Tag: Department of Psychology

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.





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.         

Free Parenting Workshop: Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Children


About the workshop:

This workshop will discuss empirically supported tips for parents to reduce children’s symptoms of anxiety. Specifically, the workshop will address commonly used behavioral strategies that parents can use prior to, in the moment of, and following anxiety-provoking experiences for their children. Time for questions, role-plays, and problem-solving real-life examples will be provided.

About the Speaker:

Natalie Hong, B.S. is a doctoral student in the Clinical Science Ph.D. program and a member of the Mental Health Interventions and Technology Lab at Florida International University. Natalie’s research interests focus on informed decision-making for children who exhibit slower or fewer improvements over the course of an intervention. She is particularly excited about work investigating tailoring interventions (e.g., Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trials) to improve efficiency and efficacy of treatments. Additionally, she is interested in examining effective methods for utilizing parents as the agents of change in their children’s treatment.





Speaker Series: Critical challenges in treating the most high risk suicidal adolescents: Results from a recently completed RCT

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

1) Describe the components of an integrated CBT protocol for adolescents with co-occurring disorders.

2) Become familiar with the factors that may affect replication in clinical trials.

3) Describe potential new approaches for improving outcomes for treatment-resistant adolescents with co-occurring disorders.


About the speaker:


Anthony Spirito, Ph.D., ABPP is Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed his predoctoral and postdoctoral training at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Spirito has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and his work has been supported by NIMH, NIAAA, and NIDA as well as foundations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Research. Along with colleagues at Brown, he recently completed three treatment development studies to determine if combined approaches, e.g., exercise and CBT, can increase the efficacy of treatment for adolescent depression.  Dr, Spirito and colleagues developed an integrated, intensive CBT protocol for adolescents with substance use disorders, NSSI, depression, and suicidality as well as their parents. He and his colleagues just completed a test of this protocol in a large efficacy trial with a sample of adolescents discharged from inpatient psychiatric care. He also just completed a trial of the same protocol in an Intensive Outpatient Program in a community mental health clinic where mental health counselors were trained in the protocol.


Speaker Series_ Anthony Spirito

Speaker Series: Self-regulation and academic skills of young children- Disentangling associations and identifying potential points of intervention

2017-2018 Speaker Series v7 (10)

This free Speaker Series talk is presented by Dr. Christopher J. Lonigan, distinguished research professor of psychology and an associate director of the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. 

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

  • Describe the association between components of young children’s self-regulation and their academic skills.
  • Assess evidence concerning the direction of influence between self-regulation and academic skills.
  • Identify possible points of intervention to enhance young children’s academic skills, self-regulation, or both.