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Curated for Me

Pieces of the Puzzle: Practical Information to Help Your Child with ASD

Family Network on Disabilities, Manasota
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Endorsed by Curators:
Sep 16 8:15AM - 3:00PM

Join FND Manasota at our 2017 conference: Pieces of the Puzzle. This year, we're excited to welcome three speakers who will share practical information to help your child with ASD. Lunch is included with the price of registration. Download the event flyer now!



Autism and the Myth of Normality -- John Miller

The concept of normality disproportionately influences how we perceive people. Too often when the concept of normal is applied it is used to marginalize, stereotype and even malign those who don't meet the standard set by society. However, the reality is much more complicated. Mr. Miller will show that the concept of normality is not only subjective, but is really non-existent. It is influenced by many factors including environment and society among other factors. Participants will be taken on a journey of stereotypes of individuals with autism in comparison to others in society. They will see that reality is quite different from our perceptions. Qualities that are derided in people with ASD are applauded in neuro-typicals. Other behaviors portrayed as autistic are not as prevalent. Instead of attaching subjective labels the presenter will shatter stereotypes and portray individuals with autism as eminently very human.

John Miller was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1968. During his childhood he worked hard to overcome many academic and social obstacles. He decided to get a Masters in Special Education to help young people succeed academically and in life. During this period he was diagnosed with autism, which answered many questions. For over a decade he has taught students with varying degrees of autism. Beyond teaching, he has consulted, creating pragmatic and organizational programs for individuals with autism. For over a half a decade he has presented on a variety topics that deal with pragmatics, inclusion, transition and other topics throughout the United States. Presently, he sits on the Florida board of the Autism Society and Florida Atlantic University CARD Constituency Committee. In September, he became a member of an education and programming committee at Autism Society of America. In his book Decoding Dating received the Dr. Temple Grandin Award for Outstanding Literary Work of the Year.

"Will you play with me?": Focusing on Appropriate Communication to Increase Social Skills in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder --Dr. Nicole McMillan

Since communication and social deficits are two of the main characteristics in individuals diagnosed with ASD, programming which targets both of these areas simultaneously can be instrumental across the lifespan. Individuals with ASD often require direct teaching to acquire skills like requesting items from peers and turn-taking during game play. These pre-requisite social skills then need to be incorporated into more complex skills, including initiating and maintaining conversations and determining when someone may not be interested in a preferred topic. This presentation will focus on assessment of communication and social skill deficits, selection of appropriate target skills, and identifying the most effective and empirical strategies for teaching social skills in individuals with ASD.

Dr. Nicole McMillan, BCBA-D, has worked in the areas of skill acquisition and problem behavior reduction in a variety of settings, such as center-based clinics, residential schools, in-home services, public and private schools, and early intervention preschools. She has provided services to several populations, including, typically developing children, caregivers, teachers, staff, adolescents and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, and visually impaired individuals. She has been specifically working with individuals with ASD for over a decade. In 2010, she graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Louisiana State University. Following her undergraduate studies, she began her graduate school career in 2010 at Auburn University and completed her PhD in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2015. She is currently the Chief Clinical Officer atEngage Behavioral Health with a passion for staff training, best practice quality assurance, and collaborative research projects. Her primary research interests are verbal behavior, staff/caregiver training, and skill acquisition with early learners with ASD.

Linking Piece Between Sensory and Processing -- Cheryl Albright

What is sensory processing? Does anyone actually know what this means? This presentation will be discussing what sensory processing actually is, current research, and how it affects your loved one.

Cheryl Albright, OTR/L, RYT-200,has been an occupational therapist for 14 years and a graduate of East Carolina University. She is a sibling of an older brother with Autism and specializes in working with developmental disabilities.



This year's conference will also feature a Friday evening session with keynote speaker, John Miller.

The Friday night session is geared for teens and adults with ASD, Aspergers, and ADHD and will focus on the topic of dating, social etiquette, and include a Q & A with John. Parents and professionalsare welcome to attend but must pay the $5.00 per person fee. Pizza, drinks and cookies will be served.

Title: Decoding Dating
Date: Friday, September 15
Time: 6:00 p.m. -- 8:30 p.m.
Location: Woodland Community Church,9607 E State Rd 70, Bradenton, FL 34202
Cost: $5.00
Download the event flyerto learn more!

The rules of dating are a conundrum for many individuals, but for men and women with Autism, Aspergers, or ADHD, who often have difficulty understanding social communication, they can be almost indecipherable. Over pizza, John will break down the social etiquette of dating, give first hand advice, and answer questions from the audience on how to make a relationship work.

Contact Mary Smith if you have any special needs, or if you believe you qualify for one of a limited number of need-based parent scholarships.

Pieces of the Puzzle

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