THURSDAY | JUNE 24, 2021  |  9 AM - 3 PM

Join us for a full-day, virtual course on understanding and supporting early childhood brain development and mental health. Learn to identify brain differences, their implications and strategies to address them.

$119 Registration. First 150 slots free!
4 CEU's available.

Mind Matters Early Childhood Development Symposium

A child’s brain develops the most in the first five years than any other time in his/her life. It is important to know how to nurture that development to promote the best outcomes. But what happens when a child experiences trauma during those years? How can we tell if adults were impacted by an event in early childhood?


This full-day, virtual symposium on understanding and supporting early childhood brain development and mental health will teach participants how to identify brain differences, their implications and provide strategies to address them. Click to for CEU information.



Course Title: Mind Matters: Early Childhood Development


This course will help you understand and support early childhood brain development and mental health. Learn to identify brain differences, their implications, and strategies to address them. You will learn a) the benefits of daily mindfulness activities for children, b) how to support children with brain differences, and c) how to build a strong foundation for their future through attachment and emotional availability.


Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will learn the importance of early childhood mental health development and how it effects children’s cognitive abilities.

  2. Participants will learn the importance and application of mindfulness activities for children, and how it decreases stress and anxiety for children.                                                                       

  3. Participants will be able to recognize characteristics of FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) and identify ways to help children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol and know when and how to make a referral for proper diagnosis.

  4. Participants will learn how attachment and caregivers’ emotional availability impacts early childhood experiences and learn how to support children’s developmental and emotional needs.

  5. Participants will learn and practice 30min of mindfulness yoga. Energize and Reset, Using Breath and Gentle Movement – Experienced in many forms of Yoga, Dawn will lead you through breathing exercises and movements designed to connect the mind and body, release stress, and promote clarity.

CEUs to be provided: 4


Time Schedule for the course: 9am-3pm EST. 6 hours total. 4hr 15min (255min) instruction, one 15min break, one 1hr break, and 30min workshop.


Intro lecture: Early Childhood Development and Why it Matters - Dr. Kristie Skoglund


Lecture 1: Whole Child, Whole Adult, Transformation through Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning (MBSEL) - Dr. Laura Bakosh

10:45-11:00am    Break


 Lecture 2: Supporting Children with Brain Differences - Dr. Anika Trancik

12:15-1:15pm      Lunch Break


Energizing mindfulness yoga workshop


Lecture 3: Building the Foundation of Lifetime: The Lasting Impact of Early Childhood Experiences

- Dr. Harleen Hutchinson



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Whole Child, Whole Adult: Transformation through Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning (MBSEL)

Laura Bakosh, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO Inner Explorer


Education is a proven path out of poverty. Yet, educational inequity, as measured by the achievement gap, graduation rates and college and career readiness, has stubbornly hindered success for many minority and urban students. A foundational issue causing education inequity is biological. Increased stress inhibits healthy brain growth, beginning with the earliest learners. Stress triggers mental and physical health disorders and blocks thinking and learning. Conservative estimates suggest that this chain reaction negatively affects at 40-50% of students. Without any school supports that target the biological underpinnings of stress, children will struggle to succeed in school. This lack of educational equity limits social equity and justice, and the cycle repeats. While COVID has amplified these inequities, it has also created an opportunity for visionary educators, foundations and board members to embrace new and innovative solutions to these seemingly intractable issues.



  • Introduction to and understanding of Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning (MBSEL)

  • MBSEL as an evidenced-based path toward leveling the cognitive playing field for all

  • 5-minute a day mindfulness practice is both preventative and transformative

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Identifying and Supporting Children with Brain Differences

Anika Trancik, PhD, Neuropsychologist

Children on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) spectrum experience lifelong social challenges, serious mental health problems, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Of all substances of abuse, alcohol causes the most serious long term effects in a fetus, resulting in permanent brain damage. Many children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) go undiagnosed. Knowing the dangers of drinking when pregnant, the common symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), and when to make a referral for evaluation is crucial. Making a referral for proper diagnosis can help a child flourish rather than suffer.



  • Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) spectrum

  • Identification of the common symptoms of FASD

  • Know when to make an evaluation referral

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Energizing Mindfulness Yoga Workshop

Dawn Epstein  

Dawn’s session will help you center and clear your mind. Breathing exercises and gentle movement will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of your day! Dawn is certified in Hatha and Kundalini Yoga, and has been teaching since 2016..


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Building the Foundation of a Lifetime:  The Lasting Impact of Early Childhood Experiences

Harleen Hutchinson, PsyD, Psychologist and Infant Mental Health (IMH) Clinician 

The caregiver-child relationship is critical for sharing brain development of young children through everyday interactions that occurs between the caregiver and the child.  When infants and toddlers have healthy relationships that support attachment, they learn to trust that the world is safe, and they have the confidence to explore and learn.



  • Define the concept of “attachment” as it relates to early childhood relationships

  • Describe early childhood trauma and give two examples

  • Identify two ways caregivers and educators can be emotionally available


Early Childhood Development Professionals
Healthcare Providers
Educators or School Personnel
Parents, Foster Parents, or Caregivers



Laura Bakosh, Ph.D. 

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As one of the Inner Explorer's Co-Founders, Dr. Bakosh discovered the benefits of mindful awareness more than 20 years ago and soon realized how impactful it would be in schools. Help children navigate the ups and downs of life with resilience, alleviating stress and anxiety allowing them to focus and ready to learn. Families will benefit from continuing the practice at home. 

Anika Trancik, Ph.D.

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Dr. Trancik is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. In this session, attendees will be able to recognize characteristics of FASD and identify ways to help children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol navigate the activities of daily living. 

Harleen Hutchinson, Psy.D. IMH-E® 

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Dr. Hutchinson is an infant mental health specialist and executive director of The Journey Institute. In this session, she will discuss the lasting impact of early childhood experiences and how caregivers can be emotionally available in order to form an attachment with children who have a variety of medical, developmental, emotional and familial challenges.



4 CEUs approved by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling.

Broker # and course tracking # provided to participants after course completion.



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Johnna Brynn, PhD, Director of Training & Professional Development

941-371-8820 x 1002  |  training@thefloridacenter.org

4620 17th St. Sarasota, FL 34235

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