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AHA Spring Conference
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Issues in Independent Living for Adolescents
and Adults on the Autism Spectrum

 
The 2017 AHA Spring Conference is quickly approaching!
Have you registered yet?
 
AHA is pleased to announce our annual spring conference at Adelphi University, co-sponsored with the School of Education (SOE) and the Center for Health Innovation (CHI), with keynote speakers Dena Gassner & Jed Baker. Panel discussions will include Voices For Employment and Employment on the Spectrum: The Final Frontier Into Adulthood. Workshops, resources, books, breakfast, lunch and materials are all included with registration.

Saturday, April 8th
8:15am – 4:00pm


Adelphi University
Ruth S. Harley University Center
One South Avenue, Garden City, New York
Register Here
Keynote presentations and the panel discussion are in the ballroom
for all conference registrants. 
 Choose one of the following five afternoon breakout sessions:
AUTISM AND PROHIBITED INTERNET IMAGES:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CRIMINAL PROSECUTION

Presenters: Nick Dubin, Larry Dubin, J.D., and Lynda Geller, Ph.D.

Increasing numbers of people with autism and other developmental disabilities are being convicted of online-only sex offenses, resulting in heavy and lengthy punishment. Yet they do not pose the same level of threat to society as other types of offenders and lack the core understanding of why their actions break the law. Nick Dubin had a graduate degree and was an author and public speaker when his life was completely upended by an unwitting online act and its consequences. This presentation describes the judicial failure to protect such defendants and how we need to be aware that normal sexual development and issues of ASD may come together to produce a vulnerability to online sexual content that can lead to criminal punishment.Participants will learn:
  • How ASDs can affect psychosexual development
  • To define sexual harassment and its ramifications
  • To understand the dangers the Internet can pose for those looking for social interaction or love online
MANAGING AND PREVENTING ANXIETY AND FRUSTRATION                          

Presenter: Jed Baker, Ph.D.

This workshop will outline the key components of a prevention plan to cope with challenging behaviors. Poor executive functioning (EF) skills create academic or work demands that may seem overwhelming; poor self-esteem makes people feel they are always making errors, triggering a fear of failure. Having difficulty with changes in routine and schedules creates anxiety. The plan includes modifying triggers, understanding the alarm system, motivating participation, handling unexpected triggers and developing trust to show that most problems can be solved.Participants will learn to:
  • Identify key components of a good prevention plan for challenging behaviors.
  • Increase capacity to handle work and school demands, mistakes, losing, waiting and accepting unexpected changes.
  • Understand how to help individuals gradually face their fears through self-awareness, education, scientific thinking, exercise and meditation.
STRENGTH VS. DEFICIT MODEL TO AFFECT OUTCOME

Presenter: Stephen Shore, Ed.D.

An autobiographical structure combining experiences of others on the autism spectrum. Making fulfilling and productive lives for individuals with autism the rule rather than the exception will be used to charge participants to reframe their thinking away from deficit and disorder towards seeking abilities based on individual strengths. The session ends with generalizing focus on strengths-based thinking to the rest of humanity—and finally, to the audience themselves.Participants will learn to:
  • List at least three situations where perceived deficits can be reframed as strengths.
  • Learn to navigate around areas of challenge while still leading a fulfilling and productive life.
  • Understand the importance of people with autism and other disabilities in understanding themselves as a key factor in success.
HEALTHCARE DISPARITY: A CAUTIONARY TALE
Presenter: Dena Gassner, M.S.W., Ph.D. candidate

The illusion of high functioning (HF) as less disabled is costing individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Asperger’s syndrome (AS). Research reflects that these populations experience less access to healthcare due to a lack of qualified providers. Challenges specific to ASD interfere with initiating contact, engaging and reporting effectively, and reporting and arriving on time to access healthcare. Providers struggle to address the intersectionality of ASD and gender expression. Ultimately, these ASD and AS populations are experiencing poor healthcare, higher rates of suicide and shorter lifespans than the general public. This workshop will provide critical outcome research to help inform advocacy from the kitchen table to the national arena and the research community.Participants will learn to:
  • Identify the outcomes experienced when accessing healthcare.
  • Understand how the experience of autism impacts access to healthcare.
  • Use this information as an advocacy tool at all levels.
LEARNING TO LIVE A PERSONALLY MEANINGFUL LIFE: ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) FOR INDIVIDUALS ON THE SPECTRUM

Presenters: Shana Nichols, Ph.D., Alyson H. Sheehan, Ph.D., and Danielle Zito, Psy.D.

How do we live personally meaningful lives? How do we commit to engaging in actions and behaviors that matter, especially when doing so can often be emotionally challenging? This experiential workshop will introduce participants to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). With its overarching goal of increasing psychological flexibility and incorporation of mindfulness strategies, ACT is a model of psychotherapy that has great potential for individuals with ASD. Using interactive demonstrations, role-play and practical examples, this session will describe the treatment and illustrate effective techniques for achieving life changes.Participants will learn to:
  • Define ACT and the six interconnected components of treatment.
  • Identify challenges associated with ASD that can be targeted as part of ACT.
  • Describe three therapeutic techniques that can be used to increase meaningful life actions.
Have you registered yet?
Register Here
Now is a great time to register and sign up for the workshop of your choice. Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch and conference materials. Sign up now to reserve your spot!
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