Local

McHenry County College hosting event about supporting students with autism

Barbara Doyle, clinical consultant and educator with 47 years of experience
Barbara Doyle, clinical consultant and educator with 47 years of experience

McHenry County College will host a symposium on understanding and supporting students with autism spectrum disorder from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 20 at the college, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

The event will feature workshop presenter Barbara Doyle, a clinical consultant and educator with 47 years of experience. She will help participants understand the essential features of ASD and how these features affect learning, communicating and socializing.

Doyle is a co-author of the award-winning book “Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z.” Families, high school staff and community members are encouraged to attend. The symposium is sponsored by the Access and Disability Services Office at MCC.

Doyle will host four workshop sessions throughout the day for MCC students, faculty and staff, as well as for community members, educators, health care agencies and professional organizations.

Workshop topics are about helping students with autism spectrum disorder learn how to participate and succeed from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Room B166; preventing conflict and using effective de-escalation strategies from 1 to 2:45 p.m. in Room B166; self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-advocacy: keys to lifelong success for students with ASD from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. in the Scot Room (B178); and teaching people with ASD to be truly included in the community from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Scot Room (B178).

Attendees will learn how to:

• Recognize when a feature of ASD is causing a learning problem that results in unconventional, unsafe or problematic behavior, and how to more effectively resolve the problem

• Respond appropriately to students who do not comply with typical classroom rules, routines and instructions

• Provide information in the classroom and in printed materials that will better support students with ASD (and others)

• Help students with ASD remain calm or more quickly regain their composure

Autism spectrum disorder includes diagnoses such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, atypical autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Strategies for understanding and supporting people with ASD likely will benefit those working with students with diagnoses such as Fragile X syndrome, Rett disorder, nonverbal learning disabilities, semantic-pragmatic disorder and more.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged by emailing dandresen@mchenry.edu.

For information, visit www.mchenry.edu/autism or call Adriane Hutchinson at 815-479-7829.

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