Past Autism Conferences

2016

Kristine Barnett

Opening Keynote – Kristine Barnett – (Grande Ballroom – 9am – 10 am)

Kristine Barnett is the author of The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius. When her son, Jake was two, he received a diagnosis of autism. Experts said he would never be able to tie his own shoes. Relying on the insights she developed at the daycare center she ran out of her garage, she pulled Jake out of special ed preschool and began preparing him for mainstream kindergarten on her own. She resolved to follow and fuel Jacob’s “spark”—his passionate interests, even if she could not make sense of them. Why concentrate on what he couldn’t do? Why not focus on what he could? This basic philosophy, along with her belief in the power of ordinary childhood experiences (softball, picnics, s’mores) and the importance of play, helped her help Jake overcome “impossible” odds. Only years later would she—and the experts—realize that Jake’s intense preoccupation with things like shadows on the wall and plaid fabric had been young Jake’s gateway to math, astronomy, and physics.

Dramatic and inspiring, Kristine Barnett will discuss the power of love and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles, and the dazzling possibilities that can occur when we learn how to tap the true potential that lies within every child, and in all of us.

Stephen Shore

Morning Plenary Session – Dr. Stephen Shore (Grande Ballroom – 10am – 11am)

Diagnosed with "Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies" and "too sick" for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism. In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his books Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Ask and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies, and the newly released DVD Living along the Autism Spectrum: What it means to have Autism or Asperger Syndrome.

Nichole WangsgardFrancine Baffa

Morning Concurrent Sessions 11:00 am – Noon

Lifevest: Everyday Practical Tips for the Classroom – Dr. Nicole Wangsgard and Dr. Francine Baffa (SC 206 ABC) This workshop is designed to support teachers in meeting the needs of diverse learners in their inclusive classrooms. Providing students with continued opportunities to learn and engage in all classroom activities is no small task, and this session is designed to support teachers by arming them with knowledge and practical strategies that they can implement in their classrooms to this end. Participants will leave with concrete tools for to help support children with autism and tangible modifications they can easily integrate into to their daily teaching routine.

Esperanza ReyesMaria Wiscombe

Whose Life Is It? Self-Determination and Helping Your Son or Daughter Make Good Decisions – Esperanza Reyes and Maria Wiscombe (SC 213AB)

At age 18 all students with disabilities reach the age of majority and are now considered an adult with the right to make his/her own decisions concerning medical care, IEP’s, training, employment and other needed services. Students who may have relied on others to advocate for them in the past now have to learn to communicate their needs to others. They need to learn to speak up for themselves and to be assertive. Is your youth with autism ready? In this presentation parents and educators will learn how to effectively support their students with autism in the post-secondary years. Learn how to be a mentor to your child or student as they learn how to manage their responsibilities. A self-determined person can set goals, make decisions, speak for him or herself and solve problems. Parents and educators will gain skills to achieve this objective.

Karen Fairchild

Maintaining Hope and Momentum When Your Teen or Adult Child has Severe Symptoms of Autism: A Panel Discussion – Karen Fairchild, Moderator (Centre Stage)

Join Karen Fairchild for a discussion with parents of teen and adults with more severe autism. These parents will come prepared to offer insights to issues such as: Getting services and help needed; handling financial strains; managing family stress; transitioning to more independent living; helping to secure meaningful work; social and leisure activities; dealing with behavioral and mental health concerns and finding sustaining joy, hope and humor on the journey!

Anna Hargadon PetersonLita Giddens

Building An Empowering Paradigm: Autism and the Performing Arts – Anna Hargadon Peterson, Lita Little Giddins, MSW, CSW (Ragan Theatre)

Anna and Lita will share their experience working with autistic students in the performing arts. Over the years they have seen the powerful ability of the arts to help students develop personal competencies such as exercising autonomy, making responsible choices, creating meaningful relationships and improving communication. As students perform and share with the audience they become empowered through the enjoyment and educational experience of live theater. Come and share the joy, the laughter, and the inspiration of theater – autism style!

LUNCHEON and Exhibit Fair (Grande Ballroom 12 Noon – 1pm)

Please join us for lunch and the presentation of the annual ARUCC (Autism Resources of Utah County Council) Heroes of Autism award. Then, before the Afternoon Plenary Session, take time to visit the Exhibit Fair in the Ballroom Commons area. Area service providers and conference sponsors will provide information on resources available to those on the spectrum.

Sally Ozonoff

Luncheon Plenary Session : Dr. Sally Ozonoff (Grande Ballroom 1pm – 2pm)

Advances in the Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This presentation will cover detection of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in infants and toddlers, summarizing existing research and describing new results from an ongoing prospective study. Recurrence risk of ASD in families who already have an affected child will also be discussed, as will developmental challenges beyond ASD that may occur in siblings. Dr. Ozonoff will conclude with clinical implications for screening and working with families.

Jared Stewart

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 2pm – 3pm Autism and ADHD – Forests and Trees – Jared Stewart, MEd (SC 206 ABC)

As many as 75% of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder also qualify for a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But parents and professionals often encounter difficulty in understanding the differences, similarities, and overlap of these two conditions. Join Jared Stewart as he compares and contrasts ASD and ADHD, and offers practical tips for addressing the inattention and hyperactivity that is present in both - with a focus on home and classroom applications.

Sue Chamberlain

Autism and Sexuality- Preventing Sexual Abandonment – Sue A. Chamberlain, LCM (SC 213 AB)

In the field of autism, the topic of sexuality is ignored far too often by caregivers, parents, and educators. Whether because of personal or cultural discomfort, lack of training, or some vain hope that “if we don’t talk about it, they’ll never become sexual”, individuals with autism rarely receive the information they need about their own biology from legitimate sources. This “Sexual Abandonment” is having significant negative consequences for individuals on the autism spectrum in the form of deviant behaviors, pornography and other sexual addictions, and high rates of sexual abuse. Information about sexuality has to be presented to this population. Sexual Education increases the likelihood that people with disabilities will either have the skills to be safe, or at least be more likely to report victimization. This informal presentation will cover tips and topics to help caregivers and professionals feel more confident and motivated to address this crucial issue.

Nichole WangsgardFrancine Baffa

After Diagnosis: Navigating Services and Supports – Dr. Nichole Wangsgard and Dr. Francine Baffa (Centre Stage)

This presentation will provide an overview of resources, services, and supports available for people diagnosed with Autism. The presenters will emphasize education and public health options during early childhood, childhood, adolescents, and adulthood. Attendees will learn what is available, how to apply, and how to navigate the insurance and education system.

Sarah Heuser

Neurodiversity: A Different Way of Thinking About Autism – Sarah Adia K. Heuser (Ragan Theatre)

Neurodiversity is a somewhat controversial movement that regards differences in neurology such as autism, as naturally occurring variations in human genomics, and not as something to be fixed or cured. Join Sarah as she discusses the history of the neurodiversity movement as it applies to autism, and presents current research as to why this relatively new way of thinking may be particularly efficacious when it comes to supporting people on the autism spectrum.

Debbie CarrJoanna Posey

3:10pm – 4:10pm Implementing Therapy Animals in Learning Settings for Students with Autism – Deborah Carr, MEd, BSN and Joanna Posey, MA, BS (SC 206 ABC)

During this presentation, Deborah will present guidelines and steps involved to consider in developing and maintaining therapy animal visitation services. She will look at the benefits of human-animal interactions, then the considerations for finding therapy animals service providers. Deborah will discuss important policies and procedures needed to ensure that a program is safe and mutually beneficial for all involved. With the aid of registered Pet Partner teams, she will show the benefits of working with students on the spectrum.

Sesame Street Presents: Autism – Frank Campagna (aka: Autism Daddy) (Centre Stage)

Almost every school and university in the country has students with autism. While the diagnosis is common, public understanding of autism is not. The lack of understanding around the condition contributes to discrimination, verbal abuse, even physical violence. A recent study reveals that children with autism are five times more likely to be bullied than their peers—treatment no child should endure. While the differences between people with autism and their peers may seem significant, children share something far more important: unique qualities and talents that make the world an interesting place. That’s why Sesame Workshop created Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, a nationwide initiative aimed at communities with children ages 2 to 5. Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, See Amazing in All Children offers families ways to overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities. At the same time, the project fosters an affirming narrative around autism for all families and kids. Join Frank as he introduces the program and shares resources everyone can use to help build awareness and understanding.

Jared Stewart

Panel Discussion: Autism From All Sides (Jared Stewart Moderator)– Dr. Sally Ozonoff, Kristine Barnett, Dr. Stephen Shore (Ragan Theatre)

Join Moderator Jared Stewart and our plenary speakers in a joint discussion of autism from all sides – parents, educators, and those living on the spectrum. Speakers will receive questions from the audience. Expect a lively, informative and enlightening hour.

2015

Peter Gerhardt

OPENING KEYNOTE – DR. PETER GERHARDT — GRANDE BALLROOM • 9 A.M. - 9:50 A.M.

Renowned Autism expert, Dr. Peter Gerhardt, is the director of education - upper school, for the McCarton School in New York City. He has over 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings.

Morning Concurrent Sessions 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

AMPLIFYING VOICES ON THE SPECTRUM – TALIA MORALES, BCMT; ANDREA MORIARTY AND REID MORIARTY — RAGAN THEATER • 10 A.M. - 11:50 A.M.

EXTENDED SESSION (1 hour and 50 minutes)

Join board certified music therapist Talia Morales as she shares how her work in clinic and school settings developed into the Songstream Project: “Voices of Autism”, an audio documentary exploring the path that music has woven through the lives of four young musicians on the autism spectrum. Andrea Moriarty will relate her experience as the parent of one of the young musicians featured. She will share various ways music therapy was central to their son’s education over more than a decade, and now in his adult vocational life. She and her husband have leveraged Reid’s special interest in music and performance to motivate him at every stage of life, creating performance opportunities and now his own podcast. Reid will perform his original songs with Talia. The stage is where he is most comfortable, and his songs inspire listeners while illuminating his unique perspective on the world.

Janica Dale

INCREASING STUDENT CONTACT WITH POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT – JANNICA DALE — CENTRE STAGE 10 A.M. - 11:50 A.M.

EXTENDED SESSION (1 hour and 50 minutes)

The majority of educators are striving to do anything necessary to help their students be successful. Most have also received at least minimal training in classroom management. Despite best efforts, frustration can easily occur when educators do not feel they have effective tools to positively support their students through class-wide and/or individual behavior management plans. The bad news is there is no magical one-size-fits-all solution. The good news is there are a number of simple applications of research-based strategies that can increase student contact with positive reinforcement in both the general education and special education settings. This presentation will remind us about the difference between rewarding and punishing strategies, consider how we might be implementing punishing strategies or escalating problem behavior without our knowledge, and discuss hands-on classroom examples of simple positive strategies that have shown to make a real difference. This presentation will be of special interest to educators.

WE HAVE A DIAGNOSIS, NOW WHAT? – KATHRINE PARNELL, LCSW — SC 213 A/B • 10 A.M. - 10:50 A.M.

Join Kathrine Parnell as she presents a session designed for parents, caregivers and family members of children ages zero to six who are newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Many parents struggle in the first few years of diagnosis to find appropriate resources, explain the diagnosis to family and friends and manage their own grief and loss. This 50-minute session will explore various resources which are readily available to assist parents to have positive interactions which promote growth in their children. Additional topics highlighted will be the journey of a parent’s grief and loss which is often minimized, and strategies to provide education and organize support from friends and family.

Anna Vagin

NEW CURRICULUM STANDARDS AND MEDIA BASED SOCIAL LEARNING: STRUCTURED VIDEO VIEWING TO BUILD SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE – ANNA VAGIN, PHD — SC 206ABC • 10 A.M. - 11:50 A.M.

EXTENDED SESSION (1 hour and 50 minutes)

New core Curriculum Standards have multiple outcomes that are dependent on social thought. For those supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disorders, it can be challenging to formulate goals, identify specific areas for therapeutic intervention and support teachers while keeping these standards in mind. A general overview of the Core Curriculum will emphasize social and emotional knowledge, and the impact for students with ASD. After discussing how we as adults can mediate social learning and language most successfully, Dr. Vagin will address a systematic way to deconstruct student IEP goals into underlying social concepts. She will then illustrate how to use highly engaging media to facilitate teaching of the abstract social concepts that are not incorporated into curriculum standards. The remainder of time will be spent exploring specific ways to use structured viewing of pre-selected movie, movie shorts and YouTube videos to build social knowledge. Participants will leave with a list of recommended media choices and accompanying activities they can use immediately. This session will be most enjoyable to those with moderate to advanced understanding of ASD and general educational principles.

James Vaughan

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND AUTISM: A CRUCIAL CONVERSATION – LT. MARK LOWTHER AND JAMES VAUGHAN — LIBRARY LAKEVIEW ROOM (4TH FLOOR) • 10 A.M. - 4 P.M.

EXTENDED WORKSHOP SESSION (4 hours, with break for lunch and afternoon plenary)

In conjunction with the 2015 UVU Conference on Autism, we are proud to join with Families of Autism and Asperger’s Standing Together (F.A.A.S.T) to offer a special focus workshop for EMS/First Responders. This workshop is aimed at creating greater awareness of the role Law Enforcement and other First Responders will plan in the growing population of those living on the Autism Spectrum. This two-part program includes ‘Autism 101’, focusing on the basics of the Autism Spectrum and the daily struggles of those facing the disorder.

Part 2, taught by Lt. Lowther (ret.), focuses on the law enforcement response, challenges to officers and the increased focus that must be shared due to the growing population of those living on the spectrum in our communities today. Each section includes a variety of visual aids and video presentations. The workshop will break at 11:50 to allow participants to join the general conference for luncheon, exhibitor fair and afternoon plenary session. Participants will reconvene at 2pm for the remainder of the day – ending at 4pm. This workshop is particularly designed for EMS/First Responders.

Sherlene Dean

MEDICATIONS: AUTISM AND CO-MORBID DIAGNOSIS – SHERLENE DEAN, APRN — SC 213 AB 11 A.M. - 11:50 A.M.

Join Sherlene as she provides an overview of the different classifications of psychiatric medications used for a wide variety of diagnosis, including Autism and the many co-morbid diagnosis such as Bipolar, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, OCD and psychosis. Common side effects and monitoring will be discussed. This presentation is appropriate for all levels of experience, and for professionals and parents alike.

PLENARY SESSION: THINGS NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU AFTER YOUR CHILD IS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM – AUTISM DADDY — GRANDE BALLROOM • 1 P.M. - 1:50 P.M.

Please join us for this honest and personal message from social media sensation ‘Autism Daddy’. In the 3 years since ‘Autism Daddy’ hit Facebook and began blogging, he has been followed by thousands of people around the world. With over 1000 unique visits per day, ‘Autism Daddy’ posts his personal experiences, joys, hardships, tips and tricks – all with a purpose aimed at educating and supporting autism parents and families.

Karen Malm

ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES ACROSS THE SPECTRUM: WHAT’S YOUR DUTY? – KAREN MALM, PHD — GRANDE BALLROOM 2 P.M. - 2:50 P.M.

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum provide unique challenges to clinicians when addressing ethical and legal issues of duty to warn, abuse and neglect reporting laws, maintaining confidentiality, and obtaining informed consent. This workshop will bring up the questions to consider about the ethical and legal issues in dealing with the host of challenges that individuals with Autism bring to our practices. Legal concepts around Duty to Warn, Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Laws, Confidentiality and Informed Consent Laws will be addressed. This session will be of particular interest to clinicians and professionals.

Jared Stewart

AUTISM AND HEALTHY SEXUALITY – JARED STEWART, ME.D — RAGAN THEATRE • 2 P.M. - 2:50 P.M.

Among all the research and discussion of issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorders, one subject is consistently overlooked: sexuality. And yet, despite the developmental delays associated with ASD, people with autism are still people – with the same hormones, same urges, and same physical development; and who face the same decisions that neurotypicals do. Parents, professionals and caregivers may find it awkward or unpleasant to address sexual issues, but ignoring the subject is neither helpful or possible. In this interactive presentation, participants will learn both the critical importance of sexual education and a host of tips for effective teaching and intervention across the lifespan. This session is designed for those with at least moderate understanding of ASD.

Holli ChildCaitlin Cotton

CREATING ENGAGING, CHALLENGING AND ENRICHING LEARNING EXPERIENCES – HOLLI CHILD AND CAITLIN COTTEN — CENTRE STAGE • 2 P.M. - 3:50 P.M.

EXTENDED WORKSHOP SESSION (1 hour and 50 minutes)

This interactive workshop is meant to target teachers who have students with Autism in their classrooms. It will focus on how to combine arts integrated learning with evidence based best practices to create an engaging, challenging and enriching learning experience for students of differing abilities. Holli and Caitlin will lead participants through hands-on small group experiences, real-time lesson delivery and practice teaching. Packed with opportunities for sharing and interactive learning, this workshop will highlight how teachers can best engage and reach their students in fun and enriching experiences for both teachers and their students. This workshop will be best enjoyed by those with some classroom experience and expertise.

17 STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE SOCIAL SKILL TRAINING THOMAS PARRY, ME.D, BCBA, LBA — SC 213 A/B • 2 P.M. - 2:50 P.M.

Enhance your child’s social skills using behavioral strategies and evidence-based practices. This session will offer a review of current interventions and strategies used to teach social skills to children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental or learning disabilities. Participants will learn about evidence based practices in teaching social skills such as incidental teaching, behavioral rehearsal and feedback, peer-mediated intervention and social skills groups. Additional strategies to enhance social skill training practices will also be presented. This session is appropriate for educators and parents of all experience levels.

FROM HOMEWORK HORROR TO HOMEWORK HAPPINESS – MICHELLE MURPHEY — SC 206 ABC • 2 P.M. - 2:50 P.M.

Join Michelle for this realistic and practical session for parents who would like to take some of the pain out of homework. Learn how technology can help parents to support their children with autism to get organized, study effectively and monitor progress. This session will focus on websites, apps and other simple techniques to bring you and your student from homework horror to homework happiness! Parents and educators will find this session particularly interesting.

Nathan Jensen

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION FOR THOSE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM – NATHAN JENSEN, CMHC AND SCOTT WOOD, CMHC — GRANDE BALLROOM • 3 P.M. - 3:50 P.M.

Anxiety and Depression often accompany the diagnosis for those on the Autism Spectrum. In the past, treatment options have often followed a medical model rather than assessing the individual in a holistic manner. During the course of this presentation, Nathan and Scott will share tried and true methods for treating anxiety and depression – but with specific modifications that are effective with those on the Autism Spectrum. This will be a hands-on presentation with materials and activities that can be used with clients or family members. This session will be particularly enjoyed by those with some experience and at least a moderate understanding of autism.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT – CARRIE ROGERS-WHITEHEAD, MLIS, MPA; RYAN KELLEMS, PHD; LISA COHNE, MSWA — RAGAN THEATRE • 3 P.M. - 3:50 P.M.

So, you have a tablet. Now what do you do with it? In this session, participants will learn how to use technology to serve the special needs population. Carrie, a librarian – Lisa, an educator – and Ryan, a professor of special education will share best practices, tips and data from studies and programming. Find out good resources and recommended apps to better education and entertain. Educators with some teaching experience will particularly enjoy this session.

Ryan Miller

THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF RELATIONSHIPS: HELPING YOUNG ADULTS WITH AUTISM MAKE SENSE OF THE BEHIND THE SCENES OF SOCIAL INTERACTION – RYAN MILLER, LCSW AND AARON RIDENOUR, ACMHC, SSW — SC 213AB • 3 P.M. - 3:50 P.M.

In the room you are sitting in, there are things you can see (paint, carpet, ceiling tiles, etc.) and things you can’t (pipes, wiring, concrete, etc.). The same is true of relationships. There are things you can see (eye contact, facial expressions, general personal appearance, etc.) and things you can’t (thoughts and feelings). In this presentation, presenters will focus on strategies and skills to help young adults with autism better understand how to recognize and respond to the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of relationships. This session is designed for those with moderate to advanced understanding and experience with autism.

Crystal Emery

FOSTERING INDEPENDENCE IN ADOLESCENTS WITH HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM – CRYSTAL EMERY — SC 206 AB/C • 3 P.M. - 3:50 P.M.

This session will address the tasks of social/emotional development in adolescence and how those tasks need to be adapted for individuals with autism. Participants will discuss how to support the social/emotional growth of adolescents as they move toward independence. It will also discuss discipline, and how it changes in adolescence to meet the changing needs of the child. A brief description of the Peer Connections program and how its principles support the changing needs of adolescents will be included. Participants will practice interpreting common communicative message of adolescents in order to recognize how best to sensitively respond and support them. There will be ample time for group discussion as participants explore this difficult arena together. This session is appropriate for all experience levels.

2014

OPENING KEYNOTE – DAVID FINCH, – (GRANDE BALLROOM – 9AM – 9:50 AM)

David Finch, author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband will open our conference with a fun and informative look at living with autism. Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, David will share his candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.

PREPARING INDIVIDUALS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM FOR ADULTHOOD – RHONDA GREENHAW (CENTRE STAGE – 10AM-10:50AM)

Based upon her experiences as a clinician, researcher and designer of programs for young adults on the autism spectrum, Rhonda Greenhaw will examine critical experiences, attitudes and information that young people living with ASD must be provided with and exposed to in order to maximize their capacities. Participants will develop understanding about the challenges young adults on the spectrum experience, what information these young adults are lacking, and how to create opportunity for young adults to grow and learn in unexpected ways that lead to incredible gains in abilities. Attendees will learn about the program experiences of the Hussman Center at Towson University, and the lessons they have learned developing one of the world’s largest university-based centers focused on adult autism.

10 COMPREHENSIVE LIFE CARE PLANNING STEPS – SPENCER MACK (SC 206A 10AM – 10:50 AM)

Join Spencer Mack, one of only two Chartered Special Needs Consultants in Utah, as he gives an overview of the Ten Comprehensive Life Care Planning Steps which will help families build life plans for their special-needs children. Along with other valuable information, participants will have the opportunity to receive a template for preparing the Letter of Intent, which can serve as the family’s ‘Handbook of Instructions’ for the future.

ACROSS CULTURES: RETHINKING AUTISM – HYUN UK KIM (SC 206B 10AM – 10:50 AM)

Whereas the autism prevalence rate has been very closely monitored in the United States since the 1960’s, there are many countries where no equivalent work has been done. This may be attributed to the fact that autism is differently constructed and viewed socially in other cultures and countries. Based upon field notes, interviews, and observations of family members and professionals in three different countries, Dr. Kim will share her insight into this difference. These cultural explorations can teach us more about having less restrictive attitudes and to more appreciate individual difference or ‘neurodiversity’ in everyone.

WHY WAS I FIRED? JOB-KEEPING SOCIAL SKILLS FOR ADULTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS – KALI HALL AND LYNNETTE JEWELL (SC 206C 10AM – 10:50 AM )

In today’s workplace it is not enough to have an education or marketable work skills to be successful. While they are necessary to get hired, adults with ASD often lack the social understanding needed to keep their jobs. According to a study of a corporation who hire MBA’s, “the three most desired capabilities are communication skills, interpersonal skills and initiative – all of which are elements of emotional intelligence” (Caudron, 1999). This presentation will focus on challenges that adults with ASD face in the work place, how to teach resiliency, self-advocacy, workplace social rules, emotional management among other soft skills, and how to work with supervisors to get the best out of adults with ASD.

IEPS AND SECTION 504 PLANS - MARIA WISCOMBE AND LAURALEE GILLESPIE (SC 213A – 10AM-11:50AM)

Join Maria Wiscombe from the Utah Parent Center and LauraLee Gillespie from the Disability Law Center, for this useful and insightful discussion on common issues parents are confronted with in public schools (districts and charter schools) when seeking special education or Section 504 services. Questions such as: how can parents be effective members of the IEP team, what is an appropriate educational placement for a student with Autism, what are the differences between an IEP and a Section 504 plan, what are the common legal issues parents can face, and what are the rights under the law (including such areas as restraint, seclusion, suspension and expulsion) for students with an ASD diagnosis will be reviewed. NOTE: EXTENDED SESSION (110 minutes)

AUTISM: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR CAREGIVERS – LAURA ANDERSON AND CHERYL SMITH, UTAH AUTISM COUNCIL (SC 213B 10AM-10:50AM) NOTE: THIS SESSION WILL BE REPEATED AT 2PM IN SC 213A

Finding and retaining caregivers for children and adults with autism can be challenging and frustrating. This presentation will preview the new Caregivers Survival DVD recently produced in collaboration with SaharaCares, Clear Horizons and the Autism Council of Utah. The purpose of this session, and the DVD, is to educate families and potential caregivers who may be interested in providing support and home respite services for the family caring for an individual with autism. Suggestions and professional recommendations for dealing with the unique behaviors and challenges associated with autism will be offered, along with messages from parents, volunteers and caregivers currently receiving or providing those services.

INITIATIONS & INTERACTIONS: COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR CHILDREN WITH ASD – TERESA CARDON, PHD – (CENTRE STAGE 11AM-11:50AM)

Come and learn how to help your child discover the power of initiation! Learn to follow your child’s lead and create meaningful interactions out of everyday activities and special interests. We will discuss creating communication environments and providing intervention in natural settings. The session will focus on strategies to support the whole child including sensory and music activities, play skills, visual supports, emergent literacy and much, much more! Specific techniques, along with video clips, will be introduced so that participants leave the workshop with useful strategies they can implement in their own settings! No matter what your current role is, parent or provider, this session will provide tools that are meaningful and practical.

CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS – HOLLI CHILD (SC 206 A - 11AM-11:50AM)

Creating opportunities for students to have success is extremely important to social, emotional, behavioral and academic growth. This session will focus on creating environments where students can be successful. Join Holli as she demonstrates ways to foster academic growth through physical environment, effective communication, visual supports and social interaction.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: EMPLOYMENT AND HIGHER EDUCATION – ESPERANZA REYES (SC 206 B - 11AM-11:50AM)

This session will help families and care givers to understand how vocational rehabilitation can be involved in a student’s current IEP or Section 504 plan as they plan for future and employment goals. Participants will also gain understanding about Vocational Rehabilitation programs and services, as well as the services for students with disabilities who plan on attending a college/university or college of applied technology.

REPRESENTATIONS OF AUTISM IN POPULAR CULTURE – TODD MACK, PHD (SC 206 C – 11AM-11:50AM)

We are all aware that autism is being represented with increasing frequency in the media. In this entertaining, interactive and informative presentation, Dr. Mack will highlight how popular television shows such as Parenthood, The Middle, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Doc Martin and others can help us see autism from different angles – the angle of the parent, the angle of the person with autism, and the angle of the neurotypical outsider. In seeing how autism affects others, and in thinking about how other people work through the challenges associated with autism, viewers are also given the chance to reflect on how they are being affected and how they are working through those challenges in their own lives. This session will present tools that will help individuals learn from, and get the most out of, shows they quite possible already watch.

ACTIVITY SCHEDULES – JULIA HERMANSEN (SC 213B 11AM – 11:50 AM)

How many times has your calendar on your phone or computer buzzed at you to remind you to complete a task or attend a meeting? Often we require calendars, electronic devices and or the classic ‘Post-It Note’ to remind us to get started on something. People living with autism are no different in needing a little ‘nudge’ here and there to remind them to begin a task. The need for these reminders or prompts often becomes an obstacle to an individual’s ability to be more independent. This presentation will dive into one solution that has been found through research to be effective in helping people with autism do activities independently.

ADULT OUTCOMES OF CHILDREN DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASD) – WILLIAM MCMAHON, PHD (CENTRE STAGE – 1PM – 1:50 PM)

Dr. McMahon will review results in the Utah statewide epidemiologic sample of children with ASD first assessed in 1984-1988, who have now been re-assessed as adults nearly 30 years later. In addition, new information will be reviewed regarding adults with autism spectrum disorder, who were not diagnosed with ASD as children.

THE PROGRAM FOR THE EDUCATION AND ENRICHMENT OF RELATIONAL SKILLS (PEERS) – KRISTINA COTTLE, CHLOE RUEBECK AND JULIA CONNELLY (SC 206B 1PM – 2:50PM) NOTE: EXTENDED SESSION (110 MINUTES)

This session will review the PEERS program, which is based largely on the structure and experiences of the evidence based Children’s Friendship Training (CFT) created by researchers at UCLA. The program uses developmental research principles to teach age appropriate friendship building and maintaining techniques. Parents and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder or related disorders benefit from the evidence based curriculum. Presenters from the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic will outline how they have adapted the program to meet the needs of adolescents in an outpatient setting, and the positive results they have seen.

PRACTICING AUTHENTIC SELF-CARE – LAURIE BOWEN (SC 206C 1PM-1:50PM)

Parents with children with special needs, including autism, often find themselves navigating in an unexpected world of responsibilities and altered expectations. Often in a desire to give their child every opportunity, it is common for the parent to dedicate a majority of their time to serving and assisting their child to become their best. This can add extra stress and burdens that other parents may not be facing or understand. This session will focus on helping caregivers ensure that they are practicing authentic self-care. Self-care principles such as using mindful prioritization, dedicated time investment, ways to increase personal support system building through strategic planning with be reviewed. Also ways and techniques to simplify areas of stress and burdens common to those living with Autism Spectrum Disorders will also be addressed.

UNDERSTANDING NEUROTYPICALS (NTS): A PRIMER – TRACY GOLDEN, PHD AND TERESA CARDON, PHD (SC 206A 2PM – 2:50PM) NOTE: THIS PRESENTATION IS BEST SUITED FOR ANYONE WHO IS TOUCHED BY INDIVIDUALS WITH HIGHER FUNCTIONING AUTISM (WHAT IS FORMERLY KNOWN AS ASPERGER’S SYNDROME). NOTE: THIS SESSION WILL BE REPEATED AT 3PM IN SC 206A)

Because individuals with autism constitute a minority of our population, it is easy to categorize them as ‘different’ and ‘other’. This categorization tends to marginalize and misrepresent individuals with autism by assuming that characteristics of people with autism need to be ‘normalized’. Through humor, this presentation will turn that perspective upside down by showing what is ‘normal’ about autism, and what may appear ‘crazy’ about neurotypical behavior.

PARENT PANEL – JARED STEWART, MODERATOR (SC 206 C 2PM – 2:50PM)

Join Jared Stewart as he leads a discussion focused on parenting the autistic adolescent or adult. Panelists will share their personal experiences ( triumphs, failures, joys and concerns) and ways they have approached the changes growing up brings to their children.

AUTISM: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR CAREGIVERS – LAURA ANDERSON AND CHERYL SMITH, UTAH AUTISM COUNCIL (SC 213B 2 PM-2:50 PM) NOTE: REPEATED SESSION

Finding and retaining caregivers for children and adults with autism can be challenging and frustrating. This presentation will preview the new Caregivers Survival DVD recently produced in collaboration with SaharaCares, Clear Horizons and the Autism Council of Utah. The purpose of this session, and the DVD, is to educate families and potential caregivers who may be interested in providing support and home respite services for the family caring for an individual with autism. Suggestions and professional recommendations for dealing with the unique behaviors and challenges associated with autism will be offered, along with messages from parents, volunteers and caregivers currently receiving or providing those services.

SIMPLE YOGA BREAKS FOR COMPASSION FATIGUE, AND FOR STUDENTS, CLIENTS AND FAMILIES – YAEL CALHOUN (SC 206 B – 3PM- 3:50PM)

This session will provide professionals and caregivers with the tools to use simple yoga stretching and breathing breaks for both self-care and use with clients, students and/or families with ASD. The session will address the science of yoga, applications for working with people with ASD and will include experiential learning. It includes free support materials so that professionals can both use and share the yoga breaks easily and with confidence.

ADULT RELATIONSHIPS AND AUTISM: A PANEL DISCUSSION – JARED STEWART, MODERATOR (SC 206 C – 3PM- 3:50PM)

Having a successful healthy relationship is a wonderfully challenging experience for all who pursue it. But how do things change when your partner is diagnosed with autism? Join Jared Stewart as he leads a discussion focused on marriage, partnership, dating and falling in love within the world of autism.

TEACHING SELF-DETERMINATION – ESPERANZA REYES (SC 213 A 1PM-1:50 PM)

Join Esperanza as she discusses how to effectively support adults with disabilities in the post-secondary years. Learn how to be a mentor to the young adult as he/she learns how to manage his/her own life. A self-determined person can set goals, make decision, speak for themselves and solve problems on their own. But it’s up to those who care of them most to help lead the way. This session will help family members and care givers to achieve this objective.

2013

Opening Keynote: The Neurobiology of Stress Dr. David Yells Centre Stage 9am – 9:50 am

The neurobiology of stress is the focus of on-going research. Such research has identified short-term and long-term damage in response to a variety of stressors. It also highlights the interaction between the nervous system and other systems (e.g. cardiovascular system, endocrine system). This increased understanding of how stress affects the body can point the way to new interventions to reduce the toxic effects of stress.

Answering Anxiety Paul Jenkins, PhD SC 206 AB 10am – 10:50 am

The biggest barrier to success is fear. Anxiety, fear and worry get in our way more than anything else and keep us from achieving what we want. In this presentation, participants get an overview of the two primary components of anxiety along with several practical tools to address each of these components. Personal application of these principles is the focus, as well as discussion of how to assist or coach others through anxiety. Participants leave with immediately applicable strategies that can be implemented along with resources for further action.

Chocolate Therapy William A. Erb, MS, LPC, NCC SC 206 C 10am – 10:50 am

Relaxation is a science, involving complex mental systems that control both stress production and stress reduction. Relaxation is also an art, where creativity is used to create a sense of peace. In chocolate therapy we will take a look at both the art and science of relaxation. The presentation features information on some of the complex systems involved in stress, tension, fight or flight response and memory. We then use the very mental systems reviewed in a live relaxation session. Participants will leave more informed on how the mind works and how to use its systems to achieve relaxation.

Anxiety and Perfectionism Laura Heaphy, PsyD and Marci Young, MA SC 213A 10am – 10:50 am

During this informative session, participants will discuss: What is perfectionism? What is the impact of perfectionism and its relationship to anxiety? How can one assess perfectionism? And, what can be done to address/change problematic patterns of perfectionism?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Veterans and University Life Kent D. Hinkson, Jr. SC 213 B 10am – 10:50 am

PTSD has been in the news everywhere in the last few years as the media discusses veterans returning from war. Yet, our veterans are not the only place where this ugly disease rears its head. Traumatic accidents, sexual abuse, and other destructive events can also leave people stricken with this debilitating disease. This presentation will discuss PTSD in the context of how it might be affecting students and staff here at UVU, and what can be done to help at the individual, family, community, and university level. Information will be presented based on two current research projects, as well as the experiences of a combat veteran/student.

Fear and Avoidance Jack Jensen, EdD SC 206 AB 11am – 11:50 am

It is a common, and natural, reaction to avoid our fears. However, avoidance in many instances just intensifies our fear toward the object, person, activity or event that inspires the response in us. Exposure therapy, or the act of running toward our fears instead of away from them, has the paradoxical effect of reducing fear. In this presentation, participants will be challenged to face their greatest fears. They will be educated on the steps of exposure therapy, and have an in-class experience employing those steps to reduce unwanted and unnecessary anxiety and stress.

The Effect of Stress on Early-Returning Missionaries Kris Doty, PhD SC 206C 11am-11:50am

Join Dr. Doty as she discusses the stress faced by early-returning LDS missionaries.

Harmony, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue Elizabeth B. Fawcett, PhD SC 213 A 11 am – 11:50 am

With any profession, self-care is important for reducing stress as well as creating space for the individual to be productive when working with others. This is a particularly relevant topic for those working in the mental health field, due to issues of burnout and compassion fatigue. The presenters suggest that mental health workers change the metaphor of self-care from that of balance to one of harmony. Presenters offer a personal example of harmony through the T.E.A.M. (Teaching Excellence through Active Means) program; a program organized to increase harmony found within work and self.

5 Areas of Life Balance Russell C. Gaede, PsyD SC 213B 11 am – 11:50 am

Are you finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your life? You’re not alone. During this session, participants will learn strategies for meeting the unique challenges associated with mental health, anxiety, and stress. Dr. Gaede will introduce educational and behavioral practices for achieving life balance and discuss how to share this knowledge with families, educators and individuals. The session will also help identify and meet the challenges faced by families touched by anxiety and stress.

The Ethics of Self Care (This presentation qualifies for 3 NASW Ethics CEUs.) Kris Doty, PhD and Cameron John, PhD SC 206 ABC 1pm – 4:00 pm

Attention to self-care and self-awareness is as important as the client care each therapist offers. Many social workers and psychologists dedicate so much time to their professions that they often do not take steps to engage in self-care strategies that will help them serve clients more effectively. In this interactive ethics workshop, Dr. Kris Doty, LCSW and Dr. Cameron John, LP, address issues involved in taking care of one’s personal and professional self. Using multiple sources, including the NASW Code of Ethics, They will review the ways social work and psychology ethics apply to self-care and share some of the latest research in this area. They will also consider a risk management model for use in the counseling professions. Attendees will share their successful strategies and develop an individual plan to use in their daily lives with the goal of avoiding burnout which has the potential to derail promising careers.

DSM-5’s New Landscape for Anxiety & Stressor-Related Disorders Jason H. King, PhD; Matt R. Buckley, EdD & Anna Bangerter, BS SC 213 AB – 1pm - 4:00 pm

DSM-5 presents a fundamental shift in how anxiety and stressor-related disorders are assessed and diagnosed. This intensive skill-building workshop will train you on the cutting-edge research and ethical procedures for using the new DSM-5 Level 1 and Level 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures and its associated Disorder-Specific Symptom Measures to achieve dimensional assessment in contrast to DSM-IV-TR’s multiaxial assessment. This dynamic workshop will discuss the new DSM-5 conceptualization of the following anxiety and stressor-related disorders as manifest in children, adolescents, and adults: separation anxiety disorder, selective mutism, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and panic attack specifier, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder, illness anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and anxious-distress specifier. Culture-bound syndromes specific to anxiety and stressor-related disorders and applied clinical case examples will further prepare participants to use the DSM-5 outside of the symposium.

2012

OPENING KEYNOTE SESSION - CHRISTOPHER AND JACQUELINE GAUTHIÉR AND LINDSEY NEBEKER (9:00 AM - 9:50 AM GRANDE BALLROOM)

Christopher and Jacqueline Gauthiér will offer insight on Utah’s efforts to extend ‘Tiny Ripples of Hope’ throughout the ASD community. They will be joined by Lindsey Nebeker, an amazing young woman who uses her talents and personal experience to help enlighten and inform the general population on the realities of living with autism.

AUTISM IN ADULTHOOD – A PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LOOK AT ASD ACROSS THE LIFESPAN - JARED STEWART (10AM - 10:50AM SC 206A)

Share in the journey as a young man discovers the beauty, difficulty and miracle of his own adoption. Michael shares insights through the eyes of his birth mother and his parents. From his front row seat in the ups, downs, ins and outs, he relates his discoveries of how and what adoption is.

STRENGTHENING FEELINGS OF CONNECTION WITH YOUR CHILD WITH ASD – A WORKSHOP FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS– TRACY GOLDEN, M.ED, MSW (10AM - 10:50AM SC 206B)

This presentation will address the unique relationship patterns that caregivers develop with their children who are diagnosed with ASD. Tracy will outline multiple strategies parents use to build feelings of closeness and connection with their children, despite the social and communication barriers that the children often present. Come and explore how to increase the feelings of connection, intimacy and close- ness with your child – and how obstacles and barriers can be overcome to improve those interpersonal relationships.

UNDERSTANDING THE NEUROLOGICAL DIFFERENCES AND BEHAVIORS ASSOCIATED WITH ASD: BRANDON CONDIE, BCBA, LPC (10AM - 10:50AM SC 206C)

This session is designed to assist parents and those working with ASD in developing a basic understanding of the Autistic brain’s unique development, and how it can actually be used to the individual’s advantage through catering to their neurological strengths. The material will focus on basic interventions and interest-based interventions that can help to increase the individual probability of success and development.

DSM-5: ITS IMPACT AND SCOPE: DR. LAWRENCE KAPLAN, PHD (10AM - 10:50AM SC 213A)

What is DSM-5 – and what will be the immediate and associated impact if the proposal succeeds in reclassifying those who have a diagnosis falling within the scope of the proposed changes. What can parents and interested parties do to change the course of DSM-5? How can your voice make a difference?

MARITAL STRENGTH TRAINING: KAREN S. FAIRCHILD, LCSW (10AM - 10:50AM SC 213B)

If you are new to adoption, this workshop is for you! Kathy will compare similarities and differences between international, foster care and private adoption options. You will learn information about the adoption process, paperwork, things to consider, and what to do while you wait. Seating is limited to allow for increased interaction (20 seats).

JUST BECAUSE HE HAS ASD, WHY DOESN’T HE HAVE TO DO THE DISHES? SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS AND ASD – PANEL DISCUSSION (11AM - 11:50AM SC 206A)

This session will feature a panel discussion with family members of those diagnosed with ASD. The panel will focus on issues encountered in sibling relationships including feelings of jealousy, resentment, parenting consistency (same rules don’t always work, but how is that fair), how to integrate extended family members, etc. What are the realities, trials and joys – and how can family members support one another? What sort of ‘help’ do families really want/need, etc. consider, and what to do while you wait. Seating is limited to allow for increased interaction (20 seats).

BUILDING YOUR UNIQUE AUTISM COMMUNITY - CHERYL C. SMITH AND LAURA ANDERSON – CO-PRESIDENTS, AUTISM COUNCIL OF UTAH (11AM - 11:50AM SC 206B)

What is DSM-5 – and what will be the immediate and associated impact if the proposal succeeds in reclassifying those who have a diagnosis falling within the scope of the proposed changes. What can parents and interested parties do to change the course of DSM-5? How can your voice make a difference?

THERE’S LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: TRANSITIONING ADULTS WITH AUTISM INTO EMPLOYMENT – ROBERT JOHNS AND JACK WHITE (11AM - 11:50AM SC 206C)

As parents and providers help prepare adults with Autism for the world of work, there is a ray of hope. Presenters will share their experiences in working with individuals who have ASD and other learning disabilities transition into competitive employment. This session will include discussion on learning styles, developing foundational work skills such as dependability, responsibility and consistency – as well as career exploration and choosing a career path.

SELF-REGULATION THROUGH SENSORY EXPERIENCES – KATIE MANGUS, MOTR/L (11AM - 11:50AM SC 213A)

Join Katie Mangus as she discusses sensory processing, and what it means to children with ASD. This session will take a closer look at what Sensory Processing Disorder is and what it looks like. Participants will learn how to help children with SPD self-regulate through sensory experiences. Katie will share tips on how to help kids be regulated and succeed particularly during difficult times (school, self-care, eating, toileting, etc).

DIR/FLOORTIME INTERVENTION – STEPHANIE NILSEN (11AM - 11:50AM SC 213B)

DIR/Floortime (Developmental, Individual-differences, Relationship-based) is a developmental intervention for children with ASD as well as other developmental disorders. Floortime is a child-focused program where the parent, teachers or therapists meet a child at their current level of development and build upon that individual’s strengths to create affect-rich interactions that expand interest, skill and ability.

LUNCHEON KEYNOTE SESSION - DR. VALERIE HU (12:00 PM - 12:50 PM GRANDE BALLROOM)

Dr. Hu will talk about the multiple factors giving rise to autism which require bet- ter integration of the different types of whole genome studies in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying pathobiology of autism. This comprehensive level of understanding is critical to the development of novel treatments that are based on correcting specific deficiencies in different individuals with ASD. She will also stress the need to focus studies on subgroups of individuals with similar clinical and behavioral profiles.

PERSPECTIVES OF FATHERS WHOSE CHILDREN HAVE ASD – ANA KEMPLE- REEVES AND JENNIFER HUTCHINSON (1PM - 1:50PM SC 206A)

ASD is a chronic and life changing condition that has considerable impact on family relationships. There is a considerable amount of literature and research available on the impact of such a diagnosis in mothers – however, there is little available regarding the father’s perspectives on this issue. This session will explore current research assessing the levels of anxiety, depression and the parent-child relationship from the father’s perspective.

MANAGING ANXIETY IN AUTISM – MIKLE SOUTH, PHD (1PM - 1:50PM SC 206B)

Many individuals diagnosed with ASD are additionally affected by severe symptoms of anxiety that are particularly disruptive and difficult to manage. During this presentation, Dr. South will describe current research which is investigating the overlap in both behavior and brain function related to manifestations of anxiety in autism. He will also review possible applications to treatment in the everyday lives of those affected by autism.

EMS COOPERATIVE RESPONSES – RODGER E. BROOME, PHD (1PM - 1:50PM SC 206C)

This session will explore planning, training and developing cooperative response to emergencies, accidents and disasters involving citizens with Autism. Using community oriented police strategies, fire prevention response plans and training to reduce confusion, risk and stress on emergency responders – ASD care providers and families can prepare for the unexpected.

REINFORCEMENT AND TOKEN PROGRAMS – TYSON TERRY, CSW AND JENNIFER CORNETT, CSW (1PM - 1:50PM SC 213A)

This presentation defines reinforcement and its effect on behavior. The presenters will provide various examples of positive and negative reinforcement. Moreover, the authors will discuss creating and using token programs, monitoring progress, and fading the reinforcement schedule. families can prepare for the unexpected.

GENETIC SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN PRIMARY CARE – MALLORY SDANO, MS, LGC (1PM - 1:50PM SC 213B)

Genetic services are being increasingly utilized in the care of patients with ASD and DD/ID. This presentation will review the benefits of identifying an underlying genetic cause for ASD/DD/ID including changes to medical management. Mallory will present descriptive statistics regarding the use of these genetic services, as well as share case studies illustrating the impact a genetic diagnosis can have on an individual’s medical management (including referral to specialists, screening for additional medical risks, and recurrence risk information for the family).

NEURO-SCIENCE UPDATE – ERIN D. BIGLER, PHD (1PM - 1:50PM NEW SCIENCE BUILDING RM 276)

While neuropsychological and neurodevelopmental studies of autism have speculated that the disorder may be one of abnormal neural connectivity, contemporary neuroimaging methods have provided even more direct evidence. This presentation will review recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies using various tech- niques including volumetric methods, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting state functional connectivity MRI (rsfcMRI) analyses. Whether you are a professional or a parent, his easy going manner and teaching style provides access to brain research in an easy to understand format.

BULLET-PROOF PARENTING: GAIN CONFIDENCE IN YOUR PARENTING IN THE FACE OF CRITICISM – KAREN FAIRCHILD, LCSW (2PM - 2:50PM SC 206A)

Many parents of autistic children feel isolated and judged by extended family and individuals in public settings, such as church and stores. Unless you live with a child with autism, it is sometimes difficult to see the impact on a parent’s daily life. Karen Fairchild will lead a panel of parents of autistic children who will discuss their personal insights and experiences in these settings and offer suggested techniques that can be used to help increase confidence in your own personal parenting style.

THE CONTINUUMS OF AUTISM: COGNITION, SENSORY PROCESSING AND BEHAVIOR – MARLO PAYNE THURMAN, M.S. (2PM - 2:50PM SC 206B)

Like everyone else, individuals affected by autism have differing cognitive skills, learning styles and sensory needs. However, because autism itself is so complex, we often fail to recognize the continuums of autism and focus instead, on what we can easily observe – the behaviors. This session will detail the complex relationship be- tween cognitive processing and sensory regulation and will provide unique insights and treatment recommendations to address those physiological and psychological mechanisms that negatively impact learning, social and emotional functioning and behavior in individuals with ASD.

WHY IS IT SO D**N HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS? – SUZETTE BARTLETT, CSW AND SUZANNE GRIMSHAW, LCSW (2PM - 2:50PM SC 206C)

Many teens and adults on the Autism Spectrum struggle with basic social skills. This barrier impedes their ability to have meaningful relationships, find success in a traditional school setting, find and maintain employment and pursue other life interests. During the course of this presentation, Suzette and Suzanne will share materials and techniques that can be immediately implemented with your client, student or family member to help enhance their ability to make friends and improve social skills.

AN EMPIRICAL EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF VIDEO MODELS ON IMPLEMENT- ING PECS STEPS – JACKIE HUNTER, BCBA (2PM - 2:50PM SC 213A)

During this session, Jackie Hunter will describe a study extending previous research on the effective use of video models to a new skill set – specifically, the training steps outlined in Phase 2 of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The study investigated the effects of video modeling on staff implementation of PECS Phase 2 in a group home for adults with intellectual disabilities, and the resulting increased effectiveness the video model exhibited over time.

AN INTRODUCTION TO POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORTS – BRANDON CONDIE, BCBA, LPC AND SHAWNEE COLLINS, BCBA, LCSW (2PM - 2:50PM SC 213B)

This presentation is an introduction to Positive Behavior Supports. The presenters will discuss the philosophy of PBS and its impact on developing behavior interventions.

FROM GENES TO ENVIRONMENT: USING INTEGRATIVE GENOMICS TO UNDER- STAND AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS – DR. VALERIE HU (2PM - 2:50PM NEW SCIENCE BUILDING AUDITORIUM)

Dr. Hu will describe recent research from her laboratory that reveals the confluence of genes, gender, and environmental risk factors in the etiology of ASD as well as the potential for diagnosis and personalized treatment of autism.

ASSESSMENT: THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO – JASON HARRISON, BCBA, LCSW AND GENNIE RUSSELL, CSW (3PM - 3:50PM SC 206A)

Once we design a behavior intervention, or any treatment protocol - how do we know if it’s working? Sometimes we forget to stop and evaluate whether our efforts are reaping the results we really want – or whether they are having different results than we intended. During this session presenters will describe the functional assessment process, including methods of assessment, data collection, analysis and summary statements. This session will be valuable for parents, teachers and clinicians alike.

WHAT IS UCAR, AND WHAT CAN IT DO? – UCAR MEMBERS (3PM - 3:50PM SC 206C)

Leaders of the UCAR organization will present on the reasoning behind building a community wide relationship, bringing together the collective strengths for a stronger support to families and individuals living with Autism. The presentation will review the current organization vision and direction – its benefit to your family, patient and/or student – and what is ready now and planned for the future.

LIVING AND LOVING WITH AUTISM – LINDSEY NEBEKER AND MADISON HOUSE FOUNDATION (3PM - 3:50PM SC 213A)

Lindsey Nebeker shares her insights into living with Autism. Her journey provides insights into the unique and very real lifestyle of adults coping with the often intricate ins and outs of life with ASD. Representatives from Madison House Foundation, a non-profit foundation providing hope, guidance and solutions for adults with autism and their families – will join Lindsey in discussing this important topic.

GENETICS OF AUTISM UPDATE 2012 – DANIEL FAIRBANKS, PHD (3PM - 3:50PM NEW SCIENCE BUILDING RM 276)

Astounding progress on the genetic basis of autism has been made, revealing that autism spectrum disorder is a collection of related disorders due in part to a complex array of genes. Recent research has shown that autism is a consequence of not only how genes are inherited but also how they are turned on and off and expressed. This presentation will explain the complex genetic basis of autism in a simplified and straightforward way for those with little or no background in science. It also will show how increasing our understanding of autism may lead to effective diagnosis, intervention, and treatment.