ICOT18 Miami Conference Registration Deadline


The International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) is offered every two to three years in different parts of the world. It is taking place May 16 – 20 at FIU. The series was founded 34 years ago by the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.

ICOT fosters collegial exchange and educational development around the topic of thinking and its cultivation.Thinking is understood broadly to include any kind of thinking and learning and to acknowledge cultural, psychological, historical, and disciplinary diversity and richness.

The conference is transdisciplinary, drawing from diverse fields including education, neuroscience, health sciences, the arts, sports, government, business, anthropology, history, cross-cultural studies, architecture, engineering, economics, geography, technology and other areas.

To register during the Regular Registration Period, please visit icot18.com.


Speaker Series: Transforming the lives of children, parents and communities through positive parenting

About the talk:

Dr. Matthew R. Sanders will discuss the role of parenting in transforming children’s lives and the communities in which they live. He will review the impact of parenting on child development and problems of childhood, including child mental health and behavior, maltreatment, schools, and communities.  He will review the modifiable factors that influence parenting and that should be targeted in parenting programs for both individual (e.g., mental health, bullying, and substance use) and community-level intervention.   He will discuss the typical components of successful interventions to improve parenting, and the many examples of the successful applications of his positive parenting program (Triple P) on children, families, and communities throughout the world.

About the speaker:

Professor Sanders is the world’s leading authority on parent training. His career has focused on the development, implementation, evaluation, and global dissemination of evidence-based parenting and family intervention programs. He is the developer and founder of the widely acclaimed Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, which is the best example of behavioral and social science innovation developed over the past 50 years.  Triple P has nearly 300 evaluation studies and has trained more than 76,000 practitioners around the world, who have provided parent training to tens of millions of families in 32 countries. As a result, Triple P and has been recognized by the WHO and the United Nations. Dr. Sanders has made a major and sustained contribution to the field of applied psychology for almost 40 years. He has been uniquely productive as a scholar, authoring more-than 100 versions of the Triple P manual and books for practitioners, as well as 9 books, 55 book chapters, 301 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 29 video programs. He has received lifetime career achievement awards from most of the major psychological professional associations in Australia, North America, and Europe.

Presentation objectives:

1.      Explain the impact of parenting on child development and problems of childhood, including maltreatment, mental health problems, schools, and communities.

2.      List the modifiable factors that influence parenting and that should be targeted in parenting programs for both individual and community-level intervention.

3.      Explain the typical components of successful interventions to improve parenting.


4.      Describe the successful examples and outcomes of positive parenting programs on individual, family, and community outcomes.

Free Parenting Workshop: Raising a Bilingual Child—Dispelling Myths

About the workshop:

Many parents believe speaking to their child in two languages will confuse them or delay their speech. However, there are many myths associated with raising a bilingual child. In reality, bilingualism provides children with many cognitive, academic, and social-emotional benefits, while also promoting connections to their families’ heritage and cultural values. This workshop highlights the benefits and myths about bilingualism, and teach you specific tools to help promote bilingualism with your child. It is never too late to start!      


About the speaker:

Dr. Melissa Baralt is an applied psycholinguist at the FIU Center for Children and Families. A former first grade teacher in Venezuela, Dr. Baralt specializes in first and second language acquisition, bilingual language development in children, sociocultural and environmental factors that affect parent-child interaction, and language teaching.



Free Parenting Workshop: Frustrated Trying to Manage Your Child’s Media Devices?

About the workshop:

The explosion of digital technology ownership in the last 5-10 years has created a dramatic shift in how youth and families use technology. This workshop will help parents of children 3-12 years of age effectively set parental controls and manage their child’s use of smartphones, tablets, video games and other tech devices. It will include a one-hour discussion about media management tips and resources followed by a one-hour hands-on workshop. During the workshop, parents will be taught how to set parental controls on different devices.

* Light lunch will be served, but you are also welcomed to bring your own lunch.


About the Speakers:

Justin Parent, Ph.D.

Director, Child & Family Well-being Clinic and Laboratory


Dr. Parent is an assistant professor and clinician at FIU’s Center for Children and Families. He helped develop new research on the impact of excessive screen time on child and family well-being and recently published a study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics showing this workshop is effective for helping parents manage their children’s screen time.


Camila Betancourt, M.S.

Clinician, Center for Children and Families

Camila is a clinician at FIU’s Center for Children and Families.  She specializes in the delivery of clinical services to school-aged youth and their families, including treatment for ADHD, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. Camila’s experience also includes advocacy for children in the school system and teaching parenting workshops.



Free Parenting Workshop: Strategies to Manage Your Young Child’s Challenging Behaviors

About the Workshop:

This workshop will discuss strategies for how to respond to your child’s challenging behaviors (e.g., tantrums and aggressive behaviors) and use role-playing to demonstrate the effective implementation of discipline techniques with young children. Tips will be provided for promoting positive child behaviors and preventing more severe problem behaviors. 

About the Speakers:

Frances Martínez-Pedraza, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Early Childhood Behavior Lab at Florida International University.  Her work focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based mental health services in early childhood intervention systems for infants and toddlers at risk of developmental disabilities and improving access to and quality of early behavioral screening and intervention services for young children from socioeconomically disadvantaged and underserved populations.

Juliana Acosta, B.S., M.S. is a doctoral student in the Clinical Science Ph.D. program and a member of the Early Childhood Behavior Lab at Florida International University. She is broadly interested in the role of family functioning in child development, early parent-child interactions, and the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions for infants and children with and at risk for developmental disabilities.





Speaker Series: Depression and Suicide in Adolescents

FIU’s Center for Children and Families invites you to their CCF Speaker Series with Dr. Randy P. Auerbach, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, College of Physicians.

His presentation is titled “Depression and Suicide in Adolescents” and will be taking place Friday, March 2nd, 2018 at noon in AHC 1- Room 110. Lunch with Dr. Auerbach will be held after the presentation.

Presentation Objectives:

-Describe why adolescence is a period of heightened risk for both depression and suicide.

-List the neurophysiological markers that contribute to depression risk in adolescents.

– Explain why anhedonia contribute to suicidal behaviors in youth.

Free Info Session: How to talk to your kids about violence

When tragedies of a violent nature strike, what do we tell our kids?
The FIU Center for Children and Families is hosting two informational sessions in English ( 11 a.m.- noon) and Spanish (noon-1 p.m.) on how caregivers can help children and teens cope with large-scale traumatic events. The sessions are open to the public and will stream live on the CCF’s Facebook page.
Speaker: Isabel Rodriguez-Duncan, LCSW, Ed.S.- Clinical Operations Manager and Clinician, CCF


Isabel specializes in the delivery of clinical services to school-aged youth with special needs including treatment of ADHD, conduct disorder, substance abuse, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and mood disorders. Mrs. Rodriguez-Duncan’s clinical experience includes crisis management, suicide, and bullying/violence prevention.

Free Parenting Workshop: How to Talk to Your Kids About Depression and Suicide

About the Workshop:

This presentation will cover how common depression and suicide are among kids, how kids become exposed to this content through the media and their friends, and how parents can recognize early warning signs. Parents will also be provided with evidence-based tips for discussing these topics with their kids and when it is appropriate to do so. Finally, parents will be provided with resources about discussing depression and suicide and what to do if they are concerned for their child. Time for role plays and questions will be available. 

About the Speaker:


Carlos Yeguez is an FIU Clinical Science Program doctoral student in the Child Anxiety and Phobia Program (CAPP). His research broadly focuses on the development and course of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in children and adolescents. He is primarily interested in examining how early risk factors are exacerbated across development and confer risk for suicide in adolescence and young adulthood. His work aims to use this knowledge to develop adaptive, evidence-based, and cost-effective interventions for youths to improve socio-emotional development and prevent suicide and other forms of self-injury.         

Speaker Series: How Developmental Science Can Improve Population Health and Well-Being at Birth


Kenneth Dodge, Ph.D., Pritzker Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University 

Based on the presentation, participants will earn one free continuing education credit and be able to:

  1. Describe a theory of how children develop violent behavior patterns through early life experiences and cognitive processing.
  2. Recite the empirical evidence supporting interventions to prevent violent behavior in children. 
  3. Apply this knowledge to inform their clinical practice in school and clinic settings.”

About the speaker:

Kenneth A. Dodge is the Pritzker Professor of Public Policy and of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He studies the development and prevention of aggressive and violent behaviors in children and families. He helped create the Fast Track program to prevent violent behavior in high-risk children and the Family Connects program to lower population rates of early child abuse. Dodge has published more than 500 scientific articles which have been cited more than 90,000 times, and he was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.