Expanding Our Knowledge

Expanding Our Knowledge


The 2014-2015 Series…..Expanding Our Knowledge

This was an amazing series to develop & support.

The September 2014 lecture showcased Dr. David Traver M.D. from Foster City, a pediatrician who became interested in the Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was at Neuropsychiatry Clinic at Stanford Medical Center’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He became familiar with the biomedical approach to treating Autism as well & integrates his practices. Dr. Traver presented on The Biomedical Approach to Autism. He suggested parents look into gastrointestinal, nutritional, biochemical, metabolic & immune issues in their children. www.dptmd.com 650-341-5900

The October 2014 lecture, Using Music to Enrich the Lives of Children with Autism Spectrum was presented by Ian Wilkerson, MT-BC NMT founder of Bay Area Music Therapy. www.bayareamusictherapy.org Ian demonstrated how Music Therapy can improve cognition, physical skills, social skills and support emotional challenges in youth and adults with Autism. He even discussed the use of music through technology.

My November 2014 Lecture: with Liz McDonough, MFT/Drama Therapist, http://lizmcdonoughmft.com/ presented on the Social-Emotional Terrain from Adolescence to young Adulthood for those on the Spectrum. Liz demonstrated how she incorporates drama therapy, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches in helping teens & young adults navigate the social and emotional challenges of school, work and life in general.

Then our January 2015: Reading Strategies That Work for ASD Students was presented by Beth Powell, BS/MS and Director of the Reading Clinic www.thereadingclinic.com . Beth focused on addressing the comprehension challenges of children on the spectrum encouraging all of us to pay careful attention to this key factor and suggesting that the teacher and the speech and language therapist work hand in hand to address a student’s understanding of what they are reading. She let us know that it is important to develop visual imagery. The student must be able to see what word means. Can they describe what a picture is telling them? Can they make a prediction about what happened before or may happen after in the picture?

The February 2015 lecture showcased Dr. Peter Clive Mundy, professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders & Education in Psychiatry, Professor of Education & School of Education & Director of Educational Research M.I.N.D. institute University of California at Davis. He presented on Elementary & Secondary Education for Autism. Dr. Mundy showed us how the lack of developing joint attention can affect all future learning opportunities & emphasized how important that curriculums address this key feature so students can experience success in school. Teachers & speech & language therapist all need to work collaboratively on developing joint attention. Joint attention is key for developing social relationships, reading comprehension and communication.

Our March 2015 lecture featured Dan Phillips, MS CCC-SLP from the Technology Resource Center of Marin, http://trcmarin.org/ who presented on Supporting Curriculum and Communication with Technology. Dan shared a variety of apps that can be found on the tech. center’s web site that work amazing for students with ASD (Bitsboard, Choiceworks, Bookshare, Tar Hee Reader, Pictello, Story Creator, Book Creator, Co-Writer, Clicker Docs and Proloquo 2). He stressed how important it is to find apps that can be individualized with interests of the student and individual information about the student. He stressed that we should choose apps that can be programed to speak and can also use email to send communications to the student’s family.

Our May 2015 final lecture was given by Jennifer Griffith, MSW, ACSW Regional Director of College Living Experience www.experiencecle.com , a post-secondary support service for individuals with special needs & varying exceptionalities between 18 & 28 years of age. Her lecture Preparing Students with ASD for a successful Post-Secondary educational experience was a very timely lecture. She advised that our high school programs develop self-advocacy, independent living and social connections. She spoke to the parents about teaching their sons & daughters to pay their own bills, live on a budget, help manage their medical needs and learn to navigate in their community. All these steps will help prepare their sons & daughters for a post-secondary experience.

Karen Kaplan
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