2014 Autism image

2014 UVU Conference on Autism

Keynote Speaker

David Finch

David Finch

David Finch is a humorist and author of the acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, The Journal of Best Practices. Married in 2003 and diagnosed five years later with Asperger syndrome, David has committed himself to relentless self-improvement, sometimes to a comical extent. A former semiconductor engineer turned full-time writer and speaker, David has written for The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Slate, and he writes a relationship blog for Psychology Today. But his greatest accomplishment by far has been learning how to thrive as a family man.

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, what the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years into his marriage, David and his wife Kristen learn that he has Asperger Syndrome. The diagnosis explains David’s ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility, but it doesn’t make him any easier to live with. Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger Syndrome and learn to be a better husband.

To learn more about David Finch check out his website:
www.davidfinchwriter.com

Presenters

Laura Anderson and Cheryl Smith

Cheryl and Laura have been advocates for autism since 2003. They sit on several State and community committees relating to autism and are the President and President Elect of the Autism Council of Utah. Together they started the Big MAKS, (mom's of autistic kids) a networking and support kind of group for parents. They both have boys who have autism.

Laurie Bowen

Yael Calhoun

Yael Calhoun, MA, MS, RTY, is the Executive Director of GreenTREE Yoga, a nonprofit, and is an author and educator. In addition, she has developed manuals, curriculum, CDs, DVDs on yoga for trauma, children, autism, seniors, and cancer survivors. Yael also does professional development on yoga for compassion fatigue and trauma/vicarious trauma.

Teresa Cardon

Teresa has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. Dr. Cardon completed her doctoral training in Speech & Hearing Science with an autism emphasis and is currently the Director of Autism Studies at Utah Valley University. Dr. Cardon has published her research on autism in peer-reviewed journals and presents at conferences both nationally and internationally.

Download materials from Teresa's Initiations & Interaction session here.

Holli Child

Holli Child graduated from BYU with a degree in Early Child Education. In addition to obtaining her degree Holli has also had four years of experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum. She is currently a teacher at Clear Horizons Academy. Holli has always had a love of working with children and fostering language development in the children.

Julia Connelly

Julia Connelly is the Clinical Director at the ASDC. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in School Psychology in 2006 and has been involved with autism research and treatment since working with Dr. Sally Ozonoff as an undergraduate student. Her research has focused on interventions to treat problematic behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Her current focus is on providing ASD assessments across the life span, providing behavioral consultations and supports, being a school liaison for families, and engaging in individual and family therapy addressing behavior problems and difficulties relating to mood disorders and anxiety in children, adolescents, and adults with ASD.

Kristina Cottle

Kristina Cottle is a graduate student at the University of Utah, School Psychology Ph.D. program. She works at the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic (ASDC) at the University of Utah, and is a Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) trainees.

LauraLee Gillespie

LauraLee Gillespie, an attorney at the Disability Law Center, focuses her practice in special education and Vocational Rehabilitation disputes. As a former public educator she brings a unique understanding to her work with the Utah Department of Education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Weber State University in 1996. For seven years she taught first grade in Provo School District and held team and technology leadership positions. Following her teaching experience in Utah she taught Physical Education in Washington State to Kindergarten, First Grade and individuals with disabilities in a self contained classroom. While teaching she received her paralegal certificate at the University of Washington. A 2011 S. J. Quinney College of Law graduate and a 2012 Utah State Bar Licenses attorney, Ms. Gillespie loves the work she has been involved in at the Disability Law Center since 2009.

Tracy Golden

Tracy Golden completed her doctorate in Social Work at the University of Utah in December, 2011, and will be awarded her degree in May, 2012. Her research interests are around the unique patterns of relating that parents develop with their children with autism. Ms. Golden is currently a trainee at the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neuro-developmental and Related Disabilities Program (URLEND) participating on the autism enhancement track. Ms. Golden has been involved in the disability field since 2004. She helped co-found Utah Families for Effective Autism Treatment and served as vice president. She is also a collaborating member of the Utah Autism Council, the State of Utah “Learn the Signs. Act Early” Team, the Maturation Work Group for Children with Developmental Disabilities, and the Utah Autism Project (a volunteer organization serving Latino families). Her interest in the Utah Act Early Program arose from her belief that parents should have opportunities for early detection in order to access early intervention. She is particularly interested in increasing identification of developmental disabilities in underserved populations. Ms. Golden joined the faculty in the Behavioral Science Department of the UVU College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2013.

Rhonda J. Greenhaw

Rhonda J. Greenhaw, , MA, BCBA is the Director of the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism at Towson University, one of the world’s largest university-based centers for adult autism. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has focused her work with adults and adolescents on the autism spectrum. She conducts trainings nationally and internationally, recently becoming an international Professional Fellow of the U.S. State Department’s Empower Project, in which she provided trainings to disability organizations in Novi Sad, Serbia. She also consults with organizations around the country to assist them in providing assessments, services and programs for people on the spectrum from a strengths-based model of disabilities. In addition to leading the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, Ms. Greenhaw presents at national and international conferences on the topics of autism, adults with autism, autism and culture, is a developer and trainer of programs about autism for first responders, and has written numerous articles and a soon to be released chapter in a text on autism. Ms. Greenhaw is also the parent of a daughter with autism who turned twelve in January which makes her work very personally rewarding.

Julia Hermansen

Julia is currently a Master’s student in the Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis program at Utah State University under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Higbee. Her thesis research investigated the use of activity schedules with adults with intellectual disability in a day program setting. Julia will graduate in April 2014. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Utah State University as well. She started working for Chrysalis in the spring of 2009 as a behavior assistant in Logan, UT. Most recently, Julia is working as a Behavior Analyst student for Chrysalis.

Hyun Uk Kim

Dr. Hyun Uk Kim is an Assistant Professor of Special Education program in the Department of Psychological & Educational Consultation. She has extensive experience working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In 2009, she was awarded an international fellowship at the Bundang Seoul National Hospital in Korea, where she collaborated with mental health professionals and offered a series of workshops to the public on ASD.

Spencer Mack

Spencer F. Mack, CLU ChFC ChSNC is a financial planner and one of only two Chartered Special Needs Consultants in Utah. Spencer has served families with their financial needs since 1979. He focuses on connecting families with resources in their communities and on helping them build life plans for their special-needs children. He currently lives in Orem, Utah with his wife, Jane. They have seven children and twenty grandchildren -- two with autism and one with Down Syndrome.

Todd Mack

Dr. Todd K. Mack received a PhD in Iberian and Latin American Cultures from Stanford University in 2012. He specializes in the literatures and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and in artistic representations of autism. He currently teaches at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah where he lives with his wife and their four children – two of which are on the spectrum.

Bill McMahon

Dr. Bill McMahon is Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Utah. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with over 3 decades experience as a clinician, teacher and research scientist. He has participated in Utah and national autism epidemiology studies and the international Autism Genome Project. He is currently completing the follow up study of Utah adults who were originally identified as children with autism in a statewide epidemiology study 30 years ago.

Esperanza Reyes

Esperanza Reyes is a Parent Consultant with the UPC and a member of the iSTAR research team. Her education includes a BA in Linguistics and one in Sociology. She is finishing her MS in Human Development and Social Policy, with a Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies. Her main academic interest lies in the transition to adulthood and employment for youth with ASD.

Chloe Ruebeck

Chloe Ruebeck is a graduate student at the University of Utah, School Psychology Ph.D. program, and is also a School Psychologist at a high school in the Salt Lake area. She also works at the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic (ASDC) at the University of Utah, where she co-leads the adolescent group. Chloe is also a Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) trainee.

Mikle South

Mikle South received a B.A. in psychology from Yale University in 1994 and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Utah in 2005. After returning to Yale for a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroimaging of childhood problems, Dr. South began work at Brigham Young University where he is currently an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. Dr. South’s research uses a variety of techniques to study links between the brain and behavior in autism spectrum conditions, especially regarding the influence of emotion on thinking in autism. When not working, Dr. South enjoys playing soccer, eating waffles, or watching the show White Collar on Netflix.

Jared Stewart

Jared Stewart, M.Ed., was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). He is the director of education at Provo’s ScenicView Academy, and an adjunct professor at UVU. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from BYU he has spent the past decade working with adolescents and adults with autism, and has shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum with many local and national audiences. His passion for the subject arises from personal experience: he has family members on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Maria Wiscombe

Maria Wiscombe has been involved with helping families who have children with special needs/special healthcare needs connect to information and resources for 13 years. She has been involved with the Epilepsy Association of Utah, Medical Home Project, Utah Family Voices Family to Family Health and Information Network, Family to Family Network and Utah Parent Center. She is currently a District Consultant for the Utah Parent Center and works with families in Alpine School District. Maria has a daughter who has a seizure disorder and autism.

Conference Sessions

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 Husbandwill 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)

Download session material here

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.

Download session material here

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.

Download session materials here

Anxiety, Depression and Autism: Current Research and Implications for Treatment – Mikle South, PhD (Centre Stage 2pm-3:50pm) NOTE: EXTENDED SESSION (110 minutes)

Significant symptoms of anxiety and depression may occur in up to 80% of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Often these difficulties with emotion regulation cause as much difficulty for individuals, families and care systems as the autism symptoms themselves. This extended session presentation will review findings on anxiety and depression in ASD, including information on prevalence – but more importantly on characterization of the nature of these problems in autism, for example related to cutting-edge applications such as ‘fear of negative evaluation’, and ‘intolerance of uncertainty’. Dr. South will summarize his new research program at Brigham Young University, and discuss how to translate his findings into meaningful interventions.

Download session materials here

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.


Autism 2013

2013 Conference on Autism

Keynote Speakers

Teresa Cardon

OPENING KEYNOTE PLENARY SPEAKER:

TERESA CARDON, PhD, CCC-SLP

Teresa Cardon has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. Dr. Cardon completed her doctoral training in Speech & Hearing Science with an autism emphasis and currently works at Utah Valley University in the Autism Studies program. Dr. Cardon has published her research on autism in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences both nationally and internationally. She is the author of three books that offer intervention support for individuals on the autism spectrum: Top Ten Tips (2008), Initiations and Interactions (2006) and Let's Talk Emotions (2004).

 
Anna Hargadon

LUNCHEON PRESENTATION PLENARY SPEAKER:

ANNA HARGADON

Anna received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at Brigham Young University. She is passionate about giving individuals with autism the opportunity to learn through performance - and families the opportunity to connect through theatre. This passion has led her to create an afterschool theatre program for children and families with autism. She has also collaborated with UVU faculty on a presentation of qualitative data using an innovative theatrical format.

 
Desiree Kameka

CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

DESIREE KAMEKA

Desiree Kameka is the Director of Community Education & Advocacy for the Madison House Autism Foundation. During her undergraduate work at the University of Miami, she developed a student-volunteer, social skills/recreation program for the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. After earning her master's degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, Desiree founded Faithful NeuroDiversity, which develops materials for faith communities by orienting autism through a theological lens.

 


 

Presenters

 
Smith and Anderson

CHERYL SMITH, PRESIDENT AND LAURA ANDERSON, PRESIDENT ELECT - UTAH AUTISM COUNCIL OF UTAH

Cheryl and Laura have been advocates for autism since 2003. They sit on several State and community committees relating to autism and are the President and President Elect of the Autism Council of Utah. Together they started the Big MAKS, (mom's of autistic kids) a networking and support kind of group for parents. They both have boys who have autism.

 
Fred Brewer

FRED BREWER, LCSW - THERAPIST

Fred received his Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Brigham Young University in 2009 and a Master of Social Work Degree from New York University in 2010. Fred has been working with Wasatch Mental Health since 2010, and started working with the XCEL Adolescent Autism program in the summer of 2012. Fred has been involved in working with children and adolescents for over 6 years on both occupational and voluntary levels.

 
Kyle

KYLE BRINGHURST, LCSW

Kyle received his Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Utah University in 2007 and a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Utah in 2008. Kyle has been working with Wasatch Mental Health since 2004, and has been the program supervisor of GIANT Steps Autism Preschool since 2011. Kyle is passionate about serving children and families who are coping with the effects of having children affected with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 
Yael Calhoun

YAEL CALHOUN, MA, MS, RTY

Yael is the Executive Director of GreenTREE Yoga, a nonprofit organization, and is an author and educator. She has developed manuals, curriculum, CDs, DVDs on yoga for trauma, children with autism, seniors, and cancer survivors. Yael also does professional development on yoga for compassion fatigue and trauma/vicarious trauma.

 
Annie Campbell

ANNIE CAMPBELL

Annie is the mother of three children, one of which has a diagnosis of Autism. She is currently working as a lead-para professional at Clear Horizons Academy and is hoping to study at Salt Lake Community College to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

 
Kianna Collier

KIANNA COLLIER, OT

Kianna is the Director at Clear Horizons Academy. For the past nine years she has worked in Northern California as an occupational therapist specializing in autism. A native to Utah, she graduated from the University of Utah and is currently working on her PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disorders through ICDL.

 
Brandon Condie

BRANDON CONDIE, BCBA

Brandon completed his undergraduate work at the University of Utah, and obtained his graduate degree from Pacific University in Portland, Oregon. He has been working in the field of Autism and Disability for 8 years, and is currently a behavior analyst for Chrysalis. He also has private practice for behavioral and mental health counseling services.

 
Jennifer Cornett

JENNIFER D. CORNETT, CSW, QMRP

Jennifer has been working with individuals with disabilities for over 10 years. During that time, she has worked as direct care staff, Support Coordinator for the State of Utah, Private Support Coordinator, Therapist, and Behavior Analyst. Jennifer received her Bachelor's in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University and her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. Currently, Jennifer works as a therapist and Behavior Analyst for Chrysalis, a DSPD provider serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

 
Kris Doty

KRIS DOTY, PHD, LCSW

Kris Doty is a graduate of Utah Valley University, having received her bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in social work from the University of Utah. Kris is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialty in crisis intervention, and has served on advisory boards for several local organizations.

 
Crystal Emery

CRYSTAL EMERY

Crystal is a Certified P.L.A.Y. Consultant and Early Childhood Developmental Specialist with 15 years of experience working with young children on the autism spectrum.

 
Fairbanks

DANIEL J. FAIRBANKS, PHD

Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks is a professor, geneticist, artist, and author. He currently serves as Associate Dean of Science & Health and Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University. As author and co-author of four books and numerous articles in scientific journals, he is well respected as a geneticist. Having been raised in a family of professional artists, he studied sculpture from a young age and now has commissioned pieces of sculpture on permanent exhibit in museums, public buildings, and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. He often presents sculpture demonstration lectures to promote public awareness and education in the sciences.

 
Karen Fairchild

KAREN S. FAIRCHILD, MSW, LCSW

Karen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Kids on the Move in Orem, Utah where she provides therapy, teaches classes to strengthen marriage, and leads parent support groups. After spending 20 years at home with 5 children, three with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Karen returned to school so that she could better serve families dealing with the challenges of Autism.

 
Tiffany Garner

TIFFANY GARNER, BS

Tiffany received her Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Social Work from Utah Valley University. She has been working with Wasatch Mental Health in their GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 2010, and has served as an Autism Specialist since 2012. Tiffany loves the children she works with and feels privileged to work with them each day.

 
Ruth

RUTH GERRITSEN-MCKANE, PHD, LCSW

Ruth is an Associate Professor/Lecturer; Director Field Education BSW Program and Director Undergraduate Global Social Work Education - College of Social Work at the University of Utah. Her passion is to provide opportunities for greater understanding to traditional and non-traditional students on the plight of vulnerable populations where ever they are found.

 
Tracy Golden

TRACY GOLDEN, PHD

Dr. Tracy Golden is an assistant professor of Social Work in Utah Valley University's Department of Behavioral Science. She is also a licensed clinician focusing on teens and adults with high functioning autism and Aspergers. She has worked with a number of clients in her private practice on issues of sexuality, relationship development and dating.

 
Katelyn Hancock

KATELYN HANCOCK, CSNA and RONALD JESSUP, CIMA

The Jessup group has over 40 years of combined experience helping businesses and families reach their financial needs and goals. Ronald Jessup, a senior vice president, is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and Katelyn Hancock is a Certified Special Needs Advisor (CSNA).

 
 

JULIE HANSEN, LMT

Julie Hansen is a licensed marriage and family therapist working at the Utah State Developmental Center with autistic individuals and families. Julie's hope is to educate families to empower their children with ASD, provide a deeper understanding of their child's condition and connect them with the supports needed for the family to thrive.

 
Ryan Hawks

RYAN HAWKS

Ryan is a certified, licensed recreation therapist at ScenicView Academy serving adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other learning disabilities. Ryan has worked at ScenicView for four years coordinating leisure and experiential therapy classes and activities. He has presented on the recreation therapy program at ScenicView which includes many courses he personally developed. He received his degree from Brigham Young University and is currently working on a master's degree in Mental Health Counseling.

 
Dr HigbeeDaphne Jessica Matt

THOMAS S. HIGBEE, PHD, JESSIKA AKERS, DAPHNE HARTZHEIM, AND MATTHEW BRODHEAD

Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University where he has worked since 2002. He is also Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism which he founded in 2003. Jessica Akers, Daphne Hartzheim, and Matthew Brodhead are doctoral students in the Disability Disciplines PhD program at Utah State University. Their research interests include teaching social skills and enhancing clinical outcomes for children with autism.Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University where he has worked since 2002. He is also Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism which he founded in 2003.

Jessica Akers, Daphne Hartzheim, and Matthew Brodhead are doctoral students in the Disability Disciplines PhD program at Utah State University. Their research interests include teaching social skills and enhancing clinical outcomes for children with autism.

 
Amber Hopkins

AMBER HOPKINS, MS, SSW

Amber received her Bachelor's Degree from Brigham Young University in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. She received a certification in teaching Special Education Severe/Profound in 2003. Amber graduated in April 2012 with her Master's of Science Degree in Special Education and is currently working on a publication of her thesis research. She is also a licensed Social Service Worker. Amber has been working with Wasatch Mental Health in their GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 2000, and has been an Autism Specialist for GIANT Steps since 2002. She loves working and consulting with children and their families.

 
Nathan Jensen

NATHAN JENSEN

Nathan is a licensed professional counselor and has been working in mental health services for over 18 years. For the last ten years he has been working as a psychotherapist at ScenicView Academy working with adults with autism and asperger's. He is currently working towards becoming a certified bio-feedback practitioner. He has been using bio-feedback techniques for the last 6 years. Nathan has worked as a case manager in mental health for adults and children and has a great knowledge of community and government resources.

 
Amber Johnson

AMBER JOHNSON, BSW

mber received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Social Work from Utah Valley University in 2007. Amber has been working with Wasatch Mental Health in their GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 2006, and has been an Autism Specialist for GIANT Steps since 2010. Amber loves working with these special kids and values all they teach her. She can't imagine any other career.

 
Janeen

JANEEN MCFADDEN, BEd

Janeen received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University in 1988. She received her Special Education Endorsement in 1999. Janeen has been working with Wasatch Mental Health since 1996, and has been with GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 1997. She has been an Autism Specialist for GIANT Steps since 1999. Janeen has been instrumental in developing the current curriculum and combination of treatment techniques used at GIANT Steps. She has been a presenter and trainer in a variety of treatment techniques for parents and staff. She feels extremely blessed to be able to work with children affected with Autism. They have helped her see the world in a different way and she loves them as her own.

 
Ryan Miller

RYAN MILLER

Ryan graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelors in Psychology, a masters in Social Work, and is an LCSW. He has worked at ScenicView Academy for over six years and enjoys helping adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other learning disabilities gain skills that lead to independent and fulfilling lives. At ScenicView Ryan maintains a caseload comprised of residential, day program, and outpatient clients. He serves as the chair of the Family Support Committee and frequently collaborations with an interdisciplinary team. ScenicView selected Ryan to become a Certified Change Anything Trainer through VitalSmarts and looks forward to train all of ScenicView's staff in a new model for changing human behavior.

 
Carrie

CARRIE ROGERS-WHITEHEAD, MLIS, MPA

Carrie Rogers-Whitehead is a Senior librarian for Salt Lake County Library. In March 2011 she created the first public library programming in the state of Utah for those with special needs, particularly autism. In January Carrie began a new library program for older children and teens with special needs, one of only a few in the country. Carrie has done training on literacy and autism for professionals around the state and is working to expand free library programming to more locations. Carrie has a Masters in Library and Information Science and in Public Administration. She is the Utah Library Association's 2013 Librarian of the Year.

 
Brandon Ross

BRANDON ROSS, CSNA, CFM

Brandon D. Ross is a Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been in the financial services industry since 1996 and joined Merrill Lynch in 1999. He is a Certified Special Needs Advisor and also a Certified Financial Manager.

 
Heidi Ross

HEIDI ROSS, SSW

Heidi currently works at ScenicView Academy, a school for adults with autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities, as a case manager and coach. For the past several years, she has taught dating classes, hygiene classes, and other classes designed to improve independent living skills. She has worked with both developmentally delayed children as well as learning disabled adults. Heidi graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Utah University where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology.

 
Ben Springer

BEN SPRINGER, PHD

Dr. Springer is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Utah State Office of Education Behavior Specialist, a member of the National Association of School Psychologists, Utah Association of School Psychologists and a member of the Autism Council of Utah. He works full-time as a school psychologist in the Park City School District and provides part-time consultation services for families, schools, and medical practitioners. Dr. Springer is also an adjunct faculty member at Utah Valley University in the Behavioral Science Department.

 
Jared Stewart

JARED STEWART, MEd

Jared Stewart, M.Ed., was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). He is the head of the education department at Provo's ScenicView Academy, a non-profit residential school that helps adults with autism and other learning disabilities to transition to successful independence. Born and raised on Kodiak Island, Alaska, he has more than ten years of experience working with adults with autism, and has shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum with many local and national audiences. His passion for the subject arises from personal experience: he has family members on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

 
Tyson Terry

TYSON TERRY, LCSW, BCBA

Tyson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Clinical Social worker who has worked in the disability field, including children and adults with autism, for over 10 years. In that time he has worked as a direct care staff, support coordinator for the State of Utah, private support coordinator, therapist, and behavior analyst. Tyson completed his Bachelor's in Psychology from Southern Utah University and his Master's in Social Work from the University of Utah. Tyson is currently employed as a behavior analyst with Chrysalis, a DSPD provider serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

 
Fleur

FLEUR WIORKOWSKI, PHD

Dr. Wiorkowski is an individual with Asperger's Syndrome who recently completed a PhD in educational psychology at Capella University. She is particularly interested in conducting research that will assist the community of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (and those that support them) as they mature into adulthood and enter the higher education system. She looks forward to continuing to explore this research topic through future studies which will always focus on allowing the voices of those with ASDs to be included in the research conversation.

 
Maria Wiscombe

MARIA WISCOMBE

Maria has been involved with helping families who have children with special needs/special healthcare needs connect to information and resources for 13 years. She has been involved with the Epilepsy Association of Utah, Medical Home Project, Utah Family Voices Family to Family Health and Information Network, Family to Family Network and Utah Parent Center. She is currently a District Consultant for the Utah Parent Center and works with families in Alpine School District. Maria has a daughter who has a seizure disorder and autism.

 
Kristin Wright

KRISTIN WRIGHT, MSE

Kristin spent most of her childhood, career, and educational pursuits in New York and New Jersey where she taught regular elementary education. She received a Master's Degree in MEd Special Education (College of New Jersey) and spent the rest of her career teaching elementary and secondary special education in the public schools. She has been teaching in the School of Education at Utah Valley University since 2002. Most of her research has been in autism.

 
Jesse Yarger

JESSE YARGER, BCBA

Jesse is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst currently employed with Chrysalis. He received my Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Utah State University and a Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities from Auburn University. Jesse studied under James Carr and Linda LeBlanc while at Auburn University. He has worked with children and adolescents with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities for five years collectively and is beginning to specialize in treating sleep disorders behaviorally.

 
Judith Zimmerman

JUDITH PINBOROUGH ZIMMERMAN, PHD

Judith is the Utah Principal Investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring project and an assistant research professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Communication Disorders and Sciences at the University of Utah. As a licensed certified speech-language pathologist, Judy has 30 years of experience providing clinical speech-language pathology services to children with ASDs. Judy also has extensive experience in conducting surveillance and research projects that focus on improving the ascertainment of children with ASDs in our communities.

 


 

 

Sessions

Content Coming Soon

Photos

2013 Conference, April 12

Conference 2013

Kathryn and Brent Wood receive the Heroes for Autism award presented by Autism Resources of Utah County


Autism 2012

2012 Conference on Autism

Keynote Speakers

Christopher Gauthier

OPENING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

CHRISTOPHER M. AND JACQUELINE F. GAUTHIÉR

Christopher M. Gauthiér is an actively exhibiting artist teaching Fine Art Photography at Utah State University. He holds a MFA from Ohio University in photography. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Mississippi Museum of Art; Webster University, The Netherlands; Koltsovo Airport, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation and in private collections nationally and internationally. Autism advocacy became a personal imperative when he became aware of the link between his environmental concerns and his children's autism.

 
Jacqueline Gauthier

Jacqueline F. Gauthiér studied Social Work at Eastern Mennonite University and is currently the Director for Morningside School, a private Preschool and Kindergarten in Logan, UT. Jacqueline became invested in autism related issues with the birth of their children, Madeline and Caleb. She is a collaborative partner in the photographic project Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism.

Christopher and Jacqueline Gauthier live with their family in Logan, Utah.

 
Lindsey Nebeker

OPENING KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

LINDSEY NEBEKER

Musician, Advocate, and Speaker

Lindsey Nebeker is a musician, advocate and speaker diagnosed with autism, currently working as a Development Specialist at the Autism Society national headquarters near Washington, D.C. She also has a brother diagnosed with autism. She was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to the United States at age 11. She holds a B.A. Degree in Music Technology from the College of Santa Fe, and is a Partners in Policymaking graduate. Since 2005, Ms. Nebeker has been active within the autism community by presenting at numerous conferences and workshops in the United States and Canada. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Autism Women's Network and participated in CREA's Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Institute. In addition, Ms. Nebeker has been featured in Glamour magazine, ABC's Good Morning America, NPR, and appeared on the cover of Autism Spectrum Quarterly (along with her partner Dave Hamrick).

 
Valerie Hu

LUNCHEON KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

VALERIE HU

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the George Washington University Medical Center

Dr. Valerie Hu is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The George Washington University Medical Center as well as a mother of a son with ASD. She redirected her research focus towards autism about 7 years ago and has since published 10 papers on the genes and biological pathways associated with ASD. Dr. Hu received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech and did her postdoctoral research in Membrane Biochemistry and Immunology at UCLA. More information about her research and papers can be obtained at:
http://www.gwumc.edu/biochem/faculty_vhu.html

Presenters

 
Suzette Bartlett

SUZETTE BARTLETT

Suzette is a Certified Social Worker. She received a bachelors and masters in social work from Brigham Young University. Suzette loves working with those with autism spectrum disorders and has enjoyed researching the most effective practices to help them. Suzette presented on teaching students social skills at the national Independent Educational Consultants Association conference in Texas and the Utah LDA Conference. She is also currently working with those who struggle with addiction. Suzette loves working in the helping profession and respects those who try to improve their lives.

 
Erin Bigler

DR. ERIN BIGLER

Dr. Bigler is a renowned brain researcher with expertise in autism. He is currently a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at BYU. Dr. Bigler researches neuroimaging analysis and behavioral outcomes in Alzheimer's disease and aging, dementia, traumatic brain injury, and autism. The National Academy of Neuropsychology gave him the Distinguished Neuropsychologist Award, in 1999, which is their highest honor. He also received the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award from BYU the same year. His favorite quote is, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can, " by John Wesley.

 
Roger Broome

ROGER BROOME

Rodger E. Broomé, PhD is a faculty member of the department of emergency services at UVU. His professional experience involves 23 years in police, fire and emergency medicine. He retired serving the City of West Jordan as their fire marshal at the rank of battalion chief. Rodger's education is in psychology from the Saybrook University, San Francisco, CA. He has three lovely nieces with ASD and teaches a course in the emergency management degree called human factors in emergency management which covers a section on people with ASD. Rodger continues to serve the community of Woods Cross as a reserve police officer.

 
Shawnee Collins

SHAWNEE COLLINS

Shawnee is the Clinical Director at Chrysalis and oversees their behavioral services in Utah and Nevada. She is also a doctoral student at Utah State University studying Applied Behavior Analysis and Disability Studies. Her research interests include staff training, functional assessment, and video modeling. Her current research is testing the effectiveness of video models on staff implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with individuals with severe intellectual disabilities.

Shawnee received her Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Utah. She is a nationally accredited Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

 
Brandon Condie

BRANDON CONDIE

Brandon Condie is a resident of Utah. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Utah and obtained his graduate degree from Pacific University in Portland, Oregon. Brandon has been working in the field of Autism and Disability for 7 years, and is currently a behavior analyst for Chrysalis. He also has private practice for behavioral and mental health counseling services. Brandon has been involved with the Oregon Academy of Science, American Psychological Association, National Board of Certified Counselors, Association of Behavior Analysts, and Utah Association of Behavior Analysts.

 
Jennifer Cornett

JENNIFER D. CORNETT

Jennifer Cornett received her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Utah. She is currently enrolled in Behavior Analysis courses at the Florida Institute of Technology and is working as a Behavior Analyst for Chrysalis ,and adjunct faculty member at Utah Valley University. Prior to working as a behavior analyst, Jennifer was a Support Coordinator for 7 years in Central Utah.

 
Fairbanks

DR. DANIEL J. FAIRBANKS

Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks is a professor, geneticist, artist, and author. He currently serves as Associate Dean of Science & Health and Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University. As author and co-author of four books and numerous articles in scientific journals, he is well respected as a geneticist. Having been raised in a family of professional artists, he studied sculpture from a young age and now has commissioned pieces of sculpture on permanent exhibit in museums, public buildings, and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. He often presents sculpture demonstration lectures to promote public awareness and education in the sciences.

 
Karen Fairchild

KAREN S. FAIRCHILD, MSW

Karen S. Fairchild, MSW, is a Clinical Social Worker (CSW) at Kids on the Move in Orem, Utah where she provides therapy, teaches classes to strengthen marriage, and leads parent support groups. She recently began providing autism diagnostic services for the new Bridges program at Kids on the Move. After spending 20 years at home with 5 children, three with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Karen returned to school so that she could better serve families dealing with the challenges of Autism. She worked for Wasatch Mental Health's GIANT Steps program for almost 10 years, most recently as a case manager. While raising her children, she was actively involved at both the state and county level in promoting autism awareness, supporting autism legislation, and linking families to supports and services. She has been married to and supported by Don Fairchild for 30 years and is the proud grandma of Jonas.

 
Tracy Golden

TRACY GOLDEN

Tracy Golden completed her doctorate in Social Work at the University of Utah in December, 2011, and will be awarded her degree in May, 2012. Her research interests are around the unique patterns of relating that parents develop with their children with autism. Ms. Golden is currently a trainee at the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neuro-developmental and Related Disabilities Program (URLEND) participating on the autism enhancement track. Ms. Golden has been involved in the disability field since 2004. She helped co-found Utah Families for Effective Autism Treatment and served as vice president. She is also a collaborating member of the Utah Autism Council, the State of Utah "Learn the Signs. Act Early" Team, the Maturation Work Group for Children with Developmental Disabilities, and the Utah Autism Project (a volunteer organization serving Latino families). Her interest in the Utah Act Early Program arose from her belief that parents should have opportunities for early detection in order to access early intervention. She is particularly interested in increasing identification of developmental disabilities in underserved populations. Ms. Golden will join the faculty in the Behavioral Science Department of the UVU College of Humanities and Social Sciences this summer.

 
Suzanne Grimshaw

SUZANNE GRIMSHAW

Suzanne has worked with people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and Learning Disabilities for 5 ½ years. She has also worked with those who struggle with Mental Illness at the Utah State Hospital. At ScenicView Academy she has collaborated with her fellow clinicians to develop a social skills curriculum specifically geared for teens and adults. She has presented on this topic at the National IECA conference and at the Utah LDA Conference. Suzanne believes that creativity and thinking "outside the box" can provide opportunities for change and growth. Suzanne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Political Science and a Master's degree in Social Work.

 
Jason Harrison

JASON HARRISON

Jason Harrison received his Master of Social Work from the University of Utah and is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He has been working with adolescents and adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities for over 10 years.

 
Jackie Hunter

JACKIE HUNTER

Jackie is a Behavior Analyst at Chrysalis and has been working with adolescents and adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities for over 10 years. Jackie received her Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She is also a nationally accredited Board Certified Behavior Analyst and an Associate Professional Counselor.

 
Jennifer Hutchinson

JENNIFER HUTCHINSON

Jennifer Hutchinson is a speech language pathologist in Granite School District and in private practice. She currently serves students with severe disabilities and has worked with students on the autism spectrum for 12 years. She is a member of Granite's Assistive Technology team and is also a trainee with Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. She is part of a group with Ana Kemple and 3 other trainees from Utah, Idaho and North Dakota who are researching the perspectives of fathers whose children have autism spectrum disorders.

 
Robert Johns

ROBERT JOHNS

Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Communications and has a SSW license. He has 24 years of professional experience helping people with disabilities to find and maintain competitive employment. Robert currently works as an Employment Specialist at ScenicView Academy. He is passionate about sports and enjoys volunteering as a Boy Scout leader and Little League coach. He feels that every day is a new adventure.

 
Larry Kaplan

LARRY KAPLAN

Dr. Kaplan is a parent of child affected by autism. He is the Founder and Chairman of US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA). Dr. Kaplan was the chief investigator for the first study on early diagnosis of ASD. He is the author of "Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes: A Parent-Physician Team Approach" and is editor of multiple USAAA Conference Proceedings Manuals and a contributor to other autism publications. Dr. Kaplan spent the first decade of his post-graduate studies in professional and collegiate sports. He has spent the last twenty years improving the quality of life of individuals and others affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 
Ana Kemple

ANA KEMPLE-REEVES

Ana Kemple-Reeves is currently a doctoral student in psychology at Utah State University. She is also a trainee in the Utah Regional Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities program (URLEND). Ana is currently working on a research project that investigates the fathers' perspectives on having a child with a diagnosis of autism. Research specifically on fathers is very limited and her goal is to add to the literature by specifically investigating how fathers feel about their child's diagnosis.

 
Katie Mangus

KATIE MANGUS

Katie Mangus, MOT, OTR/L earned a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Studies from the University of Utah, Salt Lake and a Master degree in Occupational therapy from the University of Utah, Salt Lake. She is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist. Katie has experience working with children in different settings, including working at Spectrum Academy a charter school for kids with Autism. She is currently working for Easter Seals-Goodwill in a pediatric outpatient clinic as well as working in early intervention services. Katie has experience in sensory integration therapy and working with children and teenagers on the Autism spectrum and with Sensory Processing Disorder. Katie loves parent education and learning about sensory processing!

 
Stephanie Nilsen

STEPHANIE NILSEN

Stephanie Nilsen is currently Headmaster at Clear Horizons Academy, a school specializing in educating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Provo, Utah. She has eight years experience working with children with Autism in home based and school based settings as well as running training programs for parents and professionals. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Stephanie moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, graduating in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Child Psychology in 2006. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disorders (class of 2015), focusing on Autism and Mental Health. She is also a DIR Certification Candidate, currently working on her year-long case study required for certification.

 
Gennie Russell

GENNIE RUSSELL

Gennie Russell received her Master of Social Work from Walla Walla University in Washington. She has been working with adolescents and adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities for two years.

 
Mallory Sdano

MALLORY SDANO

Mallory Sdano, MS, LGC has been a genetic counselor at Lineagen, Inc since August 2011. Her favorite part of the job is providing telephone genetic counseling to families undergoing chromosomal microarray (CMA) and FMR1 analysis for their child with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, intellectual disability and/or multiple congenital anomalies. She also provides genetic education to physicians and assists in supervising genetic counseling graduate students in their clinical rotations at Lineagen. Ms. Sdano is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and involved in the NSGC Student/New Member Special Interest Group. She earned her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 2011 and her BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2009.

 
Smith and Anderson

CHERYL SMITH AND LAURA ANDERSON

Cheryl and Laura have been advocates for autism since 2003. They sit on several State and community committees relating to autism and are the President and President Elect of the Autism Council of Utah. Together they started the Big MAKS, (mom's of autistic kids) a networking and support kind of group for parents. They both have boys who have autism.

 
Mikle South

MIKLE SOUTH

Mikle South received a B.A. in psychology from Yale University in 1994 and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Utah in 2005. After returning to Yale for a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroimaging of childhood problems, Dr. South began work at Brigham Young University where he is currently an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. Dr. South's research uses a variety of techniques to study links between the brain and behavior in autism spectrum conditions, especially regarding the influence of emotion on thinking in autism. When not working, Dr. South enjoys playing soccer, eating waffles, or watching the show White Collar on Netflix.

 
Jared Stewart

JARED STEWART

Jared Stewart, M.Ed., was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). He is the head of the education department at Provo's ScenicView Academy, a non-profit residential school that helps adults with autism and other learning disabilities to transition to successful independence. Born and raised on Kodiak Island, Alaska, he has more than ten years of experience working with adults with autism, and has shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum with many local and national audiences. His passion for the subject arises from personal experience: he has family members on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

 
 

TYSON TERRY

Tyson Terry has worked with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities for nearly 10 years. He started working as direct support staff in a home serving people with disabilities while pursuing his bachelor's degree in psychology from Southern Utah University. After graduating Tyson served as a Support Coordinator in Southern Utah for 5 years. During this time Tyson completed his Masters in Social Work through the University of Utah. Tyson currently works as a behavior analyst for Chrysalis, a DSPD provider serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Tyson is currently working towards his BCBA certification.

 
Marlo Thurman

MARLO PAYNE THURMAN

Marlo started her work with special needs children in 1986. Early in her career, Marlo developed a special interest in the unique needs of those individuals who were both highly intelligent and asynchronously developed. Through her private practice she carried out this interest, specializing in assessment, advocacy, cognitive training, sensory and behavior support, and socio-emotional coaching. In 1999 Marlo founded the Brideun Learning Communities and built the Brideun School for Exceptional Children, a play-based, therapeutic school. Marlo later founded 2E Consulting Services to provide training to programs that work with individuals who despite adequate intelligence are unable to find success in traditional settings. Marlo holds board positions with 2E Newsletter and the US Autism and Asperger's Association and she directs the US College Autism Project. Marlo has been recognized for her work by People Magazine, the Special Educator, ADDitude Magazine, the New York Times, National Public Radio and numerous local venues. Marlo is also the mother of two twice-exceptional young adults who she credits for the inspiration of her professional career.

 
Jack White

JACK WHITE

Jack graduated from the University of Utah and completed his master degree at California State University Northridge. He worked 30 years for the Division of Rehabilitation and has a CSW license. Following his retirement he has worked ten years for ScenicView Academy developing employment opportunities. He has innovative ideas to help individuals with disabilities turn their dream of working into a viable career path. Jack enjoys golfing competitively and coaching basketball. He also likes to brag about his garden and most of all his children and grandchildren.

 
 

THERESA K. WRANGHAM

Theresa K. Wrangham became a parent advocate as a result of her daughter Deanna's life-threatening asthma, as well as her daughter Rachel's diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2001 she co-founded the Autism Society of Boulder County (ASBC) in Colorado and served five terms as its president and, served on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Colorado. Theresa collaborated with Google to create Project Spectrum, a program designed to assist the autism community to identify possible career paths and to give educators classroom tools, and assist parents to obtaining special education services for their children. She has been featured in local and national television and print news reports and recently was featured in Parade Magazine. Within her community, she has helped to raise public awareness by publishing Colorado's first autism specific resource guide. She serves on the US Autism & Asperger Association advisory board.

 

Sessions

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 de- velop with their children who are diagnosed with ASD. Tracy will outline multiple strategies parents use to build feelings of closeness and connection with their chil- dren, 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 inter- ventions that can help to increase the individual probability of success and develop- ment.

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 pro- posal 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 similari- ties and differences between international, foster care and private adoption op- tions. 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 pro- posal 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 competi- tive 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 de- velopmental intervention for children with ASD as well as other developmental dis- orders. 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 treat- ments 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 fam- ily 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 pres- entation, 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 commu- nity 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 underly- ing 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 specu- lated 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 profes- sional 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 per- sonal 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 interven- tions.

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 austism.

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 as- sessment process, including methods of assessment, data collection, analysis and summary statements. This session will be valuable for parents, teachers and clini- cians 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 intri- cate ins and outs of life with ASD. Representatives from Madison House Founda- tion, 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 com- plex 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 diagno- sis, intervention, and treatment. 

 


 

Photos

2012 Conference, April 20

Christopher Gauthier

Opening keynote speaker Christopher Gauthier

Lindsey Nebeker

Opening keynote speaker Lindsey Nebeker

Valerie Hu

Luncheon keynote speaker Valerie Hu

 

 


Autism 2011

2011 Conference on Autism

Keynote Speaker

Jalynn Prince

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

JALYNN PRINCE

Founder and President of Madison House Foundation

JaLynn Prince is the Founder and President of Madison House Foundation, named after her 20 year old son, Madison, who has severe autism. The Madison House Foundation benefits individuals with autism as they transition to adulthood. Madison House has sponsored many conferences and round table discussions, educating hundreds of parents and professionals on various aspects of autism. In 1999, Ms. Prince was named the National Young Mother of the Year. Her platform consisted of issues facing families of children with disabilities, which she presented to numerous national and international audiences. She is on the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Advisory Board, the Utah Valley University School of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board, and the American Mothers Inc. National Board.

Presenters

 
 

MATT AHLSTROM

Matt has worked for CTA since 1999 in many capacities. Prior to working for CTA Matt worked as a Team Leader for Alternative Youth Adventures, a wilderness therapy program for adjudicated youth.

Matt holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Utah. He finished the necessary course work and passed the BABC national exam to become a Bored Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst in May 2010. Matt is currently the Program Director for CTA’s Autism Support Alternative Program (ASAP).

 
Kate Andersen

KATE ANDERSEN

Kate Andersen is the President & Founder of Autism Journeys, the chair of the Training Committee for the Autism Council of Utah, a wife and the mother of two young boys, one of which has multiple special needs.

Kate was introduced to the world of autism through a volunteer project over 15 years ago. While pursuing her degree in psychology from the University of Utah, Kate immersed herself in learning about autism. Within 2 years she was an autism specialist for the Pingree School and running her own classroom. Immediately after college, Kate accepted the position of Executive Director for the Autism Society of Utah, the local chapter for the Autism Society of America. In 2007 Kate founded Autism Journeys, an organization designed to provide individualized, multi-faceted intervention to all affected by autism.

For more than a decade, Kate has traveled the country obtaining certifications and training in cutting edge and research-based intervention techniques such as Applied Behavior Analysis (Natural environment ABA, cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Discrete Trial, etc.). She has attained advanced training in DIR techniques (including P.L.A.Y Project Certification), SCERTS, TEACCH, Social-Thinking Techniques, Social Stories, Comic Strips, Visual/Picture (PECS) strategies, sensory processing, canine therapy, and much more.

 
 

TROY ANGUS, BCBA, MSW

Founder and President of Madison House Foundation

Troy has twenty- six years experience in the DD/MR field working with a wide variety of people receiving supports through DSPD. Troy is currently the Director of Behavioral Supports for the provider Community Treatment Alternatives (CTA). Troy works closely with psychiatrists, families, and teachers to facilitate excellent care for individuals diagnosed with Autism and their families.

 
Shawnee Collins

SHAWNEE COLLINS

Shawnee is the Clinical Director at Chrysalis and oversees their behavioral services in Utah and Nevada. She is also a doctoral student at Utah State University studying Applied Behavior Analysis and Disability Studies. Her research interests include staff training, functional assessment, and video modeling. Her current research is testing the effectiveness of video models on staff implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with individuals with severe intellectual disabilities.

Shawnee received her Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Utah. She is a nationally accredited Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

 
Jennifer Corenett

JENNIFER D. CORNETT

Jennifer D. Cornett CSW, QMRP works as a Support Coordinator for Support Coordination Services of Utah, as well as an adjunct faculty member at UVU in the Behavioral Science department. Jennifer graduated from UVU with a bachelors degree in Behavioral Science, and went on to receive a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. Jennifer has over 10 years experience working with individuals with Autism and other developmental delays.

 
Dr. Dunn

DR. LOUISE DUNN

Dr. Louise Dunn is an assistant professor and pediatric curriculum coordinator in the Division of Occupational Therapy at the University of Utah. She is part of the Autism Enhancement program in the Utah Regional Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabiliteis grant and a member of the Interagency Collaborative Council. Her current research includes measurement development, preparation for independent living for children and young adults with ASD, and use of technology to promote social engagement for children with ASD.

 
Tina Taylor Dyches

TINA TAYLOR DYCHES, Ed.D.

Tina Taylor Dyches, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education at Brigham Young University. Her professional interests include adaptation of families raising children with disabilities, multicultural issues affecting children with autism and their families, children's literature that includes characters with disabilities, and provision of appropriate services to students with disabilities. Dr. Dyches lives in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, with her husband, David, and son, Logan.

 
Daniel Fairbanks

DR. DANIEL J. FAIRBANKS

Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks is a professor, geneticist, artist, and author. He currently serves as Associate Dean of Science & Health and Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University. As author and co-author of four books and numerous articles in scientific journals, he is well respected as a geneticist. Having been raised in a family of professional artists, he studied sculpture from a young age and now has commissioned pieces of sculpture on permanent exhibit in museums, public buildings, and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. He often presents sculpture demonstration lectures to promote public awareness and education in the sciences.

 
Karen Fairchild

KAREN S. FAIRCHILD, MSW

Karen S. Fairchild, MSW, is a Clinical Social Worker (CSW) at Kids on the Move in Orem, Utah where she provides therapy, teaches classes to strengthen marriage, and leads parent support groups. She recently began providing autism diagnostic services for the new Bridges program at Kids on the Move. After spending 20 years at home with 5 children, three with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Karen returned to school so that she could better serve families dealing with the challenges of Autism. She worked for Wasatch Mental Health's GIANT Steps program for almost 10 years, most recently as a case manager. While raising her children, she was actively involved at both the state and county level in promoting autism awareness, supporting autism legislation, and linking families to supports and services. She has been married to and supported by Don Fairchild for 30 years and is the proud grandma of Jonas.

 
Valerie Hu

DR. VALERIE HU

Dr. Valerie Hu is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The George Washington University Medical Center as well as a mother of a son with ASD. She redirected her research focus towards autism about 6 years ago and has since published 7 papers on the genes and biological pathways associated with ASD. Dr. Hu received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech and did her postdoctoral research in Membrane Biochemistry and Immunology at UCLA. More information about her research and papers can be obtained at:
http://www.gwumc.edu/biochem/faculty_vhu.html

 
Luwenn Jones

LUWENN JONES

LuWenn Jones lives in Cedar City, Utah with her husband and three children. She holds a BA from Southern Utah University in English. She became actively involved in disability issues on a statewide level 13 years ago when her middle child was diagnosed with severe autism. Her passion for improving programs and family support systems has led her on a quest for systems change and ensuring that all individuals receive appropriate services. She is a trained Autism Navigator through a grant administered by the UCED, Utah Department of Health and Utah Family Voices and has presented the "ABCs of Autism" training to families and professionals in various areas of the state. LuWenn is especially sensitive to the needs of individuals and families residing in rural areas, and ensuring their access to services. Her current position as Southern Utah Outreach Advocate with the Disability Law Center and Utah Developmental Disabilities Council affords her the opportunity to serve this population and their diverse needs.

 
Bethany Lawrence

BETHANY LAWRENCE

Bethany currently works as a Support Coordinator for Support Coordination Services of Utah and as adjunct faculty in the Behavioral Science Department of Utah Valley University. Bethany received her Master's Degree from the University of Utah and has over six years experience in the field of child and family development. She has spent the last three years working with individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and their families.

 
Sarah Long

SARAH LONG

Sarah Long is currently a third year student in the occupational therapy master's program at the University of Utah. Her areas of interest include geriatrics, adults with developmental disabilities, international health care, and mental health.

Sessions

8am - Exhibit Booth Set-up

Exhibits run from 9am until 5pm

9am - Registration & Exhibits open

9am to 10am - Poster Session

10am to 11:30am - Forum on Autism

A series of brief, information-packed short sessions designed to allow pertinent information to be gathered in a short period of time. Presenters from afternoon concurrent sessions will be presenting an overview of their content in 5-6 minute segments to provide valuable information in a glance.

11:30 to noon - Closing Forum Session

An Artistic Image of Autism – Dr. Daniel Fairbanks

Artists often paint or sculpt portraits of people whose fame and accomplishments merit extraordinary recognition. Those with autism make meaningful contributions to society in ways that are often unrecognized or neglected. During this presentation, Dr. Fairbanks will sculpt a bust of his autistic son, Michael, while speaking to honor people with autism and their role in society. 

Noon -Luncheon and Keynote Address:
JaLynn Prince, Madison House Foundation

The past twenty years have seen many changes in the world of autism. JaLynn will discuss the changes in awareness, educational opportunities and services for those diagnosed with ASD. What are the latest discoveries regarding ASD and how should we respond to them? What are the needs of adults living with ASD? What can we do to prepare now for the next twenty years? 

1pm - Concurrent Sessions:

-Parent Panel - Parents of autistic children and adults will speak about their personal experiences living with autism. Share in their joys and challenges as they offer insight into how their families have learned to function and thrive as they walk the path of autism.

-Legal Rights Workshop - Experts will discuss legal issues (such as guardianship and trust funds) and legal rights.

- Teaching the Basics: Life Skills - professionals will discuss the challenges and methods for teaching basic life skills (such as personal hygiene, toileting, etc) to autistic individuals

-Causal Theories - Dr. Valerie Hu - Dr. Hu will address the multiple factors giving rise to autism which require better integration of the different types of large-scale genomics stud- ies in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying pathobiology of autism. She will also stress the need to focus studies on subgroups of individuals with similar symptomatic and behavioral profiles in order to reduce the “noise” in the biological and genetic data that is inherent in this heterogeneous population.

2pm - Concurrent Sessions:

You Have a Diagnosis - Now What? – Jennifer D. Cornett CSW, QMRP and Bethany Lawrence

Experts will discuss what the ramifications are following a diagnosis of autism, and focus on supports and services available in the commu- nity for individuals with autism and their families - as well as an emphasis on advocacy.

Transition Years, Age 21+ - JaLynn Prince, Madison House Foundation

Do you know where your loved one with spe- cial needs will live when you can no longer care for him or her? As the number of individuals with disabilities increases, it is becoming more difficult to find appropriate housing. This workshop will offer an overview of current private, public, and faith-based residential options for those with disabilities. Housing trends, questions to consider, and the importance of planning ahead will be discussed. In the shadow of growing waitlists, emerging residential models are casting a bright light on the future residential needs of our loved ones. How- ever, you cannot afford to wait until you are faced with an immediate need.

Parents as Partners in the IEP Process - Jody Jones, Parent Consultant, Utah Parent Center

Parents are important members of the IEP team. They can and want to be effec- tive partners with other members of the team in developing and delivering special education programs for their students with disabilities. However, they often lack information. This workshop will help parents understand their role, rights and responsibilities in the IEP process. They will learn how to effectively prepare for, participate in and follow-up on IEP meetings held on behalf of their student.

Behavior Management – Shawnie Collins

This session focuses on basic positive behavior supports including preven- tion strategies and reinforcement (reward) systems. Shaw- nee will provide examples of, and basic instructions on, vari- ous activity schedules, effective instructions, and effective reinforcement.

3pm - Concurrent Sessions

Will Our Family Survive Autism?- Dr. Tina Dykes and Karen Fairchild

Divorce is particularly high among couples who have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Siblings needs can easily be overlooked or minimized. The needs of the child with ASD can become so all-encompassing that the caregivers struggle with exhaustion and discourage- ment. Extended family members frequently pull away when support is needed more than ever or become critical of the parent’s efforts to manage their child’s needs. This presenta- tion will present strategies for facing the demands that hav- ing a child with ASD places on the entire family system. 

Genetics of Autism: Complexity and Promise –Dr. Daniel Fairbanks

Astounding progress on the genetic basis of autism has been made in recent years, 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 our increasing understanding of autism may lead to effective diagnosis, intervention, and treatments.

4pm - Concurrent Sessions

Remember... They’re Children! – Kate Andersen

Kate will discuss the importance of seeing your child or student as an individual, not a label. Creating a safe and positive environment for the child and family is critical to success. Providing individualized, intense intervention and fostering a healthy relationship with your child CAN co-oc- cur. And you don’t have to do it all alone. Kate will discuss how to educate family and friends, and get them involved. This session will provide some practical tips to try at the next playdate, family party, etc...

Autism and Effects on Sensory Processing – Dr. Louise Dunn and Sarah Long

Louise and Sarah will present current information about sensory processing concerns for children and adults with ASD. They will discuss sensory integration as a part of devel- opment, and share how sensory processing disorders might affect everyday activities such as sleep, mealtimes, play, self-care, community activities, and school. They will use case examples of a child and an adult with ASD to illustrate intervention.