“Autism: Lifelong Learning” Is Focus of Autism Society of North Carolina’s Annual Conference

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March 27-28 event in Charlotte to feature acclaimed speakers focusing on evidence-based treatments, current research, and other topics of interest to the autism community.

We know that individuals on the autism spectrum are lifelong learners. The topics will provide advice and ideas that can be implemented at home, in school, and in the workplace.

The Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) will hold its 2015 annual conference March 27-28 in Charlotte, NC. This year’s theme is “Autism: Lifelong Learning.”

The two-day event will feature acclaimed speakers, including Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel, creators of Pivotal Response Treatment, and Dr. Geri Dawson, Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. Speakers will focus on evidence-based treatments, current research, school solutions, medical concerns, sexuality, and employment.

Dr. Aleck Myers, ASNC Clinical Services Director and chairman of the conference planning committee, said, “We know that individuals on the autism spectrum are lifelong learners. It is important to provide practical strategies for parents and teachers and address issues that present challenges over the lifespan such as school, medications, understanding sexual development and health, and how to foster a successful work environment. We feel that the topics will be informative and provide advice and ideas that can be implemented at home, in school, and in the workplace.”

Self-advocates, families affected by autism, and professionals in the autism field will also have the opportunity to network, learn more about available resources, meet with a variety of businesses that support the autism community, and earn continuing education credits.

To register or for more information, please visit the ASNC website at http://bit.ly/ASNC2015Conference. Through Feb. 2, participants will receive early-bird rates for registration. A special room rate at the conference site, the Hilton University Place, is available through Feb. 28.

Conference schedule:

The Koegels will present a full-day workshop on Friday, March 27, on Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). PRT helps learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder by building on their interests and has been proven effective for increasing social behavior and developing communication, language skills, and play. PRT can be used in home, school, and community settings.

On Saturday, March 28, Dr. Dawson, who also co-created the Early Start Denver Model, will present on recent research findings and the future direction of research efforts.

Also Saturday, conference attendees this year will have the opportunity to choose from concurrent presentations. Speakers will include:

  • Dr. Jim Bodfish of Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Mary VanBorgondien of the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program
  • classroom experts
  • small-business creators who employ adults with autism

The conference will wrap up with a panel discussion featuring members of IGNITE, a community center in Davidson, NC, for young adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. The ASNC program has helped members live independently, find jobs, and develop other needed skills for independent living.

The NC Council on Developmental Disabilities is the primary sponsor of the Friday presentation.

Charlotte AHEC is the educational partner. For specific information about continuing education unit credits or for more information on the conference schedule and exhibitors, please visit http://bit.ly/ASNC2015Conference.

Background:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. Recent studies estimate that up to 1 of every 58 children born in North Carolina will be affected by ASD.
  • For more than 44 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services.
  • For more information, call 1-800-442-2762 or visit http://www.autismsociety-nc.org.

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David Laxton
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