Full Course Description

Early Intervention for Autism: Assessment & Treatment Strategies for Birth to 5

Program Information

Target Audience

Speech Language Pathologists, Speech Language Pathology Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants Educators, Early Interventionists, Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Nurses, Diagnosticians, Behavior Specialists, Marriage and Family Therapists


  • Screening and Assessment
    • Measure developmental milestones
    • ‘Red flags’ of autism
    • Subtle differences in neurotypical and at-risk infants
    • Latest research in early intervention
    • Video case studies:
      • Neurotypical and at-risk development
      • Subtle, easy to miss signs of autism
      • Distinct results of early intervention
  • Treatment Framework: Interrupt/Replace Coping Behaviors
    • Underpinnings of displayed behavior
    • Recognize and support sensory seeking/ avoiding actions
    • Pair preferred and non-preferred actions/activities to enhance change
    • Replacement activities that can interfere with aberrant behaviors
    • The power of distraction that can alter rigid behaviors
    • Stimulate engagement as initially related to their interests
    • Unstick the ‘sticky’ attention
    • Steps to broaden child’s play-based activity
  • Strategies/Techniques to Treat ‘Coping Behaviors’
    • Meltdowns/tantrums
    • ‘Stimming’
    • Sensory seeking/avoiding
    • Reduced engagement
    • Reduction of social reciprocity
    • Hyper-focusing
    • Resistance to cuddling/being held
    • Eating/sleeping challenges
    • Repetitive behaviors
    • Under-developed communication
    • Resistance to change
  • Treatment Case Studies:
    • How to begin treatment with a 9 month old
    • 14 month old who does not respond to pain
    • 2 year old with hyper-focus issues
    • Build Customized Treatment Plans
    • Practice designing realistic goals
    • Dissect behaviors to build effective treatment plans
    • Design a treatment plan for your client
    • Reduce Insurance Denials
    • Writing obtainable goals
    • Documentation: Treatment steps to show progress


  1. Characterize the six developmental milestones found in young children as it relates to case conceptualization for the treatment of autism.
  2. Analyze the 14 ‘red flags’ found in a young child who is at-risk for autism and utilize this information to assist with assessment and treatment planning.
  3. Explain the subtle differences in neurotypical and at-risk infants for purposes of parent/family psychoeducation.
  4. Utilize six screening and assessment tools to determine if autism is present in a young child.
  5. Employ specific clinical strategies/techniques to reduce and replace challenging behaviors inherent to autism.
  6. Characterize aberrant play behaviors in children that can be an early identifier to the possible risk for autism.

Copyright : 04/19/2018

Autism Spectrum Meltdowns: Effective Interventions for Sensory, Executive Function and Social-Emotional Communication

Program Information

Target Audience

Speech-Language Pathologists, Speech-Language Pathology Assistants, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Special & General Education Teachers, School Administrators, Educational, Paraprofessionals, Counselors, Psychologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Marriage and Family Therapists


  1. Design a sensory conducive friendly environment for an individual on the autism spectrum to improve their level of functioning.
  2. Articulate the impact of communication dysfunction on learning, behavior and social interactions in clients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
  3. Describe the neurological and physiological processes of meltdowns in a person diagnosed with autism and utilize this information when selecting a treatment intervention.
  4. Utilize clinical strategies to de-escalate a meltdown based on sensory, anxiety, communication or executive function triggers.
  5. Differentiate between a meltdown and a behavioral tantrum in clients with autism and apply appropriate clinical strategies to de-escalate the situation.
  6. Design and implement an individualized intervention/crisis plan for your clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


The Neurological and Physiological Differences of Autism

  • Sensory and Visual Environments
    • Sensory evaluation: Asking the right questions
    • Large motor skills, fine motor skills, eating, hearing, smell, touch
    • Creating a sensory friendly environment
    • Impact of sensory dysfunction on learning, behavior and social interaction
  • Executive Function (EF)
    • Impact of EF on daily life
    • EF manifestations seen in meltdowns
    • Strategies to limit consequences of EF
  • Social/Emotional Communication
    • Common pitfalls in communicating with individuals with autism
    • Communication differences with autism
    • Impact on learning, behavior and social interaction
    • Strategies to help facilitate communication

Anxiety to Meltdown

  • Recognizing the triggers
  • What does a meltdown look like?
  • What a person with autism experiences during a meltdown
  • Common behaviors seen in meltdowns
  • Meltdown or tantrum?

Effective Behavioral Interventions Based on the S.C.A.R.E.D. Model

  • Behavior as a form of communication
  • Inappropriate interventions … What never to do
  • Appropriate strategies to de-escalate the situation
  • Intervention in the school system
  • Creating a personalized intervention/crisis plan


Copyright : 05/03/2018

High-Functioning Autism: Proven & Practical Interventions for Challenging Behaviors in Children, Adolescents & Young Adults

Program Information

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, and other Mental Health Professionals


DSM-5® Changes & Autism

  • DSM-IV® and DSM-5®criteria comparisons
  • Social (pragmatic) communication disorder
  • Impact on service delivery (school/community)
  • Successfully link the home, school and therapist
  • IEP/504/Do they qualify for school services?
  • Co-morbid disorders: Why the difference is important

Social Skills Interventions

    Improve social skill deficits “Kid Cop” behaviors and why other kids get angry How to get peers to recognize them in positive ways Group activities Early intervention programs that can deliver long-term success

Communication Interventions

  • Ways to work out conflicts that are effective in multiple settings
  • Help peers, siblings and parents relate
  • Verbal interventions that overload processing

Sensory Interventions

  • Self-stimulation (appropriate & inappropriate)
  • Sensory strategies to avoid
  • Coping/calming techniques that reduce melt downs
  • Sensory Diet

Anxiety Interventions

  • Anxiety reducing activities
  • How anxiety impacts rigidity
  • Help them “self-regulate”
  • Successful transitions

ADHD Interventions

  • ADHD vs. hyper-focus
  • Commonly prescribed medications and possible benefits and side effects
  • Specific triggers and what fuels the rage
  • Reduce aggressive and disruptive behaviors
  • Mistakes that escalate defiant behaviors
  • Overcome refusals to comply with even simple requests

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Interventions

  • What to do when they become stuck on high interest areas
  • Specific medication interventions
  • Impact on socialization and behaviors

Interventions for Specific Difficult Behaviors

  • Reduce Internet and electronic addictions
  • Changes in technology, school systems and mental health delivery

Psychopharmacological Interventions

  • Differentiate among common medications
  • Medications that mimic difficult behaviors
  • Side effects and off label use
  • Impact of eating, sleeping and hormones on medication effectiveness

Case Studies, Demonstrations & Activities

  • Case studies that demonstrate specific interventions for aggressive and non-complaint behaviors
  • “Reminder video” technique: A way to facilitate behavioral rehearsal
  • iPad® apps for social success, behavioral changes and speech and language
  • Staff training techniques to experience what an individual on the spectrum might


  1. Implement interventions to teach children/adolescents diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) the skills to independently manage their own regulation, anxiety and fears.
  2. Design effective strategies to approach transitions and routine life challenges for children/adolescents diagnosed with HFA.
  3. Utilize specific interventions to improve long-term social-emotional success for children/adolescents diagnosed with HFA.
  4. Suggest specific sensory-based calming techniques to reduce anxiety for children/adolescents diagnosed with HFA.
  5. Recognize the potential side effects of psychotropic medication that can mimic or cause behavioral issues related to HFA.
  6. Design specific behavioral interventions to reduce frequency, intensity and duration of difficult behaviors in children/adolescents with HFA. 

Copyright : 07/19/2016

BONUS | The Connection Between Autism and Vision: Hands-on Demonstrations of Therapeutic Techniques

People with autism have difficulty processing and responding to information from their senses, including their most dominant sense—the visual system.  Autistic people often use visual information inefficiently and have problems coordinating their central and peripheral (ambient) vision. This can also be true, to a lesser extent, of those who have Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD.  Through hands-on demonstrations you will learn therapeutic techniques to help improve central and peripheral vision coordination for better outcomes in clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Program Information

Target Audience

Occupational Therapists • Occupational Therapy Assistants • Physical Therapists • Physical Therapy Assistants • Speech-Language Pathologists • Special Education Teachers • General Education Teachers • School Administrators


  1. State the importance of Ambient (peripheral) function for autistic patients.
  2. Explain how classic autistic behaviors relate to visual function.
  3. Implement specific hands on visual activities to support overall development of ASD children.


Understanding the Neuro-Anatomy of the Visual System

  • Ambient versus Focal pathway description

Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Visual signs and symptoms for autism spectrum disorder
  • Why is vision particularly important for those on the Autism Spectrum?
  • How can you explain many of the classic symptoms of Autism by understanding the Ambient Visual Pathway? 
  • What is yoked prism and how does it help those with Autism?

Therapeutic Activities: Demonstrations

  • Peripheral awareness games
  • Vestibular stimulation, fixation, and eye tracking activities
  • Floor maze for laterality and directionality
  • Ambient pathway stimulation tools

Copyright : 02/18/2017