Pacific University Symposium on Autism

Presenters

Darryn Sikora, PhD; Clinical Psychologist, Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children, Portland, OR;
"Differential Diagnosis of Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities" and "New Diagnostic Criteria for Children with Autism"

Brief Description: Dr. Sikora will provide participants with a description of specific behaviors that have been shown through research to help differentiate children with autism from other children. She will also provide information about the new diagnostic criteria for autism that were published in May and how they are different from the past criteria.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will describe behaviors that differentiate children with autism from other children
  2. Participants will discuss the new diagnostic criteria for autism.

Bio: Dr. Sikora is a pediatric psychologist at Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children. She has been involved in the autism community in Oregon for almost 25 years, providing diagnostic evaluations, treatment, and training of psychology and other allied health students. She is currently on the Screening, Identification, and Assessment Subcommittee of the Oregon Autism Commission and the legislative workgroup that drafted the most recent insurance mandate legislation.

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation.

Nonfinancial — on the Screening Identification and Assessment Subcommittee of the Oregon Autism Commission; member of the legislative workgroup that drafted the most recent insurance mandate legislation in Oregon (receives no compensation for either committee)


Robin McCoy, MD; Developmental Pediatrician; Children's Program, Portland, OR.
"Medications Used to Treat Behavioral and/or Emotional Problems in Children with Autism".

Brief Description: This lecture will discuss the reasons why an individual on the autism spectrum might benefit from medication to treat behavioral and/or emotional problems. We will also discuss an overview of different medications and the reason for their use.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to list the various medications in use with children who have autism and understand what a medication trial is
  2. Participants will demonstrate an understanding of the effects of a variety of medications in children who have autism.

Bio: Robin McCoy, M.D. is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at the Children's Program in Portland. Dr. McCoy earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester. She completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Utah and a fellowship in developmental pediatrics at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Her primary interests include autism and ADHD.

Disclosure:

Financial — Receives a speaking fee for this presentation.

Nonfinancial — developmental pediatrician, presents to various groups on disabilities in children


Karisa Schreck, MD, PhD; Neurology Resident; John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;
"Emerging Research in Autism" and "The Use of Evidence-Based Medicine in Autism"

Brief Description: Emerging Research in Autism – Dr. Schreck will discuss some of the newest discoveries in science about the causes of autism and treatments that may become possible in the future. This lecture will discuss the inheritance of autism, genetic mutations responsible for autism, and differences in the brains of people with autism.

Learning Objective:

  1. Participants will be able to describe some of the genetic causes of autism.

Brief Description: Use of Evidence Based Medicine in Autism – This lecture will discuss how to evaluate new findings and claims in autism research by using an evidence-based approach. Strategies will be presented that allow anyone to think through the evidence for any claim, and will evaluate some of the evidence behind different therapies for autism.

Learning Objective:

  1. Attendees will be able to apply the five steps of evidence-based medicine to a problem in their clinical practice.

Bio: Karisa Schreck is training as a neurologist as the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Originally from Newark, NJ she moved to Baltimore to complete her MD & PhD degrees at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with a focus on neurodevelopmental molecular biology. She is currently finishing up the first of a four year neurology residency program at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation.

Nonfinancial — no relevant nonfinancial relationship exists


Robert Nickel, MD; Developmental Pediatrician; Oregon Health and Science University, Portland.
"What About Health? Co-occurring Medical Conditions and Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Children on the Autism Spectrum".

Brief Description: Children with ASD may have one or more associated health problems. These include a selective diet, sleep problems, gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and more serious problems such as seizures. Families of children with ASD may use one or more complementary or alternative treatments to help alleviate some of these medical problems or in the hope of "curing" the ASD. This talk will review the co-occurring health problems, traditional as well as complementary treatments, and finally give recommendations on how to support families in making treatment decisions and determining the effectiveness of the treatments they implement.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify several common co-occurring medical conditions in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  2. Participants will be able to list several common complementary and alternative treatments used by families of children with ASD;  review information on their effectiveness as well as side effects; discuss a basic approach to supporting families in making treatment decisions and determining the effectiveness of specific treatments

Bio: Robert Nickel MD is a Developmental Pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics at OHSU. He is currently a medical consultant to the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs and has just stepped down as the healthcare representative on the Oregon Commission on ASD and as chair of the commission's healthcare committee. He has a special interest in the identification of young children with developmental disabilities including autism and is co-author of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires.

Disclosure:

Financial —receives royalties as co-author of Ages and Stages Questionnaire; Medical Consultant to the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs; receives a speaking fee for this presentation.

Nonfinancial —  just stepped down as the health care representative on the Oregon commission on autism spectrum disorders (received no compensation as member)


Amy Donaldson, PhD; Speech-Language Pathologist, Portland State University, Portland, OR;
"The Spectrum of ABA-based Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder"

Brief Description: Early interventions based on principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been found effective in improving the cognitive, social, and communication skills of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  ABA-based interventions can be implemented across a continuum of structure, from highly structured (e.g., Discrete Trial Training) to more naturalistic (e.g., Pivotal Response Training; Early Start Denver Model).  As such, this seminar will focus on examination of the overarching principles of ABA used across this continuum and discussion of the current evidence related to ABA-based interventions for children with ASD. Use of ABA principles within varied clinical and educational settings will be addressed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will identify core principles of ABA and their use across a continuum of structure within intervention for children with ASD.
  2. Attendees will identify current best evidence related to use of ABA-based interventions for children with ASD.
  3. Attendees will describe use of ABA principles within varied clinical and educational settings.

Bio: Amy L. Donaldson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences at Portland State University (PSU). Her research focuses on the assessment and intervention of social communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the natural environment, as well as intervention efficacy. Dr. Donaldson is currently part of a multi-university team that is investigating the effects of a preschool-based, joint attention and symbolic play intervention for children with ASD. She is also examining the efficacy of sibling-mediated intervention for young children with ASD in a project funded by Autism Speaks. Prior to joining PSU, Dr. Donaldson was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington (UW), where she also completed her doctorate. At UW, she was part of an interdisciplinary team investigating the effects of an intensive developmental behavioral intervention for toddlers with ASD (the Early Start Denver Model; Dawson et al, 2010). Dr. Donaldson received her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She has been working clinically with children demonstrating communication challenges, and their families, for over 17 years.

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation; Funded by Autism Speaks - study titled "examining the efficacy of sibling mediated intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders"

Nonfinancial — part of a multi-university team investigating the effects of preschool based, joint attention and symbolic play intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders; previously at the University of Washington where she was part of an interdisciplinary team investigating the effects of intensive developmental behavioral intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (The Early Start Denver Model)


Robert Buckendorf, PhD; Speech-Language Pathologist, Private Practice, Portland, OR
"Child-Directed Strategies Effective in Building Communication in Children with Autism"

Brief Description: Research has found that there are strategies that are useful in engaging children with autism. This lecture will present some of those strategies and include the use of video clips to show demonstrate some of those methods in actual use. We will also describe developing intentionality and reciprocity in children with autism who have language impairments.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will examine principles of purposeful communication including relatedness, reciprocity, joint attention and initiation.
  2. Participants will examine strategies that promote communication from curricula including Responsive Teaching and Floortime.
  3. Participants will examine methods of communication including sign, picture communication and AAC, eye gaze, and verbal communication

Bio: Robert Buckendorf, the practice manager of Buckendorf Associates of Portland, Oregon, is a speech language pathologist in private practice. He is a clinical assistant professor at Oregon Health and Science University, adjunct faculty at Portland State University, and lectures extensively nationally and internationally, primarily on the topic of treatment of children with autism. Within the last five years, Dr. Buckendorf has lectured in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Japan, and Ukraine.

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation; as co-organizer with Pacific University, shares in losses or profits from conference; editor of Autism: a Guide for Educators Clinicians and Parents, published by Superduper Publications.

Nonfinancial — previously on the board and previously Board Chairman of the Oregon Speech and Hearing Association (received no compensation as board chair or member)


Workshop Presenters

Shelley Barnes; Family Involvement Coordinator, OCCYSHN;
"Community resources for children with autism: From Diagnosis through Transition."

Brief Description: After an autism diagnosis, parents are often overwhelmed with where to go for help. There are many resources available..it's just finding them at the right time.  This will be a review of current resources available to families with an emphasis on individuality.  Children with autism are all unique individuals and their needs are equally, unique.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will leave knowing where to go for medical, educational, government, safety and family- support  resources for children with ASD  from diagnosis through transition.
  2. Participants will realize the need for preparing safety, educational, medical and legal plans for children with autism.

Bio: Nine  years ago, due to a death in my family, my husband and I became the guardians of our grandchildren Gwenyth, age four and Morgan age two. Soon afterward, our Morgan received a diagnosis of autistic disorder.  My world changed and I left a long career as a Nursing Home Administrator and became a full time parent and advocate. I joined the autism program at OHSU in the fall of 2007 as a Family Consultant, charged with providing help with community resources and guidance for parents just receiving a diagnosis. In 2011 I became the Family Involvement Coordinator for the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (OCCYSHN). In addition to my work at OHSU, I’ve served on three boards of directors focused on health care quality, child hood disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.


Jonathan Chase; self-advocate, musician, magician; Portland, OR
"An Insider's Look at Autism"

Brief Description: As someone on the spectrum, Jonathan will speak about how people with autism process and perceive the world. This talk will focus on seeing and living in the world and "how things look from the inside". Jonathan will share stories from his own experience and will speak to the unique challenges faced by those on the spectrum. He often speaks on sensory issues, social thinking, logic and routines, transitions, and bullying as well as barriers faced by people on the spectrum.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will describe the differences between persons on the spectrum and neuro-typical individuals in the ways they perceive information and connect with others.

Bio: Jonathan is a speaker and advocate for children and adults on the autism spectrum. After suffering years of bullying and abuse in school, he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome as a freshman in high school. He is an accomplished magician, musician (bass guitar), and is on the Autism Society of Oregon's Board of Directors. In his workshops, Jonathan offers a variety of tools, strategies, and presentations to assist individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. His theme is "Nobody but you can decide whether or not you will be successful".

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation; 

Nonfinancial — Autism Society of Oregon Board of Directors (received no compensation as board chair or member)


Ryan Lockard, CSCS; Specialty Athletic Training; Portland, OR;
"Promoting Physical Exercise in Children with Autism."

Brief description: Many children with autism and other developmental disabilities have difficulty participating in traditional physical education classes in school and in the community and in participating in physical exercise throughout their lifetimes. Exercise has shown to have a postitive impact on gross motor skills, balance, coordination, cognition, and mental health. Ryan will discuss how exercise affects brain development and how exercise is very important for individuals with disabilities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will describe how exercise affects brain development and why exercise is even more important for individuals with disabilities.
  2. Participants will list strategies and opportunities to help children with disabilities engage in greater physical activities in their community.

Bio: Ryan Lockard is the head trainer and co-owner of Specialty Athletic Training, LLC in Portland, OR. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and specializes in training individuals with special needs. Ryan grew up with an active lifestyle and was a three sport athlete in high school. He went on to play football at Lewis and Clark College and after graduating he played professionally overseas for 3 years. He is an active volunteer for the Autism Society of Oregon and the Portland Aspergers Network serving as one of the Young Adult Group Facilitators.

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation; 

Nonfinancial — active volunteer for the Autism Society of Oregon and A Young Adult Group Facilitator for the Portland Asperger's Network


Christine Macfarlane,PhD; Director, MAT Special Education Program, Pacific University:
"Family Friendly Digital Technology to Support Persons with Autism."

Brief Description: Simple digital tools such as photo frames, digital recorders/players, smartphones, or tablets can increase independence and facilitate community participation for persons with autism by providing audio and visual task analyses/supports. Families generally have access to these digital tools and can easily incorporate their use into their home and daily activities providing supports that mirror use by all individuals.

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will examine how common digital tools (e.g., photo frames, key chains, iPods, mp3 players, recorders, players) can be used to present audio and/or visual supports in order to increase independence and community participation.

Bio: Dr. Macfarlane, an educator for more than 40 years, initially worked with children with disabilities in mainstreamed PE classes and adaptive PE. Since 1979, her interests have focused on students with severe, multiple disabilities including autism and have focused on communication skills, problem behaviors, and assessment. Additionally, she has conducted research on the use of technology in teacher preparation, expert systems, and special education in Slovakia and China. Currently, she serves on the Oregon Access Technology Project (OATP) Advisory Board, provides consultation and training to doctors, therapists, and caregivers in Chongqing Province, China, and partners with local school districts to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Disclosure:

Financial —Receives a speaking fee for this presentation

Nonfinancial — on the board of Oregon Access Technology Project (received no compensation as board chair or member); provides consultation and training in China