The Utah Valley University Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Health and School of Education are pleased to present the 2015 Utah Valley University Conference on Autism. This single-day event will be held on Friday, April 3rd from 9am until 4pm in the Sorensen Student Center on the Utah Valley University campus in Orem, Utah.
While still in the planning stages, the conference program is also expected to feature over 20 concurrent presentations intended to help participants investigate various aspects of ASD. The program will feature multiple-session tracks meeting the interests/needs of students, professionals, educators, families and service providers. The conference also plans to feature informational booths sponsored by various service and support vendors from throughout the state.
Last year, over 40 presenters participated in the symposium, representing community members, professionals and educators specializing in research - all volunteering their time and insight. Nearly 400 participants attended. This year we expect attendance to increase based-upon public interest and previous participation.
You can download the Call For Proposals here.
Dr. Peter Gerhardt is the director of education – upper school for the McCarton School in New York City. He has over 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings.
Peter Gerhardt, PhD
Dr. Peter Gerhardt is the director of education – upper school for the McCarton School in New York City. He has over 30 years of experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings.
Autism Daddy is the father to an 11 year old son with severe, classic, non-verbal autism. He doesn’t have a degree in anything related to autism, but he has been riding the autism roller-coaster for over 9 years now living on the corner of Autism Avenue & Seizure Street, and has been anonymously blogging about his experiences. His claim to fame is giving people a realistic, non sugar coated look at the world inside an autism household; the good, the bad, and the poop. :-)
Holli Child graduated from BYU with a degree in Early Child Education. In addition to obtaining her degree Holli has also had five 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.
Lisa Cohne is the Community Partnerships manager for the Utah Education Network. In this position, Lisa has the opportunity to connect UEN resources with educational communities including libraries and special needs populations. She has partnered for several years with the Autism Council of Utah and several higher-ed institutions to bring film screenings regarding issues and concerns about Autism to families and the general public across the state. Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and an Elementary Education certification from Clark University in Massachusetts. She earned a Special Education certification from Utah State University and a Master’s degree in Social Welfare Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Caitlin Cotten is a native of Oklahoma, who graduated in Theatre Education from Brigham Young University. She has worked with children of all abilities in the classroom and in theatre workshop situations. She has worked at Clear Horizons Academy for two years and is currently the drama specialist there.
Jannica Dale has been the Autism Teacher Leader for Alpine School District since 2012. She began her special education teaching career in 2001 as a special classroom teacher for kindergarten-aged students with autism. She has been a mentor and coach in Alpine School District for over 6 years for both general education and special education teachers working with students with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Sharlene Dean, APRN
Sherlene Dean graduated from the University of Utah, and is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. She has worked in Outpatient Clinics for both IHC and the U of U. Most recently her work has focused on the Autistic population of all age ranges, working at the University of Utah Neurobehavioral clinic and the HOME program. She is Adjunct faculty at the College of Nursing, and guest lecturer for the College of Social Work at the University of Utah. She is also the Co-Founder of Matts Place, a center for the support and treatment of Individuals and families impacted by Autism.
Crystal is a child development specialist with 18 years of experience in autism. She is an experienced trainer and parent educator. She worked in early intervention for 15 years where she gained experience in both behavioral and relationship-based interventions. She is a Certified PLAY Project Consultant and has been practicing this relationship-based intervention for over 5 years. She is currently working as the Training and Development Specialist for Easter Seals-Goodwill in Utah. She is also a transition coordinator and supervisor in the Peer Connections Program for transition-age teens and young adults with High Functioning Autism.
Nathan Jensen, CHMC
Nathan came to ScenicView Academy after having worked 13 years in residential treatment. Nathan worked with both and youth and adults during this time period. He has received specialized training in biofeedback, autism, behavioral modification, governmental services, and MANDT. Nathan often spends timeresearching additional information or proven therapeutic strategies so that he can better help his clients. He has a lovely wife and five adorable children, two which have disabilities and this motivates and helps him what he does.
Ryan Kellems, PhD
Dr. Kellems earned his Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Kansas with a major in Special Education and Transition. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Special Education. Prior to coming to BYU Dr. Kellems was on the faculty at the University of Oregon. His primary research interests are transition, post-school outcomes of students with disabilities, assistive technology, video modeling, and working with young adults with autism in community-based vocational settings.
Lt. Mark Lowther
Retired Weber County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mark Lowther is currently an instructor of various law enforcement topics including hostage negotiation across the country. He served 20 plus years in law enforcement service for the Weber county community.
Karen Malm, PhD
Karen W. Malm is a licensed psychologist who is the Executive Director of Summit Community Counseling, a mental health agency with offices in Orem, Taylorsville, Park City and Heber. She has been working with individuals with Autism since being the recipient of a specialized grant in graduate school to work with individuals with Autism in 1985.
Ryan Miller, LCSW
Ryan Miller has worked as a psychotherapist at ScenicView Academy for over eight years. He received his bachelors in Psychology and a masters in Social Work from Brigham Young University. He has presented on a local and state level on topics such as: transition planning, tools for working with adults with Autism, changing entrenched behaviors, and sensory processing disorders. He coauthored, along with other ScenicView staff, a quick reference guide for social skills entitled, “Why Is It So Hard To Make Friends?” He enjoys sports, games, recreational activities, and spending time with his family.
Talia is a Board Certified Music Therapist, Expressive Arts Therapist and supervisor at Coast Music Therapy, a San Diego-based agency assisting learners with special needs. She holds a Master’s degree in Expressive Arts for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding integrating intermodal art approaches to promote positive social change and community building. Talia is also co-founder of The SongStream Project, a mobile recording project which explores the interwoven path of music and memory by shining a light on the songs behind peoples’ stories and the stories behind their songs. Talia has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy through Colorado State University. She also provides family workshops in Spanish.
Andrea and her husband adopted twins at birth. She shadowed nearly 50 exceptional therapists in a dozen interventions and turned their home into a virtual clinic after their son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Her blog, AutismUnplugged.com, is written as a mother’s reflective voice in the hullabaloo. She started Banding Together, a music therapy nonprofit, Young Life Capernaum in San Diego, and BEACON, an outreach in China. Andrea is completing a book titled, “The Poppins Revelation,” a story of deliverance told through her son’s obsession with movies.
Reid brings a contagious sense of joy to every audience. A charismatic performer on keyboard and seasoned vocalist, he has a song in his heart and music on his lips. His podcast “Talk Time with Reid Moriarty” is a series of 5-7 minute interviews with people he finds interesting, and others might too! Reid’s voice breaks through social barriers to inspire.
Michelle Murphey has been a parent consultant from the Utah Parent Center serving families in Granite School District for the last 10 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is also the mother of two boys ages 14 and 5. She currently has one child and a brother who are on the autism spectrum. It is this personal experience that has motives her to continue with the important work of helping families who like her have children with special needs.
Kathrine Parnell, LCSW
Kathrine Parnell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice in Draper, Utah. With over ten years of therapeutic experience, she offers specialized help for children, adults and families who are faced with challenges related to the autism spectrum. Kathrine has obtained specific professional training in the field of autism as well as personal experience having three children who are on the spectrum.
Thomas Parry, MEd,BCBA, LBA
Thomas Parry is a licensed and board certified behavior analyst serving families at Parry Behavioral Consulting, LLC in Kaysville, Utah. He has worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, ADHD, TBI, Bipolar, FAS, intellectual disabilities, speech and language disorders, and other behavioral challenges. He completed his Master’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at George Mason University. Thomas is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Old Dominion University. Thomas conducted social skills groups for children and teens with autism and intellectual disabilities in Falls Church, Virginia, as well as a social skills group for adults with Asperger’s.
Aaron Ridenour, ACMHC, SSW
Aaron graduated from Brigham Young University in Marriage, Family, and Human Development in 2007 and received a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from University of Phoenix in 2011. His research paper “The Infertility Resilience Model: Assessing Individual, Couple, and External Predictive Factors” was published in Contemporary Family Therapy in 2009. He has worked at ScenicView since 2006 in several capacities, including human service worker, case manager, and psychotherapist. Aaron loves spending time with his family and four children and enjoys working with the students at ScenicView.
Carrie Rogers-Whitehead is a senior librarian for Salt Lake County Library Services. In March 2011 she created the first public library programming in the state of Utah for those with special needs, particularly autism and is currently running library programming for older youth with special needs. She is the 2013 Utah Librarian of the year and a Red Cross “Community Hero” for her work with the special needs population. Carrie has a Masters in Library and Information Science and a Masters in Public Administration.
Jared Stewart, MEd
Jared Stewart 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. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from BYU he has spent the past decade 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.
Elein Sutherland, TRS, CTRS
Elein Sutherland came to ScenicView with experience with adults with low-functioning Autism, Down’s Syndrome, and other moderate to severe mental and emotional disabilities. Elein has a passion for recreation therapy and believes in the self-efficacy theory and leisure-ability model. Elein continually seeks to create a safe place for students to explore leisure interests, independence in healthy recreation, practice social skills, and develop healthy relationships. She believes that resiliency and motivation are vital for success and strives to help each student acquire and maintain those qualities. She recently presented at the Utah Recreation Therapy Association Conference and will continue to spread awareness of Autism and recreation therapy through applying to present at other conferences.
Anna Vagin, PhD
Anna Vagin, PhD, a licensed speech/language pathologist in private practice in Marin County, provides individual sessions and social learning groups to families and children 6 months through college age. She is the author of Movie Time Social Learning (2012). Her new book, YouCue Feelings: Video Viewing for Social Learning, will be available January 2015.
Jame Vaughan, MBA
James holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and is employed full time with the United States Airforce as a Program Manager. Along with his wife Robyn, he is the co-founder of F.A.A.S.T. (Families of Autism and Asperger’s Standing Together).
Scott Wood, CHMC
Scott graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Scott has worked for ScenicView since it opened, and has enjoyed seeing its growth, and seeing the students benefit from the services provided at ScenicView. Scott also works with the WHY TRY organization as a National Training Consultant helping youth and others develop the social and emotional skills necessary to reach their goals. He enjoys spending time with his family, being in the outdoors, and participating in sports.
Dr. Peter Gerhardt
Grande Ballroom • 9 – 9:50 am
Renowned Autism expert, Dr. Peter Gerhardt, is the director of education - upper school, for the McCarton School in New York City. He has over 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings.
Amplifying Voices on the Spectrum
Talia Morales, BCMT; Andrea Moriarty and Reid Moriarty
Ragan Theater • 10-11:50am EXTENDED SESSION (110 minutes) session will end at 11:50am
Join board certified music therapist Talia Morales as she shares how her work in clinic and school settings developed into the Songstream Project: “Voices of Autism”, an audio documentary exploring the path that music has woven through the lives of four young musicians on the autism spectrum. Andrea Moriarty will relate her experience as the parent of one of the young musicians featured. She will share various ways music therapy was central to their son’s education over more than a decade, and now in his adult vocational life. She and her husband have leveraged Reid’s special interest in music and performance to motivate him at every stage of life, creating performance opportunities and now his own podcast. Reid will perform his original songs with Talia. The stage is where he is most comfortable, and his songs inspire listeners while illuminating his unique perspective on the world.
Increasing Student Contact with Positive Reinforcement
Centre Stage 10– 11:50 am EXTENDED SESSION (110 minutes) session will end at 11:50am
The majority of educators are striving to do anything necessary to help their students be successful. Most have also received at least minimal training in classroom management. Despite best efforts, frustration can easily occur when educators do not feel they have effective tools to positively support their students through class-wide and/or individual behavior management plans. The bad news is there is no magical one-size-fits-all solution. The good news is there are a number of simple applications of research-based strategies that can increase student contact with positive reinforcement in both the general education and special education settings. This presentation will remind us about the difference between rewarding and punishing strategies, consider how we might be implementing punishing strategies or escalating problem behavior without our knowledge, and discuss hands-on classroom examples of simple positive strategies that have shown to make a real difference. This presentation will be of special interest to educators.
We Have a Diagnosis, Now What?
Kathrine Parnell, LCSW
SC 213 A/B 10am – 10:50 am
Join Kathrine Parnell as she presents a session designed for parents, caregivers and family members of children ages zero to six who are newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Many parents struggle in the first few years of diagnosis to find appropriate resources, explain the diagnosis to family and friends and manage their own grief and loss. This 50-minute session will explore various resources which are readily available to assist parents to have positive interactions which promote growth in their children. Additional topics highlighted will be the journey of a parent’s grief and loss which is often minimized, and strategies to provide education and organize support from friends and family.
New Curriculum Standards and Media Based Social Learning:
Structured Video Viewing to Build Social Knowledge
Anna Vagin, PhD
SC 206ABC 10am – 11:50 amEXTENDED SESSION (110 minutes) session will end at 11:50am
New core Curriculum Standards have multiple outcomes that are dependent on social thought. For those supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disorders, it can be challenging to formulate goals, identify specific areas for therapeutic intervention and support teachers while keeping these standards in mind. A general overview of the Core Curriculum will emphasize social and emotional knowledge, and the impact for students with ASD. After discussing how we as adults can mediate social learning and language most successfully, Dr. Vagin will address a systematic way to deconstruct student IEP goals into underlying social concepts. She will then illustrate how to use highly engaging media to facilitate teaching of the abstract social concepts that are not incorporated into curriculum standards. The remainder of time will be spent exploring specific ways to use structured viewing of pre-selected movie, movie shorts and YouTube videos to build social knowledge. Participants will leave with a list of recommended media choices and accompanying activities they can use immediately. This session will be most enjoyable to those with moderate to advanced understanding of ASD and general educational principles.
Law Enforcement and Autism: A Crucial Conversation
Lt. Mark Lowther and James Vaughan
Library Lakeview Room (4th floor) 10am – 4pm)
EXTENDED WORKSHOP SESSION (4 hours, with break for lunch and afternoon plenary), this Workshop will end at 4pm.
In conjunction with the 2015 UVU Conference on Autism, we are proud to join with Families of Autism and Asperger’s Standing Together (F.A.A.S.T) to offer a special focus workshop for EMS/First Responders. This workshop is aimed at creating greater awareness of the role Law Enforcement and other First Responders will plan in the growing population of those living on the Autism Spectrum. This two-part program includes ‘Autism 101’, focusing on the basics of the Autism Spectrum and the daily struggles of those facing the disorder.
Part 2, taught by Lt. Lowther (ret.), focuses on the law enforcement response, challenges to officers and the increased focus that must be shared due to the growing population of those living on the spectrum in our communities today. Each section includes a variety of visual aids and video presentations. The workshop will break at 11:50 to allow participants to join the general conference for luncheon, exhibitor fair and afternoon plenary session. Participants will reconvene at 2pm for the remainder of the day – ending at 4pm. This workshop is particularly designed for EMS/First Responders.
Medications: Autism and Co-Morbid Diagnosis
Sherlene Dean, APRN
SC 213 AB 11am-11:50am
Join Sherlene as she provides an overview of the different classifications of psychiatric medications used for a wide variety of diagnosis, including Autism and the many co-morbid diagnosis such as BiPolar, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, OCD and psychosis. Common side effects and monitoring will be discussed. This presentation is appropriate for all levels of experience, and for professionals and parents alike.
LUNCHEON and Exhibit Fair • Grande Ballroom •12 noon – 1pm
Please join us for a wonderful lunch and the presentation of the annual ARUCC Heroes of Autism award. Also, please visit the Exhibit Fair in the Ballroom Commons area. Area service providers and conference sponsors will provide information on resources available to those on the spectrum.
Plenary Session :Things No One Ever Tells You After Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism
Grande Ballroom 1pm – 1:50 pm
Please join us for this honest and personal message from social media sensation ‘Autism Daddy’. In the 3 years since ‘Autism Daddy’ hit Facebook and began blogging, he has been followed by thousands of people around the world. With over 1000 unique visits per day, ‘Autism Daddy’ posts his personal experiences, joys, hardships, tips and tricks – all with a purpose aimed at educating and supporting autism parents and families.
Ethical and Legal Issues Across the Spectrum: What’s your Duty?
Karen Malm, PhD
Grande Ballroom 2pm – 2:50 pm
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum provide unique challenges to clinicians when addressing ethical and legal issues of duty to warn, abuse and neglect reporting laws, maintaining confidentiality, and obtaining informed consent. This workshop will bring up the questions to consider about the ethical and legal issues in dealing with the host of challenges that individuals with Autism bring to our practices. Legal concepts around Duty to Warn, Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Laws, Confidentiality and Informed Consent Laws will be addressed. This session will be of particular interest to clinicians and professionals.
Autism and Healthy Sexuality
Jared Stewart, MEd
Ragan Theatre 2pm – 2:50pm
Among all the research and discussion of issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorders, one subject is consistently overlooked: sexuality. And yet, despite the developmental delays associated with ASD, people with autism are still people – with the same hormones, same urges, and same physical development; and who face the same decisions that neurotypicals do. Parents, professionals and caregivers may find it awkward or unpleasant to address sexual issues, but ignoring the subject is neither helpful or possible. In this interactive presentation, participants will learn both the critical importance of sexual education and a host of tips for effective teaching and intervention across the lifespan. This session is designed for those with at least moderate understanding of ASD.
Creating Engaging, Challenging and Enriching Learning Experiences
Holli Child and Caitlin Cotten
Centre Stage 2pm-3:50pm WORKSHOP SESSION (110 minutes) workshop will end at 3:50pm
This interactive workshop is meant to target teachers who have students with Autism in their classrooms. It will focus on how to combine arts integrated learning with evidence based best practices to create an engaging, challenging and enriching learning experience for students of differing abilities. Holli and Caitlin will lead participants through hands-on small group experiences, real-time lesson delivery and practice teaching. Packed with opportunities for sharing and interactive learning, this workshop will highlight how teachers can best engage and reach their students in fun and enriching experiences for both teachers and their students. This workshop will be best enjoyed by those with some classroom experience and expertise.
17 Strategies to Enhance Social Skill Training
Thomas Parry, MEd, BCBA, LBA
SC 213 A/B – 2pm- 2:50pm
Enhance your child’s social skills using behavioral strategies and evidence-based practices. This session will offer a review of current interventions and strategies used to teach social skills to children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental or learning disabilities. Participants will learn about evidence based practices in teaching social skills such as incidental teaching, behavioral rehearsal and feedback, peer-mediated intervention and social skills groups. Additional strategies to enhance social skill training practices will also be presented. This session is appropriate for educators and parents of all experience levels.
From Homework Horror to Homework Happiness
SC 206 ABC • 2pm – 2:50 pm
Join Michelle for this realistic and practical session for parents who would like to take some of the pain out of homework. Learn how technology can help parents to support their children with autism to get organized, study effectively and monitor progress. This session will focus on websites, apps and other simple techniques to bring you and your student from homework horror to homework happiness! Parents and educators will find this session particularly interesting.
Treatment Options for Anxiety and Depression for Those on the Autism Spectrum
Nathan Jensen, CMHC and Scott Wood, CMHC
Grande Ballroom • 3 pm-3:50 pm
Anxiety and Depression often accompany the diagnosis for those on the Autism Spectrum. In the past, treatment options have often followed a medical model rather than assessing the individual in a holistic manner. During the course of this presentation, Nathan and Scott will share tried and true methods for treating anxiety and depression – but with specific medications that are effective with those on the Autism Spectrum. This will be a hands-on presentation with materials and activities that can be used with clients or family members. This session will be particularly enjoyed by those with some experience and at least a moderate understanding of autism.
There’s an App for That
Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, MLIS, MPA; Ryan Kellems, PhD; Lisa Cohne, MSWA
Ragan Theatre 3pm-3:50pm
So, you have a tablet. Now what do you do with it? In this session, participants will learn how to use technology to serve the special needs population. Carrie, a librarian – Lisa, an educator – and Ryan, a professor of special education will share best practices, tips and data from studies and programming. Find out good resources and recommended apps to better education and entertain. Educators with some teaching experience will particularly enjoy this session.
The Infrastructure of Relationships: Helping Young Adults with Autism Make Sense of the Behind the Scenes of Social Interaction
Ryan Miller, LCSW and Aaron Ridenour, ACMHC, SSW
SC 213AB 3pm – 3:50 pm
In the room you are sitting in, there are things you can see (paint, carpet, ceiling tiles, etc.) and things you can’t (pipes, wiring, concrete, etc.). The same is true of relationships. There are things you can see (eye contact, facial expressions, general personal appearance, etc.) and things you can’t (thoughts and feelings). In this presentation, presenters will focus on strategies and skills to help young adults with autism better understand how to recognize and respond to the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of relationships. This session is designed for those with moderate to advanced understanding and experience with autism.
Fostering Independence in Adolescents with High Functioning Autism
SC 206 AB/C • 3 pm-3:50 pm
This session will address the tasks of social/emotional development in adolescence and how those tasks need to be adapted for individuals with autism. Participants will discuss how to support the social/emotional growth of adolescents as they move toward independence. It will also discuss discipline, and how it changes in adolescence to meet the changing needs of the child. A brief description of the Peer Connections program and how its principles support the changing needs of adolescents will be included. Participants will practice interpreting common communicative message of adolescents in order to recognize how best to sensitively respond and support them. There will be ample time for group discussion as participants explore this difficult arena together. This session is appropriate for all experience levels.
If you would like to have a space in our Addiction Conference Exhibitor hall and you are an event sponsor you can download the application here.
If you would like to have a space in our Addiction Conference Exhibitor hall and you are not an event sponsor you can download the application here.
If you have any questions about exhibit space or becoming an event sponsor please contact Toni Harris at 801-863-6816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.