Epilepsy Educational Symposium

Taking Care: Neurological Conditions 2017

Attendees will:

  • Gain insight about how to care for yourself and/or a family member who has special needs, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, or other neurological conditions.
  • Analyze what family members, friends, teachers, medical professionals and others can do to support a person who has special needs, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, and/or another condition.
  • Be able to recognize different types of seizures by video and description.
  • Examine what leads to a diagnosis of epilepsy and/or a related syndrome in a person who has had seizures.
  • Acquire resources about how to provide first aid to a person who is having a seizure, including how to keep the person safe, timing the seizure, and when to call 911.
  • Gain access to support and service available to people who have epilepsy, special needs, or another neurological condition.

Individual Registration


Youtube poster

A BIG thank you to our speakers and volunteers for making the Symposium a successful event!

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.


Breakfast and Brainstorm Marketplace

8:30 a.m. - 8:40 a.m.

Welcome on behalf of The Epilepsy Project and the Arc of Erie County

8:40 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.


Navigating a Complex Healthcare System… How to Care for Your Loved One and Yourself with Keynote Speaker: Kishore Vellody, MD, Medical Director, Down Syndrome Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, UPMC.

Dr. Vellody completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and his pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Since 2005, he has worked with the Diagnostic Referral Service at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC which is a group of physicians who work in both inpatient and outpatient settings with children with special healthcare needs. Dr. Vellody is the Medical Director at the Down Syndrome Center of Western Pennsylvania and has nearly 500 clinic visits per year in the very busy Center. Dr. Vellody is Vice President of the National Down Syndrome Congress and has spoken at a variety of local, regional, and national meetings on the care of children with Down syndrome.

9:40 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


Diagnosis: Epilepsy… Differentiating seizures vs. epilepsy vs. syndromes and identifying and describing different seizure types with Keynote Speaker: Asim Shahid, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Shahid is a pediatric epileptologist and Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. He is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Neurology and Epilepsy with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology. His special interests include: intractable epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, and epilepsy surgery.

10:40 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

 Breakout session - Please pick one of the following:


From IEPs to Medical Visits: How to Advocate for Yourself or Your Loved One with Sheryl Sweeney, Executive Director and Educational Advocate, The Arc of Erie County.

Sheryl Sweeney came to The Arc of Erie County as a special education advocate in March of 2016 and then became the Executive Director/Advocate in July of 2016. She has a B.S. In Elementary Education, a Middle School Math Certification, an M.ED in Educational Leadership and a K-12 Principal’s certification. She spent 32 years as a local educator in both the private and public system. For nineteen years she provided Learning Support in two public school middle school settings, partnering with a Special Education teacher to help write and implement IEP’s. She comes to the Arc very familiar with how the IEP process works and has seen the very best inclusion practices at work, not only in her own classroom, but in the classrooms of her peers. Sheryl is the mother of two adult daughters and one 10-month old grandson.

GulickAcceptance and Commitment Therapy - a nontraditional approach to treating grieving and anxiety issues in people living with chronic medical conditions with Bob Gulick, MFA, BCBA of the Achievement Center in Erie, PA.

Robert (Bob) Gulick is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 30 years of clinical experience with both children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum and other behavioral disorders. His work has included direct service and teaching of adults and children in residential, vocational, and educational settings; behavior specialist consultation to children in home, community, and educational settings (staff, teacher, and parent training); applied research in instructional methodology and language acquisition; and systems development in the area of early intensive behavioral intervention. Bob serves as an adjunct faculty in Mercyhurst University’s graduate program in applied behavior analysis where he has taught courses in functional assessment and functional communication training, as well as provided mentoring and supervision to candidates for board certification in behavior analysis.

Currently, Bob’s applied research efforts have been focused on the acquisition of higher language and social skills in children with ASD and the application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to improve treatment integrity and the transfer of behavioral skills to parents. Along with Thomas Kitchen, he co-authored the text Effective Instruction for Children with Autism and is presently Director of Behavior Analytic Services at the Achievement Center in Erie, PA.

11:40 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

 Expert panel discussion

12:20 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Symposium evaluations

Symposium Sponsors

Supernus Pharma

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