happy children, mother and child, and expecting mother and father

2018 Autism Awareness: Highlights From Around the Network

Grantee Highlights

University of Alabama at BirminghamUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program

The UAB LEND incorporates autism awareness throughout their daily work in clinical settings, training, and community outreach. Recent highlights include co-sponsoring the 17th Annual Alabama Autism Conference in February, which focused on “Improving Daily Life for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Addressing Real Life Challenges,” with over 500 participants attending the day-long event, including educators, clinicians, trainees, caregivers, and self-advocates. In March, LEND faculty and trainees met side-by-side with self-advocates and families to educate legislators of the benefits of funding early intervention for children with ASD to promote increased independence and better long-term prognosis and satisfaction as adults. Several LEND faculty are part of the UAB Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO): Autism interdisciplinary team that meets bimonthly to provide telementoring to pediatricians and other healthcare providers across the state focused on identification and intervention with children and teens with autism spectrum disorder. Community awareness activities include supporting the Autism Society of Alabama and collaborations with other local and state organizations during the month of April and year-round, including co-sponsoring and participating in the 5th Annual Autism-Friendly Birmingham Barons baseball game on April 29th, providing technical assistance and support in community sensory-friendly theater and music events, and participation in the state Autism Council. Finally, the UAB Regional Autism Network, which is housed at UAB University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) in Developmental Disabilities/LEND, just finished its first year of existence, with a huge accomplishment of providing monthly education workshops for caregivers of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Boston Children's Hospital, Until every child is wellBoston Children's Hospital Hosts Inaugural DBP Booster Conference for Primary Care Pediatricians

Hosts and participants at the first annual Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Booster Course

Under the course direction of Alison Schonwald, MD**, Carrie Mauras, PhD, Holly Hodges, MD*, and Arda Hotz, MD^, over 20 pediatric residents and early career primary care pediatricians attended the 1st Annual Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Booster Course at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH).

This two-day conference taught high-yield, relevant DBP topics for senior residents committed to primary care pediatrics and for pediatric providers newly in practice. Using innovative and adult-centered educational methods, including small groups discussions, use of technology, and case-based learning, participants boosted their knowledge in the following topics:

  • Primary Care for the Patient with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Supporting Children with Learning Disabilities
  • Reading an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Understanding Neuropsychogical Testing
  • When to Refer for Developmental Delay
  • Top 10 Things Parents Want You to Know
  • Transition Issues
  • Behavior 101
  • Partnering with Parents

Faculty included DB Pediatricians, Psychologists, Primary Care Pediatricians, LEND Family Faculty member, and a Psychiatrist. This course was designed to address practicing pediatric primary care providers reported lack of sufficient skills to care for their patients with DBP needs. Despite dedicated time during pediatric residency for DBP training, these rotations often occur during internships, before career tracks are determined and when the information load is great. Revisiting this material as senior residents preparing to enter primary care (or early career) will serve to boost participant knowledge and confidence in behavioral and developmental concerns as they enter or continue in early practice. Program evaluation of the Booster is underway, and we hope to offer the course again to a wider audience.

*Current DBP Fellows

^Current LEND Fellow

**DBP Fellowship Graduates

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) LEND Core Faculty Highlights for ASD

Dr. Lauren Ethridge and Dr. Ami Bax

Dr. Lauren Ethridge, neuroscientist, and Dr. Ami Bax, developmental & behavioral pediatrician, at the OUHSC Section of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics are conducting an innovative study involving the use of EEG for comparisons of reward processing in 6-12 year old boys with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, comorbid autism spectrum disorder and ADHD, and typically-developing peers. They are hoping to gain a better understanding of the underlying neurobiologic similarities and differences among these conditions that will lead to important diagnostic and treatment recommendations.

Dr. Bonnie McBride

Dr. Bonnie McBride, LEND core faculty in ASD, presented a poster session at the Autism CARES 2017 Conference in Bethesda, Maryland on the results of a recently completed randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing a center-based, inclusive behavioral intervention model for toddlers with ASD called Project DATA for Toddlers to standard care in two states.

Including Family Voices to Improve Service Delivery to Multilingual & Underserved Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Minnesota LEND Partnership

MPS - MNLEND Team. Top L to R: Elle Chenoweth (MNLEND fellow - MPS); Cynthia Hillyer (Director of Early Childhood Education - MPS); Mariana Walther (MNLEND fellow - MPS).  Bottom L to R: (Suad Salad, Associate Educator - MPS); Nancy Gonzalez (MNLEND fellow)

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Family Voices Project is an initiative of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) that focuses on improving service delivery to multilingual and underserved young children (3-5 years) with autism spectrum disorder and their families. In the 2016-2017 school year, MPS and MNLEND launched a collaborative partnership to create an evaluation project to analyze the effectiveness of MPS services and processes for multilingual children and families who receive services in the Early Education, Special Education and Multilingual Departments. The project design included a literature review, an analysis of MPS student data, development and implementation of a family survey, analysis of survey results and recommendations for an Autism Spectrum Disorder Family Voices Project 2.0.

The project design was created by a multicultural team of LEND Fellows and MPS staff. The survey cohort included MPS multilingual families, whose children received early childhood screening, special education evaluation and an IEP under the education eligibility of autism spectrum disorder. The team reviewed each child’s student information identifying 20 Somali and 20 Latinx students who met the criteria for the cohort. From the chosen participants, 8 Somali-speaking and 10 Spanish-speaking families completed surveys.

The 3-part survey included demographic information of caregiver and child, MPS communication and information received, and services received in health, education, county and family supports. MNLEND Fellows administered the survey by phone, documenting survey responses using Google forms, with direct oversight from MPS staff. Analysis of the survey responses included review of aggregate data as well as individual responses. The chart below summarizes the survey responses.

Long description:  Graph showing research findings represented by stacked colored blocks.  In order from smallest to largest:  0 documentation of county services in student record.  1 receiving county services.  1 connection to a family support group.  3 reported child's education eligibility for Special Education is ASD.  3 students had a medical diagnosis of ASD documented in student record.  9 reported child’s education eligibility for Special Education is Speech Delay.  9 Want more information on activities to do at home to support child’s academic learning.  16 satisfied with services receive from MPS.  18 MPS staff consistently respected culture and family norms.

Almost all families reported that their culture and family norms were respected and that MPS services supported their child. Areas for improvement included communication of education eligibility, identification and documentation of access and links to health and county services, and connection to support groups. The 2017-2018 MNLEND Fellows will address the topic of timely access to services in health and human services and family supports. They will create map links to services and use person- and family-centered design theory while working with families to address gaps in services. The work will be aligned with other MPS projects underway.  The survey cohort will be expanded to include all underrepresented and underserved ethnically diverse groups with the aim of completing 50 family surveys in total.

2017-2018 Recommendations

  • MPS Autism Spectrum Disorder Family Voices Project
  • Dual Diagnosis Project - Educational and Medical
  • Establish MPS Parent to Parent Network: Cross departmental initiative
  • Partner with PACER and The Arc - Develop informal and formal parent support strategies
  • Fund ECSE Summer Evaluation
  • Develop Professional Development: Best practices in service delivery to multilingual families
  • Build buy in of senior leaders at MNLEND and MPS


Minnesota LEND & Institute on Community Integration Telehealth Projects

Dr. Simacek uses telehealth to connect with children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families across greater Minnesota

Service access is a barrier to the provision of high quality intervention for adults and children with developmental disabilities, including autism (ASD) and their families who reside outside of metropolitan areas. Dr. Jessica Simacek (former MNLEND fellow) and Dr. Adele Dimian (MNLEND post doc), through the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), engage in training, technical assistance, and developing research projects with the aim of improving access to intervention through telehealth (e.g., connecting over video conferencing) for people with developmental disabilities. Both Drs. Simacek and Dimian were trained and advised by MNLEND Research Director, Dr. Joe Reichle.

One key telehealth related project at ICI provides mentoring to pre- and post-doctoral and community fellows from the  Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program (MNLEND). Exit Disclaimer MNLEND fellows receive training and mentorship to gain knowledge and experience in the use of telehealth to provide assessment and intervention. The project utilizes a train-the-trainer model, delivering in-home support services to families through coaching parents to assess and intervene to improve challenging behavior and social-communication skills. Dr. Dimian describes telehealth as “a way to support and connect families with resources who may not otherwise receive them, or who may spend long periods of time on ‘waitlists’ prior to accessing services.”

A second key telehealth related project at ICI is TelePBS. Dr. Simacek utilizes telehealth as a component of the larger Positive Behavioral Supports project, with ICI’s Dr. Rachel Freeman, to connect with and train community-based service providers on positive behavior support practices to support people with developmental disabilities.

Potential future directions for the ICI telehealth projects include collaboration with Dr. Amy Esler and the UMN’s ASD/Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD) Clinic Clinic to improve challenging behavior. In addition, our telehealth team hopes to develop telehealth intervention research aimed at improving social and communication skills, including augmentative and alternative communication intervention in continued collaboration with Dr. Joe Reichle. As a result of their work, their collaboration in ongoing telehealth research has also been shared via national presentations and publications intended for numerous cross-disciplinary academic communities (see details below). In sum, MNLEND fellows are helping to bring a range of telehealth options to improve service access for families in underserved and rural communities via participating in a number of innovative and interdisciplinary telehealth projects underway.

Peer-Reviewed Publications from 2017-18

Dimian, Elmquist, Reichle, & Simacek. (in press). Teaching communicative responses with a speech generating device via telehealth coaching. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Simacek, J., Reichle, J., Byiers, B., Parker-McGowan, Q., Dimian, A.F., & Elmquist, M. (in press). Promoting conditional use of communication skills for learners with complex communication needs: A tutorial. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Simacek, J., Pennington, B., Reichle, J., & Parker-McGowan, Q. (2017). Aided augmentative and alternative communication interventions for people with severe to profound and multiple disabilities: A review of interventions and treatment intensity. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 1-16.

Benson, S. S., Dimian, A. F., Elmquist, M., Simacek, J., McComas, J. J., & Symons, F. J. (in press). Coaching parents to assess and treat self-injurious behavior via Telehealth. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Simacek, J., Dimian, A.F., & McComas, J.J. (2017). Communication intervention for young children with severe neurodevelopmental disabilities via telehealth. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 1-24. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-3006-z 

Book chapters from 2017

Reichle, J., Simacek, J., Bambara, L., & Halle, J. Teaching Alternative Skills (Chapter in preparation).

McComas, J.J., Schielz, K.M., Simacek, J., Berg, W.K., & Wacker, D.P. Functional Communication Training for Durable Behavior Change. (Chapter in press).

Reichle, J., Simacek, J., & Parker-McGowan, Q. Considerations in implementing aided low-tech AAC applications for persons with autism spectrum disorder. (Chapter in press).

National and International Referred Presentations

Simacek, J., McComas, J.J., Dimian, A.F., Pennington, B., & Reichle, J. The persistence of augmentative and alternative mands during functional communication training following fixed and variable reinforcement schedules for two children with autism. Symposium presentation accepted for presentation at the Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International. San Diego, CA, May, 2018.

Simacek, J., McComas, J.J., Dimian, A.F., Pennington, B., & Elmquist, M. Programming functional communication training for persistence: Requests during extinction following fixed and variable reinforcement schedules for two participants with autism. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual Gatlinburg conference. San Diego, CA, April, 2018.  

Gunderson, J., Simacek, J., Dimian, A.F., Reichle, J. Measurement of Responsive and Initiated Joint Attention for Two Children with Autism via Telehealth. Poster presentation accepted for presentation at Applied Behavior Analysis International. San Diego, CA. May, 2018.

*MNLEND fellows, former fellows, and faculty in bold

Minnesota LEND Fellow Project: Sensory Tents for Minneapolis Parks

Left to Right: MPRB Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion Coordinator Sarah Thorson, Community Outreach Events Coordinator Erica Chua and Community Outreach and Access Coordinator/ADA Coordinator Elise Niedermeier (MNLEND fellow).

When Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB Exit Disclaimer) ADA Coordinator Elise Niedermeier (MNLEND fellow) learned of an inclusion microgrant opportunity through the National Park and Recreation Association (NPRA Exit Disclaimer), she knew immediately what project to pitch.

“We have so many loud, crowded, outdoor summer events, I thought it would be great to offer a sensory or escape tent for people to take a break,” noted Niedermeier. Through the grant award, MPRB has begun piloting sensory tents to give people with sensory processing needs a space to soothe or stimulate their senses at crowded park events.

As a MNLEND fellow, Niedermeier knew to think about this project collaboratively and across disciplines. By working with LEND faculty mentor, Ellie Wilson, now Director of the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM Exit Disclaimer), LEND parent trainees, and MPRB’s Community Outreach Event Coordinator and Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion Coordinator, the project team succeeded in making events and programming more accessible.

“The connections and conversations through my participation in LEND all sparked this vision for what could be,” said Niedermeier. The tent provides materials including slime and foams, scented crayons, a mini trampoline, hammock swing, calming lights and noise-cancelling headphones - all materials suggested and selected through consultation with AuSM.

The tent will appear this summer at outdoor concerts and movies in the parks. A schedule for sensory friendly Sundays is being developed, and MPRB staff are collaborating with MNLEND alumna, Julia Anderson, at the Walker Art Center Exit Disclaimer and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT Exit Disclaimer) to share successes and learning around creating inclusive events. MPRB also is collaborating to make sure sensory-friendly event dates do not overlap, so families have many options to explore this summer.

Anyone interested in the project can contact Elise Niedermeier


Trainee Highlights

Arizona LEND


Arizona LEND trainee, the Associate Director of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona (ASSA) and a mother of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.  Brie is the first contact families make when they contact ASSA.  She provides families with resources to help them navigate services, programs and healthcare options. When families know she has walked in their shoes, they feel an instant connection. Her latest project included creating informative videos interviewing experts on autism to help families understand the system without being overwhelmed. Her time is dedicated to working with the community to facilitate autism awareness trainings. She is actively providing schools and doctors with CDC materials on early childhood milestones.

Brie also plays a large role in managing the Annual Autism Walk & Resource Fair. The April event is the largest autism event in Southern Arizona serving 2,000 participants and features 50 community service providers. Brie works with the ASSA Board President to secure corporate sponsorships for the event and this year has confirmed an annual program partnership with a leading behavioral health provider. The LEND program has provided a core foundation of knowledge in neurodevelopmental disabilities, created professional partnerships that have enhanced the ASSA’s programs and enhanced Brie’s understanding of culture and family dynamics.

In a conversation with Brie, she shared, “I will never forget the day I received my child’s diagnosis. My mission from that day forward would be to maximize my son’s potential.  I am passionate about equipping families with knowledge on what is out there to help their family.  I want to provide hope, lead families to resources and services and let them know they are not walking alone.”  

Missouri LEND

Grace Powell

TIPS for Kids has been a wonderful experience for me. Through this grant I was able to further my learning about pediatric therapy. Working with all different disciplines has helped me learn much more about the different resources that can help children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The collaboration between students has given me a greater understanding of what they are learning in their profession and helped me understand when a child would benefit from their services. I have loved being a part of the TIPS for Kids experience! (Note: Grace Powell is in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, Class of 2019, University of Missouri, Columbia and is a trainee in TIPS for Kids, Missouri LEND.)

Minnesota LEND

Alice Kraiza

MNLEND Exit Disclaimer Fellow, Alice Kraiza (Masters student in Public Health Administration and Policy at the University of Minnesota), housed in the Institute on Community Integration Exit Disclaimer at the University of Minnesota, is collaborating with leaders of the Latino Childcare Providers Network (La Red), a Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) provider group based out of Richfield and Bloomington, Minnesota. La Red/The Network’s Director, Ruth Evangelista, and Alice are developing a new training program on early developmental milestones and signs of Autism using “Learn the signs. Act Early.” (LTSAE) materials and resources for the wider Latinx FFN network. Per Evangelista, “I believe this training is good for La Red. The greatest contributions are to break the language barriers, understand what autism is in the Friend, Family and Neighbor community and how to go hand in hand with FFN providers.” In Spanish: “Creo que este entrenamiento esta bien para la Red y la gran aportación es romper las barreras de lenguaje y entender que es el AUTISMO en la comunidad FFN y como ir de la mano con las familias amigos y vecinos.” Alice is working closely on this project with guidance from both her MNLEND mentor, Dr. Robin Rumsey, and Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande, MNLEND Faculty and Act Early Ambassador to Minnesota.

Since fall 2017, Alice has contributed Minnesota LTSAE Exit Disclaimer materials, as well as assisted in designing a business plan for the organizational outreach efforts of La Red. The team is ensuring the trainings and outreach will be relevant, appropriate, and informative. The community trainings will be delivered in Spanish, and they anticipate about 45 childcare providers from across the Twin Cities metro area will attend the first April 2018 training.

Partners in the Collaboration


DJ Strons

Supporting Social Skills in MN Autism Community

For his MNLEND Exit Disclaimer project, MNLEND Fellow (2017-2018) Derjaun (DJ) Strons, who is also a M.S.W. student at the University of Minnesota, joined with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM Exit Disclaimer) to provide social supports to individuals with autism. He took the opportunity to work alongside AuSM program specialists who teach social skills, both informally and formally, to children, teens, and young adults on the spectrum. The goal of the social skills classes is for the participants to practice and use social skills in day to day situations while being involved in activities in which they want to develop new skills or have an interest. As part of his contribution to AuSM, he conducted a research review of recent evidence-based social skills activities that are intended for or could be adapted for young people on the autism spectrum. Strons has also volunteered during some AuSM events and he plans to join in supporting youth groups over summer. While Strons already had a strong background in youth development, he feels his current project at AuSM has given him valuable firsthand experience to learn to support people with autism. He plans to apply his new knowledge and skills to his future role as a youth-oriented social worker.

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) LEND

Stephanie Emperly

Stephanie Emperly, the 2017-2018 LEND Intern in the area of Self-Advocacy (mentored by Chuck Roberts, LEND Core Faculty in Self-Advocacy), presented at New Views on Diversity for the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics section at OUHSC, entitled "A glimpse into my life with autism.” She charmed the audience with her real stories and her wit. She gave an interesting and informative talk and answered questions from the audience to provide perspective on how she has felt growing up. She included discussions of the challenges she has encountered and the coping strategies she uses.

Stephanie said, “I feel like they gained a lot of insight into how a person with autism thinks. I did not expect them to cry. I know I shattered one of the stereotypes (autistic people can’t be funny). It is flabbergasting to think that people can learn from just talking to me. I’m just glad that my perspective can help people.”



Empowering Women and Girls with Autism Exit Disclaimer
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 10:00 – 1:00 PM ET
Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, NY
The 2018 World Autism Awareness Day observance at United Nations Headquarters New York will focus on the importance of empowering women and girls with autism and involving them and their representative organizations in policy and decision making to address these challenges. Through dynamic moderated discussions with experts and advocates, the observance will examine the particular challenges that women and girls with autism face in this context. Other key issues to be addressed include challenges and opportunities in fully exercising rights in matters relating to marriage, family and parenthood on an equal basis with others, as underscored in Article 23 of the CRPD and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2015 (SDG 5.6).

NIH Special Event for Autism Awareness Month – The Story Behind Julia, Sesame Street’s Muppet With Autism Exit Disclaimer
Monday, April 9, 2018, 1:00 – 3:15 PM ET
Masur Auditorium, NIH Main Campus, Building 10 (Clinical Center), 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) is pleased to invite you to attend their annual special event to recognize National Autism Awareness Month. OARC will be hosting a Panel Presentation featuring speakers from Sesame Workshop, the educational non-profit behind the television show Sesame Street, and a Meet and Greet with Julia, a muppet who has autism who is on the show. The panel, which will include Sesame Workshop speakers Jeanette Betancourt, Ed.D., Mindy Fila, and Autumn Zitani, M.A., will present information on how Julia was created, her role on the show, and her outreach and social impact. The panel presentation is appropriate for ages 10+. Before and after the panel presentation, a life size Walkaround Julia will be available for a meet and greet with guests. The meet and greet portion of the event is appropriate for all ages. Sesame Workshop, the educational non-profit behind Sesame Street, strives to teach children to grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Their online initiative Autism: See Amazing in All Children provides families with children on the spectrum ages 2 to 5 with resources to manage daily activities and challenging behaviors. Julia helps all children and their families understand autism and foster acceptance. Pre-registration, although not required, is encouraged. Exit Disclaimer

The Role of Augmentative Alternative Communication Systems for Children with Autism Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET
Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems are supports used to help individuals with complex communicative needs. For children with autism who are minimally verbal, AAC Systems can help them communicate and interact with others. This presentation will focus on offering practical tips and tricks for obtaining and using both picture-based and speech-generating AAC Systems in the home and community settings.

Understanding Autism and Developmental Disabilities Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30 PM ET
7000 Tudsbury Road, Baltimore, MD
The Therapeutic Foster Care program offers support, education, and training for therapeutic foster, respite, and adoption parents in both small and large groups. Support groups are established to provide participants with an opportunity to share concerns, challenges, and accomplishments related to specific issues therapeutic foster parents face. Educational and training groups are convened on a regular basis to provide therapeutic foster parents with an opportunity to increase their knowledge and skill on a variety of topics related to their role.

Developing Individuals Who Have Different Kinds of Minds Exit Disclaimer
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 10:00 -11:00 AM ET

Join for the 2018 Spirit Lecture, “Women Sustaining the American Spirit,” featuring Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Organized by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Preparing Individuals on the Autism Spectrum for a Life After School Exit Disclaimer
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET
APA Hotel Woodbridge, Iselin, NJ

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers University, New Jersey’s University Centers for Excellence (UCEDD) in Developmental Disabilities/LEND, is sponsoring a joint Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series and NJLEND Continuing Education session. This session will be presented by Cathy Pratt, PhD, BCBA, Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, in Bloomington IN. The lecture will reach a broad audience of professionals working in the field of developmental disabilities, including human services, maternal and child health, and state Title V, as well as students from multiple disciplines. Continuing education credits for social work, rehabilitation counseling, developmental disabilities nursing, and education will be provided.

Getting an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis: Where Do I Go From Here? Exit Disclaimer
Monday, April 16, 2018, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET
CARD, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
Clinical social worker Cathy Groschan will present in-depth information about ASD and discuss resources available in Maryland. Cathy is open to questions from the audience. After the presentation, she will provide handouts that offer guidance related to getting a diagnosis, finding services, the education system and more.

What is Transition Planning for a Teen with an ASD Diagnosis? Exit Disclaimer
Monday, April 16, 2018, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
CARD, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
This presentation is for parents who have teens with ASD who are planning for a transition from school to college, employment, and/or community. Transition planning can be confusing and here is an opportunity to learn about the process. Resources will be shared.

Peer Exchange: Autism Spectrum Disorder/Developmental Disabilities and Telehealth: Creating Connections for Children and Their Families, Self-Advocates, and Providers
April 17-18, 2017
Location: Spokane, WA

The 2018 SPHARC Peer-to-Peer Exchange will take place in Spokane, WA and will be hosted by the Washington State Autism Grantee team.

Telehealth (TH) remains an untapped resource for providing services to children and their families across the nation. There are inadequate numbers of providers and applied behavior analysis providers to meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. TH provides an opportunity to fulfill the need for services and supports for children and their families, self-advocates and providers.

Peer-to-Peer 2018 aims to increase knowledge about and resources for telehealth through a variety of learning activities. Participants will learn about TH and have opportunities to engage with peers, self-advocates, providers and policy experts. The following themes will be threaded throughout all of the activities: cultural considerations and language access, social justice, the needs of rural and frontier communities and urban areas, and self-advocate empowered and child, family-centric care.

Toilet Training for Children with Autism: Strategies for Success Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET
CARD, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
This training is designed to provide user friendly strategies to facilitate toilet training with children with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental concerns. Parents and caregivers will be able to interject questions throughout the presentation and will leave with practical tools to use with their children.

Evidence-based Approach to Teaching Social Skills to Teens with ASD Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Join Aarti Nair, Ph.D. of the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior for this talk on using an evidence-based approach for teaching social skills to teens diagnosed with ASD.

Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Full Committee Meeting Exit Disclaimer
Thursday, April 19, 2019; 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET
Pooks Hill Marriott, Bethesda, MD or Webcast

The purpose of the IACC meeting is to discuss business, agency updates, and issues related to ASD research and services activities. The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible by webcast and conference call.

MCH Webinar Series: Autism Awareness Exit Disclaimer
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 10:00-11:30 AM MT

JFK Partners, in collaboration with Colorado’s Title V, invites you to join an Autism Awareness Month educational event to learn about the most recent CDC prevalence data for Autism Spectrum Disorders, a study of patient navigation for low income families with young children, and findings from the Colorado Parent Mentoring Program. This webinar is for care coordinators, health department personnel, school personnel, and other professionals working with children. Anyone is welcome to attend this free webinar at the live site or online.

Beyond the Diagnosis: Autism Across the Life Span Conference Exit Disclaimer
Friday, April 20, 2018, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM CST
University of Kansas – Edwards Campus, 12700 Quivira Rd, Overland Park, KS

Kansas’ Autism Across the Lifespan Conference will highlight two keynotes, Dr. John Constantino, Washington University School of Medicine will speak on Deconstructing Autism: Early developmental targets along the discovery frontier of higher-impact intervention and Dr. Susan Levy, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who will speak on Shared Decision Making.  KU and SD LEND faculty will also be presenting.

Screening and Linkage to Services for Autism (SaLSA): Study of Patient Navigation for Low Income Families Exit Disclaimer
Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 3:00-4:00 PM ET

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is under-diagnosed and under-treated in young children, particularly in disadvantaged populations. Children from minority and low-income populations receive referral, diagnosis and treatment later and less often, and report having less information about how to obtain care, more problems obtaining care, and fewer support services to connect them to care. This webinar will provide an overview of the Screening and Linkage to Services for Autism (SaLSA) study, which aims to evaluate an autism patient navigator program for low income families with young children who screen positive for ASD. Preliminary results of the study, including individual and system barriers to obtaining screening, referral, early intervention evaluation and services will be described.

Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day Exit Disclaimer
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET
Goddard Memorial State Park, Warwick, RI

The Autism Project will host their 16th annual Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day for Autism. The Imagine Walk is followed by a Family Fun Day event that features an assortment of free activities designed for children and teens with autism and their families including: a reptile show, obstacle course, bounce house, face painting, arts and crafts, and more...!

Meaningful Inclusion of People on the Autism Spectrum Exit Disclaimer
Monday, April 30, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

AMCHP’s State Public Health Autism Resource Center, in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center, is proud to host a virtual coffee talk on a hot topic related to Autism in honor of Autism Awareness Month. This coffee talk is focused on the Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engaged Together (AASET) project and will feature Dr. Stephen Shore, the project co-lead. Tune in for an overview of AASET and key strategies for meaningful inclusion of people on the Autism Spectrum in multiple settings, as well as an open discussion among all attendees around this topic of interest. This coffee talk is open to all interested attendees. Learn more about AASET. Exit Disclaimer

logo for AASET with words "Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engage Together, We envision a world in which autistic adults have access to appropriate healthcare to support positive health outcomes"logo for ITAC and SPHARC

Sexuality & ASD: How to Address Sex Education for People with ASD Exit Disclaimer
Monday, May 7, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Sleep Issues and ASD Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Join Beth Malow, M.D. for this follow up webinar on addressing sleep issues associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The Gut Microbiome & ASD Exit Disclaimer
Thursday, May 10, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET


Using Mindfulness Techniques for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Benefits & Strategies for Teaching Mindfulness Exit Disclaimer
Monday, May 14, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Autism Conference & Expo of Georgia 2018 Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM ET
Student Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
The Autism Conference & Expo of Georgia is an annual event that provides an unparalleled opportunity for sharing knowledge and resources about supports for individuals with autism and their families in Georgia. The Autism Conference & Expo represents the collaboration and contributions of an alliance of leading self-advocates, family members, community partners, state agencies, and other stakeholders. This conference is an important component of the Autism Plan for Georgia.

Research Update: Nutrition Study Points to Suboptimal Bone Development Risk Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 1:00 – 2:01 PM ET
Join Nutritionist Kelly Barnhill to learn about new evidence that nutrient intake and dietary status are not contributing factors to the observed decrease in Bone Mineral Density in boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Evidence Supporting a Nutritional Approach for ASD and Comorbid Conditions Exit Disclaimer
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Learn about evidence-based nutritional support for ASD patients as well as comorbid diagnoses including Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS).



Back To Top ↑

Title V in Your State