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MSPA Western MA Chapter Spring Conference 2019: Struggling Learners: Tier Two Strategies Specifically for ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD

  • 05 Apr 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Red Barn at Hampshire College, 893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002 Directions at:


  • If five members from a district register, there is a 10% discount. One person must register and add others as guests. Email once you have 5 registrants and you will receive the required code.

Struggling Learners: Tier Two Strategies Specifically for ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD

The Western MA Chapter of MSPA Spring conference is focused on supporting struggling learners at Tier 2 in the classroom. This presentation begins with the ten precepts that govern behavior as these are true for all learners. Afterward, we will focus on specific strategies for students with ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD.  We will look at these interventions in the context of a competing pathway chart. To make a behavioral intervention we need three strands after the summary statement. The three strands are called the Triple R: 1) Revise the environment to set the student up for success, 2) Replace the behavior by teaching a replacement behavior and 3) Reframing our own response so we feed the replacement behavior and extinguish the target behavior. 


To help attendees understand what governs behavior and how to implement a successful intervention in any setting. 

  • Participants will leave with a surefire technique to get family members to assist in implementing an intervention plan.
  •  Participants will understand how long an intervention must be implemented with consistency and fidelity before we can expect a change.
  •  Participants will understand what students are trying to gain and escape by engaging in behaviors.
  • Participants will learn specific strategies for students with ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD. Each of these interventions will be tied into the Triple R of a competing pathway chart.
  • Participants will be able to fill in a competing pathway chart for a student with ADHD, LD, ODD, and/or ASD
  • Participants will be able to identify core concepts of behavior and what they really mean. For instance, everyone has heard, “Behavior is learned and it serves a specific purpose”…but what does that mean in a school setting?
  • Participants will be able to identify functions of behavior and how to address those functions through a competing pathway chart.
  • Participants will be able to identify differences between males and females and how that might affect identification of ADHD in males more than females.
  • Participants will be able to name interventions for ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD based on real stories learned through this presentation. The real examples will be relevant to their setting and situations.

Presenter Bio 

Laura Riffel, PhD: Dr. Riffel has taught every grade in Pre-K-Adult in general and special education. She ran a day clinic and statewide project on behavioral interventions and supports in the state of Georgia. She was also an adjunct professor at Georgia State University teaching Applied Behavior Analysis for Classroom Teachers. She also ran from 1998-2012 when she retired.

Dr. Riffel and her family fell in love with a young man she worked with at the University of Kansas. His name was Jay and he had autism, bipolar condition, obsessive compulsive disorder, intellectual disabilities, and mild cerebral palsy.  He wanted to live in his own home like his sisters. Dr. Riffel and her husband had the privilege of living with Jay for almost a decade as his housemates. Unfortunately, on January 7, 2009 Jay passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest.  His last day was like any other.  Tom went in his bedroom and together they picked out an outfit for the day. This was laid out on the bed. Tom asked Jay what he wanted for breakfast. Jay replied, “waffles”.  Tom said, “Okay, go ahead and get in the bathroom and get ready. Reagan will be here in a bit to help you with your shower.  I’ll go make your waffles.”  Reagan arrived just as soon as Tom walked in the kitchen.  By the time she reached the bathroom, Jay was gone.  Twice a year, the entire Riffel family has waffles in Jay’s honor.  His birthday, June 24 and the anniversary of his death January 7.  In Jay’s honor, we encourage you to pick a day and have waffles.   

Accommodations & Other Information

The Red Barn is handicap accessible and arrangements can be made to provide necessary accommodations.

A lunch is served. Please email any needed accommodations or dietary restrictions to PRIOR to the workshop.

Payment Information

For those wishing to pay by purchase order, please complete registration, print the invoice, and mail invoice and district purchase order at least one week PRIOR to the conference to:

MSPA-West, P.O. Box 149, Belchertown, MA 01007


PO materials can be emailed to Rob Santiago at, again at least one week PRIOR to the conference.

For those wishing to pay by check, please complete the registration form, print the invoice, and mail check made out to MSPA at least one week PRIOR to the conference to:

MSPA-West, P.O. Box 149, Belchertown, MA 01007

Continuing Education Policy

The Massachusetts School Psychologists Association is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to offer contact hours. The DESE requires the completion of a pre-test, which is to be completed prior to the workshop start time. A post-test is also required and will be given at the end of the workshop. Participants must attend the ENTIRE CONFERENCE and satisfy state regulations in order to receive contact hours. Each participant is responsible for knowing and meeting the DESE licensure requirements.

CE HOURS: The Massachusetts School Psychologists Association is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to sponsor continuing education (CE) for psychologists. In keeping with NASP requirements, these are awarded in contact hours only. CE hours will be awarded at the close of the workshop.  MSPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Arriving more than 15 minutes late or failing to stay for the entire program will result in the inability to obtain a PD certificate. Certificates will only be distributed at the conclusion of the program to individuals who have arranged for payment.



For general inquiries, please contact


Massachusetts School Psychologists Association (MSPA)
1 Wells Avenue,  Suite 007.
Newton, MA 02459

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