Workshop Topics

Aspects of Autism Translated

Ever wonder about stims, lack of eye cotact and if a child with autism really is in his own world? This presentation, based on Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated, takes the audience on an intensely personal journey through Judy’s life where these and many additional aspects of autism are delved into juxtaposing her personal, parenting and professional experiences of autism. In addition, “helpful suggestions for working with individuals on the spectrum open a treasure box of insights. Having this ‘backstage pass’ into autism will be priceless for educators, parents and individuals on the autism spectrum.” -Joanna L. Keating-Velasco, educator, and author of A is for Autism, F is for Friend: A Kid’s Book for Making Friends with a Child Who Has Autism.

Outsmarting Explosive Behavior

This presentation, based on Outsmarting Explosive Behavior, a Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, describes an effective way to support individuals with explosive behaviors by using a visual system of four train cars to depict the stages of explosive behavior along with stop and go signs to show effective support strategies to use during each stage in the explosive behavior cycle. This model has been effectively used with numerous students (Early Childhood through Adulthood), continues to be a part of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Autism Training Project and has been published by AAPC Publishing as a three part kit (Facilitator Manual, Visual System and Student Workbook).

Practical Solutions to Stabilize Students With Classic Autism

Based on the publication, Practical Solutions to Stabilize Students with Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go, this presentation clearly delineates the nuts and bolts of what Judy does when she is called in to consult for a student with classic autism. Included are many practical strategies for supporting a student to be all he can be – his best version of self and most available for learning. This application of this information has been many students ticket onward to eventual placement in a more inclusive educational setting.

Embracing Life Autistically

This presentation is based on selections from Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult and Paper Words, Discovering and Living with My Autism along with a screening of The Power of Words: How we talk about people with autism spectrum disorders matters! Judy’s real life stories, including a trip to New York City that highlights Judy’s sojourns with friends, family and colleagues and how together they have discovered meaningful ways to live out their lives within the context of their relationships. Judy describes how she manages her work and everyday life with the unique challenges and blessing of her autism, and in doing so, conveys a renewed hope for the possibilities that can be in all of our futures as we all continue to learn how to live with autistics in a meaningful, relevant and respectful manner.

Diagnostic Deficits and the Humanity of Autism

Early diagnosis and intervention leads to best outcomes. However, a diagnosis does not tell about or define the humanity of an individual with autism. This presentation matches diagnostic criteria with aspects of individual artists with ASD, showing how a particular diagnostic trait was an asset in terms of their artistic creative abilities. It is a reminder to us all not to allow the deficit based diagnostic criteria define the humanity of people with ASD. Selections from Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated will be shared. In addition, The Power of Words: How we talk about people with autism spectrum disorders matters! will be screened.

Learning the Hidden Curriculum

This workshop offers practical suggestions and advice for how to teach and learn those subtle social messages we refer to as the hidden curriculum. While most people seem to automatically pick up this information, it most often has to be directly taught to individuals with social-cognitive challenges. Judy discusses how she personally has learned to more successfully maneuver social interactions along with presenting a framework for developing the ability to more quickly assess a situation and take steps to avoid making social blunders BEFORE they have been committed. Several strategies presented in a scaffolding manner, complete with embedded Learning Activities, provides a framework that enables others to learn to create their own social “rules” and, as a result, live freer, more successful lives. This presentation is based on Judy’s book Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult.

The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job

Adults on the spectrum often have difficulty getting and keeping a job that is unrelated to their job skills. This presentation is based on a small portion of the book The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment, a book that provides necessary yet often untaught information on a variety of topics related to getting a job such as finding a mentor, networking, using agencies, interviewing, talking with suprvisors, dealing with on-the-job frustrations, understanding the social rules at work and many other topics. This presentation will focus on strategies proven to be helpful to autistics in navigating the social landscape of the workplace.

Practical Solutions For Autistic Living

In this day long workshop Judy discusses three difficult areas of her own autism drawing from the sensory section of Practical Solutions to Stabilize Students with Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go along with strategies from Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult, two of Judy’s publications. This presentation is sprinkled with personal experience and includes many practical strategies for supporting a student to be all he can be – his best version of self and most available for learning. The application of this information has been many students ticket onward to eventual placement in a more inclusive educational setting. The Power of Words: How we talk about people with autism spectrum disorders matters! will be screened.

Making Lemonade

This presentation, based on Judy’s first book Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers, addresses how those on the autism spectrum take in, process, store and retrieve information. Topics include sensory system differences and literal, concrete thinking style. Selected readings from Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers will illustrate how Judy has turned some difficult “lemons” of autism, both of her own autism and of those with whom she has worked, into lemonade. Illustrations of the impact of autism on personal relationships will be discussed along with encouragement on the importance of friendship development between autistics and the “world-people” around them using real life stories from Judy’s personal experiences.

Supporting Visual Thinkers

This presentation, based on selections from Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated and Paper Words, Discovering and Living with My Autism, is an innovative approach to understanding the way many individuals on the autism spectrum think. Judy uses a visual system to demonstrate how to assist individuals with ASD to change their thinking patterns and avoid behavior meltdowns. This approach can also be applied to teaching reading comprehension, writing skills and dealing with ever changing schedules which can be difficult for so many of our folks with autism. Selections from Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers will be woven into this presentation. Come prepared to learn, to participate and maybe even to change your own thinking!