2013 Annual Conference

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               Autism: Illuminating the Future  
               March 13 and 14, 2013  


Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Workshop includes:

Aim Elsewhere: Building Techniques to Avoid Being the Target of Bullying
Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP*

It is estimated that the incidence of bullying in the typical population can be as high as 20%.  The difficulty reading social cues, presence of repetitive and sometimes odd behavior, as well as language and communication limitations put students with autism at a greater risk for bullying. There is preliminary data suggesting that between 40 to 80% of individuals with ASD will be the victim of bullying in school.  This workshop will provide an overview of the research on bullying among individuals with ASD.  Strategies to address bullying for this population will be reviewed.


Joint Attention and ASD: Enhancing Language and Social Competence
Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP*

Children with autism demonstrate deficits in joint attention early in development and these deficits often remain persistent throughout development.   Deficits in referential looking, declarative pointing, as well as failure to respond to name and other social cues, are common in early development.  It has been well documented that joint attention plays a critical role in the development of language and social skills.  This workshop will provide an overview of joint attention as well as the specific problems associated with autism.   Implications for assessment and intervention for learners with ASD will be presented, specifically as they relate to the development of language and social competence. 

          The participant will:

  • Become familiar with joint attention and typical development
  • Gain an understanding of the deficits in joint attention present in ASD and how these affect language and social development
  • Be able to discuss implications of the research in joint attention on assessment of children with ASD
  • Be able to identify strategies to address deficits in joint attention in ASD
About the Speaker
Dr. Gerenser began working at Eden II in 1982 as a speech therapist. She received her Master’s degree in Speech and Hearing at the Ohio State University and her Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is an adjunct Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College as well as Penn State University. Dr. Gerenser is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Organization for Autism Research. She is on the boards of Heaven’s Hands Community Services, the Interagency Council of New York, the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis, and the Staten Island Not for Profit Association. Dr. Gerenser has also co-authored the interactive CD-ROM entitled ‘Behavioral Programming for Children with Autism. She has authored several book chapters and articles on autism and developmental disabilities. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis. She sits on a number of Professional Advisory Boards for several programs serving children and adults with autism in the US and abroad. She has received numerous awards for her work with children and adults with autism, including the Nassau Suffolk Autism Lifetime Achievement Award, the Mosaic Foundation’s Educator of Excellence Award, the Elija Chariot Award, and the Lou Miller Business Leadership Award.


You, Fullfilled
David Finch

A fulfilling life doesn't happen by accident. Unless you're a Kardashian. David Finch, New York Times best-selling author of  “The Journal of Best Practices” and a non-Kardashian, relates his often hilarious and undeniably winning quest to live  his happiest life after being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Humorous and inspirational "You Fulfilled" is the perfect lecture for anyone who needs a healthy dose of motivation.

About the Speaker
David Finch is a humorist and author of the acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, The Journal of Best Practices. Married in 2003 and diagnosed five years later with Asperger Syndrome, David has committed himself to relentless self-improvement, sometimes to a comical extent. A former semiconductor engineer turned full-time writer and speaker, David has written for The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Slate, and he writes a relationship blog for Psychology Today. But his greatest accomplishment by far has been learning how to thrive as a family man.  You can connect with David on Facebook.com/DavidFinchWriter



Thursday, March 14, 2013
Breakout sessions

  • Panel Session: Students, parents, and teachers from Courage to Succeed- will discuss how this college program has supported young adults with Asperger's Syndrome 
  • Dr. Maria Urbano will speak about Adults with Asperger's Syndrome
  • Dr. Donald Oswald, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) and Richmond City Schools will present on Interagency Toddler Assessment Teams.
  • Mauretta J. Copeland & Maria Isabel Frangenberg will discuss Cultural Sensitivity and Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Adam Sass with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) will present on the Employment Initiative
  • Public School Teams will share case studies on Competent Learner Model

Plus many more sessions to include BCBA credits! Click Here to view


The Learning Institute
*will be offering Type 2 CE credits for BCBAs® on certain breakout sessions  
Commonwealth Autism Service is a BACB® approved continuing education provider 


The Autism Society-Central Virginia will be the official bookstore during the conference.