding University (formerly the ICDL Graduate School). He serves as a trustee and President of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning, and has served as a consultant to ZERO TO THREE for the past 20+ years. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University and was one of the first 16 recipients of the DIR certificate by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder. He is a trained faculty member in the Brazelton Touchpoints Model and holds a “Self-Reg” Certificate from the MEHRIT Center in Canada, led by Dr. Stuart Shanker. He holds an endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor, through the New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health and Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.  Gerry has many more qualifications and accomplishments.

Paula Jurczak

Paula Jurczak is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Supervisor, Registered Social Worker, DIR Clinician and Training Leader and Self-Regulation Consultant in BC. She specializes in assessment, therapy and support of infants, children and adolescents with complex mental health issues, specialized medical conditions and special needs.Paula holds a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Social Work. She maintains a private practice using DIR and Self-regulation models to support individuals experiencing attachment and regulatory challenges, behavioural and emotional difficulties, neurodivergent challenges and complex mental health issues. Paula uses a strength-based, family-centred multidisciplinary approach in her practice, and her work is informed by current research and evidence-based intervention. Additionally, Paula provides clinical supervision to organizations and counselors seeking to enrich their own practices. As the Dean of eLearning for The MEHRIT Centre (TMC), she works collaboratively to support self-regulation in schools, organizations, health and social service agencies across Canada. Paula also presents internationally and provides psychoeducational workshops, reflective parent coaching, online support services and support groups and consultation to hospitals, mental health clinics, preschools, and schools.

Sonia Mastrangelo

Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo is an Associate Professor and School Board Liaison in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead (Orillia). She is the Director of Research for the newly formed Applied Self-Regulation Knowledge Network and is the chief editor of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development. Her areas of research include: self-regulation, special and inclusive education with a focus on autism spectrum disorders, and cognitive-developmental systems theory. She has recently produced a video-based course on self-regulation with her colleague and mentor, Dr. Stuart Shanker which is specifically created for university students who are facing a slew of mental health challenges. With a return to on-campus activities and face-to-face classes, Dr. Mastrangelo recognized the need to organize a conference to address the wide array of challenges being experienced by young adults as a result of two years of isolation and with the support of a SSHRC Connection Grant hosted the first ASK conference at Lakehead Orillia in May 2023.