2021 Conference Schedule

March 4, 2021

Keynote

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Increasing Disability Employment Through Innovative Business and Non-Profit Collaboration

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Autism Marathon Training: A Panel

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Caring Hearts at the Intersections of Autism and Culture

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Planning for a Successful Post High School Life: Navigating a Positive Transition to Adulthood

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Everyone in the Village: Priorities for Addressing Autism and Suicide

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Find resources and document progress with LifeWith

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Belonging in the Community: Preparing Emerging Adults on the Spectrum for Independent Living

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Building better relationships through mindful integration of social skills instruction and social opportunities into the school-age experiences of students with ASD.

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

March 5, 2021

The Ache of Your Absence: Creating Communities of Belonging for Everyone

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Autism in Adulthood: A Panel

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Distance Learning with Special Education: Strategies to Make it Work

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Creating Digital Activity Schedules and Digital Learning Activities to Promote Independence and Skill Acquisition in the Home and Classroom

10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
*Attendees may earn 2 BCBA CEUs from this session.

Profound Behavior Panel: The Parent’s Perspective

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Partnerships During and After the IEP Meeting

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Identifying Quality ABA Services: How do you know that you’re getting the best services from your ABA provider?

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Key Collaborations: A panel of parents and educators working together for optimum online learning.

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

From Barely Surviving to Thriving: ABA Strategies and Tools Parents Can Use to Increase Engagement and Positive Behavior During Virtual Learning

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Safety for Individuals with ASD

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

March 4, 2021

Key Note

9:00 - 10:00 am

Addressing Problem Behaviors so Belonging is Possible
*BCBA CEs

Greg Hanley, PhD, BCBA-D

Room: Online

More Info

In this presentation, Dr. Hanley will briefly describe a contemporary and compassionate version of applied behavior analysis for consideration when working with autistic persons or those with intellectual disabilities, especially when severe problem behavior is probable. The implications for meaningful community inclusion when one elects to implement Today’s ABA will be described.

Objective: The attendee will be able to describe the priorities of Today’s ABA and how their embrace may facilitate meaningful community involvement.

*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Morning Concurrent Sessions

10:15 - 11:15 am

Increasing Disability Employment Through Innovative Business and Non-Profit Collaboration

Mike Smith, BCBA
David Ellison

Room: Online

More Info

*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

This presentation will discuss a model of innovative and evolving community partnerships that provide equal value to employers, non-profit enterprises, and most importantly, individuals with autism and other I/DD who are seeking meaningful work and community connections. Topics covered will include Vocational “Discovery” from the perspective of the individual job seeker, as well as from the perspective of an employer.

Autism Marathon Training: A Panel

Karen S. Fairchild, LCSW

Room: Online

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Autism is a life-long journey. We sometimes approach it like a 5K when it’s more like a marathon. This panel is designed for parents, educators, and other professionals seeking understanding and perspective on how to support the entire family experiencing autism with balance, hope, and sustainable energy.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Caring Hearts at the Intersections of Autism and Culture

Shahla Ala’i, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

Room: Online

More Info

*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

This presentation is based, in part, on LeBlanc, Sellers & Alai (2002) Building and Sustaining Meaningful and Effective Relationships as a Supervisor and Mentor https://www.sloanpublishing.com/supervision and Miller, Re Cruz & Alai (2019) Inherent Tensions and Possibilities: Behavior Analysis and Cultural Responsiveness.

Abstract Section 1.05 of the BACB Compliance Code focuses on professional relationships between people of differing ages, genders, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, sexual orientations, disabilities, languages, and socioeconomic status. Ideally, professionals should be non-discriminatory and be developing increasingly more cultural responsiveness when working with people of differing backgrounds, life experiences and preferences. This presentation will: 1) review basic terms and concepts related to culturally responsiveness practices in educational and clinical settings; 2) consider the how the intersections of autism and race, ethnicity, gender and affluence and impacts a life.; and, 3) suggest pathways to caring and heartfelt responses to people in our professional and personal lives.

Learning Objectives

1. To identify the basic terms related to culturally responsive practices.

2. To identify how the intersections of autism and race, ethnicity, gender and affluence impacts a life.

3. To identify pathways to caring and heartfelt responses to people in our professional and personal lives.

Planning for a Successful Post High School Life: Navigating a Positive Transition to Adulthood

Lavinia Gripentrog

Room: Online

More Info

Transition to adulthood can be a challenging time for students and families, but with early planning and a positive vision, students with developmental disabilities can achieve a meaningful life and successful transition from school to post school settings. In this session, families, students and educators will learn how to plan for effective transition by incorporating evidence-based practices and access resources for a more positive post school outcome.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Everyone in the Village: Priorities for Addressing Autism and Suicide

Mikle South

Room: Online

More Info

Rates of death by suicide in youth and adults with autism are extraordinarily high. For many others with autism, frequent thoughts and behaviors related to suicide are distressing. This presentation reviews a few risk factors related to suicide in autism that have been highlighted in recent research, including additional mental health factors such as anxiety and depression, and times when those diagnoses get overlooked; sex differences (especially but not only girls and women), thinking about the unfair pressure on those with autism to conform with the styles of others. I will talk about ways in which usual care systems miss unique opportunities to incorporate autism-based strengths and difficulties to maximize success, and emphasize the importance of individuals, agencies and communities coming together to increase acceptance and decrease risk for suicide for all people with autism.

Find resources and document progress with LifeWith

Jake Fink, B.A.

Room: Online

More Info

LifeWith is a non-profit organization focused on helping individuals and their families on the autism spectrum. We do this through a user-friendly web site that allows you to search resources in your area (we are currently in Utah and Washington state and will soon be in Idaho). You can also create a profile to help organize your various documents and contacts and record and track progress.

2:45 - 3:45 pm

Belonging in the Community: Preparing Emerging Adults on the Spectrum for Independent Living

Kari Bushman

Room: Online

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Individuals with autism face unique challenges in the transition to adulthood, with one of the biggest challenges being housing. Research estimates that 87% of individuals on the spectrum live with parents. As a Housing Specialist at ScenicView Academy, Kari Bushman teaches young adults on the autism spectrum the skills needed for finding and maintaining appropriate housing, and living independently in the community. Join Kari for a discussion on ways to prepare young adults (and their parents) for the exciting transition to independent living.

Building better relationships through mindful integration of social skills instruction and social opportunities into the school-age experiences of students with ASD.

Wes Dotson

Room: Online

More Info

*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

Difficulty building and maintaining relationships is a defining struggle for students with ASD. Given the overarching importance of relationships to quality of life and independent functioning, it is vital that students with ASD receive mindful and targeted support to develop the social skills and awareness of their unique relationship preferences throughout their educational experience. This talk will focus first on the sorts of social skills required for school-age students with ASD to interact successfully with peers and adults. Then, the talk will transition to a discussion of the importance of individualized social goals and the power of preference in the expression of social skills with peers. Finally, it will conclude with tips for ways to integrate social skills teaching, prompting, and experiences into every facet of the school day.

March 5, 2021

Plenary Speaker

9:00 - 10:00 am

The Ache of Your Absence: Creating Communities of Belonging for Everyone

Erik Carter

More Info

We flourish most in the midst of community. Yet too many schools, workplaces, congregations, and neighborhoods still struggle to become places of belonging for people with disabilities and their families. In this keynote, Erik Carter will challenge us to pursue a destination that lies beyond integration and inclusion. Moreover, he will share a practical framework for reflecting upon and fostering belonging within the different communities that matter most to people.

Morning Concurrent Sessions

10:15 - 11:15 am

Autism in Adulthood: A Panel

Jared Stewart, M.Ed.

Room: Online

More Info

Join us for a panel discussion with adults living with autism at varying life stages and experiences as they share their perspective regarding their path to adulthood and their lives at home, work and in the community.

Distance Learning with Special Education: Strategies to Make it Work

Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Room: Online

More Info

*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

With limited research on distance learning in special education and the quick need for transition this past year, the shift to distance education was the biggest challenge in education in our lifetimes. However, educators and families have risen valiantly to make it work. As we continue to move forward with remote learning, this presentation will focus on potential solutions for the challenges that distance learning raises for students with disabilities, particularly those in need of explicit instruction. A primary focus will be reviewing methods for planning and implementing instruction to meet IEP needs. Participants will also receive information and tools to implement best practices in distance learning for their caseload. Finally, methods for collaboration between families and teachers will also be discussed.

10:15 am - 12:15 pm

Creating Digital Activity Schedules and Digital Learning Activities to Promote Independence and Skill Acquisition in the Home and Classroom

Thomas S. Higbee, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Kassidy S. Reinert, M.S., BCBA, LBA
Stephanie L. Mattson, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Room: Online

More Info

*Attendees may earn 2 BCBA CEUs from this session.

Photographic activity schedules have been demonstrated to be an effective tool for increasing independent task completion and reducing the need for step-by-step prompting for individuals with autism and related disabilities. Behavior analytic teaching procedures, such as Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) have also been shown to be effective in teaching fundamental skills. Historically, both of these teaching technologies have been designed and implemented by Behavior Analysts and teachers in clinical, classroom, and home settings. In this workshop, participants will learn how to use freely available online tools to create and disseminate both digital activity schedules and digital learning activities to promote learning when face-to-face instruction is limited. Systematic task analyses of how to create digital activity schedules and digital learning activities will be provided and demonstrated. Strategies for providing coaching and support that enables parents/caregivers to use these technologies with their children will also be provided.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Profound Behavior Panel: The Parent’s Perspective

Calleen Kenney

Room: Online

More Info

This panel aims to spread awareness of the intensity of severe behaviors, the level of isolation many parents feel and what others in the community can do to help.

Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Partnerships During and After the IEP Meeting

Robin O’Shea, M.A.T.
Cassie Velasquez, M.Ed., M.D.R

Room: Online

More Info

Developing a positive, collective culture during the IEP meeting empowers all team members to work together and take responsibility for implementing the program across disciplines and in the student's community. Mutual agreement is achieved through an informed facilitated discussion where all IEP team members have equal opportunity to express viewpoints and to discuss issues critical for the student’s education. This session presents specific strategies team members can use to ensure all members actively participate in the meeting, feel valued, and stay focused on the need of the student.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Identifying Quality ABA Services: How do you know that you’re getting the best services from your ABA provider?

Dr. Jane Carlson

Room: Online

More Info

This session will walk you through identifying a qualified behavior analyst, understanding the evidence-based practice cycle, finding resources for identifying practices that are supported by research, and understanding social validity.

Key Collaborations: A panel of parents and educators working together for optimum online learning.

 

Room: Online

More Info

This panel presentation brings together parents and educators for a conversation regarding the realities of online learning for students with exceptional needs. There will be a focus on ways to collaborate and bridge support between the classroom and home experience. Parents and educators alike, will discuss some of the difficulties from online learning and ways to collaborate for optimum outcomes for the students.

2:45 - 3:45 pm

From Barely Surviving to Thriving: ABA Strategies and Tools Parents Can Use to Increase Engagement and Positive Behavior During Virtual Learning

Katherine DeCotiis Wiedemann, MAT, BCBA

Room: Online

More Info

*Attendees may earn 1 BCBA CEU from this session.

This training will focus on two specific behavior analytic strategies parents can use (and teachers can reinforce!) to keep kids engaged and responsive when learning virtually. Specifically, attendees will learn: -how to design and implement token reinforcement systems and visual schedules -how (and when) to use prompts effectively This presentation will offer information about ABA in a user-friendly, functional way that will allow attendees to put their newfound knowledge to practical use immediately.

Safety for Individuals with ASD

Captain William A. Cannata, Jr.

Room: Online

More Info

As a parent, care provider, or teacher, what is your role in preparing your loved one for emergency situations? What is your role in informing your local First Responder agencies about your loved one diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder? How do you go about doing these things?

This workshop will discuss how to help individuals with ASD to stay safe in emergency situations and from dangerous environments.

The learning objectives for the workshop:

How to connect with the 911 system

How to prepare emergency information for the individual with ASD

How to prevent wandering and discussing the tools available to locate individuals that have wandered

How to implement safety drills at home and at school

Call for Proposals

The Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism is pleased to present the 10th annual UVU Autism Conference on March 4th and 5th 2021. Our theme this year is: Seeking Connection, Building Community.

Presentations should include the following components:

  • Interest to the Autism Community
  • Relevance to the theme: Seeking Connection, Building Community
  • Connection to Evidence Based Approaches
  • Presenter is Reputable and Engaging

Our audience includes:

  • Individuals with Autism
  • Families and the Community
  • Educators
  • Professionals

We are no longer accepting submissions for the 2021 conference. 

Contact laurie.bowen@uvu.edu by email or phone 801-863-8759 with questions.