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
550 A-B
#2286- 10 Strategies for Creating a Successful Day for a Person with ASD
Although success is defined in many ways, the importance of knowing how to create a successful day for a person with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is crucial to the learning process. Having a basic knowledge of ten strategies that are effective and straight forward provides families and professionals with a foundation which increases the likelihood of achieving better understanding. Knowing which strategies offer routines, increase predictability and encourage communication are key for supporting a person with ASD.

Presenters:Ronda L. Schelvan, M.S.Ed., ESD 112 Autism Cadre, Autism Consultant - Ronda L. Schelvan, M.S.Ed., has over 25 years of experience in the field of special education. Ronda is an autism consultant and special education teacher in Washougal, Washington. She is co-author of The Hidden Curriculum, in addition to having several works in press. Ms. Schelvan is a member of ESD 112's (Southwest Washington) Autism Consulting Cadre who has presented, nationally and internationally. Presentations include: 2004-Council for Exceptional Children (DD Division), Las Vegas, NV 2005-Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities, Honolulu, HI 2005-Council for Exceptional Children, Baltimore, MD 2005-Autism Society of America, Nashville, TN 2005-Focus on Autism Conference, Vancouver, WA

Terri Cooper Swanson, M.S., MT-BC, University of Kansas, Doctoral Student - Terri Cooper Swanson, M.S., MT-BC, is the project coordinator for the Asperger Syndrome Research Project at the University of Kansas, where she is also a doctoral student in the autism/Asperger Syndrome program. Terri has worked with people with disabilities as a music therapist, supervisor of a therapeutic program, and as a consultant on ASD. She has authored several research articles and book chapters and has presented nationally on ASD. Presentations include: 2004-Council for Exceptional Children, New Orleans, LA 2004-Council for Exceptional Children (DD Division), Las Vegas, NV 2005-Council for Exceptional Children, Baltimore, MD 2005-Autism Society of America, Nashville, TN

Success is an individual achievement. Webster's dictionary defines to succeed as, "to turn out well." So then, what constitutes a successful day for a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Perhaps it is as simple as the ability to have one's wants and needs met in socially acceptable ways or to be able to participate in a world that is complex and unpredictable when one's own being is literal and concrete. Research shows that people with ASD are visual learners who need consistency, predictability and routines. The triad of impairments in ASD being deficits in communication, social and behavior plays an important role in determining what will impact the person with ASD. Therefore the ways in which the deficits are addressed will help or hinder the experience of a successful day. A day builds to a week then to a month, a year, lifetime. When put into place, strategies that ensure a greater probability of success for people with ASD creates success building upon success upon success and so on. The complexity of the broad spectrum of the disability drives the need for appropriate programming. There is a greater increase in the number of people being diagnosed with ASD then the amount of trained people in the field (competent or otherwise). The amounts are nowhere near parallel and the discrepancy continues to widen. Families, professionals and service providers need to have a working knowledge of best practices and current methodologies. Strategies are intended to assist people with ASD to compensate for their areas of impairments. It is imperative for a larger base of people to have a broader foundation of working knowledge. This knowledge needs to be readily available in layman's terms and easy to implement otherwise we continue to perpetuate the problems, creating a loose-loose situation. The purpose of this workshop is to provide the audience with a concise working overview of 10 practical strategies including: - Visual Supports - Structured Settings - Choice Making - Communication: supports and links between home-school-community - Sensory Input - Home Base / Cool Down - Special Interests - Modifications - Social Skills - Behavior Supports During this 75 minute session, the presenters will provide information as to how the strategies relate to the characteristics of ASD. Also, using visuals and actual objects they will show examples of each strategy and suggest ways to implement them. The advantages of this presentation are the knowledge levels, experience and backgrounds of the presenters along with their passion for working with people on the spectrum. While the presentation time is limited the content is well worth the learner outcomes which include:

Being able to name the 10 practical strategies presented - Being able to identify the link between characteristics and strategies - Being able to leave the presentation with at least two strategies ready to implement in supporting a person with ASD

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