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Neuroscience for the Neurodiverse

Risky Behavior, Addiction, Sensory, Tech


Saturday, April 20, 2024

9am – 12:30pm, 3 CEs

Monarch School & Institute

2815 Rosefield Dr. Houston, TX 77080

These presentations will be tailored to include and address those of all ages, who struggle with learning differences and attention issues including but not limited to ADHD, ASD and Anxiety.


Session 1.

The Neuroscience & Genetics of Risky Behavior: Implications for Neurodivergence

Crystal Collier, Ph.D.

This presentation clarifies how substances and other risky behavior affect healthy neurodevelopment, the role of genetics in addiction, and implications for prevention and treatment. How the brain becomes addicted and the role of genetics will be highlighted, including a discussion regarding the implications for treatment and recovery. This session can be used as a foundation for teaching students and their families about the process and effects of addiction and recovery in youth treatment and collegiate programs.


Session 2.

Understanding the Neurology of Sensory and Behavior, Robin Rettie, M.Ed. 

This presentation will provide research-based strategies to educators, parents, adults and professionals who are baffled by the behavior of individuals who seem to lack social awareness, experience difficulty in shifting, and experience meltdowns, turning the best planned day into chaos. Tangible strategies shared will provide insight to possible environmental triggers processed through the human sensory system, peripheral and central nervous system into the limbic system in the brain resulting in fight, flight, and freeze responses. How to strategies are provided as takeaway applications to increase expected behavior at school, workplace, home, and the community increasing opportunities for greater success in all areas of life. This session is designed for all, including adult age individuals who are baffled by their own behavior. 


Session 3.

Technology & the Brain, Crystal Collier, Ph.D.

Technology and the Brain teaches how overuse of technology affect brain development. Evidence from studies performed in Asian cultures where technology addiction has grown to large proportions will be used. Effects on mood, sleep, relationships, and behavior will also be discussed. However, addiction to technology and the effects of screens will function in the same way but with a more profound effect for the Neurodiverse. Solutions for children and adults regarding healthy technology limits and treatment issues will be covered.


3 CEs for Educators, LPCs, LMFTs, Social Workers, Psychologists



The Neuroscience & Genetics of Risky Behavior: Implications for Neurodivergence

Crystal Collier, Ph.D.

  • Participants will learn how high-risk behavior such as alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior affect brain development.

  • Participants will understand how genetics affect the risk of addiction.

  • Participants will learn how the arrest of neurodevelopmental processes affect youth as they age into adulthood.

  • Participants will have knowledge of prevention and treatment techniques to address youth and adult high-risk behavior.


Sensory, Robin Rettie, M.Ed.

  • Participants will learn the principles of cognitive development and neuroscience.

  • Participants will gain insight into the benefits of implementing evidence-based interventions for school, home, and community.

  • Participants will have knowledge of evidence-based strategies for movement and quiet breaks to support calming and self-regulation.

  • Participants will be able to discuss evidenced-based practices regarding benefits of utilizing Anchor Sensory Tools.



Technology & the Brain, Crystal Collier, Ph.D.

  • Participants will be able to discuss how learning creates neural structure.

  • Participants will understand how technology overuse affects neurodevelopment.

  • Participants will learn how technology, social media, and video game use and overuse affect sleep, mood, learning, safety, and behavior.

  • Participants will gain insight into what healthy technology limits are and how to treat technology overuse or addiction.



Speaker Bios

Dr. Crystal Collier is an expert in adolescent brain development, prevention programming, parent coaching, addiction, family-of-origin work, and training new counselors. She created an online, plug-n-play prevention program called which teaches the neurodevelopmental effects of risky behavior to students, parents, and staff. In 2020, she published her long-awaited neurodevelopmental prevention book, The NeuroWhereAbouts Guide, for parents and families who want to prevent youth high-risk behavior. In 2023, she published, FOO Mapping, for people who want to change their family-of-origin thinking, feeling, and behavioral patterns that no longer serve them and Know Your Neuro: Adventures of a Growing Brain for kids in K-5.


Robin Rettie, M.Ed., has a life-time of experience supporting individuals with learning differences; sibling to Laurie Lorraine Rettie (LLR) born in 1954 with Microcephaly and founder of Lighthouse Learning Resources (LLR), providing Educational Consulting, and Staff Development in The Anchor Teaching Framework focusing on neurology of human behavior, Peripheral and Central Nervous System, 8 Sensory Systems, and the Limbic System; the science of behavior providing strategies, tools, and training. Robin’s career includes public and private teaching, certified Texas educator in Texas, and former Director of Life Academy and Employability for The Monarch School and Institute, spanning over 34 years directly working to support individuals with neurological and genetic differences. Robin serves on the ADDA-SR Professional Advisory Council.

Click Here For Registration

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