2016 Conference Session Descriptions, Day 1

Functional Skills & Essential for Living

Keynote; Wednesday, March 9, 9:15 a.m.-2:25 p.m.

In recent years many service professionals have struggled with ‘what to teach individuals’ with moderate to severe disabilities including individuals with autism, especially as they grow older.  Dr. McGreevy will describe the importance of functional skills for children and adults with limited skill repertoires and problem behavior. He will also discuss how teaching functional skills results in more effective outcomes.  Lastly, Dr. McGreevy will introduce the curriculum based assessment, Essential for Living: A Communication, Behavior, and Functional Skills Curriculum, Assessment and Professional Practitioner’s Handbook, of which he is the first author.  4.5 CEs for BCBA & BCaBA (must be present for sessions before and after lunch to receive credit)

Presented by Patrick McGreevy, Ph.D., BCBA-D                    

Dr. McGreevy received B.S. and M.A. degrees in Psychology and Special Education, respectively, from the University of Iowa. He was a special education teacher for eight years, working with children and young adults with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities. He received the Ph.D. degree in Education from Kansas University under the guidance of Ogden R. Lindsley.

Dr. McGreevy served as an assistant research professor in the Institute for Community Studies and the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and as an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Louisiana State University. He taught courses in applied behavior analysis, as well as, curriculum and instruction for students with moderate-to-severe disabilities. He is the author of Teaching and Learning in Plain English, an introduction to Precision Teaching, and the founder and first editor of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Standard Celeration Charting. He is the author of nine journal articles and a book chapter on teaching verbal behavior. Dr. McGreevy is the first author of Essential for Living, a functional skills curriculum, assessment, and professional practitioner’s handbook for children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities.

For the past 30 years, Dr. McGreevy has provided consultations for children and adults with developmental disabilities and hands-on training for their families. He has also provided consultation and training for school districts, residential programs, and hospitals in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, specializing in the treatment of aggressive and self-injurious behavior in individuals with limited communication or language skills. Dr. McGreevy has also conducted workshops on teaching communication skills and language in the context of severe problem behavior, which are based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior.

From 2005-2014, Dr. McGreevy served as an assistant professor in the Behavior Analysis Program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He taught on-campus courses and seminars and online lectures, with an emphasis on the application of principles and procedures. 

Handouts for this session:

Essentials for Living Functional Skills (pdf of the power point)

Essentials for Living: A user Guide

A Father and Son Share Their Experiences With Autism

Keynote; Wednesday, March 9, 2:40 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Derek and Dylan’s presentation details the frustrations that the Volk family endured before Dylan’s diagnosis of autism at the age of eight. This presentation, which has received remarkable reviews from attendees across the country, offers an honest account of Derek’s experiences raising a son with Asperger’s, a developmental disorder that most notably affects the ability to socialize with others. The presentation of Chasing the Rabbit includes accounts from Dylan’s early days, specific behavioral challenges of his adolescent years, and life in the “real world” as he transitioned to a young adult with the dream of pursuing a career in comedy. Throughout the presentation, as with the book, the audience experiences “Dylan’s Take,” which offers his unique and incredibly insightful perspective on life.   

Presented by Derek and Dylan Volk

Derek Volk

Derek Volk is the author of the internationally acclaimed Amazon best seller, Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum. Derek is a Maine businessman, supporter of Autism awareness, volunteer and philanthropist who, along with his family, was recently named the 2015 Spurwink “Humanitarian of the Year.” He is currently the president and co-owner of Volk Packaging Corporation, a third generation, family owned, corrugated box manufacturer in Biddeford, Maine. Derek actively participates on the Maine Business Leadership Network (BLN), a national organization that focuses on connecting employers with potential employees who have disabilities. His own company currently employs those who are deaf, blind and on the autism spectrum.

A speech communications major at the University of Maine at Orono, Derek has always been comfortable speaking to an audience. Since 2012, Derek has hosted a Saturday morning radio talk show on WLOB 1310AM in Portland, Maine. His show can be heard online at www.derekvolkshow.com and through podcasts available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Derek has been happily married to his high school sweetheart, Amy Volk, for 26 years. State Senator Amy Volk is currently serving her third term in the Maine Legislature. Amy and Derek are the proud parents of four children. Their son, Dylan, is 24-years-old and the inspiration behind Chasing the Rabbit. They also have three daughters, Mariah (21), Lilly (17) and Serena (11). Mariah is credited for her efforts typing the book, which was originally dictated by Derek into a digital recorder. She learned a lot about her big brother in the process.

Chasing the Rabbit is Derek’s first experience as an author. Initially, he began to pen a business book, but his life passions prompted him to put down the business outline and start work documenting his life with Dylan instead.

Dylan Volk

After years of what his parents called “the diagnosis of the month club,” Dylan was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of eight. Life has always been challenging for Dylan. When he was little, he struggled with how to learn the rules and follow directions that often did not make sense to him. As he got older, he was challenged, especially socially, by a world that often seemed to go too fast for him to keep up. Even today, Dylan works hard to figure out what he needs to do in order to get through each day as a 24-year-old adult in a very fast-paced society.

Dylan graduated from Scarborough High School in 2010. Dylan is currently pursuing his goal of earning a living making people laugh. He currently lives in Austin, Texas where he has produced a series of satirical videos for his YouTube channel, Dielawn Comedy. He has created a significant following with almost 50,000 views to his YouTube videos, over 550 subscribers and almost 15,000 followers on Instagram. Be sure to subscribe to his YouTube Channel. Dylan has been a regular on SiriusXM’s Dirty Pop hosted by Lance Bass and, beginning in January 2016, you can hear him every Saturday at www.RidinwithDielawn.com as he hosts his own one hour radio show.

You can watch his videos by searching Dielawn Comedy or at Dielawn Comedy | Resources | Chasing the Rabbit Group Discussion Guide

Dylan has really been enjoying his experiences speaking about his life and the book and his presentations have been extremely well received. He hopes his work helping his father write Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Autism Spectrum will help families as they navigate through the difficulties of living life on the spectrum.

Handout for this session
Note: other than first and last slide, the slides in this presentation are all pictures (no notes or text).  You can also select the "multiple page" option in your print settings in order to save paper and ink.