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The 2012 annual Parent/Professional Empowerment Conference in Southern Maryland will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Huntingtown.

The event’s coordinator, Sonia Hinds, the founder and director of Chesapeake Beach Professional Seminars, explained that the event is a “one-of-a-kind parent and professional conference” designed for parents of kids with challenging behaviors, as well as teachers, day care providers and anyone working with or helping kids.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Osama Saleh, a board certified psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Hinds said breakout groups will include topics like pros and cons of medication; managing an angry child; suicide prevention and warning signs; cutting; how to deal with grief and loss; social skills for children; managing attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; and autism.

Hinds said the event is now in its seventh year and has always boasted “an excellent turnout.”

She said both Friday and Saturday’s programs will closely mirror each other, so attendees won’t have to attend both days if they have other plans.

LAURA DUKES