• Saturday, Oct 27th
  • 8:00am - 3:15pm
  • Penn State Behrend The Burke Center-4701 College Drive
  • $20.00 pre-registration includes lunch

Autism in Our Community Event

Educational Conference

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Marcus Thomeer | Maximizing the Social Competence of High-Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dr. Thomeer is the Co-Director of the Institute of Autism Research and an Associate Professor at Canisius College. Dr. Thomeer has extensive experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating psychosocial interventions for high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Thomeer is one of the creators of the empirically validated summer psychosocial treatment program, summerMax. He and his colleagues have adapted the summerMax program into a comprehensive school-based intervention, schoolMax, and a comprehensive psychosocial outpatient program, MaxOut. He has co-authored over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He provides consultation and training to many school districts and families throughout Western New York.



~8:00am to 9:00am ~ Registration, Coffee & Light Breakfast Snacks, Vendor Fair
~8:45am ~ Welcome to A.C.E.
~9:00am to 12:00pm ~ Keynote Address
~12:00pm to 12:45pm ~ Lunch; Vendor Fair
~1:00pm to 2:00pm ~ Breakouts Session 1
~2:15pm to 3:15pm ~ Breakouts Session 2

Act 48, DPW, & BACB Credits:

~Act 48 credits available through Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit | REGISTER HERE 
~DPW certificates will be provided to the attendees
~BACB Credits available for breakout session offered by Thomas Kitchen “Provision of Evidence-Based Practices for School-Aged Children” sponsored by Achievement Center


~$20.00 pre-registration per person includes conference and boxed lunch
~$20.00 on-site conference per person, no lunch included

Keynote: Maximizing the Social Competence of High-Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the core deficits of autism spectrum disorder and its impact on children with average to above average cognitive and language abilities. Next it will review the state of the research on improving the social functioning of children and a model for evaluating and validating psychosocial treatments. Treatment elements that have been found to be effective will then be reviewed and demonstrated for use in home, school and community agencies.

Breakouts | Session 1 (1:00pm to 2:00pm)

A. Young Child Focus | Dr. Marcus Thomeer

This session will discuss the adapted summerMAX program for high functioning young children with autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) and strategies families and caregivers of young children with HFASD can use to maximize their child’s social competence at home. This presentation will review effective ways to give instructions, implement manageable token systems to increase prosocial behaviors and reduce challenging behaviors.

B. The Ins and Outs of Post Secondary Transition for Students with Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities | Katie Ann Huba

With Post-Secondary Options on the rise, Parents and Professionals should become aware of the different programs, as well as, the different funding options and supports available to students after graduation. Post-secondary offer students the option to attend higher education organizations as do traditional students and develop sills related to independent living and employment skill development. Transition planning begins at age 14, and parents should be aware of the different changes that a student will encountered after high school graduation. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and 504 plans all have different rules and sub-types at the college level. It’s extremely important that families, professionals, and students are aware of their rights, expectations, and differences at the college level.

C. Social Safety | Maria Brown

Discuss awareness of safety in the community, in school, on the internet, and with both friends and strangers. Provide tips for making, teaching, and practicing a safety plan.

Breakouts | Session 2 (2:15pm to 3:15pm)

A. Provision of Evidence-Based Practices for School-aged Children: Increasing Capacity and Collaboration | Thomas Kitchen (qualifies for BACB CEU’s)

Decades of educational, behavioral, and autism-related research have provided extensive data regarding evidence-based educational and behavioral practices for individuals with autism. Given this, many states have incorporated language in their regulatory, licensing, and services system delivery bulletins that mandates the use of strategies that are evidence-based in the delivery of educational and behavioral services. However, there exists a very real “research-to-practice” gap in which those responsible for designing, administering, prescribing, and implementing evidence-based services (from those in the highest levels of administration to those “front-line” as implementer on a day to day basis) are often lacking in the training and support necessary to become both aware of and proficient in the use of such practices. Ways to address this research-to-practice gap include: 1. Dissemination of current and relevant research through professional development opportunities for administrators, prescribers, clinicians, and implementer 2. Establishment of supportive training sites, an example of which is the Mercyhurst University/Erie’s Public Schools collaborative initiative that provides autism support in the public school special education environment. 3. The building of front-line implementer capacity through training and supervision of the paraprofessional workforce via mechanisms such as those required by the Registered Behavior Technician process.

B. ASD and Intimate Relationships | Janet Pawlowski

This presentation will address issues, related to intimate relationships with an adult individual with ASD/Asperger’s

C. Medicaid Eligibility and Access to Services for Children and Youth | PA Health Law Project; Janice Meinert

1.Medicaid eligibility criteria
2.Access to behavioral and physical health services for children and youth with Autism
3.Appealing denials of prescribed service

LUNCH included with pre-registration. Boxed lunch includes 1/4 sub, chips, apple, cookie, and water. Choices: Ham, Turkey, Roasted Veggie. Gluten Free lunch available: Chef Salad, chips, apple, and water.

Child Care and Teen Club Available at no charge | Pre-registration is required

Qualified child care will be provided on-site with activities to include LEGO, games, Arts & Crafts. Parents are responsible for purchasing or packing a lunch for their child(ren)/teen(s).

~ Kid’s Lunch: 1/4 sub, fruit cup, apple, cookie, and juice box ($6.00 each) Choices: Ham, Turkey, or Cheese
~ Teen Lunch: 1/4 sub, chips, apple, cookie, and water ($10.00 each) Choices: Ham, Turkey, Roasted Veggie, or Cheese
~ Gluten Free lunch: Chef Salad, chips, apple, and water ($10.00 each)

Interested in becoming a vendor? REGISTER HERE