Easterseals Midwest Hosts Autism Conference Series in Cape Girardeau Nov. 1

The Easterseals Midwest Autism Conference Series will continue in Cape Girardeau Nov. 1 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Isle Casino – Event Center.
 
 
2018 Easterseals Midwest Autism Conference Series
2018 Easterseals Midwest Autism Conference Series
 
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ST. LOUIS - Oct. 31, 2018 - PRLog -- The Easterseals Midwest Autism Conference Series will continue in Cape Girardeau Nov. 1 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Isle Casino – Event Center. Designed for individuals, parents, educators, and professionals, the annual conference unites nationally recognized developmental disability and autism experts from around the country.

The featured keynote presenter is Alicia Curran, state leader and advocate for children with autism and their families, will present, "The Power of the Family Voice." Curran devoted her professional career to work within the autism community. Currently, she works at the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental disorders, where she leads the operations of the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Autism Program, as well as serves as a Parent Panelist on two expert hub teams

In this presentation, Curran will share her personal story of raising a child with autism spectrum disorder and lessons learned during that journey that motivated her to become an advocate for children and families. Participants will learn about the importance of family professional partnerships, the value of family expertise, and how the innovative ECHO Autism Program is promoting the family voice across the globe. Curran's presentation is from 9:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Conference workshops and presentations include:

·         Valerie Baker - As the mother of a young man with Down syndrome, Valerie has a passion for working with families who also have loved ones with special needs. She works with families to ensure that they are protected in the short-term and have a long-term achievable plan to meet their financial goals. This workshop will discuss 10 basic steps to help caregivers get started in preparing for the financial future of their dependent with special needs.

·         Karen Cooper – Karen works for Family Advocacy and Community Training (FACT), a non-profit, family-run organization in St. Charles, MO. FACT provides Education Advocacy Services and Parent Support Partners to families who have children with developmental disabilities and / or mental health diagnoses. Karen, a parent of an adult child on the autism spectrum, will conduct two workshops. The first offers a hands-on approach with activities and tools parents can use as an effective part of creating an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for their child while focusing on what the parents want their child to accomplish. The second workshop provides information about the parent's rights and child's rights when a child is disciplined and placed on an IEP. Karen will discuss tools parents can use to help ensure their child continues to receive an education that meets their needs regardless of the discipline consequences.

·         Jessica Harrison, M.S., BCBA, LBA; and Brittany Lee, B.S. – Brittany works with Easterseals Midwest as an Autism Specialist for the Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff regions. Jessica works with Easterseals Midwest where she specializes in Functional Behavior Assessment for problematic behavior. In this presentation, Brittany and Jessica will delve into functional life skills. Participants will learn how to assess self-help life skills, determine how to prioritize the order that these skills should be taught, and discuss strategies and tools to help teach and maintain functional skills for individuals of all ages and abilities.

·         Beth Tuner, MT-BC; Gabby Coffee, MT-BC; and Claire Distler, MT-BC – Beth is a board-certified music therapist in Cape Girardeau with Easterseals Midwest. Claire is a board-certified music therapist with Easterseals Midwest serving the Poplar Bluff and West Plains communities. Gabby, a board-certified music therapist with Easterseals Midwest, works with clients in Poplar Bluff and West Plains. During this presentation, Beth, Gabby and Claire will share their insights and experiences about the therapeutic benefits behind music sessions and give tips and tricks participants can use daily with their family members or clients.

Free for immediate family members that receive Easterseals services – up to 2 people and $20 for additional family members.

The 2018 Easterseals Midwest Autism Conference Series is comprised of five conferences that will be held throughout Missouri. A conference occurred in Springfield Oct. 13, with dates for upcoming conferences that include:

·         Nov. 14 -- Kansas City, MO

·         Nov. 14 -- Columbia, MO

·         Nov. 16 – St. Louis

Media Contact: Ann Marie Mayuga, 314.485.9499, annmarie@ammcommunications.com

About Easterseals Midwest

Easterseals Midwest (http://www.easterseals.com/midwest) is a nonprofit organization changing the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people's lives every day.  The organization employs nearly 2,000 employees delivering services to more than 4,800 individuals statewide through four divisions: Autism Services, Community Living Services, Early Childhood Services and Employment Services.

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