Day 1
An Overview of Autism
Day 1 is designed to inform participants of the many and varied characteristics of members of the neurodiverse community. The neurodevelopmental characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will be carefully discussed. Topics include, but are not limited to: Executive Functioning, Context Blindness, Theory of Mind, Central Coherence, Joint Attention, Cognitive Rigidity, and One-Channel Processing. An understanding of these characteristics and challenges arms participants with the knowledge required to support individuals with ASD in their daily lives (in the classroom, in the home, in the workforce, or in the community). This presentation ends with a discussion of the methods used to support individuals with ASD. These practical tools and strategies will help participants to be proactive and confident in their efforts to support individuals with autism in a variety of settings.

Day 2
Visual Supports and Structured Teaching
Building upon the knowledge gained in Day 1, Day 2 provides an understanding on how to create and use visuals to better support individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities (DD) by increasing independence, promoting communication, and reducing challenging behaviors. Participants will learn how to teach, “wait”, “help” and how to ask for a “break” using visual supports. They will also learn about Social Narratives and other strategies used to explain a given situation and provide strategies to navigate it. Finally, participants will discuss physically structuring the individual’s environment, and utilizing Structured Work Systems to foster and promote independence.

Day 3
Communication and Sensory Supports:
Day 3 is broken into two distinct topics: Communication and Sensory Challenges. In the morning, participants will discuss the communication challenges that may impact individuals with ASD and provide strategies to assist in supporting those individuals. In the afternoon, participants will explore the concepts of sensory integration and self-regulation and will learn about different tools to assist individuals to learn to manage their self-regulation.

Day 4
Positive Behavior Supports:
Challenging behaviors impact classroom learning, time in the community, a work environment, and the family dynamic. The goal of this training is to provide basic information about a variety of positive behavior supports that can be used to teach key skills to students with autism. This training provides participants with information and tools to help parents and professionals view challenging behavior through a different lens. Discussion related to skill deficits, coexisting conditions, and possible motivation of behaviors will help professionals and parents create positive behavior supports to help build healthier interactions and a successful environment.

Day 5
Parent Panel & “A Common Goal: Fostering Empathetic Relationships Among A Child’s Care Team”:
During this panel discussion, families will share experiences of having a child who is diagnosed with ASD. This session also serves as an opportunity for participants to ask questions of families, and to learn about ASD from each family’s unique perspective. After the panel, participants will engage with the training team on methods of fostering positive relationships among an individual’s care team (parents/guardians, teachers, doctors, etc.). To deliver impactful care, a person’s team must work as a cohesive, trusting, and therapeutic network. Distrust, bias, frustration, miscommunication, cultural norms, opposing expectations, and trauma can all influence one’s approach to members of the team. These influences often lead to breakdowns in communication and can negatively impact the individual with ASD as a result. This presentation addresses, from both the family and professional perspective, causes of these communication breakdowns, and strategies for repairing and preventing them. Through an empathetic understanding of each person’s experience, a therapeutic and effective team will emerge.


Professionals: $500.00

Caregivers/Parents/Self-Advocates/Students: $199.00

2021 In-Person Summer Institute
July 12-16, 2021
Monday -Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., EST
Friday 8:00 a.m. to NOON, EST.

2021 Virtual Summer Institute
August 2-6, 2021

Monday -Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST
Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., EST.