Full Course Description
Different... Not Less
- Apply strategies to help clients overcome adversity and developed self-confidence, including finding an invaluable mentor.
- Determine the skills necessary for employment that aligns with your client’s unique abilities and career interests.
- Solve challenges related to forming and maintaining meaningful long-term relationships.
- The Extraordinary Potential of Those on The Autism Spectrum
- Help Clients with ASD Tap into Their Hidden Abilities
- How Clients with ASD Can Live Full Lives with Meaningful Relationships and Careers
The Neuroscience of Safety: The Transformative Impact of the Polyvagal Theory on Supporting Children on the Autism Spectrum
- Apply the lens of the Polyvagal theory in appreciating the adaptive nature of behaviors in children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
- Differentiate between viewing and manipulating surface behaviors and addressing the upstream causes of behaviors across diagnostic categories of the DSM.
- Determine how the process of neuroception is a guiding principle for treatment planning and treatment techniques.
- Understanding Behaviors as Adaptations of the Autonomic Nervous System: A Paradigm Shift
- Problem with targeting surface behaviors; Know the problem in order to shift the strategies: Case study
- The Neuroscience of Safety
- How the PVT helps us “look inside” the nervous system
- The guiding principle of neuroception and how it can help clinicians
- Individual Differences and Tailoring our Support for Individuals with Autism and their Families
- Looking under the skin to understand that autonomic state influences reactivity and sociality.
- Identifying strategies to retune autonomic state and shift hypersensitivity to social receptivity.
- Difference between passive and active pathway interventions
- Safe and Sound Protocol - a passive pathway intervention that harnesses the neuroception of safety
- Safety is Treatment and Treatment is Safety: Practical Tips
- How the neuroscience of safety helps us plan treatment goals
- Examples and principles of neural exercises and how they apply the ‘vagal brake’ to calm and promote resilience.
- The Power of Play
- Play to exercise the neural pathways of safety with activation in a safe way
- Research documenting how acoustic cues of safety reduce hypersensitivities.
Sensorimotor Interventions to Improve Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Functioning: Neurological Approaches for Children and Adolescents with Autism
- Demonstrate the neurological connection to the various sensory strategies for treating children and adolescence diagnosed with autism.
- Employ treatment techniques such as mindfulness, activation of the Vagus nerve, music and movement, and respiratory-based techniques to improve client level of functioning.
- Integrate environmental modifications to support optimal function of children with autism.
- Assess the cause and effect of intervention techniques as they relate to neurological function.
- Variations in the Presentations of Autism
- Impact on appropriate selection of intervention
- Looking at the duality of function and dysfunction
- Neurological connections to emotions and sensorimotor function
- Tools for Assessing:
- Areas of strength and areas revealing potential for growth
- Environment and context to identify opportunities for adaptation and modification
- Arousal levels assessment tool: Concrete method used for daily schedules and to organize daily interventions
- Neurological Connection to Treatment Planning
- Sensorimotor strategies to address the individual needs of children and families
- Adapt and modify activities and the environment to support the child’s needs
- New interventions for vestibular, interoception, proprioceptive, auditory, smell and vision work
- The Self-Regulation & Mindfulness program
- Addressing primitive reflexes
A Practitioner's Guide to Autism Assessment: A Strengths-Based Approach
- Utilize appropriate screening tools when ASD is suspected.
- Conduct a functional assessment of challenging behaviors associated with ASD, a co-occurring condition, or both.
- Determine the information required to make an appropriate referral for evaluation or services when ASD is suspected.
- Utilize specific interventions and modifications informed by screening and assessment results.
- Assessment and Screening Through a Neurodiversity Lens
- Profile and how brain works differently
- Identifying strengths
- Needed supports to promote independence & valued living
- Collaborative assessment driven approach
- Screenings that all providers can use
- Functional Behavioral Assessment
- Diagnosis isn’t the main issue
- Current behavior is important to address
- Once function of behavior is identified, what next?
- How to encourage more helpful behaviors, regardless of diagnoses and environment
- Cases examples using Motivational Assessment Scale
- When Screening Shows ASD... Now What?
- Types of referrals to make and why they are so important
- Psychoeducation resources
- Understanding elements of a good provider with ASD expertise
- How to Broach the Topic of ASD to Families: Role-Play
- Earlier diagnosis -> earlier intervention -> better trajectory
- Educational identification vs medical diagnoses
- System challenges: Time to get to a proper evaluation
- Age of receiving diagnosis and acceptance
- Racial and economic disparities: Social justice and equity lens
- Gender differences
- How long it takes to get ASD diagnosis
- Help parents process acceptance and address ambivalence
- Discomfort/ambivalence in relaying diagnosis
- Integrating strategies for:
- Social Communication
- Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRB)
- When attention is the function
- When escape is the function
- Role-plays incorporating a combination of the above
Early Intervention for ASD: Building Rhythms in Relationships through DIR®
- Theorize the reasons why achieving rhythm in a relationship for a child with ASD may be difficult.
- Use DIR strategies to support rhythmicity and “synchrony” in interactions to foster relationships in a child with ASD and caregiver.
- Create rhythmicity within relationships to build routines and rituals that foster family bonding.
- Why Rhythms are Important to ASD
- Rhythms in life, relationships, family life, and routines and rituals
- Build Rhythms in Relationships Using DIR®: The Developmental Entry Point For Intervention
- Help the child move up the developmental ladder (Developmental)
- The unique neurobiological profiles of child and caregiver (Individual Differences)
- Emotional connectedness and forming rhythms between child and caregiver (Relationship-Based)
- Tailor sensory affective interactions to “match” rhythms in relationships
- Pace, position, responding to affect signals, emotional tones, and social bids
- Rhythms in Daily Life: From Regulation to Reflective Thinking
- A trajectory of developmental growth and richer emotional connectedness
- Strategies to drive developmental integration
- Foster cherished family bonds across the lifespan
Child-Centered Approaches to Effective Autism Treatment: Practical Strategies that Clinicians & Educators Can Use Right Away!
- Employ 3 motivation techniques to assist an individual on the autism spectrum in the learning process.
- Use 3 specific teaching techniques that will assist an individual on the autism spectrum in the learning process.
- Design an individualized teaching program that will assist an individual on the autism spectrum in the learning process.
- Seven Core Strategies for a Successful Program
- Functional Communication and Motivation
- Function of Behavior and Plan Development
- Evidence Based Positive Approaches
No More Autism Meltdowns: Strategies to Deescalate Meltdowns and Reduce Anxiety
- Apply how best to think about challenging behaviors to ensure better outcomes.
- Justify when traditional discipline can be effective and when it makes things worse.
- Determine ways to de-escalate and soothe out of control emotions and meltdowns.
- Employ effective strategies to deal with overwhelming anxiety that causes individuals to avoid situations.
- Execute prevention plans to reduce avoidance and frustration.
- Develop strategies to teach children effective ways to get attention.
- Managing Your Own Emotions Before Your Client’s Behaviors
- Research on hope and attributional style of teachers and parents
- The limits of traditional discipline
- How to think about challenging behaviors to ensure better outcomes
- Crisis Management
- De-escalating meltdowns though distraction/soothing
- Identifying the 7 Common Triggers to Frustration and Anxiety
- Internal issues
- Sensory challenges
- Lack of structure
- Demanding tasks
- Unexpected changes/delays/disappointments
- Threats to self-esteem
- Lack of desired attention
- Prevention Plans for Each of the 7 Common Triggers
- Ways to reduce avoidance and frustration
- Strategies for waiting or accepting when the answer is no
- Strategies to teach effective ways to get attention
Theory of Mind: Therapeutic Implications for Clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Utilize current research on neural bases for emotional understanding and Theory of Mind to inform intervention.
- Assess and describe the developmental stages of ToM from infancy through adolescence and implications for assessment.
- Evaluate the therapeutic implications of ToM deficits in children and adolescents with autism.
- Types of Theory of Mind Deficits (ToM) and Neurological Bases for the Deficits
- ToM Deficits: Developmental Factors to Assess, Implications for the Deficit, and How to Intervene
- Infancy/toddler – attachment, gaze following, reading emotional cues
- Preschool – pretend play, emotional vocabulary
- Kindergarten/early elementary – perspective taking; autobiographical memory; future time travel/self-regulation
- Later elementary and beyond – social emotions; lies/sarcasm; personal life stories
Motivational Interviewing for High-Functioning Autism in Adulthood: An Insider’s Perspective
- Justify the importance of using person-centered strategies with ASD patients.
- Utilize MI to integrate understanding of pragmatic language skills, motivation and depressive symptoms.
- Employ MI strategies such as flipping the righting reflex, menu of options type questions and OARS to treat anxiety and depression in adults with HFA.
- Motivational Interviewing (MI) and ASD: What the Research Says
- Matching developmental freedom and personal autonomy: Activity
- Recommendations for balancing safety and autonomy
- Person-centered strategies and their impact on patients with ASD
- Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) and MI
- MI Techniques for Improving Pragmatic Language
- Exercise on social pragmatics and depression (Thomas Gordon’s process)
- Case study: Social pragmatics and meaning making
- Social pragmatics and its effect on self-esteem and motivation
- Help clients navigate ambiguity
- Decreasing “black” and “white” thinking patterns
- Increasing clients ability to identify reasons for change and build motivation
- Responding to change talk in HFA
- Hacks for social pragmatics
- MI Strategies for Treating Anxiety and Depression
- Recognize “black” and “white” thinking patterns
- Open-ended questions, Affirmations, Reflections and Summaries (OARS)
- Cultivate change talk for motivation: Case example
- OARS real play activity
- Flipping the righting reflex demonstration
- Evoking confidence for change in HFA: Exercise
- Menu of Options – using closed-ended questions
- MI risk and limitations in ASD population
Psychopharmacology in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Support the benefits of certain pharmacological interventions in treating the symptoms of ASD.
- Analyze the potential side effects of psychotropic medication that can mimic or cause behavioral issues.
- Determine your role as a treating clinician in assisting your client’s with ASD in psychopharmacological management.
- Interventions for treating symptoms of ASD
- Behavioral, Developmental, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies
- Antipsychotics and Restrictive/repetitive behaviors
- Pharmacological research on treating ADHD Symptoms
- Stimulants and Alpha Agonists
- What are the potential Side Effects?
- Should SSRIs be used to treat anxiety/depression?
- Research on Melatonin and Sleep
- What is our role as clinicians in medication management?
Autism Intervention Using a Trauma-Informed Lens: Creating a Foundation of Safety & Trust to Promote Self Awareness & Problem Solving
- Choose the trauma-informed lens as an approach to supporting growth areas for children with autism.
- Determine critical elements for building a safe therapeutic and educational environment when working with children with autism.
- Implement a variety of strategies to support self-awareness, emotional advocacy, and problem solving in children with autism.
- Trauma-Informed Practice: Brief Overview
- Trauma Response/Window of Tolerance
- Emotional regulation and school impact
- Academic and cognitive impact
- Background on the Critical Challenge Areas of Autism
- Trauma impacts and autism growth areas: similarities
- Child development and learning joint attention
- Breaking down executive function
- Creating a Foundation of Safety and Trust
- Setting up for success: expectations
- Motivation: Avoiding the trap of a relationship based on reinforcement
- Making Demands vs Using Declarative Language
- The power of being vulnerable: Making mistakes in a safe space
- Problem Solving and Resilience Strategies
- Opportunities for new learning: Small steps
- Effective implementation of visuals:
- Emotional Vocabulary (Color Palette)
- Emotional Thermometer
- Self-Monitoring Scales
- Cause and Effect Relationships: Problem Solving Pathways (SOCC Table)
- Collaborative communication with families
Social Skills Intervention for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum: Helping Clients Overcome Today’s Obstacles in Social Skills
- Determine the unique challenges faced by children and adolescents in today’s digital and pandemic world.
- Choose the best strategies to implement upon return to school or their clinical setting.
- Design strategies for use when obstacles arise in social skills acquisition.
- The Unique Social Challenges Clients with Autism Face Today
- The pandemic and digital world’s impact on social skills acquisition
- Specific skills individual with autism need to learn in this new world
- Social Skills Strategies to Help Clients with Autism:
- Navigate social interactions online and in person, in any setting
- Use “in person” approaches from “on-line” responses to social situations
- Effectively manage their preservation of high interest areas
- Reduce misinterpretation of social cues
- Understand appropriate/inappropriate content for discussion topics
Dissecting the Brain-Gut Connection for Complex Trauma Disorder, Autism, & ADHD
- Evaluate the diagnoses and the various neurological structures related to the 9 senses.
- Assess neuronal oscillations and their connection to function.
- Apply current research on the neuronal plexuses to function and dysfunction of individuals with complex trauma disorder, autism & ADHD.
- Review the diagnoses and the various neurological structures related to the 9 senses
- Neurological Review
- Autonomic Nervous System and its connection to psychosocial health related to stress, fear, and trauma
- Define and describe neuronal oscillations and their connection to function
- Current Research: Neuronal Brain Oscillations/ Autonomic Neuronal Plexuses
- How to implement the Self-Regulation and Mindfulness and Contextual Sensory Integration Approach
- Relate and apply current research on the neuronal plexuses to function and dysfunction of individuals with complex trauma disorder, autism, & ADHD
- Review of the neuronal plexus
- Video examples of children to link content reviewed to symptoms and appropriate intervention.
- Case study review to develop an intervention plan