It Takes A Village: Supporting Families of Young and Elementary School Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This session examines issues impacting families with a child (from birth to eight years) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

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Approved by Illinois Early Intervention Training Project for:

  • 1 hour in Atypical Development
  • 4 hours in Working with Families

This session examines issues impacting families with a child (from birth to eight years) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Participants will learn how to access and identify evidence-based strategies and a variety of resources for these age groups. A specific evidence-based, family-centered empowerment support model for families of all ethnic, racial, socio-economic status, and diverse cultural groups will be presented.

This full-day session includes dynamic multimedia presentations on prevalence, early identification, screenings, screening tools, diagnosis, and evidence-based practice. After diagnosis, cultural differences and considerations, as well as the impact of the diagnosis on the family throughout a child's early years will be presented through lecture, videos and case presentations.

We'll also discuss the extended family, siblings, and grandparents, and will spend time on bullying, ethics, and informed family work. Strategies for working with individual providers, school and community systems will also be considered. Participants will be taught how to empower families to create a team and support family health.

About the Instructors

Kathy Gould Kathy Gould, MSCP, is Program Manager of Illinois Autism Partnership at Easterseals assisting school districts to develop capacity to successfully educate students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She was State Director of Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project (IATTAP), a statewide initiative funded through Illinois State Board of Education from inception in 1998 through its close in 2014. She holds a MS in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University and presents in Illinois and nationally to schools and families on ASD. Kathy is recipient of the 2014 Autism Society of America Dr. Cathy Pratt Autism Professional of the Year Award.

Laura Wald, LCSW Laura Wald, MSW, LSW, has focused the majority of her forty year career as a social worker and educator with expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her particular focus has been complex issues facing families of children with autism and strategies to establish a positive and inclusive quality of life. She is a frequent presenter on family therapy and developmental disabilities for state and national conferences (Council for Exceptional Children/Division of Early Childhood). She has also served as an instructor at Erikson Institute on this topic. She also lectures for the School of Social Service Administration/University of Chicago in their professional education workshops.

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