Board hos­ting au­tism work­shop Fri­day

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Asym­po­sium hos­ted by the Les­ter-B.Pear­son School Board and the Gold Lear­ning Centre ai­med at hel­ping pa­rents, tea­chers and sup­port staff help stu­dents with au­tism will take place Fri­day in La­chine.

The May 17 in­for­ma­tion ses­sion being held at La­ke­side Academy and tit­led, Co­ping with An­xie­ty – Tech­niques that Help Stu­dents with Au­tism Spec­trum Di­sor­der (ASD), is de­si­gned for pa­rents as well as pro­fes­sio­nals such as tea­chers, in­te­gra­tion aids and sup­port staff.

Pro­fes­sio­nals say chil­dren with au­tism of­ten suf­fer from an­xie­ty that can be chal­len­ging to deal with in a class­room en­vi­ron­ment as well as at home.

“It may be due to com­mu­ni­ca­tion chal­lenges, so­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, sen­so­ry is­sues or other – but in any case, it’s im­por­tant to find the sources of the an­xie­ty and learn stra­te­gies to help sup­port our stu­dents and to teach them how to cope,” Jo­vette Fran­coeur, a spe­cial needs consul­tant at the Les­ter-B.-Pear­son School Board, said.

Adria­na Kar­ka of the Ge­ne­va Centre for Au­tism – an in­ter­na­tio­nal lea­der in the de­ve­lop­ment and de­li­ve­ry of cli­ni­cal in­ter­ven­tion ser­vices and trai­ning – will speak du­ring the day-long event.

“We’re de­ligh­ted to part­ner with the Ge­ne­va Centre for Au­tism as they are lea­ders in pro­vi­ding qua­li­ty pro­fes­sio­nal de­ve­lop­ment in the field of au­tism - al­though we al­rea­dy have ma­ny tools and re­sources at our schools, we are al­ways loo­king for new ideas,” Fran­coeur said.

Kar­ka, who has been with the Ge­ne­va Centre for Au­tism since 2007, is a well-known lec­tu­rer on au­tism and spe­cial edu­ca­tion.

A mu­sic and be­ha­viour the­ra­pist for in­di­vi­duals with ASD and other in­tel­lec­tual and de­ve­lop­men­tal di­sa­bi­li­ties, Kar­ka spent five years with the Au­tism In­ter­ven­tion Pro­gram at the Chil­dren’s Hospital of Eas­tern On­ta­rio. She al­so pro­vi­ded ear­ly in­ter­ven­tion ser­vices and mu­sic the­ra­py in both Chi­ca­go’s Eas­ter Seals De­ve­lop­men­tal Centre as well as at the Mont­clair State Uni­ver­si­ty’s Mu­sic The­ra­py cli­nic cal­led Mu­sic Aids Growth in Chil­dren (MA­GIC) in New Jer­sey.

Work­shop par­ti­ci­pants will learn about the im­pact of mild to se­vere an­xie­ty in the dai­ly lives of stu­dents with ASD, ac­cor­ding to an in­for­ma­tion pam­phlet from the Gold Lear­ning Centre.

“In­di­ca­tors and po­ten­tial causes of an­xie­ty will be ex­plo­red and spe­ci­fic as­sess­ment tools will be iden­ti­fied.

“Fur­ther­more, ef­fec­tive in­ter­ven­tion stra­te­gies for de­crea­sing an­xie­ty and en­han­cing self-re­gu­la­tion will be ad­dres­sed. Se­ve­ral first-hand ac­counts will be in­clu­ded du­ring the day.”Re­fresh­ments and lunch will be pro­vi­ded, while ex­hi­bi­tors will be on site du­ring the lunch hour. Re­gis­tra­tion costs $40 for pa­rents/ stu­dents, and $50 for pro­fes­sio­nals. Re­gis­tra­tion can be done on­line at www.gold­lear­ning­centre.com. Space is limited. For in­for­ma­tion, call 514 3458330, ext. 319.

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