Inspiring learning

2016 Speaker Lineup Can’t Be Missed

This year’s speaker lineup offers something for everyone. Sarah Wayland will be providing effective strategies for parenting challenging children. Educational advocate, Karina Hayes, will be teaching us how to successfully advocate for our children. And, Ann Palmer will offer tips and strategies for protecting and nurturing our relationships when we have special needs children in the mix. Here’s more about each speaker:

View More: Wayland, PhD

Special Needs Care Navigator & Relationship Development Intervention (RDI™) Consultant

Sarah Wayland is a Special Needs Care Navigator with the goal of ensuring that no parent ever feels as lost and confused as she and her husband did when embarking on their journey as parents of two exceptional children with special needs.

Nothing gives her more joy than teaching parents about effective strategies for raising their challenging children, and working with individual clients as an RDI consultant. These parent education programs helped her and her husband figure out the best ways to teach their children the skills they need within the rhythm of normal daily life. This was especially profound, as their lives had become anything but normal. Sarah works to give other families what RDI and parenting classes gave her family: Hope.

In addition to teaching and working with individual clients, Sarah is co-editor of the book, Technology Tools for Students with Autism, and has written articles for the 2e Newsletter, Washington Parent Magazine, the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, andExpert Beacon.


yellow headshot 2014Katrina Hayes

Special Education Advocate

Katrina Hayes is a passionate Special Education Advocate who currently resides in Cary, North Carolina. Amongst her numerous accomplishments, she was the 2011 Girls Inc. of NYC Volunteer of the Year. Being the strong, smart, and bold individual that she is, Katrina is also a Graduate of Partners in Policymaking and a Disability Rights North Carolina Board Member.

Education-wise, Katrina studied Medical Biology and obtained her M.Sc. During her free-time, she loves to stay active by bowling, playing skee ball, and even rock-climbing. Katrina has a brother and is the proud mother of a son—both of which have autism. She urges them—along with everyone else to NEVER be afraid of who you are. Her courageous and positive spirit is contagious.


Palmer headshotAnn Palmer

Author, Speaker, Autism Professional

Ann Palmer is the parent of an adult son with autism, an author and presenter, and a professional working with families for over 20 years. She is currently a faculty member of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, training multidisciplinary graduate level students on working with families.

Ann is the author of three books: Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger Syndrome, Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum (winner of the Autism Society of America’s Literary Work of the Year), and A Friend’s and Relative’s Guide to Supporting the Family with Autism. She is also the co-author of Working with Families of Children with Autism. She has been published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the MAAP, the newsletter of the Maap Services for Autism and Asperger Spectrum, the Autism Asperger’s Digest, Exceptional Parent Magazine, and Tweens and Teens News Magazine.

In addition to these great speakers, the Happy Mama Retreat offers a weekend of respite, and a community of mamas who “get it.” Register today (click here)!

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