ASA's 37th National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders (July 13-15, 2006)

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Friday, July 14, 2006: 1:45 PM-3:00 PM
Providence Ballroom II
#2239- Lighting the Way to a New Society: Leading Others to Inclusive Communities
Imagine a society that embraces human diversity, and in which everyone belongs, contributes, participates and are valued. Explore the most powerful tool for societal change: ourselves! Discover positive, effective ways to teach everyone, everywhere as they observe interactions between people with ASD and others. This presentation explores the influential role of each person who loves, lives with or works with people with ASD. We CAN light the way for others!

Presenter:Barbara T. Doyle, Master, of, Science, degree, Barbara T. Doyle, M.S., Incorporated, Clincial Consultant for Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders - Barbara T. Doyle, M.S. specializes in enhancing the learning and communication of people with ASD and in the creation of truly inclusive societies. She is an engaging trainer and conference presenter noted for practical ideas, delivered with humor and humanity. She is an adjunct faculty member of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry and a member of the board of directors of the Illinois Assistive Technology Program. With her sister Emily Iland, Barbara co-authored ASD from A to Z, published by Future Horizons in 2004 and now available in Spanish.
Our goals for the present and future include creating societies where people with special learning differences belong, participate, contribute and are valued. Parents and families, adult services staff, educators and therapists all strive to create a society that embraces human diversity and values everyone.

This presentation explores the most powerful tool for societal change: ourselves! Participants will discover positive ways to "train" others when they are observed interacting with people with ASD. Specific strategies will be explored and taught to participant so that everyone will be able to take advantage of moments when members of society can learn to honor and value people with social and communication differences.

Participants will learn: how and when opportunities occur to influence societal attitudes in a positive way how to model the types of interactions that promote valuing all individuals the importance of choosing service goals that help individuals belong, participate, contribute and be valued

Participants will be able to: describe and use interactive styles that demonstrate valuing people with ASD in all situations identify contribution service goal areas that can be addressed in all individual teaching/ learning plans list ways to teach people with social and communication issues to contribute to their households, workplaces and communities demonstrate strategies that increase belonging for people with disabilities

In this cutting edge presentation, we will define the goal for the future of our society: Society views everyone as valuable and able to contribute regardless of individual differences. We will define the term society and determine when and where members of society have been influenced and formed opinions about people who appear to be "different."

Real life stories, entertaining examples and opportunities to think and process will help participants discover that the primary way for us to give society a new "view" is to "Light the Way" by consciously creating new, positive experiences for those who observe us interacting with people with special differences everywhere from the kindergarten classroom to the boardroom.

Participants will engage in Introspective work to answer these questions: What messages do I send to observers when I interact with people with disabilities? Are these the messages I really want to send? What do I need to change in myself to change society's view of people with ASD and other differences?

These skills will be highlighted: Subtle Support: provide help and support with such subtlety that no one knows support is being provided.

Make Sense of Behavior as Communication: explain to observers the sensible reasons why the individual is doing/saying these things.

Model Flexible Communicative Styles: respond to all signals as communication such as gaze, posture, facial expression, sounds, signs, proximity.

I'm With Her/Him: affiliate yourself with the individual as you would your most valued friend or favorite sibling.

Unconditional Acceptance and Regard: remain relaxed and accepting of unconventional communication and behavior.

People are valued more when they make obvious contributions to others. In this presentation, we will expand the concept of contribution to include: listening, sharing, creating, recording, remembering, providing companionship, working, communicating, and helping (the biggest area of professional and business growth in the United States today.) Teams will learn to teach contribution skills using likes and interests, opportunities to volunteer where help is needed and truly individualizing for each person and community.

This presentation has been well received when presented as a keynote presentation to large audiences. It is very practical and contains ideas that can be put into immediate practice by anyone who has any role in the lives of people with ASD or other social and communication differences.

The ideas apply across the lifespan of human beings as well as across the spectrum of autism disorders. This presentation has been described by participants as highlighting one of the greatest areas of potential for positive change in the world, and area that is often overlooked. People with ASD who have heard this presentation have commented that they wish that everyone could hear it. It is a positive and upbeat presentation that unites audiences and prepares them for a life-altering learning experience at the conference.

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