22nd Annual Alabama Autism Conference Learner Objectives

Intersections of Identity and Mental Health in Autism
Mikle South, Ph.D.

1. Identify a balance of internal and external factors that contribute to co-occurring mental health concerns in autism including anxiety, depression, and risk for suicide
2. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of masking or other attempts to “fit in” with societal expectations
3. Define strategies for building understanding, respect and inclusion for autism and other neurodiverse approaches to the world

Deafness and ASD: Considerations for Theory and Practice
Aaron Shield, Ph.D.

  1. Describe the neurological and linguistics similarities of signed and spoken languages.
  2. Discuss the social skills that aid in the acquisition of language.
  3. Explain how deaf children with ASD acquire American Sign Language and apply this knowledge to potential intervention strategies.

Practical Evidence-based Approaches to Support Appropriate Classroom Behavior
Russell Lang, Ph.D.

  1. Identify and describe antecedent-based procedures that can preclude the emergence of challenging behavior in classroom settings.
  2. Identify and describe consequence-based procedures that can reduce the occurrence of challenging behavior in classroom settings.
  3. Identify and describe common misconceptions and missteps that often complicate successful classroom-based intervention.

Identifying and Advocating for Evidence-based Practices in the Education and Treatment of Autism
Russell Lang, Ph.D.

1. Compare and contrast definitions related to evidence-based practice related to education, psychology and medicine.
2. Identify common characteristics of evidence-based practice for early intervention in autism.
3. Identify common characteristics (warning signs) for potential ineffective and/or dangerous practices.
4. Describe a problem solving approach for advocating for evidence-based practice

Autism Spectrum, the Internet, and the Legal System: Understanding the Dangers
Lynda Geller, Ph.D.

1. Identify characteristics that make those with ASD particularly vulnerable to dangerous online situations.
2. Consider how an individual’s characteristics of ASD are related to particular criminal behavior.
3. Identify and recommend educational measures to prevent the occurrence of dangerous online behavior for those with ASDs.

Fearlessly Different: Our Differences Are Our Strengths
Mickey Rowe

1. Participants will be able to understand and explain how universal design (aka. universal accessibility) helps create a better learning environment for all of their students, not only their students with disabilities. Participants should be able to name specific examples.
2. Participants will leave with the skills to make all of their students feel valued and valuable (even students who learn or communicate in alternative ways).
3. Participants will be prepared to create classroom cultures where each student feels valued and appreciated by their educator and fellow students because of the things that might make them different, rather than just feeling valued and valuable despite the things that make them different.