Keynote Session | 8:30 - 9:30 AM

The Problem isn’t the Game, it’s the Playbook: How having a Child with Autism Changed our Lives

After years of working with children with special needs, Matt and Brenda McNiff were given their very own child with autism. The diagnosis of autism was both unexpected and difficult to overcome. As they managed the news, they found that their parental playbook was no longer effective. They not only needed a whole new playbook, but an entirely new team in which to execute those plays. In the short ten years that they’ve been parents of a child with autism, they’ve learned some lessons that helped develop their family into a winning team. Join these two dynamic speakers for an inside look at what it’s like to have your life turned upside down and finding acceptance, peace, and love in raising their child with autism.  
Drs. Matthew McNiff and Brenda McNiff, Educational Service Unit 5, Beatrice, NE; Matt is a Behavior Consultant and Special Education Director, Brenda is an Administrator for the District

Concurrent Breakout Set 1 | 9:45 - 10:45 AM

B01. Write on! Building Written Language Repertoires in Students with ASD and Intellectual Disabilities
Written is expression is essential for full participation in academic, social, and employment contexts. In this dynamic session, the speaker will guide participants through the most recent research in teaching written expression to students with ASD and ID and distill for them a set of practice components that can be used to facilitate their students’ success. 
Robert C. Pennington PhD, BCBA-D, Associate Professor, Assistant Department Chair, Department of Special Education, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

B02. Social Strategies for High Functioning Students with ASD
Impairments in social functioning is a primary characteristic of autism spectrum disorders. Indeed, most individuals with ASD lack the social interaction skills needed to develop and maintain successful interactions. Often for those identified as high functioning, these deficits are subtler, yet no less impactful. The purpose of this presentation is to describe a systematic process educators can use to identify appropriate evidenced-based social skills programs. Specific example strategies will be highlighted.  
Janine Stichter, PhD, Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

B03. Strategies for Success: Addressing Executive Functioning Deficits in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders 
Executive functioning (EF) deficits have been associated with several behavioral challenges common in children with ASD. These including restricted interests, repetitive behaviors, stimulus overselectivity, generativity, and deficits in cognitive flexibility. This session will present specific assessment tools and instructional strategies targeting EF deficits commonly experienced by students with ASD. 
Lisa Robbins, PhD, Associate Professor and Kaye Otten, PhD, BCBA, Assistant Professor, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

B04. How To Do Discrete Trial Training: Creating an ABA-based Teaching Program for Young Children with Autism
This seminar will provide an overview of the new 2nd edition of “How to Do Discrete Trial Teaching” in the How To Autism Spectrum Disorders Series, edited by the late Richard Simpson. The presenter will describe the overall purpose and suggested use for the book, while also providing a brief description of each section. Discrete Trial Teaching covers and incorporates so many of the overall ABA principles and techniques that are needed within any ABA program for a child with ASD, thus this book is subtitled:  Creating an ABA-based Teaching Program for Young Children with Autism. This user-friendly book enables university professors, clinical supervisors, clinical directors, etc. to use it as a curriculum guide and assessment tool for training individuals who are new to learning and implementing DTT with children with ASD.  
Sonja de Boer, PhD, BCBA-D, Chief ABA Officer, Remi Vista, Inc., Redding, CA

B05. Supporting Play in Preschoolers with Autism Through Peer-Mediated Interventions 
This session will present information on peer-mediated play interventions with preschoolers with autism. Specifically, the importance of peer-mediated play with minimal adult interference as a means of enhancing preschoolers' play is discussed.  Additionally, a brief description of play development, along with the ways play may differ in children with autism will be provided. Finally, this session will describe strategies for organizing, designing, and implementing peer-mediated play interventions. 
Mary Beth Patry, MSEd, BCBA, Doctoral Student, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

B06. Training and Managing Paraprofessionals in a School Setting

Students with autism spectrum disorder have varying needs and it can be confusing for paraprofessionals to understand how to work with such a wide range of needs in the school setting. This presentation will provide information about how to train and teach paraprofessionals to interact, work with, and use behavior supports for students on the autism spectrum. This session will cover what paraprofessionals need to know and how you can train your paraprofessionals to use evidence-based intervention strategies such as shaping, prompt fading, reinforcement, discrimination procedures, and data collection management. 
Jessica Nelson, MS, BCBA, LBA, Instructor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS and Felicity Balluch, EdD, Assistant Professor, Peru State College, Peru, NE

B07. Teaching Play to Young Children with ASD
Teaching play to children with autism is not as easy as it looks.  For many young children with autism limited social, communication and imitation skills have a huge impact on their ability to play. Learning to play functionally with toys is often hard work for our young children with autism…and not always fun! In this workshop, participants will learn simple steps for teaching beginning object based play and expanded play schemes to children with autism using evidence-based practices.  
Teri McGill, MEd, BCBA, Regional Coordinator, NE ASD Network Omaha, NE

B08. Social Competencies: Supporting Students with Autism
The Kansas State Department of Education has led the way in supporting social and emotional learning for students.  Making social competencies part of individualized programs for students with disabilities is critical to their success in school, at home, and in the community – both during school years and after graduation. A focus on a case study, an implementation cycle, and current TASN ATBS resources to support instruction will provide a foundation for supporting student growth in social competencies. Gail Ferguson, MSEd and Lisa Holt, MSEd, TASN Autism & Tertiary Behavior Supports, KS

B09. Implementing Structured Teaching in a Classroom to Improve Student Outcomes
The increased prevalence of autism has intensified the demand for effective educational and therapeutic services to support student outcomes such as school readiness and social-emotional skills. There is evidence supporting the use of a comprehensive treatment model (CTM) such as Structured Teaching. (Wong et al., 2013) Schopler and colleagues at TEACCH developed Structured Teaching as a fundamental part of their approach to working with individuals with autism. This presentation will provide an overview of the elements of Structured Teaching as well as a systematic process to implementing those elements in a classroom setting. 
Karine Gleason, BS and Peggy VonFeldt, MA, BCBA, LBA, TASN Autism & Tertiary Behavior Supports, KS

Concurrent Breakout Set 2 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sessions from Breakout Set 1, repeated

Concurrent Breakout Set 3 | 1:15 - 2:15 PM

B10. Employment Skills Training for Transition-Aged Youth with ASD
This presentation describes how to implement a variety of evidence-based practices to support transition-age youth with ASD during community-based employment experiences. Step-by-step instructions for applying self-monitoring, technology-aided instruction, and visual supports for employment skills will be shared, with emphasis on social competence, social skills, and task completion at work.
Leslie Bross, MS, Doctoral Student, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

B11. Using Evidence-based Practices with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Over the last two decades, the identification and use of evidence-based practices (EBP) has become a critical trend in the field of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While educators understand the ethical imperative to use effective practices with their students, practical challenges remain. Despite significant advances in research and teaching methods, due to the complexities of scientific findings, differences in EBP terminology and reviews, as well a number of other factors, implementing EBP for students with ASD can be confusing. The presenter will provide an overview of EBP, including definitions and components, identify the guiding questions that should be asked about EBP, discuss a process to choose, use and evaluate EBP, and share how to locate and use free web-based EBP resources.
Paul LaCava, PhD, Associate Professor, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

B12. Prevalent Practices and Critical Concerns for Individuals with ASD and Complex Communication Needs
Children with ASD who also have complex communication needs (CCN) present particular challenges to practitioners. The presenter will discuss the state of the science with regard to working with this population, drawing from content from recently completed work in collaboration with dear friend and colleague, Rich Simpson. Content to be covered will include the central role of communication in development of practices for individuals with ASD and CCN, evidence-based practices and key features of these practices, unproven treatments, and questions that remain unanswered. This presentation will be relevant to educators, speech-language pathologists, and behavior analysts; family members may also find the content useful and interesting.
Jennifer Ganz, PhD, BCBA-D, Professor, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX and Richard L. Simpson, EdD, in absentia, Emeritus Professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

B13. ASD Toolkit for Evaluation and Programming
This session will offer participants a variety of tools school teams can use to determine eligibility and programming for students being considered for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In addition, presenters will share strategies for examining curricular and school level frameworks for students with ASD as well as looking at assessments used on a daily basis that inform programming decisions.
Brooke Carson, PhD, State Autism Specialist, Exceptional Student Services, Colorado Department of Education and Lee Stickle, MSEd, Director, TASN Autism & Tertiary Behavior Supports, Kansas

B14. Skillstreaming for Students with High Functioning Autism
Individuals with high-functioning forms of autism experience social interaction problems, including social excesses, deficits, and failure to understand social situations and expectations. A large body of high-quality research indicates that explicit instruction in a variety of social skills improves the social competence and performance of students with high-functioning autism. This session will introduce a guide for teaching relationship skills, social comprehension, self-regulation, problem-solving, understanding emotions, and school-specific social skills using explicit instruction such as modeling, role-play, feedback, and independent practice. 
Ellen McGinnis-Smith, PhD, Consultant, Ankeny, IA

B15. Increasing Social Competence Skills in Young Children with Autism through Individualized Peer-Mediated Interventions 
In this presentation, participants will gain knowledge about designing peer-mediated interventions (PMIs) based on individualized assessment processes (e.g., preference assessments) to address the social competence needs of young children with ASD. Specifically, participants will know (a) the impact of PMIs on social competence skills exhibited by young children with ASD; (b) how researchers and practitioners can individualize PMIs to better address the social competence needs of young children with ASD; and (c) how to collect and summarize data in a systematic manner to evaluate the effectiveness of PMIs. Recommendations for application of PMIs in early childhood settings will be discussed. 
Jose’ Martinez, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

B16. Using Visual Supports to Enhance Language and Cognition 
“Thought is visible language, and language is a visible thought.” For the visual learner, educators can help shape cognitive processes via enhanced linguistic instruction to develop more effective associative and deductive reasoning patterns. Increasing flexibility in cognitive-linguistic reasoning assists those with ASD in accurately thinking about and responding to the world around them. This session focuses on strategies that incorporate visuals supports to enhance semantic and syntactic language patterns to teach salient features of a skill or concept while guiding subsequent logical thought patterns of association and reasoning. 
Teresa Kemper, MA, CCC-SLP, Private Practice Speech-Language Therapist, Kemper Communication, Lee’s Summit, MO and Theresa L. Earles-Vollrath, PhD, BCBA, LBA, Professor, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

B17. Too Many Behaviors, Too Little Time!  How to Prioritize Target Behaviors 
Conducting direct observations along with behavioral interviews and needs assessments can result in myriad target behaviors in need of intervention.  This pool of assessment results often leaves us scratching our head while saying, "Where do I even start?"  Within this session, learn to identify which behaviors to attend to and change first by answering nine questions designed to prioritize target behaviors.
Peggy VonFeldt, MA, BCBA, LBA and Pam Scharping, MSEd, BCBA, LBA, TASN Autism & Tertiary Behavior Supports, KS

B18. The Early Childhood Autism Certificate: An Innovative Approach to Professional Development 
There is currently a waiting list in Kansas for the autism waiver. Families have the challenge of finding daycare and/or early childhood programs with a trained teacher and related service providers who understand autism. Based on a statewide need for autism-specific professional development, the Pittsburg State University Early Childhood Autism Certificate was developed with collaboration from professionals and family members throughout the state. This session will focus on the specialized knowledge and skills taught regarding the characteristics, methods of assessment and evidence-based practices for teaching young children with autism and developmental delays; in addition, previous students will share their new knowledge and skills. 
Terri Cooper Swanson, PhD, Autism Certificate Program Coordinator, Pittsburg State University; TASN Autism & Tertiary Behavior Supports; Sarah Behrens, LMSW, TASN Autism & Tertiary Behavior Supports, KS; Jennifer Oborny, MSEd, Early Childhood Special Educator, Hays Area Children’s Center in Hays, KS; and Melanie Garrison, MSEd, Early Childhood Special Educator, Garden City Schools, Garden City, KS

Concurrent Breakout Set 4 | 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Sessions from Breakout Set 3, repeated