Due to public health concerns, this event will take place VIRTUALLY using Zoom Webinar.
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - “The 4 A’s of Autism” presented by Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
The 4 A’s of Autism. We are transitioning from “awareness” to “acceptance” and headed to “appreciation” as society takes “action” in valuing individuals on the autism spectrum for whom they are. Examples of people, organizations, and entire countries at each stage of development will be presented. Dr. Shore will charge participants to reframe their thinking away from deficit and disorder towards seeking abilities based on individual strengths. Challenges attributed to Autism can be reframed as strengths.
10:00 - 10:15 a.m. - Break
10:15 - 11:15 a.m. - “Supporting People with Autism in Uncertain Times” presented by Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
No one is immune to the disruptions that the coronavirus pandemic is forcing upon daily life. However, for people on the autism spectrum, the loss of familiar routines and expectations can be especially damaging, often leading to deep, seemingly insurmountable anxiety. Fortunately, strategies and tools exist to guide and support autistic individuals to cope and thrive during these challenging times.
11:15 - 11:30 a.m. - Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - “Another Option: Division of Rehabilitation Services” presented by Director Rahnee Patrick
PUNS is not the only “game in town”. This session will help you understand the different programs and services which may positively impact the life of someone with Autism. Topics will include: program name, eligibility requirements, age, timeline and if the program is covered under a waiver or not. There is so much to learn about job readiness, job training, higher education and personal assistants.
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. - Break for Lunch "Beautiful Animation Explaining Autism"
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - “No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies to Address Challenging Behaviors” presented by Jed Baker, Ph.D.
This workshop describes how best to think about challenging behaviors to achieve better outcomes. With the right attitude we can thoughtfully de-escalate meltdowns and design effective behavior plans to avert these moments and reduce frustration and anxiety. Information will be imparted though lecture, interactive exercises, and video clips. Dr. Baker will explain the limits of traditional discipline and how to avoid power struggles. He will describe how to put together effective prevention plans for each of the common triggers to frustration and anxiety.
2:30 - 2:45 p.m. - Break
Check out the Living with Autism 2020 Conference website for more information and visit the Exhibitor Hall.
Place your bids in the Silent Auction. All donations from the Silent Auction will benefit the Assistive Technology Fund!
BREAKOUT SESSION 2:45 - 3:30 P.M. - Choose one
“Living Your Best Life” Presented by a Panel of Parents, Charlotte Cronin and Ellen Bronfield, and Professionals, Kim Zoeller and Dan Strick
A panel of two parents of adult children with Autism and two professionals in the Autism field will answer questions on how to develop a plan for your loved one to live a quality life in the community. Topics will include housing, employment, transition years and recreation.
“Strategies for Competitive Employment on the Spectrum” Presented by Lora Slutsky, MS, CRC, LCPC
Join The Autism Program of Illinois to learn strategies on soft skill development in preparing young adults with autism for competitive employment! Learn about strategies like adding structure and utilizing visual tools to build critical soft skills such as time management, asking for help, navigating social interactions in the workplace, and much more.
3:30 - 3:45 p.m. - Break
BREAKOUT SESSION 3:45 - 4:30 P.M. - Choose one
“Creative Ways to Use Home Based Funding” Presented by Leanne Mull and Shirley Perez
In this session we will explore the benefits and flexibility available to people with disabilities and families within both the Adult and Children’s Medicaid Home and Community Based Home-Based Support Programs. We will discuss the core components of the programs, unique and individualized ways to use the monthly funding allotment, and the built in flexibility of Home-Based supports. Additionally, participants will learn about options for selecting and training Personal Support Workers (PSW), becoming a PSW as a parent caregiver, and effectively using all of the services available with HBS. The session will include a question and answer session and resources to refer to later.
“Supporting Healthy Sexuality: Knowledge is Power” Presented by Linda Sandman
Everyone is a sexual being, including people with autism. Yet information about sexuality and healthy relationships is often not available or accessible for people with disabilities. This session will take you on a journey of discovery by introducing you to best practice strategies and resources you can use, including how you can support healthy sexuality from home.
About the Presenters
Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, a private organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors. He is an award winning author of five books, including Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Aspergers Syndrome and Social Communication Problems; Preparing for Life: The Complete Handbook for the Transition to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome; The Social Skills Picture Book; The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond; and No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior. His work has also been featured on ABC World News, Nightline, the CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel.
Leanne Mull is the Co-Director of Blue Tower Solutions Her work has included the revision and presentation of protocols for law enforcement and prosecutors for supporting people with disabilities and older adults who experience sexual assault or domestic violence. Leanne is also a Quality Enhancement Specialist for the Council on Quality on Leadership. In this role she provides training on the Personal Outcome Measures and related processes to organizations and individuals. She also provides raining in various areas of systems change, policy and practice. Leanne holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Kaplan University. Leanne is the Vice-President of The Arc of Illinois
Rahnee Patrick is Director of Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Rehabilitation Services. Her father is an Air Force Academy graduate who met her Thai mother during the Viet Nam Conflict. Rahnee was raised in North Liberty, Indiana, population over 900 people. She acquired her disabilities starting at the age of eight. Rahnee graduated from Indiana University, where she co-founded a group of disabled students. In 2005, she conceived the ADAPT Youth Summit and received the 2008 Paul Hearne Award of the American Association of People with Disabilities. Today she and her husband Mike Ervin live in downtown Chicago, where they try to make each other laugh every single day.
Shirley Perez is the Program Director of the Arc Family Support Network and Ligas Family Advocate Program. Ms. Perez has spent many years advocating and working with individuals and their families with disabilities. She is a business graduate of Metropolitan Business College and Kaplan University. She operated her own business, worked at an ISC Agency where she advocated for and assisted families in locating services by navigating the State system. She has navigated the state system as both a professional and a parent, caring for an adult child with a developmental disability. In conjunction with the City of Chicago, Federal Home Loan Bank and The Illinois Housing Development Authority, she implemented a home-buying program for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. She has worked as a Special Project Advocate with the Illinois Life Span Project; met with families/guardians to explain the transition process and listen to their concerns as their family members’ transition into the community from State Operated Developmental Centers. She self-directs her daughter’s long-term Medicaid waiver services, and has over 40 years of hands-on experience.
Linda Sandman has over 30 years of clinical experience working with adults with disabilities, including mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Currently, Linda is a Co-Director of Blue Tower Solutions, Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering individual, organizations and systems to create cultures of respect, inclusion, dignity and equality for people with disabilities. She is an experienced trainer and consultant to agencies and organizations working with people with disabilities. While a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Disability and Human Development, Linda served as Director of Clinical Services for the Developmental Disabilities Family Clinics, which provided direct service annually to over 1,000 individuals with disabilities and their families. In addition, Linda worked for 16 years on a research-oriented adult inpatient psychiatric unit at the UIC Psychiatric Institute. Linda is passionate about promoting inclusion and full participation in community life for people with disabilities. She is bilingual (Spanish/English) and bicultural and is also deeply committed to promoting diversity and empowerment for all.
For over 30 years, Sherri Schneider, President of Family Benefits Solutions Inc., QIDP, and the mother of a child born with some special needs, has been tirelessly dedicated to helping individuals with special needs and their families to obtain and maintain the Government benefits they so desperately need (including SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP…etc…) Her vast experience has enabled her to establish and maintain open, productive relationships with the government agencies involved in the entire decision-making process. Families and professionals find her interactive workshops to be invaluable as they attempt to navigate the government benefit arena. Sherri is also a member of the faculty of the IICLE (Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education) and is the President of The Arc of Illinois Board.
Stephen Shore, Ed.D Diagnosed with "Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies" and "too sick" for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism. In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen is internationally renowned for presentations, consultations and writings on lifespan issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure. His most recent book College for Students with Disabilities combines personal stories and research for promoting success in higher education. A current board member of Autism Speaks, president emeritus of the Asperger's Association of New England, and advisory board member of the Autism Society, Dr. Shore serves on the boards of the Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, The US Autism and Asperger Association, the Scientific Counsel of OAR, and other autism related organizations.
Lora Slutsky, MS, CRC, LCPC, is the Workforce Development Supervisor at Have Dreams, a non-profit serving individuals with autism, where she supports young adults in preparing for, securing, and maintaining employment. Lora’s experience spans 10+ years in work-readiness, educational, and therapeutic settings, supporting individuals with disabilities in building the skills for independence in the workplace and community. Lora received her BA from Brandeis University in Psychology and Education and received a graduate certificate from The George Washington University in Job Development and Placement. Lora received her MS in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.