2019 Symposium

2019 Symposium

Santas & Special Children
Thursday, Sep 19th > 21st - Overland Park, Kansas

Fees + Amenities

Fee: $200

Note:  The fee is waived, if you are a fully-compliant Santa America Volunteer,  with a
current application, photo, background check, hospice trained.  Please, confirm compliance
with Administrative Elf Helen at elfhelen@santaamerica.org for verification of compliance.

Amenities - Meals 

19th, Thu - Dinner / 20th, Fri - Lunch + Dinner / 21st, Sat - Lunch


Symposium Agenda

Santa America is presenting a symposium on how Santa can support children in special circumstances. The presenters are experts in their field.  There will also be families in attendance that have had Santa experiences to share how that visit helped lift them up. This will be a training symposium focused on how to create the best possible visit for children in very difficult circumstances.

The symposium will be at the Johnson County, KS Heritage Museum, 8788 Metcalf - Overland Park, KS 66212. This is a suburb of Kansas City.  Details on area hotels will be forthcoming.

Opening Keynote

Paul Long – Mr. Fundamism. Paul is a motivational speaker and consultant. He has provided memorable experiences at workshops, trade shows, and keynotes. As the Kansas City Royals 2016 Fan of the Year, his shenanigans have been featured in media outlets like ESPN, the Washington Post, and even the Wall Street Journal.

Hospice and Bereavement

Jack LoCicero, Ph.D. – Jack LoCicero was a presenter at Branson 2006. He is the Director of Counseling Services of Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC.  He currently teaches undergraduate classes at Salem College and online graduate courses for Wake Forest University and Madonna University.


Brenda Smith Myles PhD, formerly, a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, is the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome (GRASP) Divine Neurotypical Award, and American Academy of Pediatrics Autism Champion. She served as the editor of the journal Intervention in School and Clinic and has been a member of the editorial board of several journals.

Brenda has made over 3000 presentations all over the world and written more than 300 articles and books on ASD. Further, in the latest survey conducted by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.

Elisa Gagnon, MS, is the creator of the Power Card Strategy and the co-author of the award winning book Power Cards, 2.0. For over 25 years she has taught children and youth with ASD and emotional disorders and providing practical support and information to teachers, support personnel and families.

Her passion is taking the research to practice and sharing the message that many of the strategies that work for children and youth with autism are good for all children. Elisa has presented across the United States focusing on using strengths and interests when working with those with ASD.

Post-Traumatic Stress

Tina M. Clark, LSCSW, RPT-S is a clinical social worker and registered play therapist supervisor.  She has 20 years of experience working with children and families who have experienced trauma in schools, domestic violence agencies, foster care, outpatient mental health systems and private practice.  Currently working full time in public schools, Tina can be found via her private practice at clarkcounselingserviceskc@gmail.com

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