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Baltimore County, Catonsville: “Embracing Autism” Speaker Series 2017″

April 25, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, the Hussman Institute for Autism will present a series of four weekly lectures throughout April, on topics that connect current autism research to everyday life.

Parents, and others supporting people with autism, often search for ways to better understand behaviors and communication differences. Presenters will help bridge the gap between the neurological basis of autism and the understanding and supports many people with autism may need.
PLEASE JOIN US for any or all of the following lectures:  
Strengthening Parent and School Collaboration in IEP Development: Ensuring the Presumption of Competence
April 4, 2017 (Tuesday) – 6:30pm-8:00pm
Patti Mackey, Professional Development Specialist 
Beth Benevides, Associate Director for Outreach
Participants will explore a comprehensive set of evidence-based principles for supporting and engaging students with autism and will learn how these principles can be incorporated into the IEP.  The presenters will share strategies for collaboration between parents, teachers, and IEP teams. Participants are encouraged to download and review the Presume Competence Manual in advance of the session. This initial workshop of the 4-part “Embracing Autism” April 2017 series will set the stage for subsequent sessions on communication and positive behavior supports. Patti Mackey is a Professional Development Specialist at the Hussman Institute for Autism and former Instructional Facilitator for elementary education in Howard County Public Schools. Beth Benevides is Associate Director for Outreach at the Hussman Institute for Autism and Associate Director of Autism Programs for the Hussman Foundation.
Understanding Behavior Challenges Working Group:
Let’s Problem-solve Together 
Limited space available.
April 11, 2017 (Tuesday) – 6:30pm-8:00pm 
Fernanda T. Orsati, Ph.D., Clinical Research Associate  

Holly Bennett, M.S., BCBA, LBA, The Children’s Spot
Have the individuals with autism in your life been experiencing behavior difficulties in your classroom or home and cannot communicate what is happening? In this interactive session, we will work with parents, caregivers, teachers and/or support people to clearly describe the behavior, identify possible functions, and implement supports to address the underlying need and reduce challenging behavior, all in a small group workshop setting. Presenters will share a variety of skills to analyze behavior and practice with examples during the session. Participants will learn to apply those skills toward the behaviors specific to their child or student, and leave with practical strategies for positive behavior support.
Due to its interactive nature, space in this workshop is limited. Upon registration you will receive a letter confirming your attendance.
Fostering Interaction through the Cycle of Communication: A Coaching Workshop for Parents and Professionals
April 18, 2017 (Tuesday) 6:30 – 8:00pm 
Dr. Ashlyn L. Smith, Clinical Research Associate
Casey L. Woodfield, Ph.D., Clinical Research Associate
In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the components of a coaching protocol for creating cycles of interaction with individuals with autism who do not use speech as a primary mode of communication. Grounded in naturalistic teaching strategies, the cycle of communication model breaks down steps in creating and supporting reciprocal, rewarding opportunities for interaction between communication partners (parent/child; sibling/sibling; teacher/student; para/student). Presenters will share current research results using this protocol, introduce the central concepts and examples of each across varied contexts, as well as provide opportunities for practice and problem solving. This workshop is intended for parents, teachers, and paraprofessionals supporting individuals with autism. If applicable, participants are welcome to bring the AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device used by their child or student, in order to tailor practice activities to the programs or technology they use.
The Neurobiological Basis of Autism and Implications for Intervention and Support 
April 25, 2017 (Tuesday) 6:30 – 8:30pm
Gene Blatt, Ph.D., Director of Neuroscience 
John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Executive Director 
This presentation will focus on changes in brain architecture and the hypothesized  imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory connectivity in autism. The presenters will discuss how these changes may contribute to the underlying basis of autism spectrum conditions, and how an understanding of these changes can provide insights into behavior, communication, and self-reported experience of autism. The developing understanding of autism neurobiology also helps to inform potential future treatments and interventions to improve the lives of people on the spectrum.


April 25, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Colleen George
443-860-2580, x710


The Hussman Institute for Autism
5521 Research Park Drive, First Floor (adjacent to the campus of UMBC)
Catonsville, MD 21228 United States
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* PPMD Event