Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Penn Autism Network

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2009 PAN Conference: Sessions


4th Annual Penn Autism Network Conference
- MARCH 20, 2009

This conference was presented with support from:


RESOURCE FAIR EXHIBITORS
Adapting Aspergers, ASCEND Group, Autism Living & Working, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, CCRES, Center for Autism Research (CAR), Devereux, First Financial Group, GRASP Philadelphia, Hill Top Preparatory School, Hill Top Summer Camp, Hinkle, Fingles & Prior, Attorneys at Law, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, JEVS Human Services, McAndrews Law Offices, Melmark, Inc., NHS Human Services, PA DPW's Bureau of Autism Services, PA Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), PA Microboard Association, Pennsylvania MENTOR, Preparing Adolescents for Adult Life (PAAL), Real Life Coaching, The Pathway School, The Vanguard School, Y.A.L.E. School


With thanks to our presenters PowerPoint files (in .pdf format) for the Plenary Sessions and Breakout Sessions A, I, J &M can be found with the descriptions for each of these sessions.




AM PLENARY/KEYNOTE SESSION - Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum

Presenter: Stephen Shore, EdD, Author, Self Advocate & Assist. Professor, Adelphi University

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.

About the Session: As children with autism spectrum disorder grow to be adults, self-advocacy skills must be learned. Dr. Shore will define self-advocacy, identify effective advocacy skills, and share how to teach them. In addition, he will provide practical solutions for considering when and how to disclose a diagnosis of autism. Attendees will learn how to identify and best utilize the self-awareness and communication skills adults with autism need in order to obtain accommodations and reach their potential to lead fulfilling lives.




PM PLENARY/KEYNOTE PANEL - The Self Directed Support Corporation Model for Individuals with ASD

Moderator: David Gates, Esq, Policy Director & Senior Attorney, PA Health Law Project

Panelists: Grace Egun (Paralegal, PA Health Law Project), Bruce Corson (Operations Manager, Derek's Dream), Alexandra Bricklin and Madeline Fonzone (Parents who have established SDSCs)

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.

Click here to open the "Introduction to Microboards" document.

About the Session: Self Directed Support Corporations (SDSC) are operated by family members and other dedicated persons to provide or oversee person-centered supports and services to individuals with ASD. Because a SDSC is run by people with a personal commitment to the supported individual, the corporation commonly takes on a role of advocate to ensure maximum community integration for the beneficiary. Attendees will: a) learn the basics of the SDSC model; b) explore how a SDSC can foster advocacy and community integration; c) identify how to determine whether a SDSC is a good model for an individual with ASD; and d) find out how to take the first steps toward creating a SDSC.


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AM WORKSHOPS


A. Promoting Independence for Adults with ASD: Employment and Beyond

Presenters:
Gloria M. Satriale, BCABA, Exec. Dir., and Avram Glickman, BA, Community Educ., Dir., Preparing Adolescents for Adult Life (PAAL)

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.

Description: Many challenges confront individuals with autism in achieving employment and successful integration into the community in a post 21 world. This presentation will review the challenges and practical programmatic solutions that maximize the full potential to be as independent, productive, socially connected and personally fulfilled as possible as an adult living with ASD.



B. Supporting STUDENTs with Autism on the College Campus: Practice & Research Insights

Presenters: Ari Ne'eman, President, and Scott Robertson, VP, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network; Stefanie Ulrich, Director, COMPASS Program, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ.

Description: Panelists will present common challenges faced by autistic students living on the college campus (e.g. organization, mental health, social life, etc.) and share their strategies and solutions for helping navigate those challenges from research, practice, and personal experience. One presenter will talk about the COMPASS Support Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.



C. Self-Advocacy and Parenting Along the Spectrum

Presenters: Robert Naseef, PhD, Psychologist, Alternative Choices; Stephen M. Shore, Author, Self Advocate, and Assist. Professor, Adelphi University

Description: The presenters will draw on the experience of panelists representing adolescents, adults, and parents about how to develop the skills necessary for adult life. From classic autism to Asperger’s, what helps and what doesn’t will be discussed. Those attending will be invited to present challenging scenarios for the panel to respond to.


 

D. ASD & Co-Occurring Psychiatric Disorders: Challenges and Opportunities

Presenter: Anthony L. Rostain, MD, MA, Medical Dir., Adult Dev. Disorders Section, Dept. of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine

Description: Recent advances in the psychopharmacologic treatment of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders have shown great promise as well as raised concerns about the appropriate use of medications for symptom relief as well as to improve functional outcomes. This talk will review the major classes of pharmaco-logical agents (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, atypical antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, new anti-depressants, etc.) and the evidence for their efficacy in patients with dual diagnoses. It will also explore promising new agents that are being investigated. Advantages and potential problems with use of multiple medications will also be discussed.




E. Learning, Living & Working in the Community

Presenters: Anne Holmes, MS, CCC, BCBA, Chief Clinical Off., Nina Finkler, MEd, LDT/C, BCBA, Dir. of Outreach/Support Svcs., Jamie Douglas, MA, Dir. of Adult Svcs., Eden Family of Services

Description: Preparing and supporting an individual with autism in the community must be a priority goal throughout their lifespan. This workshop will describe components of a middle/high school program that lead to success in the community, and how adult programs can support individuals with autism living and working in the community.

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.


F. Intermingling the Roles of Technology, Advocacy & the Media

Presenters: Eric Mitchell, PhD, Clinical Dir., and Herman Axelrod, PhD, Exec. Dir., Green Tree School; Felicia Hurewitz, PhD, Assist. Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Drexel Univ.

Description: Technology is essential for navigating the ASD world, from assistive technology in communication, to social interactions through gaming, to online networking for jobs and dating. However, the wonders of technology can also present skewed and precarious paths that lead many in the ASD community into detrimental situations. This workshop will explore how technology and advocacy overlap and how media can either propagate quackery or advocate efficacy.




G. Transition Planning & Beyond: How to Survive & Flourish After Graduation
(Note: This session repeats as Session N in the afternoon.)

Presenters: Ira Fingles, Esq, Hinkle Fingles & Prior, Attorneys at Law; Domenico Cavaiuolo, PhD, Professor, East Stroudsburg Univ.

Description: This workshop will explore the clinical and legal aspects of the transition process both before and after graduation. Included will be a review of strategies to secure appropriate transition services while in school and an overview of supports and services available to promote success in employment, post-secondary education, and independent living after graduation.


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PM WORKSHOPS


H. The Logic of Happiness: Positive Psychology Interventions for Individuals with ASD

Presenters: Katherine Dahlsgaard, PhD, Assoc. Dir., Inst. for Social/Emotional Dev., Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, CHOP; Stacey Petersen, MS, Doctoral Candidate, Dept. of Prof. Psychology, Chestnut Hill College

Description: This workshop will extend the tenets of positive psychology to clinical work with individuals with ASD. This workshop will introduce promising new therapeutic interventions that focus on nurturing strengths and, in particular, increasing the ability to use positive emotions - joy, exhilaration, interest, gratitude - to cope with stress and build enduring resources.




I. ACCLAIM (The Autism College and Community Life Acclimation and Intervention Model)

Presenters: Michael Greisler, LCSW, and Joseph R. McAllister, Ph.D., Director of Psychological Svcs., The Watson Institute

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.

Description: ACCLAIM serves high-functioning individuals with ASDs who have the cognitive ability to attend college but may lack the social, organizational, and life-skills to succeed. Interventions include therapeutic support and didactics addressing deficit areas. Intervention reduces the anxiety associated with a major life transition and develops skills necessary for success in college.




J. A Social Coaching Model for Parents

Presenters: Mary Riggs Cohen, PhD, Autism Spectrum Resource Consulting; Annie Steinberg, MD, Clinical Assoc. Professor, Psychiatry/Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.

Description: The purpose of this workshop is to provide practical information to parents of ASD individuals on how they can facilitate social awareness and social skills acquisition. The model describes strategies that parents can use in the home to help their adolescent or young adult increase understanding of nonverbal and verbal communication through specific exercises involving ongoing feedback and conversation skills building; the involvement of siblings and peers for peer-to-peer engagement; facilitated relationships with family and friends; the shared viewing and discussion of media (movies and television); and recreational activities. The efficacy of software and new technologies will also be presented, particularly addressing its use in building social skills as well as providing a framework from which to understand one’s own mind as well as the thoughts and feelings of others.




K. Vocational Skill Development for Learners on the Spectrum with Challenging Behaviors

Presenters: Alan Arici, MEd, Dir. of Vocational Programming, Patricia Neary, MS, Curriculum Coordinator, and Shannon Welteroth, MS, Curriculum Coordinator, Melmark, Inc.

Description: This session will address the needs of students and adults with intellectual disabilities who require individualized instructional, vocational, and behavioral supports in order to achieve a maximum level of independence and community integration. Topics include: job sampling, service learning, life skills training (safety, travel, personal finances, self-care), self-determination, and decision-making.




L. Empowering Young Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS in a Peer - Mentored Group Setting

Presenters: Joyce Harding, RN, Director, and Lorie Brew, MS, Counselor, The Coffeehouse Center of Bucks County

Description: The Coffeehouse Center of Bucks County is a community based, comprehensive program that supports young adults with Aspergers Syndrome/PDD, NOS transitioning successfully into adulthood. The facilitators and Members of the Center will provide what they have learned when engaging young adults as they develop peer relationships, advocate for themselves and acquire multiple independent living skills.



M. Promoting Community Integration: Learning Lessons from Other Disability Groups

Presenter: Mark Salzer, PhD, Assoc. Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine

Click here to download the PowerPoint file.

Description: The American with Disabilities Act, Supreme Court Olmstead decision, and President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative have solidified community integration as a right and policy target for people with cognitive, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities. Dr. Salzer will present current theory and principles pertaining to community integration, and share research and best practices related to promoting community integration of persons with psychiatric disabilities. He will then facilitate a discussion among workshop participants about how these ideas can translate into new policies, programs, and practices for supporting full community participation of individuals with ASD.



N. Transition Planning & Beyond: How to Survive & Flourish After Graduation
(Note: This session is the same as Session G in the morning.)

Presenters: Ira Fingles, Esq, Hinkle Fingles & Prior, Attorneys at Law; Domenico Cavaiuolo, PhD, Professor, East Stroudsburg Univ.

Description: This workshop will explore the clinical and legal aspects of the transition process both before and after graduation. Included will be a review of strategies to secure appropriate transition services while in school and an overview of supports and services available to promote success in employment, post-secondary education, and independent living after graduation.


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