Nathan Ebanks Foundation and Raising Special Needs Network partners with the Jamaica Diaspora Northeast U.S.A. and Full Circle Systems Inc. to host “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit” for parents of children with special needs.

The Nathan Ebanks Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates for the inclusion of children with disabilities, and Raising Special Needs Network has partnered with the Jamaica Diaspora Northeast U.S.A. and Full Circle Systems Inc. to host the “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit.” 

The “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit responds to the pressing needs of parents and families of children with disabilities challenged during this time of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Summit will give attendees simple to implement ideas and strategies to create better relationships with their children, increase proactivity, and grow their children’s resilience, confidence, and independence as they adapt to school-from-home and work-from-home.

The “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit is a virtual experience that will run daily from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.) on YouTube Live @raisingspecialneeds. The goals of the Summit are:  

  • To share resources, guidance, and perspective shifts necessary to rediscover and empower your relationship with yourself.
  • To increase awareness, build confidence, and develop the capacity to better support your child.
  • To provide tools to help you address daily living challenges, including self-regulation, communication, emotions, schoolwork, and more.
  • Demonstrate what is possible through the ‘power of play’ to nurture relationships, celebrate and enjoy the gift that is your child while creating space and activities to foster joy!

The “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit will culminate on Day 4 with the Parent-Expert Roundtable in observation of the U.N. International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The Roundtable will facilitate a more in-depth exploration in applying the strategies, tools, and techniques presented during the Summit. 

The Summit features an esteemed panel of national and international speakers, including Elaine Wint, Self-Leader Coach (Jamaica); Senta Greene, Founder and Co-Executive Director of Full Circle Systems Inc.; Erin Mercer, Speech-Language Pathologist and International Speech-Language Consultant with the Nathan Ebanks Foundation;  Jane Metz, Occupational Therapist; Dr. Karren Dunkley, Principal/C.E.O. of K.N.D. Consulting, L.L.C. and Global Jamaica Diaspora Council Representative Northeast U.S.A.; Lesli-Ann Belnavis Elliott, Art Therapist (Jamaica); Dr. Kathleen Van Antwerp, Executive Co-Director of Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc. and Executive Director of the Ventura County Child Abuse Prevention Council; Dr. Amy Gooden, Professor at Lesley University, Author and Founder of Improved Communications Consulting (I.C.C.); Dr, Raymond Heipps, Senior Specialist for Special Education and internationally recognized speaker and consultant on AT and Sensory Needs; Chef Patrice Harris-Henry, Executive Chef of Mission: FoodPossible (Jamaica); Robin Ryan, Coordinator, Certified Project Manager, Parent Leader; Lori Hope, Founder, and Director of Gardens4Hope; and Christine Staple-Ebanks, Author, Childhood Disabilities Parent-Advocate, Founder of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation and Raising Special Needs Network, and the Designer and Host of “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit.”

We organized “The ‘Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit’ because we are finding, especially now, there is so much going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the needs of children with special needs and their families are not part of the ongoing conversation. Parents and families are struggling, nationally and globally. Parents are continually reaching out to me to ask how to access support and services in this ‘new normal.’ In many instances, service and program providers in their planning are not present to the unique needs of the community of children (and adults) with disabilities and their families. We are pleased to have the support of crucial resource long time partners and new collaborators for this critical event,” says Mrs. Staple-Ebanks.

The Nathan Ebanks Foundation ( has been successfully providing publications, specialized events, training, and capacity development programs for parents, governments, professionals, and civil society organizations for more than 14 years. The “Special Child. Special Needs. Virtual Parenting Summit now extends this support to the global community of families of children with special needs and the professionals who work with the population. Please visit the organization’s website at for further information and details about registration, participation, and viewing of the Summit.

For further information, please contact:  Christine Staple-Ebanks – [email protected]