Schedule & Sessions

Thursday, October 14

Welcome 8:45-9:00 a.m.


Keynote 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Contingencies of Joy
Shahla Ala’i, PhD, BCBA, LBA

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of practices that cultivate contingencies of joy in the lives of children with autism and their families. The talk is divided into three sections. The first section provides a conceptualization and rationales for nurturing, culturally responsive and progressive interventions, including the difficulties presented by social injustices, pandemics and climate change. The second section focuses on intervention contingencies and targets that are likely to foster well-being, assent, progress and healthy relationships. The final section provides a triadic framework for continued therapeutic evolution: learning, connecting and loving.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to describe the conceptualizations and rationales for cultivating joyful interventions.
2. Attendees will be able to identify practices that contribute to nurturing, culturally responsive and progressive interventions for children with autism and their families.
3. Attendees will be able To describe a triadic framework for continued therapeutic evolution.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB, CME, NASP


Break 10:00-10:15 a.m.


Breakout Sessions 10:15-11:30 a.m.

Focus on Autism: Clinical Practice

Information Coming Soon!

Description Coming Soon.

Objectives:
Coming Soon!

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Autism in the Schools

New Trends in Early Intervention
Connie Kasari, PhD

Behavioral interventions have been critical for improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.  Notable achievements include the improved numbers of children with optimal outcomes, and the larger number of children accessing the regular curriculum. Despite these impressive results, we are less successful in including the wide variability in children with autism in research studies, thus limiting our knowledge of the evidence base.  New trends in research, however, are throwing the net wider, more closely examining for whom an intervention works and why, and applying new methods to systematically personalize interventions. This talk will focus on these new trends.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to define two core impairments in the area of social communication for children with ASD.
2. Attendees will be able to list two potential active ingredients of early interventions for ASD.
3. Attendees will be able to describe a research method for personalizing intervention for children with ASD that has implications for clinical practice.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Applied Behavior Analysis in Practice

Work Life Balance as a BCBA: Is It Even Possible?
ABA Inside Track

As the demand for behavior analytic services grows, early career behavior analysts may find it especially difficult to promote a balance between work and general life responsibilities. The job of a BCBA is already stressful and a lack of balance may be intensified by the ongoing global
pandemic. This may lead to staff burnout, thoughts of changing careers, and the development of unhealthy habits. During this presentation, we will talk about how to promote a balance between work responsibilities and life using behavior analytic principles. We will discuss self-care, time management, and goal setting as strategies used across other high stress inducing fields to promote a work life balance as a BCBA. Spoiler alert: It is possible!

Objectives:
1. Attendees will learn how behavior analytic principles can be used to promote work life balance.
2. Attendees will be able to identify 3 tools for promoting work life balance.
3. Attendees will be able identify common barriers to work life balance.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB, CME, NASP


Lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


Breakout Sessions 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Focus on Autism: Clinical Practice

Charting the Trajectories of Autism Across the Lifespan
Sophy Kim, PhD

***This session will be virtual***
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show varying symptom and behavioral trajectories. This presentation will cover the heterogeneity in symptom and behavioral presentations over the course of lifespan in ASD from early childhood to adulthood. The specific focus will be also given to early predictors of adult outcomes in this population.

Objectives
1.Attendees will learn about varying trajectories of symptoms and other behavioral domains in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
2. Attendees will learn about the predictors of outcomes such as provision of early intervention, cognitive functioning, and language skills.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Autism in the Schools

Planning and Organizing Data Collection in the Classroom to Make it Work for You
Christine Reeve, PhD, BCBA-D

The barriers to data collection in the classroom are numerous. Taking data while trying to teach is one of the most significant barriers to teaching in special education. This session will focus on how to plan for data collection to assure that you are collecting the enough of the right type of data and not collecting data that isn’t helping your students.  The presenter will share lessons learned about writing data-friendly goals and programs and share a tool for planning out data as part of your instructional plan. Based on that plan, she’ll demonstrate the beginning of a data collection system for classrooms that assures that each goal for each student is tied to reliable, meaningful data collection throughout the week. Examples of data collection sheets and tools will be shared as part of this discussion as well.    

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to recognize and begin to write data-friendly goals and objectives.
2. Attendees will become familiar with a tool for planning out instruction and data collection for a student’s IEP and/or therapeutic goals.
3. Attendees will identify methods of collecting data in a classroom setting that limit interference with instruction while assuring real-time information about students’ progress.

CE Available: APA, ASHA,BACB, CME, NASP

Applied Behavior Analysis in Practice

Relationships and Reciprocity: Skills for Navigating Puberty and Sexuality for Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism
Wesley Dotson, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

Relationships are the bedrock of adult independence and happiness. Building strong and durable relationships is difficult for everyone, but especially for individuals on the spectrum. This talk will describe the importance of reciprocity as a concept and practice to establish and navigate relationships for individuals with ASD as they transition through puberty and into more complex adult social interactions. Discussion will cover common topics to be addressed, issues concerning recognizing, initiating, and refusing reciprocity with others, and online and print resources available to those teaching in this sensitive area.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to articulate rationales for teaching relationship skills and reciprocity as a concept.
2. Attendees will be able to identify common areas of reciprocity training and how they impact an individual’s ability to establish and maintain healthy, voluntary relationships.
3. Attendees will be able to describe steps to teach reciprocity skills within the context of complex, adult relationships.
4. Attendees will be able to find, navigate, and use online and print resources available to help teach these skills.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB, CME, NASP


Break 2:15-2:30 p.m.


Breakout Sessions 2:30-3:45 p.m.


Focus on Autism: Clinical Practice

The Autism Prodrome: Novel Methods for Exploring Autism in Infancy
Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD

This session will describe novel tools and emerging evidence for early infant indicators of autism risk. Ongoing research will be described, including approaches for studies in large general population cohorts of infants. Discussion will include challenges for describing research on autism in infancy to families and implications for future public health and clinical application. 

Objectives
1. Review current evidence for early infant indicators of autism risk.
2. Provide an overview of various research designs for  the study of autism infancy.
3. Review specific measurement tools for use in early to mid-infancy.
4. Discuss opportunities and challenges for communicating research questions to the general population.
5. Consider potential opportunities and challenges for future translation of research findings to early screening methods.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP


Autism in the Schools

The Best Kind of Magic: Notes on Mothering and Autism
Paige Martin Reynolds, PhD

In this session, Paige Martin Reynolds uses personal narratives to explore the rich experience of parenting a child on the autism spectrum. From reflecting on missed milestones and major meltdowns to perpetual paperwork and endless evaluations, Paige considers the perplexities, challenges, and long history of shaming many parents may face before, during, and after an autism diagnosis. Navigating new spaces with the support of partners—in education, therapy, and medicine—can make all the difference to parents doing their best to do their best for their child, liberating them to focus their energies on potential rather than problems. This presentation will focus on the magic of moving from the ordinary to the extraordinary, the daily gifts of living in the moment, and the power of interdisciplinary support in approaches to and advocacy for individuals with autism and their families.  

Objectives
1. Attendees will be able to apply insight gained from one mother’s experience of evaluation for, diagnosis of, and advocacy around her child’s autism.
2. Attendees will be able to identify ways in which a parent’s perspective on navigating a child’s educational challenges might inform their approaches and attitudes. 
3. Attendees will be able to reflect on the value of interdisciplinary approaches when working with individuals with autism and their families.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP


Applied Behavior Analysis in Practice

Quantification in Line Graphs: An Examination
Richard (Rick) Cubina, PhD, BCBA-D

Line graphs and visual analysis have served as the engine of evaluation and decision making for applied behavior analysis. The advantages of line graphs include providing treatment data visually and summarizing a person’s performance across a given time interval. Line graphs also communicate the sequence of treatments, the time spent in treatment phases, and the magnitude of behavioral change. Yet visual analysis has a history of low interrater reliability and inconsistent judgments. Other criticisms include the lack of universal decision rule and the lack of any meaningful statistics. The solution to all of the previously listed problems may lie in a standard ratio graph. The following experiment examines the extent to which behavior analysts could accurately detect a trend and reliability make a decision based on three conditions: a linear graph with a trend, a linear graph with a quantified slope, and a ratio graph with a celeration value. The results and implications of the study suggest a healthy path forward for visual analysis and the analysis, evaluation, and communication of data via ratio graphs.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to interpret celeration values on a ratio graph.
2. Attendees will be able to evaluate the descriptive data comparisons between slope judgment from linear and ratio graphs.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB, CME, NASP


Student Poster Session 3:45-5:00 p.m. (immediately following the last session)


Friday, October 15

Welcome 8:45-9:00 a.m.


Keynote 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Cerebellar-Cortical Circuits and Autism
Peter Tsai, MD, PhD

Complex Behavior is produced by precise coordination of diverse neural circuits. Disruption of the
integrity of circuit networks has been observed in neurodevelopmental disorders, with growing evidence
pointing to a significant contribution of cerebellar-regulated circuits to neurodevelopmental disorders,
including autism. In this presentation, I will detail evidence for an unexpected contribution of the
cerebellum to nonmotor behavior, examine evidence for cerebellar dysfunction in autism specifically, and
explore how understanding cerebellar-regulated circuitry and function could potential yield therapeutic
opportunities.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to develop a circuit mechanism approach to understanding neurodevelopmental disorders.
2. Attendees will consider circuit modulation as a potential therapeutic opportunity for neurodevelopmental disorders.
3. Attendees will be able to understand the cerebellar contribution to neurodevelopmental behaviors.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP


Breakout Sessions 10:15-11:30 a.m.

Focus on Autism: Clinical Practice

Precision Genmoic Medicine for Developmental Brain Disorders: Incorporating Genomic Sequencing into Multi-Disciplinary Care
Kristen Wigby, MD

The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the concept of precision genomic medicine for neurodevelopmental disorders. We will review whole genome sequencing and the recent advances into our understanding of the heterogeneous genetic architecture of developmental brain disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability.  Finally, we will present a model for implementing whole genome sequencing in a multi-disciplinary autism clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and the interim results of a pilot study of the diagnostic efficacy in a prospective cohort of children with ASD with global developmental delays.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to define whole genome sequencing (WGS). Compare and contrast the types of genetic variants detected by WGS compared with karyotype, chromosomal microarray, gene panels, and whole exome sequencing.
2. Attendees will be able to list 3 categories of genetic disorders that are part of the overlapping genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP


Autism in the Schools

Traumatic Stress and ASD: Myths and Facts and What You Can Do
Michael Gomez, PhD

This presentation will focus on the intersection between ASD and Traumatic Stress.  It will discuss some common misconceptions with working with this population (e.g., ONLY the most highly trained will ever be capable of making a difference with these children and families) as well as the corrective information for these misconceptions.  The variants of traumatic stress (e.g., DSM-V PTSD vs. Complex PTSD/DTD) will be highlighted as well as the impact across child, caregiver and family system.  Lastly, the impact this work has on you as the provider will be discussed and a specific evidence based practice (CE-CERT) will be briefly covered as a tool to combat provider secondary trauma or burnout.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to identify resources that can assist them in working more effectively with trauma and ASD populations.
2. Attendees will better understand the state of the field in terms of assessment and intervention with trauma and ASD populations .
3. Attendees will receive concrete tools to address provider secondary trauma and burnout when working with children and families where trauma and ASD intersect.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Applied Behavior Analysis in Practice

Photographic Activity Schedules and Physical Activity in Children with ASD
Lorraine Becerra, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

Description Coming Soon!

Objectives:
Coming Soon!

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB, CME, NASP


Lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


Breakout Sessions 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Focus on Autism: Clinical Practice

Understanding Disparities and Providing Services to Latino Children with ASD
Nuri Reyes, PhD

This presentation will include research on disparities in identification, assessments, and services for children with ASD from diverse backgrounds. It will also include information about clinical services for bilingual/Spanish-speaking children and their families.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to identify factors that contribute to disparities.
2. Attendees will be able to describe ways to improve clinical services for bilingual/Spanish speaking families.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Autism in the Schools

Advocacy, Lobbying, and Policy: Oh My!
Craig Stevenson, MPA

Advocacy and lobbying are too often scary ideas that professionals stay away from. Instead of turning our backs to policy making, come explore how to lean-in to this as professionals in a variety of ways. If you don’t advocate for your profession, your patients, and for public health, who will? This session is designed to break down barriers, educate, and share tips of how to move along an advocacy continuum. We’ll also dive into some of the health policy items being discussed in the Missouri General Assembly and at the federal levels.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will gain a better understanding of “Missouri Politics 101” and Missouri’s political dynamics.
2. Attendees will learn easy “entry-points” into advocacy and the difference between advocacy and lobbying.
3. Attendees will learn best practices for advocacy efforts.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Applied Behavior Analysis in Practice

Maximizing Instruction Efficiency: Lessons from Research in Instructional Procedures
Catia Cividini-Motta, PhD, BCBA-D

This presentation will discuss variables that can impact the efficacy and efficiency of instructional procedures and therefore, acquisition of skills by individuals with autism. After a brief summary of previous research, the presentation will include a description of procedures employed by and results of studies recently completed by the author that exemplify simple modifications to “standard” teaching procedures that can help maximizing learning. This presentation will provide clinicians with a set of strategies that can be immediately incorporated into the educational programs of most, if not all, of their clients.

Objectives:
1.Attendees will learn ways to incorporate differential reinforcement into skill acquisition programs
2. Attendees will learn to identify prompt dependency
3. Attendees will learn to use behavior-specific praise to foster acquisition of untrained responses

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB, CME, NASP


Break 2:15pm-2:30 p.m.


Breakout Sessions 2:30-3:45 p.m.

Focus on Autism: Clinical Practice

The Autism Waitlist Crisis
Shelby Beckman, LMSW
Benjamin Black, MD
Connie Brooks, PhD
Carley Fugate
Shawna Shelton, RN

This expert panel of autism specialists and clinical managers will discuss the current state of the autism waitlist crisis, nationally and statewide. Strategies for reducing the waitlist will be shared and panelists will offer suggestions for families and referring providers waiting for appointments. Additionally, panelists will field questions related to diagnostic and intervention waitlists.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will learn statistics specific to autism diagnostic appointment wait times and variables impacting the wait.
2. Attendees will hear strategies for reducing waitlist time.
3. Attendees will learn action steps to take while waiting for diagnostic appointments.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP


Autism in the Schools

Supporting Students with Autism from Diverse Backgrounds: What We Know, Don’t Know, and Can Do to Support Diverse Learners with ASD
Jennifer Sykes, PhD
Kim Selders, MA

Increasingly, educators are aware of the need to support students with multiple intersecting marginalized identities (e.g., disability, race, second language, sexual orientation, and gender identity) and life stressors. This presentation first reviews the need for cultural competence and humility, and then discusses common hardships and important disparities for diverse students with disabilities. Participants will also be provided with resources, other things to consider, and strategies specific to supporting students with autism from diverse backgrounds.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to recognize various considerations for cultural competence and humility as it relates to education professionals.
2. Attendees will be able to identify common disparities and challenges for diverse students with disabilities and their families. 
3. Attendees will obtain resources and strategies for supporting students with autism from diverse populations.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, CME, NASP

Applied Behavior Analysis in Practice

Ethical Decision Making in Behavior Analytic Practice: Understanding the Influence of Contextual Factors and Using Decision Trees
Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

Ethical behavior for behavior analysts is a complex and nuanced phenomenon.  While our overarching obligations are clear, the application to real world dilemmas can be more ambiguous. Determining the best course of action requires the assessment of contextual variables that may not be evident.  In this workshop, we will review resources and strategies, including decision trees, to assist with decision making. Models for navigating such dilemmas will be shared.

Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to identify core ethical principles and mandates that guide individual and organizational decisions.
2. Attendees will be able to identify how to problem solve when dilemmas arise, how to use decision trees and tools to navigate dilemmas, and how to identify the best course of action.

CE Available: APA, ASHA, BACB (ethics), CME, NASP

Click here to download a copy of the schedule

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