Back to School Autism/Asperger's Conference

Back to School Autism/Asperger's Conference
While we are all finishing the current school year or already on summer break, planning is under way for a Back to School Conference in mid August 2006 in Padadena, California. It just so happens my son Matthew goes back to school through Los Angeles Unified School District the day prior to the start of this conference.

This Back to School Autism/Asperger Conference is for parents, professionals and those on the Autism Spectrum. This takes place on Saturday, August 19, 2006 and Sunday, August 20, 2006 at Pasadena City College, Auditorium in C building, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 91106.

Specifics on the conference can be found at

This conference is orrganized by Autism Conferences and Arizona State University and co-sponsored by LAUSD, TACA, ASA-Los Angeles, GLB/W/SB-ASA, SGVC-ASA, Autism Asperger Publishing Co. and and Surfers Healing.

There are prices for early registration and regular with discounts for a second family member. There is a separate fee for respite workers who earn below $15 per hour. They can include a letter from their agency stating they work with children or adults on the Autism Spectrum and their salary is lower than $15 per hour. There is financial aid available for low-income families and Adults. You will need to send the first page of your recent tax return with registration.

The Regional Center vendor # for autism conferences is PD1605. The Regional Center will fund conferences, some have a limit to the number in a calendar year. This is through education and training. All questions pertaining to the registration can be emailed to or telephone 562-448-9275.

The fees are as follows:

Parent - early $90 per day, regular at $100, both days $150
2nd family member - $75 early, $85 reg and $130 for both days

Professional - $120 for early, $130 reg and $180 for both days

Respite - $50 for early, $60 for reg and $75 for both days

On the spectrum $20 for early, $25 for reg and $30 for both days

The conference hotel data -

Sheraton Pasadena Hotel - (626) 449-4000
$119 / Night (Ask for "Autism Conferences" Rate).
303 East Cordova Street, Pasadena,California 91101

Their website lists they have babysitting service, fitness facility, refrigerators and hairdryers. All rooms are non-smoking. They do charge a $100 fee for smoking in guest rooms.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D. - author of several books on her life experience with autism. Associate Professor at Colorado State University.

Carol Gray - Director of The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding. She created Social Stories.

Barbara T. Doyle, M.S. - Special Education Professional. Co-Author of Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z.

Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D. - founder and Clinical Director of The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), which provides ABA services for over 5000 children. Dr. Granpeesheh is a licensed Psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

There will be break-out sessions during the conference with the following speakers:

Rick Clemens, M.A, - Founder/Director of Inclusive Education and Community Partnership (IECP)

Pat Grayson-DeJong M.Ed. - autism specialist with the Los Angeles Unified School District and parent to 36 year old son on the Autism Spectrum.

Gail Hallenberg, M.S.,CCC-SLP - speech therapist and co-author of DynaLessons for DynaVox and the U.S.E. I.T. Boardmaker Add-On for Mayer-Johnson.

Adel Najdowski, Ph.D. - board certified behavior analyst with CARD.

Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D. - the Co-Director of Research and Development at CARD.

Mark Woodsmall, J.D. - his legal practice is in the areas of Special Ed and Family Law, and is a parent of a child with autism.

On a personal note I asked Pat Grayson-DeJong to attend the triennial IEP my son Matthew had last year. I have stopped by her office after attending CAC meetings in the same building to ask questions and get feedback. She is easily accessible to parents and has lots of experience in the field as she co-wrote and developed the Intensive Comprehensive Autism Program (ICAP) and Asperger Programs for the District.

The conference runs from 8:30 - 5 pm both days. Saturday begins with Temple Grandin followed by Carol Gray with the breakout sessions starting after lunch at 1:30 and 3:30. Barbara Doyle starts off Sunday morning with Doreen Granpeesh before lunch break at 12:15. There will be exhibits to view during this time and during a morning fifteen break between speakers.

On Saturday there is a Dad's only lunch group at 12:30, which will be an informal discussion on caring and living with children on the Autism Spectrum. Otherwise lunch is not provided and on your own both days.

The topics will cover the following:

Saturday - Developing Talents at Home and School, story movies, Learning how to write a social story, appropriate use of medications, unwritten rules of social relationships, successful inclusion in general education, factoring friendship, parent empowerment, functional communication strategies and self-regulation and praxis.

Sunday - everyone can learn, anyone can teach, positive behavior management, teaching reading, IEP basics, advances in ABA, IEP goal writing & assessments, panel of teens/adults with Q&A and higher-level behavior programming.

If only this conference were scheduled the week instead of weekend I would certainly be able to attend since my kids summer daycamp is in South Pasadena. I am going to contact the respite agency and see if they can find someone and also ask our Behaviorist if she is available at least one of these days. Maybe she can attend one day and I can do the other.

Any other parents in the Los Angeles area who are planning on attending and trying to figure out a way to do so with childcare, please contact me and maybe we can pull our resources and get someone to watch our kids at a central location for portions of the day. I am open to suggestions because it has been several years since I was able to attend any conference. It seemed easier to find help when my children were younger.

For registration specifics visit

Classroom Visitation Checklist

Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.

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