An Atlantic Partnership
Autism in Education

Professional Webinars

“Selection of Function-Based Interventions for Negatively Reinforced Problem Behaviour”
Presenter: Dr. Linda LeBlanc

Presentation Overview
Learners with ASD and diverse needs may engage in a variety of challenging or interfering behaviours to escape or avoid instructional demands. There are a number of different intervention options to address behaviours that are sensitive to escape, but choosing the intervention that is most likely to be effective is each unique situation may not be an easy task. Dr. LeBlanc and her colleagues have developed a decision-making model to help practitioners determine the most effective strategy to address negatively reinforced problem behaviour by considering the unique context and circumstances of each situation.

Effective Sexuality Education for Learners with ASD and Diverse Needs
Presenter: Dr. Jason Travers

Presentation Overview:
In this webinar, Dr. Travers describes the topics that fall within the category of sexuality education, including puberty, healthy relationships, and hygiene, among others.  He discusses the characteristics of an effective sexuality education program for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and diverse needs.  He also shares recommendations and strategies to assist educational personnel, partner professionals, and parents to support learners to develop essential skills in this area.

Unstuck & On Target!
Presenter: Dr. Lauren Kenworthy

Presentation Overview:
Unstuck & On Target! is a school-based executive function curriculum designed to help learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and diverse needs develop the skills needed to increase flexibility, cope with feelings, and set and attain goals. Dr. Kenworthy and her colleagues have created a practical, user-friendly manual that provides educators and others who support learners with ASD with a series of 27 lessons focused on improving cognitive and behavioural flexibility. The effects of the Unstuck & On Target! curriculum have been, and continue to be, measured in well-controlled scientific studies conducted in public school settings, and Dr. Kenworthy will share details about the curriculum and her research in this webinar.

“From Theory to Practice: Rehearsal Strategies for Anxious Students”
Presenter: Marlene Breitenbach, M.S.Ed., BCBA

Presentation Overview:
Some learners with ASD and diverse needs may benefit from structured opportunities to practice and rehearse situations that are challenging for them. A variety of strategies, such as Social Stories, scripts, and cognitive picture rehearsal are available to facilitate this type of rehearsal, but figuring out which strategy is best for your learner and for the situation may not be an easy task. The first section of this presentation will provide some valuable information on the similarities and differences between these strategies and suggest considerations for choosing the best approach for your individual learner. The second part of the webinar will provide some helpful information if you are working with a learner who experiences anxiety, or assisting school personnel who are looking for some strategies to support a learner dealing with anxiety.

When Problem Behaviour is Nobody's Fault:
The Truth about Automatically Reinforced Behaviour
presented by Dr. Timothy Vollmer, PhD, BCBA-D

Presentation Overview
It is not uncommon for some learners with ASD to present with problem behaviours at home, at school, or in the community. Behaviours such as screaming, hitting, kicking, threatening, or destroying property can be very difficult to address. A functional behaviour assessment may be necessary to help figure out the causes of these behaviours and how to treat them. Often, caregivers can change the learner’s behaviour by making adjustments to the environment and changing the way the adults respond to the challenging behaviour. But what if you discover that the challenging behaviour produces its own source of reinforcement? What if the behaviour has very little to do with anything that you do? Automatically reinforced behaviour can be extremely difficult to address because you may not be able to directly control the consequences maintaining the behaviour. Repetitive vocalizations, recurring motor movements, or self-injurious behaviours that provide some type of internal sensation or experience for the individual can be very challenging to change. In this webinar, Dr. Timothy Vollmer, PhD., BCBA-D, will highlight recent research in this area and share some practical strategies for addressing behaviour that produces its own source of reinforcement.

Original webinar date: February, 2016

“I hate writing!” - The Nitty Gritty Writing Assessment
presented by Marlene Breitenbach

Presentation Overview
Learning to write is a complex skill including aspects of motor, cognitive and language development. It is common for classroom teachers to report that children with ASD experience significant difficulties and/or resistance whenever a handwriting task is required. When the learner perceives writing tasks as difficult, challenging behavior may also occur in an effort to avoid the non-preferred activity. While some research studies have confirmed these difficulties, the specific aspects of writing that present barriers for learners on the Autism Spectrum remain unclear. How can we begin to address these needs? The process described in this webinar will suggest a starting point for practical, informal assessment and highlight key considerations that may guide instruction.

Original webinar date: October, 2015

The Science of Making Friends for Teens and Adults with Autism: The UCLA PEERS Program
presented by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson

Presentation Overview
This webinar provides an overview of one of the only evidence-based social skills programs for teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Developed at UCLA by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is an empirically supported social skills intervention aimed at the development and maintenance of meaningful relationships for people on the spectrum. This lively and engaging webinar includes a summary of the program and its outcomes along with concrete examples of skills taught in the PEERS course, including role play videos of targeted skills related to making and keeping friends.

** Please note: Due to internet connection difficulties on the day of the recording, you will notice some issues with audio and video quality. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Original webinar date: February, 2015


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