Thursday, September 14, 2006

Seminars, Programs, and Conferences, Oh My!

This week my inbox is overflowing with notices of fall seminars, programs, and workshops on ASD for the coming season. Without trying to compete with the wonderful Schaefer Autism Report, here are some things to consider for your calendar:

How to Write and Develop Social Stories™ with Carol Gray at the Parkside Institute

Thursday, October 19, 2006
5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Carol Gray is the President of The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding, a non-profit organization serving people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She is an internationally respected author and speaker with over 20 years experience as a teacher and consultant working on behalf of children and adults with ASD. In 1991, Ms. Gray developed Social Stories™ , a strategy used worldwide with children with ASD.

A Social Story™ is a process that shares accurate social information through a special writing style and format that is consistent with the learning characteristics of children and adults with ASD. This is an introductory presentation for anyone wanting to learn to write and develop a Social Story™ according to the new 10.0 defining criteria and guidelines, and provides an excellent review for anyone who may already be familiar with the approach.

Please send a check for $35 payable to The Parkside School, 48 West 74th Street, New York, NY 10023, ATTN: Christine Hayden to reserve your seat. Provide your name, address, phone and e-mail contact with payment. For questions, please call (212) 721-8888 x155 or email

Autism and Advocacy: A Conference of Witness and Hope

27 October 2006, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fordham University, McNally Amphitheater
140 West 62nd Street, New York City

Conference is free and open to the public. ~ Registration is required:
By email: or by telephone: 718 817 0662

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disability that has been the subject of extraordinary interest and controversy in recent years. Amid often heated debates over causation and treatment, the depth of commitment and service witnessed daily in the autism community merits celebration: our many challenges invite further reflection. This conference features the varieties of advocacy practiced with and by persons with autism, especially those forms of advocacy grounded in moral and religious traditions. The presentations offered at this event are intended to encourage additional reflection and discussion by members of the audience. We hope to promote greater engagement with autism advocacy as an integral component of work for social justice.

OPENING ADDRESS Timothy Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics
Kristina Chew, Ph.D., Saint Peter's College
Salvatore C. Fererra, Ph.D., President, Xaverian High School, Brooklyn, NY
James T. Fisher, Ph.D., Fordham University
William C. Gaventa, M.Div. Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey Haber, Temple Emmanu-el, Closter, NJ
Bruce Mills, Ph.D., Kalamazoo College
Mark Osteen, Ph.D., Loyola College in Maryland
Gloria Pearson-Vasey, Author, The Road Trip: Life with Autism
Kassiane Alexandra Sibley, Co-Author, Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum
Lance Strate, Ph.D., Fordham University
Mary Beth Walsh, Ph.D., Caldwell College

Morning Session: Advocacy and the Traditions
Speakers will share their experience in advocacy for persons with autism in liturgical and educational settings. While they represent various traditions and approaches, this work is grounded in theological convictions on the dignity of the human person and a "spirituality of presence" for autistic persons within communities of worship and learning. Moderator: Rev. Bill Gaventa, M.Div.Speakers: Rabbi Dr. Geoffrey Haber, Mary Beth Walsh, Ph.D., Salvatore C. Ferrera, Ph.D.

Afternoon Session: Advocacy & Self-Advocacy in the Formation of Persons and Community
A condition commonly associated with social isolation and withdrawal, the experience of autism has generated innovative forms of community-building through the gifts of advocacy and self-advocacy. Speakers will treat their work in collaborative service-learning settings; in literary partnerships and the "blogosphere;" in new models of residential community; and in pioneering models of self-advocacy. Moderator: Lance Strate, Ph.D.Speakers: Kristina Chew, Ph.D., Bruce Mills, Ph.D., Gloria Pearson-Vasey, Kassiane Alexandra Sibley

Jewish Community Center in Manhattan on First Signs, Special Needs Panels, RDI Expert, and More

JCC in Manhattan at 76th & Amsterdam has special needs recreation programs, babysitter referrals, support groups for special needs parents, sibling programs, Sunday programs, screenings of "Normal People Scare Me," and tons more. Take a look at

SPECIAL EVENT: Could It Be Autism: A Guide for Parents by Nancy D. Wiseman
Nancy Wiseman will be speaking of her findings and presenting the concepts in her book, Could It Be Autism, which draws on her own stories and the latest research to help parents detect autism and find solutions. Her book serves as a tool to determine whether a child has difficulties that demand immediate attention. Wiseman helps navigate through treatments with physicians and experts, and offers much inspiring hope. Wiseman, founder and president of the acclaimed organization First Signs Inc., has been interviewed by many of the leading news sources as one of the leading experts on early detection of autism.
Thu, Feb 16, 7 pm, $12/$18

Second Annual Special Needs Panels
Section 1: Navigating Special Education Services for Your Child

Thu, Sep 28
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, $20/$25

Join our distinguished panel to discuss the issues and options available to help you become the best advocate for your child and family as you negotiate the systems of the special needs world. Our panelists will address different types of interventions and related services, differences in school environments—both public and private— and the ways to access funding. Panelists include Dr. Marilyn Agin, Gary Mayerson, Esq., Dr. CeCe McCarton, Dr. David Salsberg and Dr. Davida Sherwood. Moderated by Vanessa Markowitz, Esq.

Section 2: Sibling Relationships: When One is Different
Thu, Dec 7
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, FREE

This panel discussion with adult siblings who grew up in families with a developmentally challenged child will focus on the impact, feelings and experiences that contributed to shaping their lives and will be a valuable resource for gaining insight into how to support the non-disabled family members.

An Introduction to Relationship Development Intervention - RDI

This workshop will introduce Relationship Development Intervention, RDI®. This approach to intervention, developed by Dr. Steven Gutstein, is for children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders. It confronts the core deficit of autism, i.e., the establishment of a dynamic system of information processing. This approach helps children develop relationships with other people by enhancing emotion, sharing, social referencing, social coordination, declarative language, flexible thinking, relational information processing, foresight and hindsight. RDI is both developmentally based and systematic in presentation. Presented by Dr. Nancy Schwartz, certified RDI consultant. For parents and professionals.

Fri, Oct 27
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
$100.00 - Member, $125.00 - Non-Member

Location: The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. (Program room assignments will be available at the JCC Customer Service Desk, in the lobby of the Samuel Priest Rose Building.)
For more information, or to register, please call 646-505-5708.

Sinergia Metropolitan Parent Center Fall 2006 Education Advocacy Series

  • The Rights of Parents
  • The Special Education Process
  • Early Intervention
  • Advice and Strategies for Parents

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 1 PM, October 3, 5, 10, 12, 17,& 19
134 West 29th Street, 4th Floor

Refreshments will be served, Simultaneous Spanish translation available upon request

Register by phone or e-mail: Contact Godfrey Rivera
212-643-2840, ext 320

Ackerman Center for Families Offers Series for Parents of Young Children With Special Needs

Wednesdays, October 25; November 1, 8, 15; 9:30-11 AM

Facilitator: Judy Grossman, DrPH, OTR, FAOTA, is the Associate Director of Ackerman's Center for the Developing Child and Family, an occupational therapy and public health educator, and a consultant to community agencies. She has conducted early intervention and special education policy studies, held a number of academic appointments, (NYU, SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Yale School of Medicine) and published an presented in the areas of family resilience, parenting, mental health consultation and best practices in special education. Her private practice in family therapy is located in NYC and Westport, CT.

Fee: $200.00

This discussion group is being offered to help parents cope with personal and family stress associated with having a child with special needs. The purpose it to share the experience with other families, increase social support, expand health coping strategies, and promote satisfying co-parenting relationships and sense of competence in the parental role. Some of the topics will include:
  • Perceptions and reactions to the child's disability
  • Impact on the marital relationship, siblings, other family members and daily routines
  • Impact on your role as parents
  • Thinking about the future

To register or for more information, contact Brenda Nerenberg, 212-879-4900, ext 108 or e-mail

Eden II Programs/KeySpan Foundation Autism Workshop Series and Kickoff Celebration

KeySpan Foundation, in conjunction with The Eden II Programs, is proud to offer a series of free workshops designed to educate on topics related to autism spectrum disorders.

Please join Bob Keller, Executive Director, KeySpan Foundation and Joanne Gerenser, Executive Director, Eden II Programs to celebrate as we kickoff this Autism Workshop Series.

When: October 4, 2006

Where: The Vanderbilt at South Beach
300 Father Capodanno Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10305

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Presentation by Dr. Joanne Gerenser
“Autism Intervention and Best Outcomes: What Does the Research Tell Us?”
7:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. – Cocktail Party

Space is limited. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Marissa Bennett at 516.937.1397 X217 or by email,

[Note: Workshops are free but may be in a different location.]

10/19/06 — Overview of Autism
11/16/06 — Introduction to Discrete Trial Instruction
12/4/06 — Promoting Speech and Language
1/12/07 — Overview of Autism and ABA
2/16/07 — Managing Challenging Behavior
3/12/07 — Beyond Discrete Trial Instruction
4/16/07 — Managing Challenging Behavior
5/10/07 — ABA in Less Restrictive Settings
6/1/07 — Overview of Autism and ABA
7/19/07 — Utilizing Video and Computer Technology in Autism Education

Workshop Series funded by KeySpan Foundation

Special Camp Fair on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007

Parents and caregivers of children and teens with disabilities can plan ahead for summer with the wealth of information offered at the 22nd annual free Special Camp Fair on Saturday, January 27, 2007 from 11 AM to 3 PM. at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, 405 W. 59th Street NYC (Entrance to Fair on Columbus Ave. near W. 60th St.) . The Fair is presented by Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc., (212) 677-4650.

Representatives from 70 New York City day camps and sleepaway camps in the northeast will be on hand to help parents and professionals plan productive summer experiences for children with disabilities. The Fair will also feature information on travel programs, remedial education programs, volunteer and job opportunities and early childhood programs. Spanish and sign language interpreters will be available.

Visitors to the Fair will receive a free copy of the Camps 2007 Guide. The Camps 2007 Guide (publication date January 2007) is also available by sending a check for $25 plus $8.00 postage and handling to Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc., Dept. PR1, 116 E. 16th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003.

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