Friday, May 2, 2014 at Salvatore’s Restaurant • 6461 Transit Rd Depew, NY 14043
Morning Session — Social Skills, Sexuality and Relationships: Helping Teens and Young Adults Successfully Navigate and Avoid Pitfalls in the Romantic World
Shana Nichols, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director, ASPIRE Center for Learning & Development
Sexuality and relationship education for teens and young adults with ASD is an essential component of healthy development, personal safety and enhancing quality of life. However, navigating the world of relationships can be particularly challenging for individuals with ASD given the social learning difficulties they experience. Families, educators and professionals need to know how best to teach and support teens and young adults with ASD in achieving healthy sexuality and in learning the skills necessary for pursuing appropriate romantic relationships. In this session, target concepts and strategies for teaching and intervention will be shared. Clinical case examples will highlight the importance of being proactive in educating, and in becoming comfortable with a topic that is often overlooked.
Afternoon Session — Using digital technology with ASD learners: How do we know what works?
Janet S. Twyman, Ph.D., BCBA
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UMass Medical School & Director of Innovation and Technology, Center on Innovations in Learning
The explosion of applications, hardware, and adaptive devices holds great promise for learners with autism, across intellectual, emotional, and physical domains. Modern technologies can help even our learners with greatest needs learn new skills, provide opportunities for practice, applica- tion, and problem-solving, enjoy socialization opportunities with peers close by or across the globe, help schedule their day, and even find a voice. We now can know in “real time” what’s been learned or still needs to be taught, and can even use sensors and other devices to know when things might need attention. With the world of possibilities provided by a technology assist, how do teachers, parents, any of us know what technologies are evidence-based and helpful for whom, for what, and under what conditions? This session will review technologies that show promise or have demonstrat- ed effects for special needs learners and their teachers, and provide useful rubrics for making technology selection and use decisions.