Introductory Workshops

For a schedule of upcoming workshops, click here or see our calendar.

Autism 101
This is the perfect workshop for anyone who wants to develop a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This workshop explores the four core areas affected by ASD: communication, social interaction, sensory issues, and how an individual may think and learn. Basic strategies for interacting with individuals with ASD are discussed. This workshop can be adapted to fit specific needs of any audience.

Objectives:

  • To build a better understanding of what ASD is
  • To explore some of the possible reasons an individual with ASD may react differently
  • To develop a broader understanding of why and how information may need to be presented in a more structured way
  • To review some basic strategies that can be implemented that day

Autism: Building on Strengths to Overcome Challenges
This workshop offers parents and professionals a more in-depth look at the four core deficits (described in detail in Autism 101 and After the Diagnosis: Get Answers, Get Help, Get Going! workshops) of Autism Spectrum Disorder. From there, we will explore how these core deficits may trigger challenging behaviors and how to build on your child’s strengths to overcome those challenges.

Objectives:

  • To review core deficit areas of autism: communication, social interaction, behavior, and thinking/learning
  • To build a better understanding of what may trigger behavior based on those core deficits
  • To review some examples of evidence-based strategies and possible resources
    Duration: 1.5 hrs

After the Diagnosis: Get Answers, Get Help, Get Going!
This informal workshop offers support, comfort, and general information on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to parents and grandparents of children 8 years or younger who were recently diagnosed with ASD. The workshop also provides information on local, state, and national resources. If your recently diagnosed child is older than 8, please contact an Autism Resource Specialist to schedule a free appointment.

Objectives:

  • To understand autism and how it affects your child
  • To learn how to help your child
  • To locate resources to support your family

Duration: 2 hours


The IEP Process: Building Success for Your Child at School
This workshop covers the basics of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. It also teaches parents their rights under IDEA (the law). But more than that, it teaches how to prepare and advocate for school-age children on the autism spectrum.

Objectives:

  • To understand the IEP process and how to participate more effectively
  • To become familiar with special education laws
  • To learn how to prepare for an IEP meeting
  • To understand how to write effective IEP goals
  • To review accommodations and modifications for students
  • To learn what to do when parents do not agree with the IEP team

Duration: 3 hours. This workshop can be adapted to suit the time frame available.
 


IEP Basics: Frequently Asked Questions
This workshop covers the most basic questions asked about the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process. It was designed for a short time frame but provides very helpful information for parents.

Objectives:

  • To understand the IEP process
  • To understand how to participate in the process
  • To become familiar with special education laws

Duration: 45 minutes
 


Beyond the IEP Basics
This workshop is designed for parents to explore options when the IEP team is not working effectively to meet their students' needs. It reviews negotiating skills as well as the dispute resolution options that are available.

Prerequisite: The IEP Process: Building Success for Your Child at School. Individuals must attend the ASNC 3-hour workshop The IEP Process: Building Success for Your Child at School before attending this Beyond the IEP Basics workshop.

Objectives:

  • To review dispute resolution options of facilitated IEPs, formal and informal complaints, mediation and due process
  • To review which dispute resolution options are appropriate for a situation
  • To locate resources on the NC Department of Public Instruction website

Duration: 2 hours
 


IEP Notebook: Taming the Paper Monster
Having a child on the autism spectrum tends to generate a lot of paperwork! Managing this paperwork into an organized system can be instrumental in successfully advocating for your child. This workshop helps parents learn strategies to manage paperwork associated with their child’s school work, diagnosis, and IEP.

Objectives:

  • To understand what documentation should be kept to support successful advocacy
  • To discuss systems organization
  • To review strategies for successful paper-based communication with the school for your child

Duration: 1 hour


Taking Autism on the Road
This workshop helps parents of young children with autism learn strategies to manage medical appointments and various outings into the community with less stress for everyone. Close examination of environmental factors and sensory implications are included as well as development of visual structure and systems that will better support success.

Objectives:

  • To learn how to prepare and manage a child with autism before and during various community outings such as medical appointments and trips to the store
  • To learn proactive techniques and strategies to make outings less stressful
  • To review visual structures and systems that can support the individual with autism

Duration: 1 hour


Wading Through Therapy Options: Where to Begin
This workshop offers parents and/or professionals information on how to sort through the many therapies and treatments available for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This workshop is for parents and professionals.

Objectives:

  • To review best practices on helping children with ASD
  • To offer tips on ways to teach children with ASD
  • To discuss therapies and Interventions and how to choose which ones are best for your child. We do not endorse specific interventions.

Duration: 1.5 hours


Developing An Individualized Transition Plan: ITP @ 14
This workshop presents basic information on developing an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) for students with autism who will be transitioning from high school to adulthood.

Objectives:

  • To understand the process of developing a transition plan
  • To review the components of an ITP
  • To learn how to participate effectively in this process

Duration: 1 hour


Journey to Adulthood
This workshop presents practical information on preparing for the Individual Transition Plan (ITP) and how to prepare your older child for his/her future as an adult. Activities that promote a successful transition from school to post-school activities will be covered as well as a review of necessary independent living skills.

Objectives:

  • To understand the process of transitioning from high school to the adult world
  • To explore questions about the future of your child
  • To review components of an ITP
  • To understand who should be part of the planning process
  • To learn what skills are necessary to live as independently as possible

Duration: 3 hours


The Importance of Developing Self-Advocacy Skills
This workshop discusses why self-advocacy skills are important and offers strategies to build those skills.

Objectives:

  • To encourage parents to consider their child’s future
  • To discuss the importance developing self-advocacy skills for a child with ASD
  • To offer strategies to build those skills

Duration: 1 hour


Making the Parent-Professional Relationship Work
Working together as a team helps to keep the focus on the needs of the child. This workshop offers the perspectives of both parents and professionals to appreciate what each brings to the relationship. It also suggests strategies to prevent problems.

Objectives:

  • To offer the perspectives of both parents and professionals
  • To discuss the best qualities of both parents and professionals
  • To discuss how to prevent problems
  • To offer strategies on how to improve relationships

Duration: 1 hour


Considering College? Prepare, Plan, Succeed
This workshop was designed by Ann Palmer, author of “Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger Syndrome.” Presenters are Ann Palmer and Linda Griffin, both mothers of young men with autism who have graduated from college. It is recommended for parents and professionals of students with autism, middle school age and older, who are considering college.

Objectives:

  • To review the transition plan process from high school to college
  • To understand considerations in the decision about college
  • To understand supports and accommodations available in college
  • To consider the issues of self-advocacy and self-disclosure
  • To review challenges encountered and strategies used by presenters’ sons

Duration: 3 hours


Preparing for College Starts at Home
Often when we think about college preparation, we think of what needs to happen in school. But there are many aspects of college life that happen outside the classroom, and preparation for this part of college life starts at home. This presentation will discuss non-academic skills essential for college success and offer ideas for how to work on them at home. It is recommended for parents of students with autism, middle-school age and older, who are considering college.

Objectives:

  • To learn what non-academic skills are needed for college success
  • To understand how to identify which skills your child needs to learn
  • To provide examples of tools and strategies for teaching college-ready skills

Duration: 1 hour


Guardianship: What You Need to Know
This workshop presents basic information about guardianship: What is it? Who needs it? How to set it up? What are the alternatives? This workshop is designed as a tool to help parents in making this decision about their family situation.

Objectives:

  • To understand guardianship and who may need it
  • To review the process of guardianship
  • To become familiar with types of guardianship and alternatives to guardianship

Duration: 1 hour


The Next Step: Residential Options for Adults with Autism
This workshop provides a starting point for parents to plan for the adult phase of parenting a child on the autism spectrum. Factual information is presented on current residential options ranging from independent living to a group setting. The emotional impact of your child moving out is also discussed.

Objectives:

  • To help parents look beyond graduation and consider the future
  • To discuss how parents can build a safe and successful life for their adult children with autism that includes living away from them
  • To review residential options ranging from independent living to group settings
  • To examine the emotional aspects of their child moving away from home

Duration: 3 hours


Managing Stress: Taking Time to Breathe
This workshop was designed by the mother of a child with autism who is also a registered nurse, bodywork therapist and Autism Resource Specialist to help busy, overwhelmed parents and professionals who live chronically stressful lives. The session examines what stress is, how it affects the body and mind, and how to manage its negative effects. Participatory exercises are part of the experience.

Objectives:

  • To learn the meaning of stress
  • To understand the causes and effects of stress
  • To learn how to manage the negative effects
  • To practice breathing that leads to relaxation

Duration: 1.5 hours


Staying Two Steps Ahead: Safety Considerations for Caregivers
This workshop covers general community safety considerations for parents, family members, and community caregivers of children and adults with autism. This workshop is beneficial for full- or part-time caregivers regardless of the age of the individual they care for or where the individual is on the spectrum. How autism can affect safety, how to be proactive, and safety-related resources are discussed.

Objectives:

  • To understand how autism can affect the safety of an individual with autism
  • To learn how to be proactive in maintaining community safety for people with ASD
  • To become more aware of other resources related to community safety for people with ASD

Duration: 1.5 hours


Autism Training for First Responders
This workshop is designed specifically for first responders: police, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, EMTs. With the increasing number of individuals diagnosed with ASD, it is inevitable that first responders will come into contact with individuals on the spectrum. A basic understanding of ASD can make all the difference in helping to de-escalate a situation.

Objectives:

  • To acquire a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • To learn characteristics of ASD to better recognize when to use key strategies
  • To discuss key strategies for dealing with individuals who have ASD

Duration: 1 hour


Autism – Is There an App for That?
IPads and mobile technology have become increasingly popular for individuals on the autism spectrum. Are these devices truly helpful for people with autism, and if so, why? This workshop reviews the four core areas of autism: communication, social skills, behavior/sensory, and thinking and learning, and demonstrates a variety of apps that help to build skills in these areas. Parental management and supervision of electronic devices is also discussed along with a list of websites and ways to search for suitable apps for your child.

Objectives:

  • To understand why iPads can be helpful for individuals with autism
  • To understand the difference between iPads and other types of devices and the pros/cons
  • To discuss the four core areas that autism affects and demonstrate apps that address those areas
  • To discuss parental limitations on the iPad to keep it as an effective tool
  • To discover websites and other ways to search for apps to meet your child's needs

Duration: 3 hours


Finding Apps for Autism
There are millions of apps in the App Store - but which ones are right for autism? And how do you find them? This workshop provides a brief overview of the types of iPads, iPad safety, using iPads with people with autism. It also provides a guided tour of a wide variety of websites and search tools that can be used to find apps for autism. Tips and suggestions are also given for keeping iPad use educational and productive.

Objectives:

  • To understand a brief overview of mobile technology and safety
  • To learn a variety of websites that provide autism-friendly educational apps
  • To learn how to search websites and social media for apps and app demos and use of expanded search terminology
  • To discuss setting limits on iPad use to create better quality learning opportunities

Duration: 1 hour


Safety in the Community: Safety Considerations for Self Advocates
This is a lively, interactive workshop that uses hands-on activities, visuals, videos, social stories, and role play to teach individuals with autism the skill they will need to navigate safely and interact appropriately within their community.

Objectives:

  • To identify safe places and safe people in participants' community
  • To practice making good choices

Duration: 1 hour


Internet Safety for Self-Advocates
This is an informative and experiential workshop for self-advocates on the autism spectrum ages 15 and up. It is designed to build a better understanding of some of the “hidden rules” that may not be obvious when using the internet. Parents, caretakers, and/or guardians are encouraged to accompany participants.

Objectives:

  • To help self-advocates develop a better understanding of what is private information that should not be shared on the Internet
  • To discuss some of the possible illegal uses of the Internet
  • To offer strategies that will help detect possible Internet predators and threats
  • To help self-advocates understand and develop a set of good Internet rules

Duration: 1 hour


Autism Strategies for Health & Dental Care Providers
This workshop includes a basic overview of the definition, origin, incidence, and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders and strategies to be implemented in the medical setting. This training prepares practitioners for positive interaction with a patient who has autism. Close attention is given to environmental factors and how behavior may in fact shed light on internal concerns.

Objectives:

  • To provide basic information on background and etiology of ASD
  • To discuss the central characteristics of autism and their effect on behavior
  • To explore environmental factors that may cause unusual behaviors
  • To explore and develop an understanding of sensory implications
  • To examine structure and strategies that will support individuals during medical appointments/procedure

For a schedule of upcoming workshops, click here or see our calendar.