The Continuing Impact of COVID -19 on Children & Families: Returns

9/24/2021 - 11:00am to 2:15pm CDT

Parenting our children can be both rewarding and challenging. Parenting during the COVID-19 global pandemic has brought new challenges and fears as we have all experienced the isolation of lockdowns and social distancing, concerns for our health and safety, and the uncertainty of what the future will bring. Although families continue to adapt to the best of their abilities, the sense of isolation, loss of routine and structure, and lack of access to social supports and resources has been an overwhelming and traumatic experience for many.

The prospect of returning to school raises numerous questions and continued fear and uncertainty. After months of being told we are “safer at home,” parents are now being offered the opportunity to send their children back to school. While appealing in many ways, this decision also raises questions of the physical safety of our children, challenges in returning to structured routines after months of distance learning, restoring relationships with teachers, social workers, and peers or establishing new relationships, and concerns that children have regressed or lost skills and abilities after months of being isolated at home. Parents and helping professionals will need to address these concerns for themselves and assuage the fears of their children and the children they serve.

This training highlights the needs, struggles, and fears of children and their families from the perspective of the helping professional and the parent for families with neurotypical children and families of children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and intellectual disability (ID). While this and continued transitions are challenging for all families these issues are further complicated by the fact that children with neurodevelopmental disorders often struggle significantly with change, which continues to come as society shifts into the future.

Approved for 3CE hours

Below are the training objectives for this presentation:

Provide an overview of the overwhelming and traumatic impacts the isolation and uncertainty of living through the COVID-19 global pandemic has brought with special focus on the impact on children and their families.

Share openly and honestly about the challenges of parenting during the lockdown periods of the pandemic with a discussion of how to best restore the disrupted school routines, resources, and relationships of children.

Explore the continued impact of chronic stress and uncertainty on children, parents, families as they are expected to make decisions about returning to school including concerns around the ability to adapt to renewed routines and additional structure, the physical safety of children in returning to school, and the regression or possible loss of skills, knowledge, and abilities during the isolation of distance learning at home.

Provide an overview of the additional challenges for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism, and their families in returning to school and adapting to an increasingly uncertain future.

Examine the topics of acceptance, authenticity, and vulnerability in responding to the fears and stress for parents and their children in returning to school.

Discuss practical tips and suggestions for helping professionals to best support children with autism and their parents during the return to school, programs, and therapy.

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor, Program Director, and lead developer for the Master of Arts degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health for Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. Jerrod has also been employed with Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul, Minnesota for the past seventeen years. Pathways provides programs and services benefitting individuals impacted by mental illness and addictions. Through his work at Pathways, Jerrod has extensive experience working with clients diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, serious and persistent mental health (SPMI) conditions, trauma and stressor related disorders, substance use and other addictive disorders, sleep disorders, and criminal justice-involved populations. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS) and the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Scholars Today (FST). Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod is also certified as a Brain Health Coach, Trauma Professional, Compassion Fatigue Professional, Youth Firesetting Prevention/Intervention Specialist, an Anger Resolution Therapist (CART), a Thinking for a Change (T4C) Facilitator, a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Trainer, an Autism Specialist, Digestive Health Specialist, Gut Health Specialist, Stress and Mindset Coach, Holistic Health Coach, Sleep Science Coach, Sex Crimes & Relational Paraphilic Attachments (RPA), Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP), and a Problem Gambling Treatment Provider in the state of Minnesota. Jerrod has published numerous articles and book chapters. Email:


Nicole Kimberley-Staeheli, MATS, is the lead consultant for Nicole Ranae Consulting, LLC and has over 25 years of experience in the criminal justice field. The primary focus for much of her career has been in the training, facilitation, and implementation of evidence-based practices with a specific emphasis on trauma informed and cognitive behavioral programming. Nicole is a Motivational Interviewing trainer and certified curriculum trainer for numerous evidence-based programs including Thinking for A Change, Decision Points, and Moving On. Additionally, she is the co-author and principal trainer for the Domestic Violence Education Program, a research based, integrated intervention for clients who commit acts of domestic violence. She has written and trained extensively on trauma-informed interventions and is a facilitator of several trauma informed curriculum including Beyond Trauma, Healing Trauma, VOICES, and Beyond Violence.

Currently, Nicole is an independent trainer, coach, and implementation specialist for county, community-based, and non-profit agencies serving justice involved individuals. She also works as a contractor and trainer with the Decision Points Authors, LLC.

Nicole received her undergraduate degree from Hamline University and her graduate degree from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN and for several years was the chair of the Minnesota Cognitive Behavioral Network, a professional association dedicated to supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices. She has presented at numerous statewide conferences on the importance of being trauma informed and utilizing cognitive behavioral interventions in facilitating long-term change for justice involved individuals, the professionals and agencies that work with them, and their communities. Email:

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D.
Nicole Kimberley-Staeheli, MATS
$0 – $65
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