Parents & Caregivers

We have all heard the saying, “Parenting does not come with a handbook.” Those who are in the parenting/caregiver role know this is definitely a true statement. As a parent of four children with various additional support needs and from helping hundreds of individuals over the years, Dr. Levi-Shackleford has learned effective strategies and tips for addressing common challenges that arise in parenting/caregiving. She has taken these experiences and research she has reviewed and developed a series of workshops, classes, and training. She shares the information with parents/caregivers through interactive workshops to help them learn how to overcome obstacles and address challenges.

Below is a list of topics she has provided training on in the past and the list continues to grow. The training is delivered in a variety of formats to include in-person, online asynchronous (enroll and complete the material at your own pace **coming soon), or online synchronous (sign up for the training which is completed on a specific day and time). Additionally, the training can be offered as a one-time session (1-3 hours) or multiple sessions (longer, broken up into multiple segments).

Workshop & Training Topics 

The courses below are color-coded as follows: ELEMENTARY LEVEL, MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL, HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL, PARENTING


Effective Communication for Middle Schoolers

This workshop helps students in middle school learn the importance of communication and some tips for expressing themselves in a positive manner. The discussion will also cover dealing with conflict and communicating when frustrated and upset. 

Identifying & Managing Emotions 

There is a lot of talk about coping skills and regulating emotions, but can this be done if you don’t fully understand what it is you are feeling? This interactive workshop helps students in middle school identify different emotions and develop a system for managing each type. 

My Body is Changing for Girls (ages 9-15)

This interactive student and parent workshop focuses on growing up. Discussions about the different body changes occur and participants have the opportunity to make coping kits to help with some of the associated challenges and to become better prepared. **Class does not cover reproduction and focuses on body and hormone changes that occur. 

My Body is Changing for Boys (ages 9-15)

This interactive student and parent workshop focuses on growing up. Discussions about the different body changes occur and participants have the opportunity to make coping kits to help with some of the associated challenges and to become better prepared. **Class does not cover reproduction and focuses on body and hormone changes that occur.

How to Prepare for Middle School 

Starting middle school is exciting but it is different from elementary school and that can cause some anxiety. This workshop talks about some of the differences between elementary and middle school and shares tips on how to transition smoothly and stay organized during the process. 

Dealing with the Overwhelming Stress of Being in High School

This workshop discusses the stress associated with transitioning into and completing high school and all things related to the experience. This relaxed workshop provides opportunities for students to openly share their concerns and challenges and receive tips to help them manage all of their responsibilities and organize their thoughts and plans. 

What Every High School Freshman Should Know

This workshop focuses on the activities and areas of focus high school Freshmen should add to their to-do list for the year. Topics include transitioning into the high school setting, preparing for college, dealing with stress. 

What Every High School Sophomore Should Know

This workshop focuses on the activities and areas of focus high school Sophomores should add to their to-do list for the year. Topics include becoming more focused on life after high school, preparing for college, dealing with stress, and considering employment.  

What Every High School Junior Should Know

This workshop focuses on the activities and areas of focus high school Juniors should add to their to-do list for the year. Topics include fine-tuning your life after high school plans, preparing for college, and building leadership and independence skills. 

What Every High School Senior Should Know

This workshop focuses on the activities and areas of focus high school Seniors should add to their to-do list for the year. Topics include finishing strong, preparing for college, and transitioning into adulthood. 

The High School Student’s Guide for Getting and Keeping a Job

High school students who attend this workshop learn about looking for a job, how to fill out applications, and tips for interviewing. They will also learn about important soft and teamwork skills needed for work and how to keep on top of work and school at the same time. 

The ABCs of Behavior Management

This workshop will provide strategies for family members to promote positive behaviors at home and to improve family life at home. Participants will be taught how to break down events and analyze behaviors. Family members will also learn about why negative behaviors occur and how to create a setting that helps reduce the behaviors that frustrate and irritate us.

The Organized Parent (It’s Not a Myth) 

The more appointments you attend or activities your child is involved in, the more papers you have to keep up with. This workshop shares some simple organization techniques to help you keep track of it all. Binders and supplies will be provided and attendees will be emailed a list of items to bring to the workshop to get their new organization systems started.  

My Child Just Got a Diagnosis, Now What?

Receiving a new diagnosis for your child has so many emotions tied into it. We have designed this workshop in partnership with some other area organizations focused on supporting families with children with disabilities and other challenges. We provide coping strategies and info about some great resources for support.

Healthy Relationships & Boundaries 

This workshop discusses forming healthy relationships, recognizing the signs that a relationship is unhealthy, and resources for those who need assistance with boundaries and coping with difficult relationships. 

Addressing Toileting Hurdles 

This workshop discusses why toilet training is a challenging skill to master and provides some strategies and resources to help with the process. The content provided is appropriate for those with younger children as well as those that are older that have a developmental delay.

Self-Care for Parents & Caregivers 

Helping others can be rewarding and challenging.  Often caregivers will sacrifice their own well-being with hopes of providing their client or loved one with the best care possible.  This can lead to caregivers burning out and forgetting their needs.  This workshop will teach you the skills necessary to recharge and refresh to continue to provide exceptional care for your person.

Being a Special Needs Sibling 

Being a special needs sibling can be hard.  Feeling left out or forgotten because extra attention is needed for a brother or sister can leave your child vulnerable to harmful and disruptive behavior.  The purpose of this workshop is to teach your child healthy coping and communication to ensure that they too feel the love and support they need to thrive.  

Relationships and the Special Needs Parent 

Energy and time spent caring for your child can be demanding and it is no argument that you would do everything for your child.  However, this endless sacrifice may create an emptiness with your partner.  This workshop will help you create ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner while maintaining the proper care for your child.  

Helping Your Child with Independence

This workshop provides strategies and techniques you can incorporate into your everyday routine that will help your child develop skills that make them more independent. 

Do you see a class you are interested in but there is no registration link for it? Fill out the form below to show your interest and get on the email list for when the different workshops and training are available. Also, submit your information below if you are interested in Dr. Levi-Shackleford presenting to your group or organization about a topic listed above or something related. 

Family & Caregiver Training through the FIS Medicaid Waiver 

FAMILY & CAREGIVER REFERRAL LINK

Creative Approach Development Center is a Medicaid Certified provider for parent & caregiver training under the Family & Individual Support (FIS) Waiver. Starting November  2021, parents, family members, & caregivers can enroll and complete up to 80 hours of workshops and training each ISP year. Choose from a wide variety of programs focused on behavior management, transitioning, skill development, and more with new topics added monthly! 

What does this mean? 

According to the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), Family/Caregiver Training is the provision of identified training and education related to disabilities, community integration, family dynamics, stress management, behavior interventions, and mental health for a parent, other family members, or a primary caregiver.

Who can participate in the training?

Any parent/caregiver can participate in workshops and training, but for those covered by the FIS waiver, “family” is defined as the unpaid persons who live with or provide care to a waiver individual, and may include a parent, spouse, children, relatives, a legal guardian, foster family, or in-laws. “Family” does not include individuals who are employed to care for the individual. 

How Do I Sign Up? 

If you are interested in participating in our workshops and training and have a family member that is a FIS waiver recipient, please begin the process by filling out the Interest Form below. In order to have your enrollment fees covered by the waiver, your family member will need to have family/caregiver training added to their annual Individual Support Plan (ISP). Creative Approach Development Center will then be added to the plan as a provider. To assist with this process, please have your assigned case manager contact Dr. Levi-Shackleford at ZLShackleford@CreativeApproachOnline.com or by calling 804-876-2115. 

FAMILY & CAREGIVER REFERRAL LINK