Network holds free parent workshop

Opportunity to learn evidence-based practices for children with autism

ATASCADERO – Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder are invited to a free public workshop hosted by the SLO SELPA Community Advisory Committee on Tuesday, March 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Atascadero.

The California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, a cross-agency network developed to support the understanding of autism, has partnered with Parents Helping Parents, and will be training parents on successful “Evidence-Based Practices.”

The workshop is applicable for students of any age or grade who have been exhibiting autism spectrum behaviors. The CAPTAIN educators, who have been appointed through each county’s SELPA, have been specially trained by the California Department of Education on managing autistic behaviors. CAPTAINS who will be leading this workshop incude Dawn Brownell, behavior specialist in Atascadero; Dr. Kristin Campos, psychologist in Atascadero; Kim King, program specialist in Templeton; as well as Lindsay Tompkins, Behaviorist for the County Office of Education.

“It’s for the entire public,” San Luis Obispo SELPA Director Liz Smith said. “We want to get the information out to as many parent groups as we can because we know many times parents are seeking some interventions and they’re not sure what to do with these behavioral issues.”

Smith said the CAPTAIN educators will be focusing the workshop on autism, however she said the strategies that will be presented in the workshop could be applied to any type of intellectual or developmental disability.

The presentation will include “best practices” and all the “evidence-based practices” for behavior, she said.

“It can be interactive, so parents will have an opportunity to ask questions if they share information about the hows and the whats and the whys,” Smith said.  

According to the latest data (2012) from the CDC, about one in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder.

About one in six children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, according to the CDC, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and autism.

Please call 805-782-7302 for more information or to RSVP by March 13. The free Parent Workshop for Behavior will take place March 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on 8005 Morro Rd., in Atascadero.  

You may reach Reporter Beth Giuffre at [email protected] for questions and/or feedback.

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