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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
Little boy in front of house

Training and Workshops through PEATC

The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is happy to provide FREE workshops to the community. Our workshops are made possible through Federal funding from the US Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs and from private donations. PEATC can also exhibit or send materials for conferences and fairs. Most of our workshops are also available in Spanish.

Our Federal grant designates PEATC as the Statewide Parent Training and Information Center, therefore we serve all regions of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In order for PEATC to continue to offer our services free of charge, we must ensure that at least 10-15 people are registered to participate in each workshops to ensure that our program activities and resources are well managed so that Virginia's families and professionals can continue to benefit from PEATC's trainings.

While PEATC will advertise all of our events, we ask that the requesting organization participate in advertising and registration for the event as well in order to ensure sufficient participation in the training. We ask that you stay in contact with PEATC as the registration changes so that we can properly plan. Alternately, PEATC can manage registration for your event at no cost.

To request a PEATC Trainer please complete this form. If you have any questions, please call or email

PEATC Trainings and Workshops

Parent Training Information (for families of children with disabilities)

For videos on our workshops, please visit our YouTube page at


  • NEW: Disability Benefits: VA’s Medicaid Waivers and Social Security - Families with special needs children need to have an understanding of government benefits available to them as part of planning a future for their loved one. These benefits can help supplement a person’s income, qualify a person for extra help, and help them receive healthcare and community supports. Navigating the world of disability benefits can be tricky, time consuming and overwhelming. This workshop will help make that process easier. Join us as we discuss in clear understandable language: what are VA’s Medicaid Waivers and what are Social Security benefits, who is eligible, and how do I apply.
  • Successful Transition Planning and the IEP: All You Need to Know - For parents and students aged 14 and older, this workshop will encourage active participation in developing a meaningful and useful transition plan to help in preparing for life as an adult when they finish school. It will tell you what needs to be in the transition plan, and what the law (IDEA) says about transition services. The transition plan is part of the IEP for students who are 16 and over. It can be frightening to contemplate life after school has finished, but PEATC is here to help take the mystery out of it and to give you the information you need to ensure that a successful transition is within the reach of your child.
  • The Journey to Adulthood: Puberty and Sexuality - A candid and practical discussion that offers parental strategies for assisting young adults with disabilities to (1) successfully navigate puberty, and (2) meet the emerging expectations of adult life. This research-based curriculum was developed in response to interviews with 1200 families from a variety of cultural perspectives. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • NEW: Turning 18 in Virginia: What Individuals with Disabilities Need to Consider - Turning 18 is a big deal for all individuals. An 18-year-old is legally considered an adult in Virginia. Therefore, when your child turns 18, he/she is the person that makes legal, financial, medical, and educational decisions in his/her life. For some individuals with disabilities, this will not be an issue. Others may need support. This workshop will share basic information about things that need to be considered as your loved one turns 18.
  • NEW: Planning for the Future: Transition to Adulthood - Planning for the future is important for all parents, but for parents of children with special needs it is vital. This workshop will offer information to help learn about options and tools for making these important decisions. Topics covered will be: Age of Majority, Guardianship, Power of Attorney, Supported Decision Making, Special Needs Trusts, ABLE Accounts and Letters of Intent.


  • The ABC’s of Behavior - As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to look at how behavior influences our lives and understanding how it is addressed in IDEA 2004. You will become familiar with the ABC’s (Antecedent, Behavior & Consequence) of all behavior supports and behavior management. Functional Behavioral Assessments will be covered and you will have an opportunity to practice using a FBA tool to assess behavior. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • How to Talk So Schools Will Listen (and Listen So Schools Will Talk) - Why are partnerships so difficult? What can be done to improve understanding between parents and professionals as they seek to find mutual agreement on IEPs and other issues related to education for students with disabilities? This workshop will help participants discover communication techniques, learn how to recognize and prevent barriers to communication and build agreements around difficult problems. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish


  • Racial Disproportionality in School Discipline - What does research say about suspensions & expulsions? What can we do as parents, educators, and community members? What is implicit bias and does it play a role in disproportionality? These questions and many more will be answered during this new PEATC workshop. Participants should leave with important information that will give a framework for capacity building in the education of our most vulnerable student populations.
  • Identifying Invisible Disabilities - Some disabilities can be recognized by sight, but many are invisible to the naked eye. This workshop will help understand the definition and major categories of invisible disabilities, know the needs of these disabilities and how we can meet those needs in group activities.
  • Tending The Flock: Special Needs Ministries - As part of our community support series, this workshop will help lead discussions within church leadership and the community to determine ways to accommodate and encourage participation of those with special needs. It discusses the 5 stages of building a relationship. It also explores options of special needs ministries. Self-reflection of the congregation and leadership through discussion and worksheets will help plan and design a vision for inclusion of all.
  • Bridges Out of Poverty - This workshop is designed as an overview to help schools, employers, community organizations, healthcare providers, social service agencies, law enforcement, and individuals by bringing all sectors and economic classes together to build resources that improve outcomes. Bridges Out of Poverty provides a framework for understanding the challenges and strengths of those in poverty. Three additional trainings are available upon request. Those include viewing poverty from the individual, community, or organizational lens.
  • Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World - If you’ve spent part of your life or most of your life struggling to get by in the world, the idea of actually getting ahead might seem out of reach. 'Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World' is a 16 week series of small group sessions which take attendees step by step through a discovery of yourself. As a team we investigate realities of the conditions in your community and how they impact residents. These sessions are designed to provide solutions in a cohort environment.
  • Understanding Diversity - Diversity exists in places we don’t always think to look. A community itself is a grouping of pieces which delightfully interlock to create a unique landscape. In this workshop, through activities and discussion, we will authentically dive into issues of race, class, gender and other forms of bias that affect teaching, student learning and achievement. Welcoming people of diverse backgrounds into our lives helps develop a population that will not only share mutual respect but allows us to find joy in the different threads which make each of us unique.


  • Early Childhood and the ABC's of Behavior - As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to look at how behavior influences young children and understanding how it is addressed in IDEA 2004. You will become familiar with the ABC’s (Antecedent, Behavior & Consequence) of all behavior supports and behavior management. Functional Behavioral Assessments will be covered and you will have an opportunity to practice using a FBA tool to assess behavior.
  • It Takes A Village: Your Role in Early Childhood - This workshop gives a general overview of what early childhood education and intervention is. We will concentrate on what the roles are of the parents and professionals. There is a special focus on how the collaboration between the two helps to ensure healthy child development. We offer methods on effective communication between the two, how to bridge that communication gap and how to avoid or recover from possible communication barriers.
  • Who, What, and When of Early Intervention - This workshop covers the early intervention process and the family’s role in developing an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Participants will come away from the workshop understanding how the information families have about their children is critical to developing a plan for the baby and the baby’s family. Families in who may be in the midst of chaos, grief, fear, and the unknown will learn how to be their child’s and their family’s best and most effective advocate.
  • The Big Step: Transitioning Into PreschoolThis workshop is to give insight on the importance of successful transitions from Early Intervention services to preschool. It touches on the importance of the roles of the parents, service coordinators, and educators. Participants will learn the positive and negative effects of transitions. We will also focus on what to look for in a preschool program.


  • Dads Matter! How to Promote Environments to Engage Dads - This is an interactive workshop that explores the impact and benefits of engaging Dads. Participants will learn how to create environments that inform, encourage and empower Dads to engage in their child’s education.
  • Pass the Baton - You have been passed the baton and entrusted to run with diligence and endurance to change how parents, schools and communities engage for the success of all students. As the forerunner of your team, who will be your Stakeholders? How will you define stakeholder engagement and incorporate the rules and the domains of family engagement? How will you restore the 3-strand cord so it is not easily broken? This interactive workshop leads the participants to the starting point of change. Participants will learn how to collectively accept the baton, assume the position of leadership, strategize, create and implement a vision to help catapult family engagement to the next dimension.
  • The ABC’s of Collaboration…Back to the Basics - Everyone collaborates but are your collaborations providing better outcomes for students? During this interactive workshop parents and professionals, we will explore the ABC’s of collaboration, identify the key characteristic needed to make current and new collaborations more effective while creating synergy between parents and schools.
  • Understanding the Dynamics of Cyber Bullying Technology and our Youth - The term Cyberbullying raises new challenges for not only parents, school administrators but also law enforcement to protect children from this widespread epidemic. Cyber Bullying is different from “schoolyard” bullying. During this interactive workshop, participants will enter the world of technology and explore motivations, categories, warnings signs and forms online cyber bullying can take. Participants will learn tips and strategies to protect their children.
  • Your Voice Matters - It’s Key To The Process of Empowering Parents to Engage - Do you feel disengaged in your child’s education? Parents your voice matters! This workshop will empower you to see the value of your gifts, expertise and contribution around authentic family engagement. During this interactive workshop, we will explore our personal definition of parent engagement and learn effective approaches to advocating for our children. We will also consider strategies that we can use to provide constructive and practical tips and techniques to building strong collaborative relationships with our schools.
  • The Power of Engaging Families - Creating a synergy between parents and schools around authentic family engagement initiatives can lead to better outcomes for students. During this interactive workshop, parents and professionals will explore their personal definition of family engagement and examine how their individual participation contributes to the partnership of shared responsibility for the success of all children. Participants will consider strategies that move from random and isolated family engagement efforts to more systemic, integrated, responsive and sustainable approaches to family engagement. Local and state level examples of these strategies will be shared.
  • Friendship Building Strategies - Participants will explore the diversity and nature of their own friendships and build a vision of possibilities for children to develop positive relationships and friendships with each other. The importance of creating a climate of acceptance, belonging, and community in schools will be stressed by infusing opportunities for creating this climate across all areas of the curriculum and throughout the school day. Lastly, attendees will identify specific strategies that parents, general educators, and special educators can use to facilitate friendships for students. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • Is Your Child a Target of Bullying? - This workshop offers intervention strategies for parents of children with disabilities who may be the target of bullying at school. Participants will learn how to: identify types of bullying, develop strategies to prevent bullying, identify responses to bullying, talk to their child about bullying, obtain help from professionals and find out about disability harassment laws.This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • Bullying Prevention for Administrators and Teachers - This workshop is designed to help safeguard schools against bullying. The objective of the workshop is to arm attendees with research based information on best practices in bullying prevention. Attendees will leave with the ability to distinguish accurately between bullying and other forms of aggression. Attendees will also leave with strategies that will help foster a school culture that averts the development and reduces the occurrence of bullying.


  • Successful Transition Planning for the Military Child and the IEP - Military parents and students aged 14 and older have unique considerations when it comes to preparing for life as an adult. This workshop will encourage active participation in developing a meaningful and useful transition plan, with focus on what the law (IDEA) says about transition services, as well as military specific topics such as surrogate decision making, special needs trust and the Survivor Benefits Plan and Secondary Dependency.
  • PCSing with an IEP - Changing duty stations is tough enough; but, doing it with a special needs child can be overwhelming. This workshop shows attendees how to organize all the paperwork that comes along with special education and how this method of organizing the chaos can help ensure your child receives a free and appropriate public education no matter where in the United States the DoD sends you.
  • Introduction to Autism and ABA - A Workshop for Military Families – Presented by a wife of an active-duty service member with an 18 year old with autism who opened the first Tricare approved ABA company in Hampton Roads, this workshop provides the attendee with a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the only scientific proven methodology by which children on the spectrum learn.


  • NEW: Ten Things You Need to Know about IEPs - For more than 30 years, children with disabilities have been guaranteed the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). All parents are equal participants in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development for their child according to the law, but IEPs can be confusing and very stressful for parents. Whether your child is just starting in the special education system, transitioning from one school to another, or you just need a refresher this workshop will be beneficial for you. Participants will learn the ten “need to know” things about IEPs to empower them to be a more confident and comfortable advocate for their child. (2-hour workshop)
  • From the Other Side of the Table: A Parent's Perspective - As an educator, have you ever wondered what a parent feels when they enter an IEP meeting? This workshop will recognize how the layout of the room, the body language of participants, and even the documents presented can impact the behaviors and decisions that are made at the table. Personal reflections about our own internal and external struggles (as well as those of the parents) will help give perspective on what influences us the most. By providing strategies, it will ensure the next meetings will be more positive and collaborative for everyone involved.
  • From Referral to Eligibility; A Deeper Dive - This presentation takes you through the reasons for evaluations, timelines, and the Eligibility meeting as well as a basic understanding of the scores. It also covers the steps of a re-evaluation and the parental right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE).
  • Anatomy of an IEP - Like a biology student, this presentation will dissect the parts of the IEP document and examine their functions individually, learning their meanings and application. It will provide constructive and practical tips to help create an IEP that supports all of the student's needs.
  • Understanding Evaluations - This presentation provides the audience with a better understanding of terminology, statistical tools, and results of educational evaluations. It also covers how to use scores to measure progress or regression and will help make assessments less mysterious and intimidating. If you’re looking to dip your toes into the pool of educational evaluations, this workshop allows you to dive right in!
  • Understanding Special Education - This workshop will help you identify your child’s learning strengths and challenges as well as organize your important information about your child so it will be helpful in educational planning. Come and learn the seven phases of the special education process and identify the specific actions you may take during the special education process. You will become familiar with due process rights and learn ways to work as partners with teacher and other school personnel. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • Measurable IEP Goals - This workshop brings families and educators together using a common language to build measurable goals to all students. What is a measurable goal? How do you understand and write a measurable goal? These questions and much more will be answered in this workshop.
  • Understanding Section 504 Civil Rights Law - This workshop is designed to give parents and professionals a working knowledge of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504. The law is designed to eliminate discrimination on the bases of disability in any program or activity receiving federal funds. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of Section 504 and how it might ensure a student that attends a public school receives a free and appropriate public education.
  • How to Conduct Friendly and Productive IEP Meetings - This workshop was designed with input from parents, parent groups, advocacy organizations, teacher’s, mediators, facilitators and district representatives. Participants will discuss how to make IEP meetings more productive and friendly and is divided into four key areas: People, Process: Preparation and Meeting, Outcome and Follow-through. Comments by parents and school personnel are included on the slides. The workshop will focus on practical skill development for IEP team members and specific strategies for increasing communication and conflict prevention will be discussed in each of the four areas.

8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
Springfield, VA 22151
703-923-0010 (phone)
800-869-6782 (toll free)

Copyright © 2019 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.

Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.

PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to

Celebrating 30 Years of Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children

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