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Learning, Lunch, and Networking – Free CEU Event

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United Way of Greater Houston – Community Resource Center

50 Waugh Drive

Houston, TX 77007

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Please join the Gladney Center for Adoption as we host a day of learning, networking and fun! The first part of the day will be dedicated to an interactive and thought-provoking ethics training. This program is Shades of Gray: The Trolley Problem presented by Heidi Bruegel Cox. Get ready to put on your ethical thinking cap as we examine the following:

  • Various ethical questions that arise from the fictional story about a run-away tram
  • Evaluate the issues utilizing several methods for ethical decision-making
  • Think about how we use analogies in decision-making every day and consider how that may help or hinder good decision-making
  • Consider when, how and why we lie
  • How to establish your CODE

The second part of the day Robin P. Kochel, Ph.D. will present a current overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through the framework of commonly asked questions:

What is it?
How common is it?
Who is affected?
Who is at risk?
When does it develop?
When is it detected/diagnosed?
What causes (and does not cause) it?
How is it treated/managed?
What do families need to know now?

The most current research addressing these questions will be discussed, as well as next steps in these lines of research, practical information for affected families, and the value of families' participation in autism research.

The last part of the day Kelly Ruemmele, RN, MSN, CPNP will be discussing some of the issues surrounding sleep for all ages, especially teens during the high school years: challenges of school schedules, technology, and extra-curricular activities. While examining the affects on mood and obesity, screening tools and community resources to help those at risk.


About the Speakers

Heidi Bruegel Cox is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth, Texas, and has worked as an attorney in the field of adoption for over 26 years. Heidi is a Fellow with the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, has written numerous articles, has appeared on several television programs highlighting adoption, and serves on many committees focused on family law and child welfare.

As a child advocate, Heidi is active in educating the public and promoting legislative initiatives to protect children and support positive adoption practices. She is also involved with adoption at the antional level, serving as Vice Chair for the National Council for Adoption.

Heidi previously served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Adoption Review Committee which examined the child welfare system, seeking solutions to remove barriers to adoption for children in foster care. Heidi has also served on the board member of the Family Law Council, which supports the efforts of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.

In the international arena, Heidi has assisted with agency placements from Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

A frequent speaker, Heidi has been presenting adoption programs and papers to professionals and the community since 1990.


Dr. Robin Kochel is a full-time research psychologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX. Her expertise in the phenotypic characterization and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She received master’s degrees from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Baylor College of Medicine in the areas of Child & Family Studies and Clinical Investigation, respectively, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Since 2003, Dr. Kochel’s research has primarily focused on characterization of individuals with ASD and related genetic conditions, including management of three large, network-affiliated studies supported by the prestigious Simons Foundation. Her involvement in these network efforts have helped her to launch specific programs of research on causes and consequences of developmental regression in ASD, how parent perceptions about ASD influence their health-related behaviors, and emergent vaccine hesitancy resulting from fears about ASD.


Kelly Ruemmele RN, MSN, CPNP is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Mom of three, two teens and a tween, former nursing faculty, pediatric nurse, and passionate about vaccines, sleep, and issue affecting children's health care issues, especially in the Hispanic community.

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United Way of Greater Houston – Community Resource Center

50 Waugh Drive

Houston, TX 77007

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