Sunday, March 22, 2009

UJA Autism Symposium

UJA-Federation Autism SymposiumPromoting Inclusion: Best Practices for Education, Vocation, and Socialization Across the Age Continuum

Details and registration

A symposium for agency executives, program directors, school administrators, and parents.

Organized in Collaboration With The Hilibrand Foundation

Breakfast and Registration (8:30 – 9:00 a.m.)
Welcome and Introductions (9:00 – 9:15 a.m.)

Keynote, Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., President and Chair of Scientific Council at the Organization for Autism Research (9:15 –10:15 a.m.)

Today, families and learners with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are beginning to redefine the outcomes of the transition process beyond employment to include such measures of quality of life as personal satisfaction, choice, control, and happiness. This presentation will provide an overview and practical suggestions for supporting adults with an ASD label to lives of competence and quality. Particular attention will be paid to understanding social challenges that can limit individual opportunities, positive behavior support, and personal independence across multiple environments.

Q&A With Keynote (10:15 – 10:45 a.m.)

Break (10:45 – 11:00 a.m.)

Panel: Promoting Independence: Best Practices to Achieve Success in the Workforce, Institutions of higher education, and Independent Living (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon)

This panel will address multiple strategies to promote a successful transition toward vocation, higher education, and independent living for young adults spanning the autism spectrum. The panelists will discuss the range of skills necessary to obtain employment, higher education, and live independently, as well as the additional roles of job coaches, professional advocates, and parents in assisting with the transition process and offering ongoing support. Panelists will further provide insight as to best supporting host agencies to ensure a mutually successful experience for both the employee and employer.
Panel will feature:

* Michael Storz, M.B.A., Director of Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition Program and Executive Vice President of Chapel Haven, Inc.
* James Rein, President of B&R Resources, Inc
* New York State Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals With Disabilities (VESID)
o Debbie Gross, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at VESID
o Paola Nappo, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at VESID

Q&A With Panelists (12:00 noon – 12:30 p.m.)
Lunch (12:30 – 1:15 p.m.)

Afternoon Lecture: No More Meltdowns: Positive behavioral supports to manage and prevent challenging behaviors.: Jed Baker (1:15 – 2:00 p.m.)

Students on the autism spectrum often present with difficulty regulating their feelings and interacting socially. This presentation will describe how to handle meltdowns and design effective behavior plans to prevent these moments and reduce frustration and anxiety.

Q&A With Jed Baker (2:00 – 2:30 p.m.)

Break (2:30 – 2:45 p.m.)

Afternoon Breakout Session (2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.)
Title: Social Skills across the age continuum
Presenter: Jed Baker, Ph.D., Director of the Social Skills Training Project
Description: This breakout session will address social skills and positive behavioral supports for students with Autism, Aspergers and other Social-Communication Problems. We will review strategies to motivate students to learn, ways to teach social skills, how to generalize skills into the natural setting and increase acceptance and tolerance from peers.

Title: Social Groups with LST – Language/Sensory/Technology
Presenter: Phoebe Tucker, Speech/Language Pathologist, Augmentative/Alternative Communication Specialist, and Director of the Montano Assistive Technology Center — A Division of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Southern Connecticut
Description: Learn the role of the three senses and how they effect communication outcomes. Preview software and voice-output devices that solidify concepts. Discover a pioneer intervention — virtual reality — as it relates to social interaction. Learn strategies for intervention that include the nuances of communication, critical for an older person’s success with peers and prospective employers. Win Point for Technology prizes based on your interaction during presentation

Title: Best Practices for Inclusion in the School Environment: A Case Study of an Elementary School
Presenters: Julie Cohen, Ph.D., Private Practice With Children and Families in Stamford, Connecticut, and Former School Psychologist at Parkway School Greenwich, Connecticut; and Sandra Mond, Ph.D., Educational Consultant
Description: This presentation will offer the discussion of an effective inclusion model in a school community, including techniques to support classroom and special-education teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, special needs and typical students, as well as other members of the school community, such as cafeteria workers, custodians, and bus drivers. Some of these practices are modifications in programming and curriculum, parent support groups and workshops, sibling groups, a "circle of friends," and inclusive social-skills groups. Both positive and negative experiences will be explored, and presenters will welcome input and questions.

Title: Social-Skills Instruction for Transition-Age Youth With ASDs
Presenter: Daniel Baker, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Pediatrics in New Brunswick, New Jersey
Description: Social-skills problems are a significant barrier for many people with ASDs. This interactive breakout session will lead attendees through a process for understanding why social-skills problems are likely and then provide a “menu” of common-sense, easy ways to improve social skills. This presentation will focus on transition-age youth.

Conclusion and Evaluations (3:45 – 4:00 p.m.)

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