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VT-HEC Announces 2015 Series on Autism

Chris Knippenberg, Teresa Bolick & Julie Taylor Highlight Fall Line-up

Now in its 15th year, the VT-HEC will once again present an exciting, informative and practical series of workshops focused on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  New to the line-up is Teresa Bolick Ph.D who will address the high incidence of co-existing disabilities in students with ASD and Julie Taylor SLP who will discuss using high technology core language systems with these students and others with complex communications needs.

High Technology Core Language Systems and Autism –  October 16, 2015: Julie Taylor SLP – Discover why using high technology core language systems can benefit students with ASD and others with complex communication needs and explore receptive language and behavioral visual supports for these students in this up-to-date review of how technology can support your students in the critical language area.

ASD & all the Other Ds! Autism and Co-existing Challenges – December 6, 2015: Teresa Bolick Ph.D – A remarkable number of individuals with ASD are diagnosed with other disorders but it can be difficult to recognize and treat them. This workshop will describe the co-existence of ASD and other disorders as well as challenges that may not be recognized as separate diagnoses (such as anxiety). This workshop will describe a systematic approach to understanding the cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioral challenges of individuals with co-existing disorders and identify evidence-based educational, psychosocial, and behavioral interventions.

This will be the third year that the VT-HEC sponsors the highly successful series of WORKshops that are planned around participants being able to make and take materials that are developed to match the needs of their own students.  Chris Knippenberg will again lead this series partnering with Elena Frimerman, Patty Thomas and Patti Piotrowski. This year the topics will include socialization and play, using photo and video supports for learning and transitions, and designing visual systems to support early learners.  Past participants have left these workshops with not only ideas to put into practice right away but actual learning materials they can use with their students. This series includes:

A Systematic Approach to Teaching Socialization and Play for Young Learners – October 2, 2015: Chris Knippenberg/Elena Frimerman – Many children with developmental issues need specific, directed support in learning the basics of solo play and the foundations to notice and play with others. Learn how to reduce barriers to participation for children who struggle to engage in solitary and social play.

Creating Fast, Effective Photo/Video Supports for Participation, Transition & Learning – November 13, 2015: Chris Knippenberg/ Patty Thomas – Creating supports such as choice boards, task routines, social stories, and visual journals to support individuals with ASD and other developmental and learning differences that can be incorporated into a Universal Design for Learning approach.

Designing Visual Systems to Support Independence for Early Learners –  January 15, 2016: Chris Knippenberg/Patti Piotrowski (Registration opens December, 2015) – Schedules, work systems, and task directions are all important visual tools that enable children with ASD and other developmental disabilities to move independently through their day. This session will focus on starting systems for preschool and early elementary learners. We will explore a framework of choices to design individualized supports matched to a child’s cognitive, developmental, and motivational needs.

For more information or to download flyers see here:

Dennis has been the Director of the the VT-HEC since it was founded in 2000. He spent 16 years at the VT-DOE as Director of teams with various names that included: special education, Title I, health and wellness and other family and education support services. Prior to that Dennis worked at the Barre Town School (VT) starting as a special educator and serving many years as the Director of Student Support Services. He also spent 6 years as a classroom teacher grades 5-8 in NJ.

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