We are moving forward!  We have live speakers for our event and online speakers that you can enjoy from your home when you purchase your online pass!  The great thing is you can have both of these worlds!!  And we get to tap into some amazing speakers but offering both platforms!!  Speakers and Schedule will be available shortly for release!

Live Event speakers 

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tapping into your child's strengths

The roadmap to progress (workshop)

Author of Beyond OK from Invisible to Invincible   Founder of Shift Your Thinking


When you become a Mom, nothing can prepare you for the new world you are about to take on.  This Mom world taps into parts of you, you never thought you had.  As a Mom, I have grown more as a person than any other role in my life.  And it's because of this role that I'm here today to help other Moms support their children's learning and more importantly -- maintain their self esteem and allow them to be who they are meant to be.  Mom's have a powerful role to play.  I know we don't always feel powerful but we are still stepping up to this position -- that's why you are invincible!


I worked as an Occupational Therapist in the school setting for 20 years.  I watched and I learned -- I looked at skills and how learning was viewed and what seemed to be missing when it came to supporting kids that were learning differently.  I had the passion which came from my own learning experiences.  My business was born! I stepped out to help parents and soon found myself supporting OTs.  I was thrilled but not done yet.  I had a book to write -- a story to tell about my own learning differences!  And I did that too! Shift Your Thinking is an extension of this passion to support learning differences!


Heidi Bernhardt, rN

Founder of Center for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC)

Heidi Bernhardt, RN, is a psychiatric nurse by training, mother of three young men with ADHD, and the founder, President and Executive Director of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC), a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to awareness, education, and advocacy for ADHD. Heidi also served as the Executive Director of the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA), a national not-for-profit organization of the leading clinicians and researchers in ADHD in Canada for 6 years. Over the past 23 years, Heidi Bernhardt has helped raise awareness and understanding of ADHD among parents, educators, health care professionals, industry leaders, and government officials through presentations, conferences, media interviews, and advocacy work.     


John Tucker is an ADHD Coach and Speaker specializing in advocacy and other support for students struggling with ADHD-related issues in college and university. He also works with adults and adolescents along the autistic spectrum, frequently acting as a mediator on behalf of clients, within a family setting.  
John has an extensive background in education and health care spanning more than four decades. In his 25-year career as a teacher and principal, going back to the 1970s,  John was already deeply dedicated to working on behalf of students with special needs. He expanded on this interest at the University of Toronto, where he earned a PhD focusing on students transitioning into post-secondary school.

Marni Levitt, B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed., OCT, RYT

Founder of Move-N-Music

Founder of Move-n-Music


Marni's programs are filled with the gifts she has gained from her 10+ years leading teams, designing ground breaking curriculum, teaching adults and teaching some of the most vulnerable children in the public school system: 20+years performing as a singer-songwriter, 10 years practice in traditional African drumdance (including 2X study trips to Guinea, West Africa) and 10 years stdy in Yoga and Mindfulness (including specialized certifications to teach children and seniors.)

Marni’s experience, along with degrees in Education and Broadcasting, uniquely positions her as a modern-day wellness guru, guide and cultural animator.  Born out of transformative personal and work experiences, Marni’s highly innovative programs aims to light a spark to inspire people to reorient the relationship between their mind and body. 

Marni has worked with hundreds of children, families and organizations across the GTA.  She offers workshops, training, presentations and coaching in English and French, for adults an children of all abilities.

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sperry Bilyea

Event Master of ceremony

Thrive By Design. Shift Your Thinking Founder

The Mom Story -

I needed help.  I found Susan Schenk and she walked me through a life changing exercise to help my children.  I have 3 awesome kids who all have some diagnosis or another either LD, ADHD and GAD (including their mom).  They are creative, quirky, funny,  out of the box thinkers and we love them this way!  They did not fit the school mold.  I saw their self-esteem go down the toilet. I searched for traditional and non traditional medical experts, social workers, nutritionists, meditation.  I found it confusing and overwhelming.  Our family ebbs and flows as all families do - I want to do the best for each child and help them truly thrive in the world.

The Biz Story

My whole career has been in the health and wellness industry in the US and Canada. My company is called Thrive by Design. Thriving By Design’s mission is to CURATE RESEARCH and experiences to help nurture curiosity in living a life that is intentionally focused on health regardless of age or circumstances.  Shift Your Thinking fits into this personal mission perfectly. Our hope is to start this community and give families who are just beginning this journey or are in the middle of it - the support, resources and encouragement that we were searching for in one place.  Shifting peoples thinking about learning differently one mind at a time.

matthew turton

VP of Breakthroughs in Learning

Matthew Turton is the Vice President of Breakthroughs in Learning. At 11 years old, while struggling to overcome his own learning disabilities, Matthew already knew what he wanted to do with his life – he wanted to help other people know they weren’t dumb.  Now, having logged over 15,000 hours working with children and adults with learning disabilities and becoming an International Best Selling author, he will share his experiences and what it’s like on both sides of learning disabilities. 

Richard Maerten

Lead Trainer at Learn Style

Rich Maertens is a former Special Education Teacher and Principal, and has worked with students from K-12. He has worked in the Avon Maitland District School Board and in the Durham District School Board. Rich has been using technology with Special Education students since the early 1980's. He has been an Assistive Technology Consultant for the past seven years in a number of school boards. He is passionate about showing students, parents, and teachers how to effectively use technology for student success!

Dan Rooney, B.A., B.S.W, M.S.W, (Adlerian Therapist)

Village Healing Center

Dan has had a full, integrated and rewarding 25 year career in Child, Family, Individual, Mental Health and Social Services.
He has a well-established Private Family Counselling Practice in the West End of Toronto. In his practice, Dan sees and works with Children, Families, Couples and Individuals who are working with and through their personal and social issues.
As a trained Adlerian Therapist, Dan also has a sub specialization in children's Learning Differences and Distinctions. This distinction more commonly referred to as a Learning Disabilities Disorder (L.D., ADD/ADHD-"DSM 5 R") creates social and emotional fallout which can be converted into strengths and uniqueness if identified, accepted and work with when initial problems surface.
Dan believes this is best seen and understood as the challenges children and their families face more as a case of "the problem is the problem" rather than the child's problem, their parent's problem or a family problem.
Dan currently teaches Mental Health First Aid Certification Training for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, as part of the federal initiative to develop a national Mental Health Strategy for Canada.
This Initiative and subsequent training promotes a greater understanding, appreciation and acceptance of Mental Health issues and challenges to individuals, corporations, service industries and learning institutions across the country.

Could it be that maybe we are “suppose to learn this way?
— Susan Schenk Beyond Ok from Invisible to Invincible

Panel Speakers 


Carolyn Dickinson

Panel facilitator

International Success Coach, Speaker, & Author

Carolyn Dickinson is an International Success Coach for Entrepreneurs, Author and Speaker.  She skillfully blends her client’s passions into profits while integrating the demands of life. 
What most people don’t know about Carolyn is that at the age of 9 she was diagnosed with Dyslexia when they realized the level of struggle she was having in reading and writing.  
Through grade school and high school support in this area was very limited due to the lack of know-how and she shuffled through as a C - mostly D student.  Without the proper support her true potential did not show through and she struggled through school while being told by teachers she would never survive in life.     It was not until her last year of high school that one particular counselor saw Carolyn’s true potential and changed her world.    
Since then Carolyn Graduated an A student with her Early Childhood Education Diploma from Centennial Collage and received her Psychology Degree from York University.   At the age of 20 she had become the spokesperson through College and University for the amazing programs being developed to support students with Learning Challenges. She was invited to high schools to speak to the teacher, parents and students, and there was always a line waiting to talk to her afterwards.
 Carolyn did not stop there she obtained a Certification in Family Mediation and many other courses to continuing to educate herself and build her life.   She went onto to work in the corporate world and moved into entrepreneurship.  She now does what she loves and hires other people to take care of the rest.
Her philosophy in life is “anything is possible with the right mindset”.  


Emile Studham

panel participant

Founder of X Movement (formerly Aussie Rules)

Emile has dedicated his life to helping people and the organizations they lead, create a new sense of purpose. Whether on the field or in boardroom, his Elite Team Performance Programs create a new sense of purpose, unite, and inspire teams to produce new and unseen business results.

As a former semi-pro athlete, current President of Extraordinary Impact at X Movement and Lead Facilitator of the Elite Team Performance program at X Performance, he uses a proprietary methodology. Developed in the Australian sports world, this methodology is used to produce high performing pro sports teams and has also been dominating leadership development circles for the past 10 years.

He has been featured in shows such as Dragons’ Den, City TV, and Global News among others.

Other panel participants

sophie bilyea 

Susan Schenk


Many of the speakers above will be part of the VIP Lunch - Read more here!





How to Build Your Child's Self Esteem When the School is Tearing it Down

Many of us that are close to dyslexic children know that dyslexics can be incredibly talented, creative and innovative. High performing Individuals such as Richard Branson and Steven Spielberg have even accredited dyslexia as an important ingredient in their own success. And yet we also know that dyslexia is often accompanied with anxiety depression and self harm. Our prisons system is packed with dyslexics, and dyslexia has been identified as one of the biggest risk factors for dropping out of high school. 
As parents we want our children to have a resilient self esteem, no matter what experiences they experience in school. In this conversation I will step you through an evidence based step by step process of strengthening your children's self esteem, no matter how challenging their environments may be.

About Elisheva

Elisheva is a dyslexia researcher, mother, wife , intelligence re-difiner and podcast host. She’s on a mission to decode the dyslexic mind, and empower the dyslexic community to fully understand both the strengths and the difficulties of the processing style.

Both her academic background, in Cognitive Science and Education, as well as her own personal experiences with dyslexia, allows Elisheva to draw on a unique blend of both the personal and scientific.

Elisheva often writes, blogs, talk and presents about dyslexia, cognition , learning, creativity and intelligence. Her Podcast " The Dyslexia Quest" was rated the 29th top podcast in the Education Category on iTunes. 

When Elisheva is not running her Dyslexia Consultancy, or podcasting, she can be found speaking at Universities and Conferences, with some of her latest speaking engagement including The International Dyslexia Association panel and University of Philadelphia.

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Shonte Jovan Taylor

Cultivating A Successful Parental Mindset To Ensure Student Success

Successful student learning starts with the teacher or parent who understands 1) how she can encourage or discourage learning, 2) how she can engage or disengage learning, 3) if the environment is stimulating or distracting, or 4) whether or not the student needs special attention or autonomy. All of these learning interventions can affect the mind, brain and therefore student learning. The purpose of this talk is to enlighten parents and teachers on how their own brain and mind works as well as holds their belief systems, perceptions, and levels of awareness that can influence student outcomes.

About Shonte

Shonté Jovan Taylor is a Neuroscientist, Mindset Success Catalyst & Social Entrepreneur who is Igniting Minds around the world through Coaching,Training, & Speaking. The Mind and Brain are the keys to our ultimate high performance, focus, learning, relationships, fulfillment, creativity and SUCCESS in life. The ability to get out of our comfort zone to pursue new adventures, professions, and entrepreneurial heights is 90% MINDSET and the rest is LEARNING new skills, Taking ACTION, and being Held ACCOUNTABLE. Shonté's mission is to guide ambitious people seeking new opportunities to shift their mindset to reach their full potential in life, profession and business.


Helping Children Shift from "I Can't" to "I Can"

When a child struggles, feelings of helplessness are almost inevitable. Children often become convinced that they "can't" do something... and when they don't try, their behavior seems to confirm their beliefs. As parents, there are things we can do to build children's confidence and resilience when it comes to facing things that don't come easily. This talk will discuss specific strategies parents can use to help their children shift their thoughts and beliefs from "I can't" to "I can."

about rachel

Rachel Bailey is a Parenting Specialist who has been serving families for a decade. Besides being a mother of two, she also has Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology a certification in Positive Discipline. She has worked as an ADHD and Academic Coach, Intenstive In-Home Mentor, and psychotherapist. Rachel is committed to helping parents feel good about themselves -- from providing hands-on tools for raising children who meet their full potential... to helping parents conquer the guilt, pressure, and overwhelm that is associated with parenting today.

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Dr patricia mcguire 

Being Open to the "Whys"

Children consist of 3 layers which we then observe as their behaviors and emotions. This talk will provide an overview of each layer and how it affects a child's ability to be compliant

aBout Dr Pat

Known as "The Pediatric Profiler", Dr. McGuire has spent over 30 years learning and sharing with adults the "whys" of child and adolescent behavior. Her expertise comes from 2 sources: 1) as a board certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician, and 2) as the mother of 3 wonderful children who collected many labels throughout their childhood and adolescence.