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Bank Street College Autism Annotation Program's Expert Workshop Series

Posted by Dara Eisenstein on May 23, 2012

Autism Annotation Group

Bank Street College Autism Annotation Program sponsored its second annual Expert Workshop Series in April and May of 2012. The Expert Workshop Series is part of the Federal Grant that Bank Street College received to provide advanced New York State Certification to highly qualified masters level students who hold dual certification in general and special education and work with students on the autism spectrum and students with severe disabilities. Catherine Lord, PhD, Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (a subsidiary of Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital) presented Longitudinal Studies of Autism Spectrum Disorder: 2 to 22 on Monday, April 23, 2012. The studies she discussed provided an opportunity for participants to receive important information about individual differences in developmental trajectories in ASD and the factors that contribute to positive and negative aspects of outcome in adolescents and young adults.

On April 30, 2012, Valerie Paradiz, PhD presented Supporting the Emerging Self-Advocate with Autism in School Settings. Dr. Paradiz is the Director of Valerie Paradiz, LLC, a consultancy that designs curriculum and provides technical assistance and strategic planning to organizations that support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her presentation included assessment tools, supports for the development of IEP goals that foster self-advocacy ability, and implementation strategies for the Integrated Self Advocacy ISA Curriculum (AAPC, 2009). She also discussed five self-advocacy skill areas, which included social, sensory, special interests, disclosure and civil rights/entitlements.

Debbie Meringolo, MA, MS and Nancy Tarshis, MA, MS, CC/SLP presented Exploring the Social Thinking Approach on May 3, 2012. The presenters co-direct Altogether Social, a social cognitive intervention practice on the upper west side and are members of the Social Thinking Speaker’s Collaborative. Their presentation highlighted the development of social cognitive abilities, and the crucial milestones of social development and social communication. They examined how social processing difficulties impact social thinking: the ability to work and learn as part of a group and accomplish specific academic tasks such as written expression and reading comprehension.

All three workshops were well attended and the evaluations for each workshop highlighted the introduction of new material and the relevance of the presentations to recent developments in practice. Workshop attendees commented that they are rarely introduced to the depth in the topics presented and they appreciated the opportunity to speak directly to the presenters during the question and answer time and at the presenter reception immediately following the discussions. Please contact Dr. Marcia Singer at msinger@bankstreet.edu for more information about the program.