TransYouth Care Symposium is a comprehensive 16-hour training designed for professionals interested in providing sensitive and competent mental health and medical care for gender-diverse children, transgender youth and young adults. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are also welcome to attend and learn about the many facets of caring for a transgender youth, including the parent/guardian/caregiver’s own process, supporting the youth with dysphoria, and best practices needed to inform and guide their care.

This symposium goes in-depth in explaining the clinical needs of transgender youth ranging from young children, adolescents, to young adults. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • The history of the provision of gender-affirming medical and mental health care
  • Development of gender identity, and how one’s relationship with being transgender can evolve over time
  • Evaluating the role of distress in the process of affirmation
  • Considering affirmation as a compassionate intervention
  • Current understanding of best practices re: medical and mental health support for trans youth
  • Puberty development and the role of pubertal blockers
  • Adolescent brain development and an overview of gender-affirming hormones
  • How gender dysphoria is experienced, and its impact on development particularly on the psychosocial well-being of trans adolescents
  • Understanding and reframing the role of gender dysphoria, and how dysphoria may present clinically
  • Parent/guardian/caregiver emotional process and the role of their support for their youth
  • Evaluating the historical “gate-keeper” model of trans care and the impact it has
  • The process of writing letters of recommendation for needed gender affirming medical interventions


Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy (she/her) has been providing medical intervention for gender non-conforming and transgender youth and young adults including puberty suppression and cross-sex hormones for the past 16 years and is considered a national expert in this area. Double Board Certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, as well as spearheading a robust research program with transgender youth, she brings cutting-edge knowledge to the field. Dr. Olson-Kennedy is the Medical Director of The Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, the largest transgender youth clinic in the United States.

Aydin Olson-Kennedy (he/him) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice in Los Angeles. He has been providing mental health care to the transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary communities for over fifteen years. Aydin has trained professionals and families across the United States and internationally and specializes in working with parents, caregivers, and guardians of trans and non-binary children of all ages.

Aydin earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from California State University, Chico, and is currently studying for his Doctoral degree in Social Work at Simmons University in Boston Massachusetts; a program rooted in de-colonized, anti-racist, intersectional social work practice.

Darlene Tando (she/her), Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has a private practice in San Diego and has been working with transgender youth and adults since 2006. Darlene provides consultations and ongoing therapy for gender-expansive/transgender children, adolescents, and adults.

She also provides trainings for professionals and caregivers in a variety of settings, and provides supervision to associates doing gender-affirming work. Darlene is the author of the book “The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Gender Identity: A Mindful Approach to Embracing Your Child’s Authentic Self”.

Email Darlene at TandoTherapy@me.com to find out how to host the TransYouth Care Symposium for your organization!

Next (virtual) symposium is April 28/29, May 7/8! Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/transyouthcare-symposium-2023-tickets-512269069577