New York Autism/Asperger's Conference 2011

New York, NY
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Brooklyn, NY • November 9 , 10  & 11, 2011

Conference Schedule

Note: Registration starts at 7:45 a.m. each day of the conference with coffee and juice. 
Lunch is on your own.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

8:45 a.m.
– Welcome

9:00 a.m. – Keynote: “The Hidden Curriculum for Autism” – Stephen Shore, Ed.D
When is it appropriate to talk in class? How does one act when hanging out with friends, in school, or in the library? Is there a way to reckon with the fact that the "lunch hour" at work is only 30 minutes? Most people automatically know the answers to these questions and many like them through observations of social interaction. However, the ability to infer proper social interaction through observation is often impaired in people with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. This presentation examines Power Cards, Social Stories by Carol Gray, emotional thermometers and mnemonic devices such as Stop, Observe, Deliberate, and Act and other strategies for providing practical solutions to the vexing problem of teaching appropriate social interaction to people on the autism spectrum in appropriate social interactions. Taking a strength-based approach, the common theme between these and other related educational devices is that these techniques employ the often considerable cognitive and analytical powers of people on the autism spectrum.

10:30 a.m. – Break/View Exhibits

11:00 a.m. –“Success with Autism” - Using our Strengths for Achieving a Fulfilling and Productive Life – Just like Everyone Else – Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
Considering autism as an expression of the diversity of the human gene pool rather than a life limiting disorder, let's look at how people with this condition are able to build fulfilling and productive lives. Drawing from the author's own experiences as well as others on the autism spectrum, practical solutions in the areas of education, relationships, employment, self-advocacy, and disclosure shall be explored for maximizing the potential of people both on and off the autism spectrum.

12:30 p.m. – Lunch (on your own)

1:45 p.m. – Language Ability and Social Skills: Understanding the Relationship and Enhancing the Skills – Stephen Blaustein, Ph.D CCC
It is well documented that a key requisite to acquiring and maintaining appropriate social skills is the development of language. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders present with a variety of speech and language difficulties that can make individual and group interactions with both peers and adults extremely challenging. This presentation will explore the intricate relationship between language and socialization and provide examples of how understanding and targeting where breakdowns occur can lead to more appropriate and effective intervention strategies.

Dr. Blaustein is a speech and language pathologist who has been practicing for over 35 years and has extensive experience working with children and their families. Dr. Blaustein maintains a private practice in New York City, is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at New York University Steinhardt School, has consulted for numerous Early Intervention and CPSE programs as an evaluator, directed hospital-based programs and has conducted workshops and presentations at local, state and national conferences. Dr. Blaustein’s areas of specialty include; evaluation and intervention for infants and young children, parent training and advocacy. Dr. Blaustein works extensively with children who present with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families and serves on professional advisory boards for social skills and speech based programs in New York City.

3:00 p.m. – Break/View Exhibits

3:30 p.m. – Gastrointestinal Issues in Autism– Arthur Kingsman, M.D.
Gastrointestinal disorders and their associated symptoms are commonly reported in children with autism spectrum disorders. They are often the result of treatable conditions. This talk will discuss how to assess and treat these gastrointestinal conditions, based on clinical experience with hundreds of children with autism.

Dr. Arthur Krigsman is a pediatric gastroenterologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disorders. His practice focuses on the clinical needs of children with autism and co-morbid concurrent gastrointestinal symptoms.

:00 p.m. – The Thyroid Autism ConnectionRaphael Kellman M.D.
Thyroid hormone is critical for brain development.The toxins thought to be related to autism and ASD are known endocrine disruptors that wreak havoc on the thyroid hormone signaling system, yet this is often overlooked and improperly treated.Knowledge of how various toxins disrupt thyroid function and the use of the most sensitive thyroid test, the TRH stimulation test is needed to accurately diagnose and precisely treat one of the critical causes of autism. Thyroid hormone replacement  is a very important and frequently an effective treatment for autism.

Raphael Kellman M.D a graduate of Albert Einstein College of internist and author of Gut Reactions and Matrix Healing uses his expertise in holistic medicine,environmental medicine and the gut-brain relationship to help children with autism,ASD and other developmental disorders. He has written many articles and spoken at various conferences including the ARI think tank on endocrine disruptors and neuro-developmental disorders, and the thyroid -autism connection.

5:30 p.m.
– End

Thursday, November 10, 2011

8:45 a.m. – Welcome

9:00 a.m. – Understanding and Treating Anxiety in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders – Doreen Grapeesheh, Ph.D, BCBA
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders often present with anxiety disorders that cause significant functional impairments. While Anxiety Disorders such as Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias and other anxiety symptoms are common amongst individuals with ASD, the identification and treatment of these disorders are made more difficult by the presence of communication delays, behavior problems and the lack of standardized assessments for patients with ASD. This presentation reviews the literature on prevalence, features and assessment of anxiety in ASD individuals and offers guidelines for treatment through the use of cognitive behavioral protocols that have been found to be effective in this field.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D has devoted over 30 years to the study and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and is recognized as a leading expert in the field. Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh earned her PhD in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a licensed psychologist in California, Texas, and Arizona, as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In 1990, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh established the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), which is now among the world’s largest and most experienced organizations providing ABA treatment to children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Granpeesheh serves on the Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) Executive Council, the US Autism and Asperger’s Association (USAAA) Scientific Advisory Board, and the Autism Society of America (ASA) National Board. In 2007, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh was awarded the Wendy F. Miller National Recognition Award for Professional of the Year. This award recognizes significant contributions in the autism field and is one of the ASA’s highest honors.

10:30 a.m. – Break/View Exhibits

11:30 a.m. – Sensory Smart Strategies for Real-Life Challenges – Lindsey Biel, OTR/L
Are you raising or working with a child, teen, or adult on the autistic spectrum who has sensory issues that interfere with everyday life? This session will empower you with:Fun “sensory diet” activities for home and school that will help the person you care for feel and function better all day longPractical strategies for daily life challenges such as over- and under-sensitivity to clothing, noise, smell, light and more Checklists and resources for bringing family members, teachers, and related service providers on board will also be discussed.

Lindsey Biel, OTR/L, is the co-author of the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, with a foreword by Temple Grandin. She is a pediatric occupational therapist based in Manhattan, where she evaluates and treats children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing issues and other developmental challenges. She also helps families and schools to make simple modifications to enhance a child's ability to play, learn, and thrive. In addition, Lindsey is the co-creator of the Sensory Processing Master Class DVD program, and writes articles for both professional and parenting publications, including Autism Asperger Digest Magazine.

12:30 p.m. – Lunch (on your own)

1:30 p.m. –
Inclusive Education Quality Program Indicator Checklist and Assessment Tool for Children With Autism – Rick Clemens, M.A.
This new tool identifies the components that most programs should include to be sure we are providing children with autism the greatest opportunities for success in general education. Participants will leave with an understanding of what should be in the IEP and what should be happening in the classroom. This Quality Program Indicator checklist and assessment tool will prove helpful for parents in determining if their child’s program includes the necessary components and for educators in determining the appropriate services, supports and interventions for each child’s success.

3:00 p.m. – Break/View Exhibits

3:30 p.m. –
Teaching Social Skills and Facilitating Friendship Development Through Social Play in the Natural Environment – Rick Clemens, M.A.
This session will provide an overview of the importance of social play for children with autism spectrum disorder (and for all children for that matter), the barriers to successful play, and the strategies to make social play available for children with autism as well as positive, educational and fun! Participants will leave with concrete ideas and strategies to facilitate play dates between children with autism and their neurotyipcal peers from preschool age to young adult.

Rick Clemens is the founder and Director of Inclusive Education and Community Partnership (IECP). IECP provides services for children with Autism in inclusive environments including schools, communities and homes. Rick is a hands-on expert in the field of autism and inclusion, and his trainings provide concrete and practical material that can be applied immediately. Rick has also been a public school classroom teacher, inclusion specialist and behavior specialist and has been working with individuals with autism since 1985. Rick’s graduate work includes a Masters Degree in Special Education, Moderate, Severe and Multiple Disabilities, a California Multiple Subject Teaching credential, and a California Special Education Moderate/Sever Authorization Credential.

5:00 p.m. – I’m Ready for School But I Can’t Find My Backpack: Executive Functioning Strategies for Transition and Success in School and College – Dr. Michael McManmon
Learn strategies to help your students who have challenges planning ahead and staying organized to function effectively in everyday life. Understand how “Executive Functioning” and a lack of strong “EF” is a major reason why students fail in high school and university. Due to Executive Functioning difficulties these students often struggle to perform at an academic level that reflects their cognitive skills and abilities. Learn effective intervention strategies to help these students succeed.

Dr. Michael McManmon is the founder and the Executive Director of The College Internship Programs. Dr. McManmon holds degrees in Human Development with a M.A. and in Special Education with an Ed.D. He is also a licensed psychologist. Dr. McManmon has worked on curriculum development, staff training, program evaluation and administering community based programming for over 35 years for learning differenced and
Autism Spectrum students. Dr. McManmon has a unique inside perspective as he himself is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

5:45 p.m.   End

Friday, November 11, 2011

8:45 a.m. – Welcome

9:00 a.m.  The Integrated Self Advocacy Curriculum -A Valuable Guide for Classroom Teachers – Val Paradiz, Ph.D with Stephanie McCaskill Ed.M, and Shelley Klainberg, Principal, I.A.

While most professionals in the disability community agree that the principles of self-determination and person-centered planning are good ideas, it is a challenge to “walk the talk” in day-to-day educational and agency settings. Theory must become practice; yet how can you teach people with autism to become more self-aware, how can you guide them in becoming more autonomous in their actions and decisions?

In the past several years, much dialogue has been generated around this question within the Asperger self-advocacy community, which has had the forum to communicate their needs and preferences, and to develop specific strategies for navigating their sensory and social challenges with dignity, self-awareness and confidence. Despite this, much of their hard-won wisdom, as well as hands-on tools for realizing their goals, still required formalization into a cogent, organized methodology that professionals, teachers, families and support providers could understand. The Integrated Self-Advocacy ISA® Curriculum (created by educational specialist Valerie Paradiz, PhD who is also a person diagnosed with Asperger syndrome) has provided one of the first such resources to support all people with autism spectrum and related conditions.

Knowing the diagnosis is a first step for many people with ASD, but for some, conveying such information might not be possible due to cognitive differences. Nonetheless, children and adults can learn skills in identifying their social and sensory needs. They can also learn strategies for requesting support and accommodations verbally or by alternative forms of communication, and knowing how and when to disclose their condition.

This daylong training covers the key components of initiating and maintaining a self-advocacy skills program for an individual, a classroom, therapeutic group or an organization. Participants will learn the basic elements of the Integrated Self Advocacy ISA® Curriculum, an eleven unit series for self-advocacy skills learning. Dr. Paradiz, along with Ms. McCaskill, offer strategies for implementation and share case studies and data on how providing self-advocacy programming has transformed school districts and agencies in New York City Public Schools. Research data on the ISA® curriculum and examples of evidence-based practice are included.

Valerie Paradiz, Ph.D. designs curricula and educational programs for children and adults with Autism Spectrum and related conditions. She is the developer of Integrated Self Advocacy ISA‚Ą†, a curriculum and training series for educators, therapists, families and support providers who wish to support people with autism and other disabilities in achieving greater self-determination and ability in self-advocacy. Valerie is also the developer of the forthcoming Lesson Plan a la Carte, an easy lesson-planning model that helps educators and support providers integrate learning objectives with therapeutic supports and accommodations directly in the classroom or other settings. Valerie’s memoir, Elijah's Cup is the compelling story of the author's experiences raising her autistic son within the self-advocacy community and her own ultimate diagnosis with Asperger syndrome. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, and The Guardian and on National Public Radio. She is a regular vendor to New York City’s Board of Education and serves as Director of Special Projects for the Autism Research Institute, where she also serves as Editor-in-Chief for the quarterly e-newsletter ARI Adults with ASD E-Bulletin. Valerie is a national advisory board member of the Minnesota Life College, the College Internship Program, the TARA Program at Pace University and the Bank Street College Annotation in Autism.

Stephanie McCaskill, Ed.M., currently serves as a District Level Administrator for NYC Dept of Education, District 75. In her current position she is the Network Leader for 11 schools primarily serving students with Autism. Ms. McCaskill has worked as the Director of the Office of Autism for District 75 where she coordinated professional development, assisted school administrators in developing their Autism programs, and served as a liaison to the District Superintendent. In addition, Ms. McCaskill has presented at a variety of professional conferences including the Channel 13 Teaching and Learning Conference, ASA Conference 2009, and various colleges and universities. Ms. McCaskill serves on the Autism advisory board for Pace University and Queens College.

Shelly Klainberg has been an educator within the New York City Department of Education for over 16 years, in the capacities of teacher, program coordinator, and administrator. She is currently serving as Principal, I.A. of P226M, a District 75 Special Education School in Manhattan serving students with autism and developmental disabilities. Ms. Klainberg has received an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Education from Brandeis University, a Masters of Science Degree in Special Education from Columbia University Teachers College, and a degree in Educational Leadership and Technology from Adelphi University.

9:00 a.m.  Autism/Asperger's Biomed Workshop - James B. Adams, PhD. and Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld -  Friday Presenters
Learn about the latest research findings on Autism/Asperger's treatments from Arizona State University and around the world.  

  • The research behind 14 biomedical treatments for autism, and learn how to test if a treatment is likely to be beneficial or not.
  • How to develop a personalized treatment plan, in collaboration with your physician.
  • New research suggesting a new cause for 12% of autism cases.
  • The maternal risk factors in half of mothers of children with autism that increase their risk 50x of having a child with autism, and learn how to reduce that risk.  
  • The results of a new major study of a novel vitamin/mineral supplement for children and adults with autism.
  • How to safely determine if a child has a high body burden of toxic metals, and how to safely remove them if present.
  • Which seizure treatments are most likely to be helpful, with the lowest risk of side effects and the greatest benefit.

James B. Adams, PhD., is a President's Professor at Arizona State University, where he directs the Autism/Asperger's Research Program. He will give a one day presentation on Autism/Asperger's: Medical, Nutritional, and Dietary Challenges and Treatments. He is the author of over 20 scientific research papers on autism, and the "Summary of Biomedical Treatments for Autism" published by the Autism Research Institute. He is the President of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix and the Co-Leader of the Science Think Tank for the Autism Research Institute. He is the proud father of a son and two daughters; one is a teen-age daughter with autism.   

Stuart Freedenfeld, M.D., is one of the leading experts in the treatment of autism, using an integrated approach including medical, nutritional, detoxification, and dietary interventions.  He recently published a study on two new treatments for autism, NADH and Ribose.  His practice is based in
Stockton, NJ.  He is also board-certified in family practice.  

5:00 p.m.   End


Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • All Purchase Orders, Students, Parapro/Hab must download registration form and register by fax or mail only.

    Register online with a credit card.

    Fax registration: Download registration form and fax completed for with credit card information to (212) 330-8282 (NY) or (480) 272-9693.

    Mail registration form and payment: Download registration form, complete and send with check or money order (made payable to Autism Conferences of America, LLC) to Autism Conferences of America, LLC, 1340 E. Vinedo Lane, Tempe, AZ 85284.

    Financial aid available for families with income under $50,000/year.
    For more information call us at (480) 831-2047 or email us at by Monday, October 31, 2011 to ensure availability.

    Early Bird Registration: Registered and paid by October 17, 2011
    Regular Registration: Registered and paid after October 17, 2011

    For Parapro/Hab Rate:
    Include letter from agency stating you work with autistic children/adults and that your salary is below $20/hour.
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