Workshops & Events

As families prepare for the transition from school to adult services, securing and preserving eligibility for key funding streams is vital. Our presenter, from the law firm of Hinkle, Fingles and Prior, will explain the complex funding issue, available programs and eligibility criteria for services for adults with autism. Parents also will learn about the financial and legal implications of planning for adult services, particularly protecting the assets and income resources that will help ensure their child has the opportunity to lead a full life in the community. Understanding your child’s educational rights is fundamental to ensuring that your child receives appropriate services and support. This free seminar discusses special education law as it relates to IEP development and delivery of services. Participants will learn strategies to prepare for and actively participate in IEP meetings, and how to advocate for their children’s rights. Topics include the essentials of a good IEP, the special education delivery cycle, and an in-depth examination of a sample IEP illustrating the components required by federal and state law. Applied Behavior Analysis is a research-based method that is effective for teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  Providing consistency in teaching across home and school environments can help to maximize learning.  This free workshop will provide an overview of behavioral strategies that can be used at home.  Parents, family members, and caregivers are welcome to attend. With the wide variety of treatment approaches for autism, how do you know where to start, what to try and which ones are right for your child? What questions should you ask before and during intervention to make the most of the experience? Following a brief review of the research on a variety of treatments, this workshop will provide you with tools to be a more informed consumer and ways to partner with service providers to get the best for your child. This workshop will benefit parents of newly diagnosed children who want help making sense of treatment claims and parents of older children who wish to re-evaluate their child’s current program. This free workshop will describe available services for both families of individuals with autism and the professionals who support them. The Parent Series is a free 18-hour course focusing on teaching a behavioral approach to parenting. Series topics include: how to assess and change behavior; how to teach new skills; and your child’s educational rights. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders often have difficulty engaging in social interactions.  This free workshop will provide an overview of strategies for increasing social skills in children with autism.  Parents, family members, and caregivers are welcome to attend. This open forum to discuss how you handle stressful situations. Practical strategies for coping with stress will be discussed. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences about how they maintain energy, enthusiasm, humor, and a positive outlook on life. The entire family benefits when parents can manage the challenges and enjoy the good times. This discussion will enhance your mind, body, and spirit. Transition planning for children age 14 and over is an integral part of preparing your young adult to be independent after leaving the school setting.  Now is the time to collaborate with your district to plan for your child’s life after school.  Federal and state law require that school districts deliver transitional services to children during their teenage years.  These free seminars will educate you about what an IEP should include when planning for transition, and who is involved in this process.   Content is aimed toward parents of children ages 12-21. If you’ve ever said, “But, she can do it in class,” or “But, he used to be able to,” this workshop is for you. Skills successfully taught in one environment often do not generalize or maintain over time. Efforts to address these shortcomings need to be individualized for each learner and planned for in a systematic manner. This workshop will describe the various forms of generalization and identify specific strategies that may increase the likelihood of both generalization and maintenance. Data collection tools and tracking forms relevant to these areas will be provided. Many professionals struggle with improving functional communication and language skills in their students with autism. This workshop will integrate research in all areas of speech and language development within behavioral programming to create strategies that promote early vocal and verbal behaviors, develop and expand vocabulary and foster abstract and higher level language. In addition, the complexities of meeting the speech, language and communication needs of individuals with autism across all disciplines will be addressed with specific recommendations for collaboration among the behavior analyst, speech therapist and classroom teacher. Whether you’re creating a new classroom or seeking to improve an established one, this workshop will provide the keys to successfully developing an effective teaching environment that promotes functional communication and appropriate behaviors through proven teaching strategies. The information will apply to administrators supervising teachers, teachers supervising paraprofessionals or consultants supporting district staff. Issues including training, retention and motivation of staff, parent collaboration, financial and legal factors and curriculum will be addressed. The IEP is the cornerstone of the student’s education, yet many teachers and child study team members have never been specifically trained in its required components and other considerations mandated in federal and state law. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the IEP decision-making process and learn how to create a document that unites the perspectives of educators and families. This workshop also will provide an overview of the essential features of public school autism programs using the APQI as a framework and discuss how districts can best incorporate these recommendations into their programs. Questions from attendees will be addressed as time allows.