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Online Workshops

Re-framing Autism: perspectives and strategies
for supporting neurodivergent students

November 1 - 18

The word epidemic is often used to describe the sharp increase in autism diagnoses in the U.S. The use of epidemic is indicative of how autism is commonly seen: a medical condition to be feared, prevented, treated and cured. The concept of neurodiversity, which is at the heart of Landmark College's approach, requires re-framing autism as a different (not lesser) way of seeing and navigating the world. In this two-week online workshop, we will use the voices of autistic self-advocates and Landmark College's programs for autistic students as our guide to understanding autism from this perspective.

Workshop teaser

Watch the video below to get a feel for the topics discussed in this online workshop

Workshop Topics

  1. What does it mean to be autistic? Listening closely to the voices of autistic self-advocates (ASAs) will provide us with an expert answer to this question. We will contrast the medical model of autism with the views of ASAs and in the process explore how stigma and misconceptions of autism impact the development of a positive sense of self. Additional topics will include:
  • Disabling environments and the social model of disability.
  • Camouflaging and its impact on autistic students.
  • Dual-empathy and the importance of understanding and accepting the differences associated with autism.
  1. Diversity "on the spectrum." You may have heard the tremendous diversity associated with autism described by Dr. Stephen Shore: "If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism." This can present a significant challenge in supporting autistic students, especially because there is not one way to support a group this diverse. In our experience, providing high-quality supports requires understanding the unique profile of each student. Through personal accounts, case studies and research findings we you will learn how to identify the individual strengths and challenges in seven key areas:
    • Pragmatic language
    • Social awareness
    • Monotropic mindset
    • Information processing
    • Sensory integration
    • Repetitive behaviors
    • Neuromotor differences
  2. Designing, adapting or applying supports. Finally we will apply what we have learned about profiles of strengths and challenges to a case study exercise. You will identify a student profile and an "environment". This could be a particular classroom, a dormitory, an office on campus or any other environment that you would like to examine. You will be guided through the process of imagining what supports or changes to the environment might be needed to help that particular student succeed. Through this collaborative and personalized process, we will explore a wide variety of supports across environments that participants can apply to their work with students.

 

Registration

The cost of registration is $250. Once you have registered you will receive an email the week of October 28 with all the information you need to access Canvas and other important details about the workshop.

Questions?

Contact us at or 802-387-1662


More Information

  • Professionals who serve middle, high school and college students in any capacity can benefit from this workshop. However, anyone who is interested in learning more about autism or creating accessible and supportive environments is welcome to register. You do not need to have any prior experience working with autistic students and the workshop is designed to fit into the busy schedules of educators and other professionals.

    Our focus will be on students who do not have significant challenges with pragmatic language and are preparing for or currently pursuing college academics.

  • The workshop will be hosted on Canvas, our online learning system. Canvas works in any web browser and there are mobile apps available for iOS and Android devices.

    There will be three main learning activities:

    - Learning modules that include video, accessible texts and interactive components will introduce the core concepts of the workshop and include additional resources if you want to dig deeper into topics that interest you.

    - Asynchronous online discussion will provide an opportunity to connect with each other and extend our knowledge and understanding of the materials. We will also use discussion to share and offer feedback on the case study exercise.

    - Live video conferences with workshop facilitator. Twice we will connect live through Canvas to discuss workshop topics and engage with questions that emerge from our work together. We will schedule these conferences at times that works for the group. The conferences will be recorded for those who cannot join the live conversation.

  • Getting the most of out of this experience will require a minimum of 20 hours of engagement over the 18 days of the workshop. With the exception of the live video chats, you can engage with the workshop materials at any time from anywhere with an internet connection.

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