Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Free Monthly Webinar on Autism

Champions of Autism and ADHD is a non-profit based in Iowa. I wasn’t familiar with them until I got a flier about their free monthly webinars, on various applicable topics. It’s expensive to deal with autism, so I’m happy to recommend free information. It looks like tomorrow’s talk on IEP, mediation and IDEA is the second in the series, with the webinars being archived for future viewing.

 From the flier:

 Working Together — Promoting Effective Communication and Dispute Resolution under the IDEA

  • Date:  Thursday, March 15, 2012
  • Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST
  • Presenter:  Miriam Van Heukelem, Attorney, Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

This webinar will help parents and educators better understand the procedure of educational programming for students will disabilities. We will discuss strategies for effective communication between parents and schools through the IEP process. We will hear perspectives from Iowa educators about the IEP team process, and will consider what reasonable expectations schools and parents can have for each other. We will take a close look at the mediation process, and will discuss how mediation can be a productive tool for resolving disputes and building stronger parent-school relationships. 

For more information, go to the Champions of Autism website.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Transition Options Program

Finding support for adults on the autism spectrum can be especially difficult. Once students leave high school, many of the formal and informal support options are no longer available. Without the structure of school, and with difficulty in finding appropriate post high school education or employment, many individuals struggle to remain connected and productive.

One valuable resource is the Transition Options Program, (TOPS) from Mount Diablo Adult Education. I’ll draw directly from their flier:

The Transition Options Program (TOPS) addresses the unique needs of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and related disorders transitioning to higher education, independent living and/or employment. The goal of the program is to provide education and support to enable students to be successful in work, home and the community. 

The program is uniquely designed to address the individual needs of participants as they select their class schedule based on the following four core areas of instruction: Social Skills/Cognitive Development; Employability/College Readiness; Independent Living Skills; Community Access & Resources.

TOPS provides a supportive environment for students to develop social skills, increase independence, develop interests, explore resources, participate in the community, and create a social network of support while preparing for work, independent living and/or higher education.

For more information on the program, contact Karen Lingenfelter-Carman, Adults with Disabilities Program Coordinator at (925) 685-7340 ext. #2742 or e-mail