BSU hosting autism awareness workshops

Beginning in November, Bemidji State University is launching a series of events and workshops intended to raise awareness of autism and issues surrounding autism.

The series kicks off with a free all-day workshop, Nov. 16, featuring four sessions focusing on a variety of autism-related issues.

• Autism 101: Just the Basics
From 9-10:30 a.m., this session will review the concept of pervasive developmental disorders, the autism spectrum and other topics.

• Literacy Issues for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
Held from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., this session will review materials for assisting with hyperlexia and problems with comprehension and fluency due to comorbid disabilities.

• It’s Elementary!
A panel on successful collaboration for children in an elementary school setting will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. The information in this presentation will not be specific to any particular disability, but rather is intended to provide strategies than can be applied to a variety of different situations.

• Parent Panel
A panel discussion featuring parents providing tips for other parents will be held from 2:45-4:15 p.m. The panel will include strategies for dealing with sibling issues, individual education plan meetings at a child’s school, working with paraprofessionals in the classroom and other topics.

All four sessions will be held in Bridgeman Hall 100 on the BSU campus.

Advance registration is required; the four sessions are free, and a boxed lunch is available for $10. Lunches can be reserved at the time of registration.

The series will continue on March 1, 2014, with another free single-day series of four workshops:
• Transition and Autism
• Autism and Comorbid Disabilities
• Early Childhood Issues and Autism
• Parent Panel

More information about the March workshop will be released at a later date. Like the November workshop series, the March series will require advance registration for the free workshops and have a boxed lunch available for a $10 fee.

Honors Council Lecture
On Nov. 4, Dr. Rachele Schafer, an assistant professor of professional education at BSU who is organizing the autism awareness workshops, will present a BSU Honors Council Lecture entitled “The Efficacy of Elements with Social Skills Training for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum.” The lecture will discuss how autistic persons perceive the effectiveness of social skills training.

Schafer’s lecture is open free to the public. It will begin at 7 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer Hall 100 on the BSU campus.

For additional information or to register for the workshops, visit Bemidji State’s Department of Professional Education.

The autism awareness program is sponsored by Bemidji State University’s Department of Professional Education.

Dr. Rachele Schafer, assistant professor of professional education; (218) 755-4046