Autism Spectrum Disorder evaluations at C&FD

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 by Child & Family Development

April is Autism Awarness Month!

Three psychologists at Child and Family Development offer Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) evaluations and related services.

  • Devon Redmond PhD
  • Brandyn Street PsyD
  • Chris Vrabel PhD

ASD primarily affects three areas of behavior:

  • communication
  • social interactions or connectedness
  • behavioral rigidity

Because autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed based on behavior, the evaluation includes both formal assessments, as well as structured play and interaction scenarios.  Standardized tests are used for this purpose, and may include:

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2)
  • Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS)
  • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) 
  • Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS)
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior System-Second Edition (Vineland)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V)
  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence- Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV)

The Wechsler scales are widely used and broadly accepted tests of cognitive skills for children with and without developmental delays or learning differences.  The ADOS is a semi-structured assessment that specifically examines those behaviors commonly associated with autism.  Other standardized instruments and informal measures may be used as needed to determine the presence of the behavioral characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Of course, each evaluation is designed to address the particular needs of each child and family. In addition to addressing the impact of behaviors often associated with autism, comprehensive evaluations may include an assessment of cognitive and intellectual skills, educational performance, social/emotional adjustment and independent living skills.

Similar to our Psychological-Educational evaluations, an ASD evaluation will include an Intake appointment with the parents or caregivers, several evaluation sessions, and an Interpretative Parent Conference providing results and recommendations.

The cost of the evaluation depends on several factors, including:

  • age of the child
  • the complexity of the testing
  • the unique needs of each child

Typically, testing is completed over three sessions. At times, two sessions are adequate. Our focus is on providing the best testing environment and ensuring that each child has the time and energy to do their very best. As a part of a multi-disciplinary practice, we can also assist in coordination of care with other therapists, including speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, educators and a psychiatrist.

Our April 22 Autism Conference in Charlotte will feature Dr. Gary Mesibov, a renowned expert.  This day-long conference is focused on understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with ASD and typical learners and then adjusting educational, clinical, and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD. The presentations will describe some of the learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD (referred to as The Culture of Autism) and show how these can be accommodated by making evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible and also on reviewing new approaches that are on the horizon.

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Topics: Chris Vrabel, Brandyn Street, Devon Redmond, C&FD Psychological Services, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism Conference Vendor Spotlight

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Child and Family Development is pleased to spotlight the vendors for the upcoming Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions.  Click on each name to learn more about the organizations. 

Courtagen Life Sciences

At Courtagen, we understand that finding answers about complicated neurological and metabolic diseases can be a quest for many parents and a challenge for their doctors. Courtagen tests help to uncover your child’s unique genetic profile, which may make a real difference in the explanation of their symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and day-to-day quality of life. 

Fundanoodle

Fundanoodle is an education readiness program designed by pediatric occupational therapists and elementary school teachers to develop and improve the motor skills needed for success in and out of the classroom. Fundanoodle places an emphasis on the foundation skills that impact nearly every aspect of life.  The benefits of Fundanoodle are broad based and lifelong because they enhance the skills and abilities used in everyday living.  

North Carolina Connections Academy

North Carolina Connections Academy is a tuition-free virtual public school for students K-10.  New to North Carolina, our schools have been in existence since 2001. Currently, more than 60,000 enrolled students study from home or wherever there’s an Internet connection. Our mission is to provide a personalized approach to education that prepares students for a future filled with possibilities. We tailor instruction to the needs, learning styles, and interests of every student, so each can reach his or her own potential.  

Philips Academy

Philips Academy is a community of learning unlike any other in Charlotte. Designed specifically to meet the special needs of students requiring a life-centered approach to education, our school offers a unique combination of remediation, practical instruction and community-based application.  Our mission is to provide our students with the academic, occupational and social skills needed to be self-reliant, confident and contributing members of their communities. 

TEACCH Autism Program

TEACCH Autism Program provides services such as diagnostic evaluations, parent training and parent support groups, social play and recreation groups, individual counseling for higher-functioning clients, and supported employment. In addition, TEACCH Autism Program conducts training and provides consultation for teachers, residential care providers, and other professionals. Research activities include psychological, educational, and biomedical studies.

We look forward to learning more at the conference in Charlotte on Friday!

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Connect at the Autism Conference

Friday, Apr 8, 2016 by Child & Family Development

ASD_Conf_Sticker.jpg

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions is just 2 weeks away!

Registration: Online registration is closed BUT...

  • AHEC is accepting "waitlist" forms from parents and professionals now. Our hope is to offer some additional seats.  

Vendor Opportunities: A few vendor spots remain open. Service providers, exhibitors and local organizations can register and receive:

  • Conference attendance for up to 2 people
  • Display table
  • Networking time before, during and after the event 
  • Lunch for up to 2 people  

Conference Information: 

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism and Preschool: Tips from AOTA

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Child and Family Development team is excited about our upcoming conference, Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions.  The conference includes 3 breakout sessions, including some related to preschool aged children with autism.

 

 

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has many useful resources., including a list of tips to support preschoolers  Occupational therapists help litte ones with ASD and recommend these suggestions: 

IF YOU WANT TO... ACTIVITY TIPS:
Prepare yourself and your child for preschool 
  1. join a play group so your child can practice being around other kids
  2. attend story time at the library and other places so your child can learn to sit quietly and practice taking turns and following rules
  3. play games like Follow The Leader to practice taking turns and following rules
  4. go to public places to practice waiting in line
Understand what going to preschool will mean for your child
  1. learn about preschool programs in your area and research options 
  2. participate in open houses and planning meetings
  3. visit the school with your child to get familiar with the staff and classroom
Share information about your child with the school
  1. share early intervention evaluations and reports with the school leaders 
  2. share successful routines from home with the school staff
  3. ask staff to describe a typical day so you can understand expectations and identify possible issues
  4. carryover routines and new skills from school at home

An occupational therapist can evaluate and treat children and teens to help them "live life to the fullest". 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

Read more about occupational therapy services here

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

April is Autism Awareness Month!

Friday, Apr 1, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 

April is Autism Awareness Month!

There are many local opportunities to learn and celebrate: 

The Child and Family Development team wants you at our upcoming conference on April 22: 

  • Internationally renowned autism expert, Gary Mesibov Ph.D. 
  • Breakout sessions: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Executive Functioning, Sensory Processing
  • CEUs are available for healthcare and teaching professionals
  • Limited spots remaining
  • Early bird registration ends on April 8
  • New opportunities available for vendors, exhibitors and local organizations. A display table, conference attendance and lunch are included with your vendor registration. This is a great chance to market, network and learn! 

Click to register and read more: AHEC Conference Information & Registration

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism Conference: Facts and Figures

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Autism Awareness Month happens in April!  Are you prepared with the latest facts and figures?  According to the Autism Society

  • Prevalence in the US is estimated at 1 in 68 births
  • Prevalence in US children has increased by 119.4% from 2000
  • Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability
  • Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236-262 billion annually, with the majority of costs for adult services rather than children
  • Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 66% with early diagnosis and early intervention

Later this month on April 22, we are pleased to offer The Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions.  

Conference Summary: Dr. Gary Mesibov, internationally recognized autism spectrum disorder expert, is the main speaker at this day-long conference.  The focuses are:

  • Understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with ASD and typical learners
  • Adjusting educational, clinical and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD
  • Learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD, referred to as The Culture of Autism
  • Making accommodations with evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered
  • Teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible
  • Reviewing new and upcoming approaches

Conference Information & Registration: Charlotte AHEC website 

  • Limited spots remaining
  • CEUs are available for healthcare and teaching professionals
  • Breakout sessions: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Executive Functioning, Sensory Processing
  • Early bird registration ends on April 8
  • Vendor spots remain open  

Read more about Child and Family Development's autism evaluation services here.     

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Making Sense of Sensory Processing: Autism Conference Breakout Session

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions is just 5 weeks away!  The agenda includes 3 breakout sessions led by Charlotte professionals, including: Making Sense of Sensory Processing

Three occupational therapists from Child & Family Development will lead this interactive discussion:

  • Megan Bevington MS OTR/L
  • Katie Haywood MS OTR/L
  • Courtney Stanley MS OTR/L

Topics will include:

  • What is sensory processing?
  • Treatment strategies and techniques
  • How skilled Occupational Therapy can help 

Conference Summary: Dr. Gary Mesibov, internationally recognized autism expert, is the main speaker at this day-long conference.  The focus is on understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical learners, and then adjusting educational, clinical and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD. The presentation will describe some of the learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD (referred to as The Culture of Autism) and show how these can be accommodated by making evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible and also on reviewing new approaches that are on the horizon.

Conference Information & Registration: Charlotte AHEC website 

Read more about Child and Family Development's occupational therapy services here.  

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Topics: Megan Bevington, Courtney Stanley, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism Speaks shares updated research on autism and related health issues

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Earlier this year, the journal Pediatrics published a special supplement on medical, mental health and behavioral issues commonly associated with autism. The issue provides important autism-specific practice guidelines for the nation’s pediatricians.  Like the journal’s first autism supplement in 2012, the work was conducted primarily through the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) serving as the federally funded Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P).*

The new and much-expanded supplement includes treatment recommendations for such autism-associated health issues as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • disturbed sleep
  • severe irritability and problem behaviors

It also includes much-needed guidance on:

  • the special needs of adopted children who have autism
  • transition plans for teenagers with autism as they move from pediatric to adult healthcare systems
  • autism-tailored hospital care plans 
  • autism-sensitive emergency room procedures

Readers can access links to summaries of the articles on the Pediatrics website here.

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Executive Function: Autism Conference Breakout Session

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions is just weeks away!  The agenda includes 3 breakout sessions led by professionals, including: 

Executive Functioning in the Classroom

The team of educators from Child and Family Development will lead this interactive discussion:

  • Marie Arrington, MAT, NBCT
  • Jessica DeLing, MEd
  • Mary "Mo" Froneberger, MAT

Topics will include:

  • Creating awareness of Executive Function in the classroom
  • Differentiating instruction in K-12 classrooms, including homework 
  • Supporting Executive Function from a multi-sensory approach

Conference Summary: Dr. Gary Mesibov, internationally recognized autism expert, is the main speaker at this day-long conference.  The focus is on understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical learners, and then adjusting educational, clinical and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD. The presentation will describe some of the learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD (referred to as The Culture of Autism) and show how these can be accommodated by making evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible and also on reviewing new approaches that are on the horizon.

Conference Information & Registration: Charlotte AHEC website 

Read more about our educational services here.  

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Topics: C&FD Educational Services, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

exceptional minds article about moviemaking and autism

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Child and Family Development team is excited about our upcoming conference, Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions

We love reading stories of success about people with autism spectrum disorder.  Parade Magazine recently published this story about accomplishments in the movie making, including visual effects, post-production and editing.  Click here for the full article.  

The interviews got one of our most tenured physical therapists, Gail Fennimore PT PCS C/NDT, to thinking about how important early intervention and family support over a lifespan are and what an impact this foundation can have on a person's life. Charlotte has many wonderful services and supports for people and families facing an autism diagnosis.  

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, Gail Fennimore, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism and Social Skills: Tips from a speech therapist

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 

The Child and Family Development team is excited about our upcoming conference, Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions.  The conference includes 3 breakout sessions, including some related to communication skills.  

 

Super Duper, a pediatric therapy supplies vendor, offers many free handouts related to building expressive language skills and receptive language skills.  Our speech therapy team endorses these suggestions for teachers and others is the classroom for Helping The Child with Autism Build Peer Relationships and Friendships

  • Designate classroom helpers.  The student with autism can benefit from opportunities to practice social skills, engage in cooperative learning and focus on others.  
  • Invite the student and/or the parents of the student to share information about autism with others 
  • Dialogue about the unique gifts and challenges that each and every one of us have 

Speech therapists evaluate and treat children and teens with autism to help them improve communication skills.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

Read more about speech therapy services here.   

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Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): Autism Conference Breakout Session

Monday, Mar 14, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions is just 6 weeks away!  The agenda includes 3 breakout sessions led by professionals, including: 

What You Should Know About Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Lindsey Schumacher MEd BCBA, board certified behavior analyst from Behavior Consultation and Psychological Services, PLLC will lead this interactive discussion:

Topics will include:

  • What is ABA?
  • Some common misconceptions
  • What does ABA look like at home?
  • What does ABA look like at school? 

Conference Summary: Dr. Gary Mesibov, internationally recognized autism expert, is the main speaker at this day-long conference.  The focus is on understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical learners, and then adjusting educational, clinical and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD. The presentation will describe some of the learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD (referred to as The Culture of Autism) and show how these can be accommodated by making evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible and also on reviewing new approaches that are on the horizon.

Conference Information & Registration: Charlotte AHEC website 

Read more about Child & Family Development's ASD evaluation services here.  

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism and High School: Tips from AOTA

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Child and Family Development team is excited about our upcoming conference, Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions.  The conference includes 3 breakout sessions, including some related to high school aged people with autism.

 

 

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has many useful resources., including a list of tips to support high schoolers  Occupational therapists help teenagers with ASD and can follow these recommendations: 

IF YOU WANT TO HELP A TEENAGER... ACTIVITY TIPS:
Participate in more social activities with peers
  1. anticipate sensory experiences that are typical for teens and that may cause discomfort, such as loud music and bright clothing.
  2. Invite a small group of both genders to a familiar location for a low-stress social gathering.
  3. keep new experiences short and predictable and provide an easy exit plan to reduce anxiety 
Become more independent and responsible by learning to solve problems, cope with daily life and interpret social information effectively. 
  1. ask about priorities each day and focus on those things
  2. explain how decisions are made and offer appropriate choices
  3. discuss the pros and cons of choices before selecting one 
Get and keep a job 
  1. identify employers based on interest and skills
  2. support employment by reducing stressors
Prepare for the future 
  1. discuss self-advocacy and self-disclosure to determine when this approach is helpful and what to expect from others
  2. focus on steps to achieve larger goals

An occupational therapist can evaluate and treat children and teens to help them "live life to the fullest". 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

Read more about occupational therapy services here

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

autism films on netflix

Tuesday, Mar 1, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Child and Family Development team is excited about our upcoming conference, Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions

We encourage families and professionals to get familiar with this diagnosis and how it impacts society as a whole.  Netflix has several film choices that we give 2 THUMBS UP. Try these out and click here for more information.  

  • SOUNDING THE ALARM: a profound documentary by Blockburger Productions that examines the lives of 12 families affected by autism, and chronicles the challenges and opportunities they face from diagnosis to adulthood.  Now that 1 in every 68 children in the U.S. is affected by autism, the need for comprehensive services and support across the lifespan is more crucial than ever.
  • FLY AWAY: A powerful film directed by Emmy Award® winner Janet Grillo (Autism: The Musical), it narrates the story of Jeanne and her autistic teenage daughter, Mandy. As the pressures of work and her child’s needs increase, she must decide whether or not to enroll Mandy in a therapeutic residential facility. Over the course of a few weeks, Jeanne is confronted with the most difficult decision a parent can make: to let go, allowing her child to grow, but also grow apart; or to hold on tight and fall together.
  • DAD'S IN HEAVEN WITH NIXON: a documentary filmmaker chronicles his mother's passionate mission to help his brother who has brain damage and autism, while delving into his family's history of both mental illness and creative brilliance.
  • A MOTHER'S COURAGE: TALKING BACK TO AUTISM: a documentary by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, tells the story of a mother who has done everything in her power to help her son. She has the quenchless thirst for knowledge about the mysterious and complex condition that autism undeniably is. Along they way, Margret meets other families and hears their unique stories about how they too have been touched by autism.
  • THE STORY OF LUKE: a film about Luke, a 25-year-old man with autism who lives a sheltered life with his grandparents. When his grandmother dies, he is forced to live with his dysfunctional relatives who have no patience for him or his senile grandfather, who they quickly force into a nursing home. Luke is left with his grandfather's final semi-coherent words: "Get a job. Find a girl. Live your own life. Be a man!" For the first time in his life, Luke has a mission. He is about to embark on a quest. 
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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Dr. Gary Mesibov, autism expert, leads 4/22/16 conference in Charlotte

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions is just 8 weeks away and early bird registration ends on April 8!  

We are thrilled to bring Gary Mesibov Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in autism research and practice, to the Charlotte area.  Dr. Mesibov was a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill for 35 years. For most of this tenure there, he was on the UNC Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) faculty and served as the TEACCH director for about 20 years. Dr. Mesibov has authored many articles, books, papers and research on the topic of autism and speaks to people throughout the country and world.   Read more about his work: Culture of Autism 

Conference Summary: This day-long conference is focused on understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with ASD and typical learners and then adjusting educational, clinical, and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD. The presentations will describe some of the learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD (referred to as The Culture of Autism) and show how these can be accommodated by making evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible and also on reviewing new approaches that are on the horizon.

We are pleased to partner with Charlotte AHEC to offer this conference.  Visit their website for Information and Registration.   

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference on April 22, 2016

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Partnering with Charlotte Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Child and Family Development is pleased to announce: 

Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions

Time: Friday, April 22nd, 2016, 9-4:30

Participants:  Parents and professionals including case managers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, educators, school personnel, nurses, health/ human service practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and other health care professionals.

Presenter: Dr. Gary Mesibov, a renowned expert will share the latest about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), followed by topic-focused sessions led by staff at Child and Family Development.

Objectives: Through new perspectives and intervention possibilities, participants will gain an understanding of the thinking, learning and understanding in “People with ASD". Participants will become familiar with new research and interventions, and how they are being used and what might be expected in the next few years.

Summary: This day-long conference is focused on understanding the neurological differences that research has identified between people with ASD and typical learners and then adjusting educational, clinical, and community-based programs to more closely match the learning styles and needs of those with ASD. The presentations will describe some of the learning differences that have been identified in people with ASD (referred to as The Culture of Autism) and show how these can be accommodated by making evidence-based appropriate adaptations in how interventions are created and delivered. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching skills that will be needed to help those with ASD to achieve the highest quality of life possible and also on reviewing new approaches that are on the horizon.

Read more about Dr. Mesibov and the conference:

We look forward to seeing you there! 

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Topics: C&FD 2016 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

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Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

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