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Autism conference highlights interventions April 4

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University will offer a conference on comprehensive behavioral interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) Monday, April 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center, 801 University Ave., Syracuse. The conference is designed for parents and professionals working on behalf of preschool and elementary school-aged children with ASD and other communication and social challenges.

The conference will guide participants in their understanding of the theories that attempt to explain the signs and symptoms of autism, as well as the identification of appropriate intervention strategies for young children with autism spectrum disorders based on the Ziggurat Model.

"The Ziggurat Model provides a guide for designing comprehensive behavioral interventions, based on a child's unique strengths and challenges, for individuals of all ages with ASD," said Carroll Grant, Ph.D., director of Upstate's Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center, and member of the faculty at Upstate Medical University.

Ruth Aspy, Ph.D. and Barry G. Grossman, Ph.D., creators of the Ziggurat Model, will be conference presenters. Aspy and Grossman have extensive experience in assessment and intervention for individuals with ASD. Together, they have co-authored the Ziggurat Model—a book on designing interventions for students with Asperger's disorder and high-functioning autism. Their book was named the 2008 Literary Work of the Year by the Autism Society of America.

"This conference offers a unique opportunity for both parents and professionals to come together and enhance their understanding of the core strengths and needs of children with autism spectrum disorders," Grant said. "It is hoped that this conference will educate the community on how to best provide intervention strategies and support at school and at home."

The conference fee is $85 for professionals, and $55 for parents, which includes lunch and refreshments. Registration deadline is March 30.

The conference is sponsored by the Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center of the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, the New York state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and the CNY Coalition for Young Children with Special Needs. Funding for the conference is provided by KOHL's Cares Committed to Kids Health and Education Program. Continuing education credits may be available to occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

For more information or to register by telephone call 315-464-8668 or toll free 1-800-464-8668.