Northern California Autism Symposium
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Over the past 10 years there has been an increase in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Current CDC reports place the rate of children diagnosed with ASD in the US at 1:59, with occurrences across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Though there continues to be new theories about what causes ASD, there is still no scientifically proven cause or cure. As a growing population of adults with ASD continue to share their experiences, there is a growing trend of ASD acceptance and culture. The aim of this symposium is to bring a breadth of speakers and trainers from both inside and outside the North State to present on interventions, services and supports available for individuals with ASD and their families.

Register you and your team today! The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, Sept. 25 (or sooner if we reach capacity).Register Today!

Plenary Session Speaker

Dr. Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D.

Director, UC Davis MIND Institute

Dr. Leonard Abbeduto, PhD, Director of the UC Davis MIND InstituteDr. Leonard Abbeduto, Director of the UC Davis MIND Institute, will present "Technology as a Tool for Bringing Services and Research to Individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Families, and Communities." This talk will focus on the need to bring evidence-based therapeutic practices to scale and in a way that ensures equitable access to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, language spoken, or geography. Examples of the use of technology to meet this need and details from Dr. Abbeduto's research on the use of video teleconferencing technology to deliver parent-implemented language interventions into the homes of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities will be shared.

Keynote Speaker

Dena Gassner, LCSW

Center for Understanding

Dena Gassner, LCSW

After spending 20 years navigating systems for her autistic son, Dena Gassner has maintained a private practice focused on systems navigation first in Nashville and currently in New York City as she completes her PhD in Social Work at Adelphi University. She holds seats on the Board of Directors for The Arc US, the professional advisory board for AHANY and is on hiatus this term as a grant reviewer for the Department of Defense. She has worked as a consultant to the NYU NEST Program which focuses on inclusive practices for autistic students. She has spoken in Russia, Geneva (UN), Scotland, at Cambridge, INSAR and has provided key testimony to multiple groups including the IACC and the Government Accountability Offices in Washington, DC. In 2018, she spoke at the United Nations in New York for World Autism Awareness Day-testimony that was internationally broadcasted-on the needs of autistic girls and women and aging while living with autism. She has contributed chapters to “Scholars with Autism Achieving Dreams” edited by L. Perner and “College for Students with Disabilities: We Do Belong” edited by Adelphi Professors Stephen Shore and Pavan Antony and the recently released, Amazon Number 1 Best Seller, "Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism" (ed. Cook and Garnett). She was recently appointed to the Washington DC/Atlanta based NIH Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Workgroup targeting health care disparities in autism and completed the final of three years of Special Interest Group Coordination on "Incorporating Autistic Intellect in Research for the International Agency for Autism Research (INSAR) in Rotterdam. As an international presenter, Dena seeks to live an authentic autistic live not overcoming--but fully integrating her autism spectrum condition.

Concurrent & General Sessions

Presenters from the UC Davis MIND Institute will speak on topics including:

• Video Modeling
• Early Detection of Autism and ADHD
• Fragile X at the Forefront of Targeted Treatments for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
• Bridging the Research to Practice Gap: How Community Partnered Research Can Get Us There Faster

CAPTAIN trainers will present on evidence-based practices, including:

• Evidence Based Practices for Academics and Behavior Management in the General Education Environment for Students with Autism
• Use of Evidence-Based Practices in an Adult Day Program Setting
• Developmental Milestones and Red Flags
• Visual Supports
• Improving Self-Regulation Using Evidenced Based Practices
• Essential Communication Skills for Student Success
• School Advocacy for Parents and Other Advocates
• Teaching a Multi-step or Complex Skill Through Task Analysis and Chaining
• Building Friendships with Individuals with ASD

Read Session Descriptions

Conference Schedule

Friday, Sept. 28

7:30amCheck In & Coffee
8:45–10:15amConcurrent Session 1
10:30am–NoonConcurrent Session 2
Lunch on Your Own
1:15–4:30pmGeneral Sessions with Presenters from the UC Davis MIND Institute
4:45–5:45pmPlenary Session Featuring Dr. Leonard Abbeduto,
Director of the UC Davis MIND Institute
6:30pmOptional Dinner & Discussion Groups



Saturday, Sept. 29

8–8:30amCheck In & Coffee
8:30–10amKeynote Address Featuring Dena Gassner
10:15–11:45amConcurrent Session 1
Lunch on Your Own
1–2:30pmConcurrent Session 2
2:45–4:15pmConcurrent Session 3


Professional Development

Sessions for professionals on evidence-based practices will be delivered by CAPTAIN trainers. CAPTAIN, the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, is a multiagency network developed to support the understanding and use of Evidence Based Practices for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder across the state. CAPTAIN is dedicated to providing statewide access to trainings and resources in Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) that are culturally sensitive, family centered, cost effective, and competency based.

Fees & Registration

Register Today!The fee for the two-day event is $195. Don't wait! Registration will close Tuesday, Sept. 25, or sooner if we reach capacity.

Register up to 3 people at a time online if you wish to pay by credit card.

For group discounts, or to pay by check or purchase order, call 530-898-6105 or download a mail/fax-in registration form.

If you are a Far Northern Regional Center client, please obtain pre-approval from your Service Coordinator and then complete your registration using our FNRC online form.