Conference Schedule

Dr. Kelly Beck, PhD: Discovering Mindfulness
Mindfulness teaches individuals new ways to manage emotions by cultivating awareness to the present moment without judgment. There is a growing body of research suggesting that mindfulness-based interventions improve stress, quality of life, and emotional and behavioral problems for youth, adolescents, and adults. This talk will review mindfulness, the emotional and biological benefits, and treatment options available for individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder. Results of two research studies evaluating the use of mindfulness with teens and adults with autism will also be presented to the audience.

Choice of morning sessions:

  1. “Hear it from Me!: Stories about transitioning to adulthood and independence from the perspective of those who’ve done it”: Heather Conroy, LCSW, BCBA, will present tips for post-secondary success alongside a panel of adults with disabilities. The panel will share stories about the challenges and successes they experienced in school and at work and answer questions from the audience.
  2. “Exploring New Interests and Activities”: When people need competent and caring parents, coaches, and advocates to move forward, it becomes the team’s role to help design the plans to accomplish that mission. Regis Lazor, Behavior and Learning Support Systems, LLC, presents this exercise in analyzing individual attributes (physical, social, cognitive, etc.) in order to select possible new options for the future that may match the individual and what deliberate steps may be taken to plan for success.

Charting the LifeCourseTM
Charting the LifeCourseTM tools help individuals and families of all abilities and at any age or stage of life develop a vision for a good life. This includes identifying how to find or develop natural, community supports and funded services  PA Family Network and  Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Intellectual Disability.

Choice of afternoon sessions:

  1. “Let’s Talk about Relationships!”: Adult self advocates from Self Advocates United As 1, Inc will discuss different kinds of relationships;  how we make them; healthy relationships: unhealthy relationships; what abuse is; what to do about abuse and ways to learn more.  Self advocates and their allies are welcome to attend this session.
  2. “Supports for a Lifetime in Your Community”: Living, loving, working and playing in your community can be supported by personal relationships, community supports and human services.  Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Intellectual Disability representatives look forward to guiding you through understanding home and community based service (HCBS) waivers.. HCBS provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community. Some examples are community participation, employment services, assistance in the home or transportation.