4th Annual “Back to School” Autism/Asperger’s Conference Friday Schedule – August 14, 2009 7:00-8:30 Registration 8:30
Keynote: Developing Talents at School and at Home - Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
Medical Track 10:45
Psychiatric Medications for Autistics – Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Temple will discuss the role of psychiatric medications in treating anxiety, depression and related challenges in children and adults with autism, based on experiences by herself and many others.
Anxiety, Depression, and Neurotransmitters – James B. Adams, Ph.D. This presentation will cover the function of neurotransmitters and how they affect anxiety, depression, and brain function. It will also discuss the results of a new study, which found abnormal levels of many of those neurotransmitters in children with autism, and discuss how nutritional supplements were able to effectively treat those abnormalities. James B. Adams, Ph.D., is a professor at Arizona State University, where he directs the Autism/Asperger’s Research program that focuses on the biomedical causes of autism and how to treat it.
Treating Nutritional and Metabolic Problems in Autism – James B. Adams, Ph.D. This presentation will discuss the results of a new research study, which found that a customized vitamin/mineral supplement was able to treat many of the major nutritional and metabolic problems in autism.
Overview of Biomedical and Dietary Interventions for Autism – Thomas Lin, M.D. This talk will cover the major biomedical tests and treatments recommended by Defeat Autism Now!, with a focus on dietary interventions. Thomas Lin, M.D. is a board-certified pediatrician practicing holistic pediatrics in Irvine, California. While actively implementing DAN! protocols on his own autistic son, Dr. Lin firmly believes in ameliorating symptoms of autism by systematically addressing medical problems of yeast overgrowth, heavy metal toxicity, neuroinflammation, etc. that our children suffer from everyday.
Teacher Track 10:45
Creating Sustainable, Inclusive Programs: Teacher Coaching, Positive Behavior Supports, and Modified Curriculum - Autism Coordinated Education (ACE) Team of Chula Vista. This double session will: outline a progressive model of coaching teachers; provide strategies for implementing positive behavior supports; and provide you with samples of modified curriculum as well as a blueprint for modifying existing curriculum. The Autism Coordinated Education (ACE) Team of Chula Vista Elementary School District was established in 2004 due to the rising population of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder within our schools. The ACE Team consists of two program specialists, two school psychologists, and seven autism support assistants. As a team, we consult with classroom teachers and staff, provide social skills groups for students, present a variety of trainings pertaining to autism, and offer a series of parent workshops.
Creating Sustainable, Inclusive Programs (continued)
Walking the Tightrope – Teaching High Functioning Autistics – Kenneth Brzezinski This talk is about communicating with students that are diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism, and the events that occur in a classroom and ways to deal with them. Communicating means that you have to learn what are their interests, how to use that to reach them in the classroom, and ways that you can affect their behavior and create a positive mental attitude. Kenneth Brzezinski is a special education teacher who is on the autism spectrum, and he has a twenty-four year old son diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. For seven years he was a classroom teacher at Passageway School in Newbury Park, and all his students were diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. He spent six hours a day in the classroom working with them.
Google SketchUp Software for the Classroom – Tom Wyman This session covers special 3-D drawing software that is very simple to use, freely distributed by Google, and has proven highly popular with students with autism. So popular in fact, that Google created Project Spectrum to give people with autism the opportunity to express their creativity and develop a life skill using Google SketchUp 3D modeling software. Tom Wyman manages business development at Google. Tom founded Google's Project Spectrum five years ago after hearing from parents and educators that SketchUp, software created for architects and design professionals, was a big hit with children with autism. Project Spectrum has introduced SketchUp to children around the world, and efforts to support the ASD community have been embraced by Google offices globally.
Parent Track 10:45
Maximizing Your Experiences at Home and in the Community – Victoria Berrey & Michelle Held This workshop is designed to teach parents practical tools and strategies for enhancing their family’s daily routine. Topics will include positive behavior support strategies for the home, organizational tools, and maximizing social opportunities. Kid and teen culture will also be discussed along with tips for helping kids on the autism spectrum fit in with their peers. Victoria Berrey is a parent of a teen and tween on the autism spectrum. In addition to her hand-ons ASD parenting experience, she works as a resource coordinator for other special needs parents and is a community volunteer. Michelle Heid is the parent of a child on the spectrum as well as a professional working in behavioral services. She has experience in early intervention, positive behavior support, and biomedical treatments as well as being an active volunteer in her local autism community.
When Worlds Collide: Impact of Least Restrictive Environment – Ann Simun, Psy.D. & N. Jane DuBovy, J.D. Ann Simun, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist who has worked with children on the autism spectrum since 1989. She has worked in schools, hospitals, and is currently in private practice in Los Angeles. Ms. DuBovy has practiced law for 27 years. She has a Master's Degree in psychology as well. Through the experience of advocating for my 14.5-year-old autistic son I learned about the world of special education. For the past 7 years I have devoted my law practice exclusively this area of the law. I formed A2Z Educational Advocates to bring a team together to educate and/or represent parents in their fight for their children's rights.
Dads Panel – Hear the viewpoint of fathers/husbands on the challenges of raising a child with autism.
Yoga/Drama/Art Track 10:45
Motion Potions: Yoga Techniques for Self-Regulation – Maria Kowch, B.S., M.E.S., CYI An introduction to yoga as a powerful, holistic system that addresses relaxation and self-regulation, specifically designed for children with autism. Includes several yoga activities for participants. Maria Kowch is a certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Yoga Instructor and Teacher Trainer. She blends Yoga, Ayurveda, Therapeutics, Dance and Sensory Integration theory when working with parents and children of all abilities to promote wellness, ease, optimal health, development, and functional outcomes. By focusing on each child’s strengths and providing support for the entire family, Maria creates motivating programs to meet every child's unique needs in a fun, respectful and nurturing environment!
Yoga Brain Breaks! Classroom Strategies for Less Stress and More Success! – Maria Kowch, B.S., M.E.S., CYI This user-friendly program offers students and teachers short sequences for alerting, calming, focusing, and decreasing anxiety, all while making the cognitive connection that students have tools they can use to help themselves feel and function better!
Dramautism – Building Communication and Social Skills – Debbie Clark & Patricia Keating Dramautism is a dramatic arts program at CBS Studios in Studio City that helps young children with highfunctioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome build their communication and social skills and increase their self-esteem. Debbie Clark is the proud mom of two sons on the spectrum, and a children’s theatre producer, writer, and performer. Patricia Keating is a professional writer, former actress, and special education teacher with LAUSD.
The “Art” of Developing Social and Life Skills – Keri Bowers Keri Bowers will focus on FREE and LOW costs strategies parents and professionals can learn today and use tomorrow. From fine art, to music, dance, theater, writing and other expressions of a creative nature, Keri shows how these alternative and expressive mediums will support the development of essential life and social skills, self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence and self-determination for for kids and adults. Keri Bowers’ passion for advocacy began 20 years ago when her son Taylor was born with developmental delays and eventually diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A paralegal in the entertainment field, the challenge of autism redirected her career goals and today her work includes advocacy, legislative reform and education for teachers and others touched by developmental disabilities. Today Keri’s film credits include: Normal People Scare Me, The Sandwich Kid, and ARTS.
Speech/Social Track 10:45
Diagnosis and Treatment of Speech and Language Problems in Autism – Aleen Agranowitz, Ed.D., CCC-SLP & Sara Jone, M.S., CCC-SLP This presentation will cover Observational Assessment of communication breakdowns to include comprehension expression and social communication. Treatment strategies to address social communication and functional language will be discussed. Aleen Agranowitz, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, is the founder and CEO of the Speech and Language Development Center (SLDC), a non-profit school and therapy center in Buena Park, CA. Sara Jone, M.S., CCC-SLP, supervises the Speech department at SLDC, and David Cavanaugh, M.A., MFC, supervises the Counseling department at SLDC.
Enhancing Comprehension and Conversation – Lauren Franke, SLP This presentation describes a language intervention protocol for children across developmental levels to develop social communication and language skills in the context of learning to retell and share personal stories that can be embedded across the child’s day. Children follow a progression across five steps and utilize the 6 M’s, key components to establish the relationship and context for learning.
Lauren Franke is a Speech Language Pathologist and a Clinical Psychologist specializes in helping families, teachers and therapists create learning environments to promote the acquisition of communication skills in children with complex language problems. 3:30
Learning Social Skills Through Interactive Play – Rick Clemens, M.A. This session will teach participants how to embed social skill development into play dates. Participants will leave with an understanding on how to facilitate play between children with autism and their neurotypical peers in a way that builds the social relationship skills of both children. Rick Clemens, M.A. is the founder and Director of Inclusive Education and Community Partnership (IECP). IECP supports children with autism in inclusive school and community environments
Special Plenary Session Raising Temple Grandin – Personal and Historical Reflections – Eustacia Cutler, mother of Temple Grandin, and author of A Thorn in My Pocket.
4th Annual “Back to School” Autism/Asperger’s Conference Saturday Schedule – August 15, 2009 7:00-8:30 Registration 8:30
Keynote: 20 Tips for Improving Behavior at Home and School: Cathy Pratt, Ph.D.
Education/Social Track - with Cathy Pratt, Ph.D. 10:45
Educating Students with the Most Significant Disabilities This session will focus on considerations when educating students with the most significant disabilities. Topics include curriculum, IEP development and educational strategies.
Teaching Alternative Behaviors The outcome of an effective behavior support plan is that the individual learns an alternative way of responding. This session will look at the role of the behavioral assessment in determining alternative behaviors, identify potential alternative behaviors and discuss strategies for teaching these.
Writing Effective IEP Goals A cornerstone of any student’s program is their IEP. This defines how progress will be measured and how a student’s time will be spent. This session will teach participants how to write and IEP that can be measured, and considerations when developing this document.
Parent Track 10:45
The Power of Play! – Kelly McKinnon, M.A., BCBA Participants of this workshop will learn how to break down social skills into measurable play goals, and be provided strategies to teach both inside and outside play for children ages 4-10. Kelly McKinnon uses video clips, social skill milestones and data collections of neurotypically developing children ages 3-10 following the Module System of Social Skills development that was created by Kelly to address specific social skills needs for children diagnosed with autism. Kelly McKinnon is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst running a progressive, comprehensive therapeutic clinic for children located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. Kelly has co-authored a book, Social Skills Solutions, available at Different Roads to Learning. Kelly has provided articles in several publications, including The Autism News of Orange County and the Rest of the World, and The Autism Perspective Magazine. She presents regularly on understanding ABA as it relates to children with autism, and how to teach social skills using ABA approaches, including the ABA National conference, Autism Society of America, Cal-State Fullerton conference on Inclusion, and the California Speech and Language conference. Kelly is currently on the board of several organizations and is a member of ABA National, CalABA and Autism Society of America.
Law Enforcement: Reducing Risk and Improving Outcomes People with autism are 7 times more likely to have an encounter with law enforcement than people who don’t have a disability. Parents, professionals, and individuals on the spectrum need to know how to reduce this risk. Det. Escontrias will explain the ASA-LAPD Autism Awareness Program and share the police perspective about emergency and criminal situations involving people on the spectrum. Emily Iland will highlight important skills needed for safety and independence in the community. Detective III Gilbert Escontrias of the LAPD Mental Evaluation Unit has been with the LAPD for more than 27 years. With the support of his supervisors, he has taken a leadership role to proactively train many LAPD personnel about autism. Emily Iland, MA, is the Secretary of the ASA-Los Angeles Chapter, and the Coordinator of the ASA-LAPD Autism Awareness Project. She is also the award-winning co-author of Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z.
Social Groups Across the Ages and Stages - Jessica Postil, Psy.D. Jessica Postil, Psy.D., Executive Director of Autism Spectrum Consultants, Inc. is a renowned Behaviorist. Dr. Postil earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California, where she worked with schizophrenic adults and adolescents, and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, where she graduated with Psi Chi honors. She earned a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Health Psychology at Loma Linda University, which is APA accredited. As a part of her dissertation research, she wrote the first manualized therapy program for treating executive dysfunction in high functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Postil has been working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders since 1993. In June 1998, she founded Autism Spectrum Consultants, Inc. (ASC). ASC is headquartered in Irvine CA, and is certified by the California State Board of Education to provide Behavioral Intervention Development (BID) and Behavioral Intervention Implementation (BII). ASC provides social skills groups to children and teens between the ages of 2 to 18 years. Dr. Postil is certified to provide emergency behavioral interventions with children exhibiting severe behavior problems. She has presented at national and international conferences as a keynote speaker, and has presented workshops and in-services for private and non-profit organizations around the world.
Legal Track 10:45 IEP Basics – Mark Woodsmall, attorney The IEP (Individualized Education Program) is a meeting held to design a unique and tailored education plan for your child. This workshop provides helpful tips and suggestions for a successful IEP meeting. This workshop is suitable for new and experienced parents and professionals. Mark Woodsmall is the founder of Woodsmall Law Group, PC, a law firm based in the San Gabriel Valley area. The firm practices exclusively in the areas of Special Education and representation before the Regional Center. In 2006 Mr. Woodsmall joined the faculty of the USC Gould School of Law as a Professor Adjunct, teaching in the area of special education law. He has also served as a teaching attorney in the Special Education Advocacy Training Project - Los Angeles. The SEAT Project, an innovative nationwide advocacy training project, is funded under grant from the US Department of Education and administered through COPAA, The Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates and the USC Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Children's Hospital Los Angeles). Mr. Woodsmall sits on the UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment (CART) Community Advisory Committee. He has been an active volunteer with Autism Speaks, serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors on the Los Angeles Chapter. He is also active in the Walk Planning Committee and the State and Federal Government Relations Committees. Mr. Woodsmall is a national lecturer on parent's rights under the IDEA, Section 504 and the Lanterman Act. Mark & Eva Woodsmall are parents of a child with autism. 1:30
IEP Advanced – Mark Woodsmall, attorney Has your child's educational progress plateaued? This workshop provides practical guidance and suggestions for jumpstarting a stalled program. This workshop is suitable for new and experienced parents and professionals. This is new workshop presented for the first time at the 4th Annual Autism and Asperger's Conference.
Planning For The Future of Your Child or Dependent with Special Needs – Helen Bass This is an interactive workshop on the legal and financial issues involved in planning for the future of a child or other dependent with special needs. The class will cover (1) Government benefit eligibility – SSI and Medi-Cal; (2) Guardianship and Conservatorship/Guardian Ad Litem Guardian; (3) Planning for financial security and funding options to guarantee quality of life for loved one. Helen serves as a MetDESK® Specialist in California, MetDESK®, MetLife’s Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids, is a resource to families who have children and other dependents with special needs. She is committed to helping families through the maze of legal and financial issues. Helen’s dedication to the special needs community stems from having a child, Daniel, her youngest son, experience a Traumatic Brain Injury in 1986.
Teen/Adult Track 10:45
Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: Puberty, Hygiene and Sexuality – Chantal Sicile-Kira. To become as independent in adulthood as possible, teenagers of all different ability levels must learn selfcare, appropriate behaviors, modesty and sexuality. Areas to be covered include: explaining about puberty and changing bodies; hygiene and self-care; how to problem-solve difficulties in teaching self-care routines; the importance of modesty; relationship boundaries; and resources for more in-depth information on sexuality. Chantal Sicile-Kira is an author, advocate and speaker on Autism Spectrum Disorders, with over twenty years of experience first as a professional, then as a parent. Her most recent book is Autism Life Skills: From Communication and Safety to Self Esteem and More: 10 Essential Abilities Every Child Needs and Deserves to Learn. She is the award-winning author of Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, and Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide, recipient of the 2005 Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Literary Work of the Year Award. For more information, visit: www.chantalsicile-kira.com.
Mapping Transitions to Your Child’s Future – Keri Bowers Based on Keri’s workbook, “Mapping Transitions to Your Child’s Future,” this presentation provides an introductory overview of creating a written plan to support future goals and growth. Mapping will support parents to: have a place where it’s all written down, create a “just in case” plan, help themselves and others to know their child better; create long-term planning and life transitions (e.g. school to work); figuring out what is important to a person and what types of supports make sense, and to determine a course of action (continually changing) to achieve long-term goals. Mapping is a family project, and includes a section on sibling issues.
Learning in Real Life – Community-Based Instruction for Young Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome – Ginny Hodge, CCC-SLP This session will describe instruction utilized in the Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT) program at Chapel Haven, a 2-year residential program that prepares individuals for independent living. There will be examples of learning in settings such as the grocery store, public buses/trains, college campuses, recreational settings and in the workplace. We will discuss how to make supports/instructors as unobtrusive as possible and how to fade the supports. Ginny Hodge is an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist and is the director of the ASAT Program at Chapel Haven in New Haven, Connecticut. Ginny has over 10 years of experience working with children and adults on the autism spectrum in a variety of settings including public schools, home-based programs, private practice and residential settings.
Vocational development for Teens & Young Adults – Sean Surfas, Ph.D., LEP, BCBA, NCSP This workshop will teach methods of determining levels of vocational ability and how to move from a functional vocational assessment to pre-career and career opportunities for young person with autism transitioning to the world of work.
Dr. Sean Surfas is a School Psychologist, Licensed Educational Psychologist, and Certified Behavioral Analyst. He is the Executive Director of TOTAL, an agency which provides early intervention, positive behavior supports, after-school programs, social skills training, and broader family supports. He is currently an instructor at California State University, Los Angeles and has lectured and taught at Cal State Northridge, San Bernardino and U.C. Riverside in their acclaimed Schools of Education. Dr. Sean Surfas continues to work closely with local school districts for both direct services and to assist in developing educational programs to fit the child's needs by providing psycho-education assessments and behavioral/academic interventions for children with Autism and other developmental and behavioral disabilities. 3:30
Panel of Teens and Adults with Autism/Aspergers – Hear from the real experts!
Medical Track 10:45
Nourishing Hope: The Essentials of Nutritional Intervention for Autism – Julie Matthews, NC Nourishing the body and its unique biochemistry through food and essential nutrients is an important first step to healing. This session will present the foundations of a healthy diet, how to make dietary changes that work for the whole family, and tips for picky eaters. Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in autism spectrum disorders (as well as ® healthy pregnancy and babies). She has been a Defeat Autism Now! practitioner for five years. Her work and her book, Nourishing Hope, are based on a scientific understanding of the biochemistry of ASDs and the role of nutrition in restoring health. Julie has a private nutrition practice, teaches cooking classes, and hosts a weekly radio show in San Francisco.
Autism Speaks Research Update – Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D. This presentation will summarize some of the major research projects and results funded by Autism Speaks. Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D., is the vice-president of clinical research at Autism Speaks.
Panel of Autism Physicians – moderated by Lisa Ackerman, founder of TACA