Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Handbook Offers College Advice For Students With Autism - Disability Scoop

Handbook Offers College Advice For Students With Autism - Disability Scoop

Handbook Offers College Advice For Students With Autism


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A new guide released this week offers a step-by-step look at college life for those with autism —

offering tips on everything from classroom accommodations to dealing with roommates —

and it’s written by adults with the developmental disorder.

At over 100 pages, the handbook produced by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

is said to be the first-of-its-kind to be geared toward individuals with autism rather

than parents or professionals.

It’s punctuated by first person accounts and frank talk, offering young people with autism

a look at the changes they can expect when transitioning to college both socially and academically.

The guide also touches on topics like self-advocacy, independent living and basics like

maintaining good eating and sleeping habits.

Dubbed the “Navigating College Handbook,” the guide is available as a free download or in print

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Save The Date:Tuesday, October 18-7PM Barnes and Noble's Ply Mtg

Plymouth Meeting College Aspies Meets this Tuesday. Join us to share resources, network, learn from the success of others ( No tricks-just treats.

 Call Cynthia Wirth at 928-660-3919 for directions and more information.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. Deborah Fein

Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. Deborah Fein

Center for Autism Research
The Center for Autism Research (CAR)
Distinguished Lecture Series Presents

FeinDeborah Fein, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology and Pediatrics
University of Connecticut
Thursday, October 20th
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Abramson Research Center
Room 123 ABC
3615 Civic Center Blvd

Parking is available in the Wood Center Garage for $4. To access this garage, travel south (away from the Penn campus) on 34th St. past the main Hospital building. Make a right onto Osler Circle at the second light and proceed to the security booth. A ramp entrance to the underground Wood Center garage is on your right. Once you exit the Wood Center garage, you will see Abramson Research Center (large glass building) in front of you.

Please allow yourself 10 minutes to park and walk to the building.

Accreditation Statement

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

APA Accreditation Statement

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

"Outcomes for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Research from the University of Connecticut"

Dr. Deborah Fein is a clinical psychologist whose research interests involve the neuropsychology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), as well as issues in child and adult neuropsychological assessment. She has published over 100 articles, chapters, and books focusing on topics such as language, memory, attention, social interaction, and early detection, as they pertain to autism.

Dr. Fein will discuss two research projects at the University of Connecticut that have direct implications for clinical practice in the community. With regards to early detection of ASD, Dr. Fein's research team is validating a widely-used screener (the M-CHAT-Revised) and following children evaluated at ages 2 to 4 to see how early evaluations can predict child development and symptoms at age 4.

Dr. Fein will also discuss her research on "optimal outcome," in which her team is following a group of children who no longer meet criteria for an ASD diagnosis. Dr. Fein's research team is collecting data on which treatments these children received and whether they have residual weaknesses in language, social functioning, psychiatric disorders (e.g. anxiety and depression), or cognitive/executive/academic functioning. Dr. Fein will explain the possible ways in which children with an apparently lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder can "lose" the diagnosis.

This lecture is intended for families of individuals on the autism spectrum and professionals supporting individuals on the autism spectrum. We also invite anyone who is interested in learning more about ASD.

Upon completion of this lecture, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe what the early detection of ASD can predict on development and symptoms.
  2. Explain the background and interventions of children and adolescents with previous ASD diagnoses.
  3. Describe possible ways for children with a neurodevelopmental disorder can lose their diagnosis.

Please RSVP to hold your seat

Event Contact:

Sohee Kim


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Center for Autism Research | 3535 Market Street | Suite 860 | Philadelphia | PA | 19104

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Education Week: Pilot Aims to Ready High Schoolers for Community College in 2 Years

Education Week: Pilot Aims to Ready High Schoolers for Community College in 2 Years

Twenty-one high schools in four states are working this fall to restructure their academic programs into

“lower division” and “upper division” courses that are aimed at readying all students for community college

by the end of their sophomore year.

Students who pass a series of exams, at that point, could leave high school and enrol

l—without remedial courses—in a two-year college, or stay in high school to take additional technical

coursework, or pursue studies that prepare them for a university.

The approach, modeled after “board-examination systems” in use in such countries as England,

is part of a pilot program announced Monday by the National Center on Education and the Economy,

a Washington-based advocacy group.

The 21 schools in Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Mississippi have agreed to choose from

specified packages of curricula and exams. For the lower division, in a student’s first two years,

schools may use the ACT’s QualityCore program or the University of Cambridge’s International

general-level program. For the upper division, schools may choose junior- and senior-level courses

from ACT QualityCore, the Cambridge International A and AS level programs,

the International Baccalaureate program, or the College Board’s Advanced Placement International Diploma Program

. The programs include English/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts.

Marc S. Tucker, the NCEE’s president, said the idea is to ensure that every student acquires, at a minimum,

the skills needed to succeed in community college, opening the possibility of proceeding smoothly

into a variety of pathways offering good wages or more training.

He acknowledged that some view such a system, with its midway-point decisions,

as tracking students with lesser skills into less-ambitious pathways. But he contended it’s the opposite.

“Tracking happens when educators provide kids with different curriculums with

different challenge levels based on assumptions about their capacity,” he said.

“This denies them opportunities. We are finding out what it takes to be successful in community college

and making sure every child can reach that standard before they leave high school, so they can choose

from all available options. That doesn’t close down opportunities; it expands them.”

Students can pass lower-division exams when they are ready, Mr. Tucker added.

Those who don’t pass the first time will be given additional support to retake them.

Likewise, schools will provide tutoring and other supports for incoming freshmen with

weak academic skills, according to the NCEE’s outline of the pilot. Each school will determine

how 9th grade readiness will be assessed, but many will be able to use statewide tests given in

8th grade as an indicator, he said. Teachers will also be trained in the new curricula their schools adopt,

and NCEE staff members will work with the schools as they implement the new programs.

A key piece of the approach is that passage of lower-division exams will serve as a passport

to skip remedial courses in community college. The two-year colleges that serve the 21 schools

have agreed to that in principle, Mr. Tucker said, but a technical-advisory committee still must

determine the cutoff scores on each set of exams that correspond to readiness for credit-bearing

community college coursework.

Lengthy Venture?

The pilot program came in for praise from Kati Haycock, the president of Education Trust,

a Washington-based group that presses for better opportunities for disadvantaged students and

has raised alarms in the past about tracking. She commended the use of one challenging curriculum

for all students, saying that too often, a “different” approach for some means a lesser course of study.

“What I like here is that the core idea is the same rich curriculum for all kids, with extra supports

where it’s needed,” Ms. Haycock said. “It’s high-end stuff for all kids, and that’s job number one.”

Reflecting an ongoing argument in the field, Ms. Haycock did take issue with the program’s inherent

assumption that students need different skills for two-year colleges than they do for broad-access four-year colleges.

The ACT’s own research, she noted, has found the same skills are required for credit-bearing work in both

types of institutions.

Schools in the pilot face a big stumbling block in trying to get all their freshmen up to speed quickly, said Mel Riddile,

the associate director of high school services for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, based in Reston, Va.

“How do you bring all the other kids along—the kids learning English, special education students, the kids whose skills aren’t strong?”

said Mr. Riddile, who led two Virginia high schools before joining the leadership of NASSP. “You have to go all the way back

into middle school to make sure your kids are entering 9th grade prepared for what they’ve got in mind here.

You can’t wait until they walk into high school to offer supports.”

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As principal of JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church, Va., from 1996 to 2006, Mr. Riddile offered all students the IB program.

It took years of steady work with the feeder middle schools to enable even half his students to be ready for it, he said.

“I’d guess this [pilot] will take five to seven years of work to get most kids coming into 9th grade with the needed skills,” Mr. Riddile said.

“In the short term, they need massive supports in 9th grade. You literally need to hold these kids’ hands to make up for the resource deficit they’ve had.”

Eight states had originally agreed to involve 10 to 20 schools each in the pilot program, but fiscal constraints downsized the program.

Some of the money was to come from a $350 million Race to the Top grant assessment program, but the NCEE’s group

did not win part of that money. That, combined with increasingly austere state budget situations, prompted Maine, New Hampshire,

New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont to withdraw. Arizona and Mississippi then joined the effort.