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 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

Dena L. Gassner, LMSW, developed her interest in family systems with diagnostic training at the University Affiliated program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital while simultaneously becoming a certified early intervention specialist. Upon completing her Master’s Degree at the University of Kentucky, she transitioned to individual/family coaching support in the field of Asperger’s Syndrome and similar processing/developmental learning challenges. She is an advocate, writer, and national presenter to schools, families, and agencies throughout the country, and operates a private systems navigation practice—a one of a kind program—in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Gassner embodies a commitment to encouraging healthier living for those with Asperger’s Syndrome, empowering persons to leave shame and inadequacy behind for a life embracing autistic authenticity. More importantly, Ms. Gassner lives a life of transparency, embracing her identity as a person with an autism spectrum condition. She blends her message of empowerment with her personal journey and her professionalism to provide a well-rounded experience to all of her audiences.

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

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

Additional information on sessions and speakers will be released mid-summer.

Conference Schedule

We are currently expanding our schedule and are seeking additional speakers for the symposium. If you are interested in presenting on current interventions, services or supports for individuals with ASD and their families, please complete our online submission form by May 31, 2018.

Friday, Sept. 28

7:30am Check In & Coffee
8am Welcome
8:45–10:15am Concurrent Session 1
10:30am–Noon Concurrent Session 2
Lunch on Your Own
1:15–4:30pm General Sessions with Presenters from the UC Davis MIND Institute
4:45–5:45pm Plenary Session Featuring Dr. Leonard Abbeduto,
Director of the UC Davis MIND Institute
5:45–6:30pm Reception
6:30pm Optional Dinner & Discussion Groups



Saturday, Sept. 29

8–8:30am Check In & Coffee
8:30–10am Keynote Address Featuring Dena Gassner
10:15–11:45am Concurrent Session 1
Lunch on Your Own
1–2:30pm Concurrent Session 2
2:45–4:15pm Concurrent Session 3
4:30pm Closing


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.

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.