Join us for the Ottawa Autism Conference — April 10 & 11, 2019
Featuring Speakers: Carol Burmeister & Kerry Mataya
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Join us for the Ottawa Conference
April 10 & 11, 2019

This exciting conference in Ottawa features guest speakers Carol Burmeister with Strengthen Executive Function Skills to Decrease Negative Behaviors and Build Positive Behaviors and Kerry Mataya with Talk with Me: Teaching and Developing Conversation Skills - A Step-by-Step Framework.

Contact us today to ensure your place. Please scroll down for more information on both of our presenters.

Wednesday, April 10

Carol Burmeister

Strengthen Executive Function Skills to Decrease Negative Behaviors and Build Positive Behaviors

Many individuals struggle in academic and social settings due to executive function (EF) challenges — the ability to switch between topics and activities, initiate action, cope with change, make choices, plan and organize, manage time, inhibit impulses, regulate emotions, and solve problems. Often these individuals are seen as unmotivated or behaviorally challenged. It may seem as though an individual could meet expectations if he wanted to, but doesn’t do so because he simply won’t. However, the reality is that he lacks the skills to do what is expected and, therefore, cannot meet expectations without support.

Although many educators and professionals associate EF challenges with students on the autism spectrum, the reality is that many young people struggle with executive functioning. In fact, it is accurate to say that all young people are learning executive functioning as these skills are not fully developed until people are well into their twenties.

Fortunately, there are numerous evidence-based practices that can be incorporated into preschool through high school classrooms, home, community, and work routines that develop EF skills and provide a foundation for building positive behavior that supports individuals in all environments. Furthermore, individuals with EF challenges can be taught to use the strategies independently, leading to self-regulation and sustainable improvements.

This conference is designed for teachers, educational assistants, parents, related service providers, and other professionals who work with and support children and adolescents with executive function challenges. Using lecture, demonstration, discussion, and video clips, the presenter will introduce participants to a variety of strategies that can be used immediately by parents, educators, professionals, and individuals with autism themselves to achieve greater levels of success. Many of these strategies, which can be used to support students in special and general education classrooms, are also effective for individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional disturbance, social/communication challenges, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, and traumatic brain injury.

Carol Burmeister, M.A., has a life-long passion for supporting individuals with special needs, their families, and the schools and community settings that serve them. Her professional experience includes serving as a paraeducator, general education teacher, special educator, program specialist, university instructor, and consultant across a variety of educational settings. Burmeister has presented extensively on autism and related disorders as well as served as part of the University of California, Riverside committee that developed and implemented a certificate program for teachers of students with autism. She currently serves on the board of the Autism Society of the Inland Empire.

Armed with the knowledge that evidence-based interventions for children and youth with ASD are the basis on which effective educational programs are built, Burmeister served as a reviewer of the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder’s update on evidence-based practices. For the past several years, her work has focused on the crucial topic of executive function (EF), helping parents as well as educational professionals understand the complexity of social, academic, and behavioral challenges that accompany executive function deficits and practical tools that support EF across all environments. Burmeister has presented at regional, national, and international conferences and has authored several articles on this topic. In addition, she is co-author, with Dr. Sheri Wilkins, of the book, FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills.

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Thursday, April 11

Kerry Mataya

Talk with Me: Teaching and Developing Conversation Skills - A Step-by-Step Framework

Have you ever wondered if your child or student with HF-ASD will ever make progress with conversation skills? The answer is yes.The truth is that poor conversation skills impact so much more than participation in a social skills group. A student with poor awareness or timing can throw off an entire classroom discussion or instruction because of his blurting out.The difficulty that students with HF-ASD face with discerning relevant versus irrelevant information carries over into reading comprehension and conversation. All of these things improve by working on conversation skills.

During this session, you will learn the key elements and steps for teaching conversational balance and fluency. Talk with Me has been utilized with hundreds of individuals with HF-ASD across all ages in Alabama and replicated by service providers across the United States. This program is suitable for learners ages 5 to adult. Although the program’s target audience is individuals with average to above average intelligence, the program has been helpful for many students in the classroom who are struggling with conversational reciprocity. That is, the learners have the expressive language ability, but are too shy to talk or say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Kerry Mataya is the creator and visionary behind Bridgeway Services providing intervention based services including school consultations, summer camps, after-school social groups, and individualized programming for high functioning individuals with ASD. With a Master’s in Education with emphasis in Autism and Asperger Syndrome from the University of Kansas, Mrs. Mataya holds many contracts with school systems for individualized teaching, social skills programming, executive functioning skill development, behavior support, and academic support. Most recently, Mrs. Mataya authored Successful Problem-Solving for High-Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Talk with Me. Mrs. Mataya has presented at numerous conferences and workshops around the United States. She is also involved with Asperger Connection, a small non-profit organization that provides funding to improve the quality of life for high functioning individuals with ASD.

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Written by Carol Burmeister

FLIPP The Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills
Authors: Sheri Wilkins and Carol Burmeister
Price: $34.95

FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills is a practical book written for parents and educators by parents and educators. The target audience is anyone who works with young people aged 3-22 who are disorganized, inflexible, impulsive, and who struggle with planning or problem solving. Readers will learn about executive function (EF) and how EF skills contribute to success in school, at home, and in work environments.

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Written by Kerry Mataya

Talk with Me: A Step-by-Step Conversation Framework for Teaching Conversational Balance and Fluency for High-Functioning Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Authors: Kerry Mataya, Ruth Aspy & Hollis Shaffer
Price: 30.95

Conversation is everywhere – at the lunch table, at after-school activities, in the line for the water fountain, at overnight camp during downtime, at work with a coworker, and at a Thanksgiving gathering. Regardless of the setting, this critical skill – human conversation – is challenging for many individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) – children and adults alike. For these reasons, it is essential to equip individuals with ASD with effective conversational skills.

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Upcoming Autism Conferences

Vancouver, BC – February 8 & 9, 2019
With: Ruth Aspy & Elisa Gagnon

Edmonton, AB – March 7 & 8, 2019
With: Bo Hejlskov Elvén & Carol Burmeister

Halifax, NS – March 29 & 30, 2019
With: Ruth Aspy & Carol Burmeister


Upcoming Trainings

Richmond, BC – April 11 - 13, 2019
Studio III – Low Arousal Approach Training

Regina, SK – May 2 - 4, 2019
Studio III – Low Arousal Approach Training
Copyright © 2019 Autism Awareness Centre Inc, All rights reserved.

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