Child Development Conference 2020

“Gender + Sex + Kids Today = Confusion

Helping Children Navigate Gender and Sexual Development”


Donald Spivak, MD

Part of the Centene Charitable Foundation Speakers Series


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Date:  Monday, February 17, 2020 – Presidents’ Day

Location:  Ethical Society of St. Louis Auditorium, 9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117

Time:  8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (on-site check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.)

Cost: $65  (Non refundable)  6.5 Credit Hours*

This course has been approved for clock hours by the Missouri Professional Development Registry. To receive these clock hours, you must include your MOPD ID number when registering.

Donald SpivakA full day devoted to child development, with facilitator Donald Spivak presenting

Gender + Sex + Kids today = Confusion

Helping Children Navigate Gender and Sexual Development

People who work with children are increasingly finding themselves having to think about the ways in which children develop and express their sense of gender. Parents and teachers often have questions about why a child may choose to dress in clothes that don’t conform to their birth sex, or want to be called by a different name.  The adults in the lives of these children often wonder how best to understand the child and support their development in ways that allow for creativity as well as successful management of conflicts and of differences.  The responses to these concerns are not always obvious, but our understanding of gender and the variations in its expression throughout the life cycle has greatly expanded. We have also come to understood much more about sexuality: how it develops, how it intersects with gender, and how it is expressed and used.


This program is designed to offer clear, coherent, and current information on the development of sexual and gender identity which will enable these adults to support development of the child and support their sense of self-worth. Because these are topics that are accompanied by uncomfortable feelings, participants will be able to use the information presented to help alleviate their own anxieties along with enhancing their abilities to understand children and youth.


On-site registration/bagel breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m.

Event begins at 8:00 a.m.

We provide the lunch! (if you have dietary restrictions, you are welcome to bring your own food – there is a refrigerator on site)


Donald Spivak, MD, is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and a certified child, adolescent, and adult psychoanalyst. He is a faculty member of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and Co-Director of Walnut Lake Preschool in Farmington Hills, Michigan.



  • Identify at least two developmental expressions of gender and will be able to apply their knowledge to enable children to have creative expressions of their gendered selves.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to explore and list their own gendered ideas and to describe at least two ways that general human attributes have been sorted by society’s expectations of gender roles.
  • List at least two ways gender may be expressed in atypical or unexpected manners. They will be able to assess and list potential meanings and begin to be able to predict possible further developments.
  • Identify variations and refinements in gender expressions through development. They will be able to explain developmental interferences in the successful integration of a person’s interests and gender role ideas.
  • Summarize expressions of sexuality as they change through development. They will be able to integrate how gender expressions intertwine with sexuality.
  • Discuss ways in which anxiety manifests itself when sexuality and gender expression is discussed and examined.
  • Identify and list techniques for reducing anxieties around these topics when working with children.

Questions?  Contact Cathy Krane, or 314-446-3043

*Credit Hours:

NBCCCOUNSELORS:  The St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5953. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SOCIAL WORKERS:  The Missouri State Committee for Social Workers (reference Code of State Regulations 2263-2.082) accepts continuing education hours approved by professional associations in the human services, such as the NBCC,  the American Psychological Association and others.


To receive MOPD credits for early childhood educators, you must register with your MOPD ID number and sign in at the event.  The credits will be accessible through the MOPD Registry after the completion of the lecture.