speakers & presentations
James Adams, Ph.D.
James Adams, Ph.D. is a President’s Professor at Arizona State University, where he directs the Autism/Asperger’s Research Program. His research is focused is on the causes of autism and how to treat it. He is also president of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, and co-leader of the Autism Research Institute Think Tank. He is the proud father of a daughter with autism.
Updated Summary of Dietary, Nutritional, and Medical Treatments for Autism.
This talk will summarize the latest research and recommendations on many different dietary, nutritional, and medical treatments for autism, based on over 150 published research studies. The treatments include special diets, vitamins/minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, carnitine, gut treatments, melatonin, glutathione, detoxification, HBOT, immune therapies, and more. The presentation will include medical tests and other indicators that can help determine which treatments are most likely to be beneficial for a particular individual.
Comparison of Seizure Treatments based on National Research Survey
This presentation will discuss the results of a major national survey of 1000 autism families on their relative ranking of many different seizure treatments. Results include the four medications which were most likely to reduce seizures with the least side-effects, and three dietary treatments that were able to reduce seizures and actually improve symptoms. One of those diets, the Modified Atkins Diet, will be discussed in detail because 18 published studies have found it to be effective for reducing seizures in individuals with epilepsy and also very well-tolerated, and it seems to be very promising for autism.
Lois Jean Brady
Lois Jean Brady is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) & Assistive Technology Specialist. Career accomplishments include: Benjamin Franklin Award for, Apps for Autism, and an Ursula Award for Autism Today TV. Lois is also registered in Animal Assisted Therapy and Computer Based Intervention. In addition to Apps for Autism, she has co-authored Speech in Action and Speak, Move, Play and Learn with Children on the Autism Spectrum. Currently she is researching and developing products to enhance communication.
Apps for Autism
One of the greatest things about today’s technology is that it has given educators and parents opportunities to connect with individuals on the spectrum in a way that books, flashcards and other traditional techniques never could. As a speech pathologist I do not have to lug a rolling suitcase full of flashcards, board games and workbooks to all my work sites or spend precious therapy time getting set up. My students have a device that they can access independently, carry without stigma and has the flexibility to communicate, educate and entertain. However, many of us are looking at the iDevices and saying to ourselves, “Where do I start?” There is an overwhelming wave of information on the internet right now and it can be difficult and time consuming to sift through all the websites, blogs and internet articles to find the right technology to fit your student’s /child’s individual needs. This presentation will explore the role of the iDevice has taken in meeting the needs and goals of special needs individuals focusing on students with autism. It is my sincerest hope that I can provide you with the information you need to acquire an appropriate iDevice, find accessories, avoid common pitfalls and not only implement apps, but more importantly give you the tools you need to search the iTunes Store to find apps that have the features that fit your population.
Wendy Edwards, B.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P
Dr. Edwards is a Consulting Pediatrician working in Chatham-Kent, Ontario. She completed her pediatric residency in Toronto, at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she was chosen to act as chief resident in her final year. Dr. Edwards also has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and before attending medical school, worked as an oncology nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Dr. Edwards' own son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. He is now fully verbal, with a wonderful sense of humour and lots of friends. He has never required an Educational Assistant or modifications to the school curriculum and achieves excellent grades.
Dr. Edwards now has a large autism practice seeing children with autism from all across Ontario and Canada. She currently sits on the board of the Autism Canada Foundation and the Option Institute of America, where the Son-Rise program for autism was developed.
Can Supplements Make a Difference for my Child and Why?
If you are the parent of a child (or adult child) with autism you know how much confusing and conflicting information is out there about supplement usage for treating autism and its related conditions. Your doctor tells you one thing, your neighbour another and then the group on Facebook raves about something new you have never even heard of before!! Your child is on 5 supplements but his classmate takes 65! What should you do? Are any of these supplements valuable to use and if so, which ones and for which child? In this talk, I will categorize various supplements into groups - explaining what each group does and which particular children might benefit. Where possible, medical evidence will be provided to support the use of individual supplements or broad groups of supplements as effective. Ideally parents will leave this talk feeling more secure about what they are – or are not – using as supplements to treat their child with autism. This talk will cover only supplements and NOT prescription medications.
Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D.
Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., is clinical psychologist. She is the Founder and is Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), a clinic that implements early, intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. Dr. Granpeesheh is also the founder and president of ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), which provides financial support to families who are unable to pay for validated treatment. Dr. Granpeesheh also co-created Skills—an online assessment and ABA treatment guide for children with autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.
ABA: Beyond Discrete Trials
Treatment approaches grounded in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) are now considered to be at the forefront of educational interventions for children with autism.
The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) is among the world’s largest and most experienced organizations effectively treating children with Autism and related disorders since 1990. Following the principles of ABA, and with a comprehensive curriculum of programs to teach communication, social skills, adaptive, motor, play, cognitive and executive functioning skills, CARD develops individualized treatment plans that focus on developing the child’s skills and generalizing these to daily life.
CARD recognizes that Autism is not a purely behavioral disorder and the underlying causes of the symptoms are associated with a number of medical issues which when treated appropriately result in stabilization of the child’s medical condition and subsequent growth and improvement.
While ABA and Biomedical practitioners have individually helped provide successful treatment models for autism, in developing a “Best Practices” Model, these interventions must work together to provide the best possibilities for successful outcome.
Case studies will be presented in support of the behavioral-biomedical treatment model and recent research will be presented to show successful outcomes with these protocols.
Dave Humphrey, Esq
David Humphrey is an attorney and President, C.E.O., and owner of Kirkman Group, Inc., a group of companies including Kirkman®, a nutraceutical company, Kirkman Labs, a pharmaceutical company and he is co-owner of Purity Laboratories, Inc, an environmental laboratory.
He is a National Board Member of the Northwest Autism Foundation, THE FORUM, Neurological Health Foundation, and a co-founder of Autism Treatment Network, a joint project with 20 top tier-treating hospitals.
Mr. Humphrey is the co-founder and Director of the physician training group, Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS).
He was also executive vice chairman and Board Member of the Autism Society of America and the Autism Research Institute.
For the past 11 years, Mr. Humphrey has devoted much of his time to the research and study of autism.
Autism: The Past, Present and Moving Forward
This presentation will focus on the early history of autism, development and treatments of the disease and where we can see the future of autism going from our analysis of these items. David Humphrey will include the research and vision of Dr. Bernard Rimland, who he worked with closely. He will also provide an overview of the top ten milestones over the past 25 years. Attendees will be able to learn about autism through a historical review that explores the first time autism was recognized as a condition and how it became an epidemic. He will also provide his view on what the future will bring. The presentation will include the role of parent movements in the autism community and offer his unique perspective from someone who was present in the autism community at ground zero.
Eunice Lee, MSW, RSW, MS Ed.
Eunice Lee is a Registered Social Worker at the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative (MEHRI) where she has provides clinical treatment and consultations to children and adolescents with complex regulatory issues (including autism spectrum disorders, attentional difficulties, emotional challenges, etc.) and their families. More recently, she is focused on developing and delivering training to educators and clinicians about incorporating self-regulation into classrooms and schools within Ontario and British Columbia.
Eunice received dual Master's degrees in Social Work and Special Education from Columbia University and Bank Street College of Education and earned a post-graduate certificate in Infant Mental Health from York University. She has dedicated her work to building collaborative relationships between parents, educators, and professionals in educational settings, mental health clinics, and social service agencies.
Self-regulation in the Classroom and at Home: Where do I start?
Self-regulation is becoming more recognized in educational and research settings because of its significant impact on children’s ability to learn and succeed in the classroom. There is a growing awareness that a child’s ability to attune their energy, emotions, and attention to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the context and interaction, is an integral factor in education. But where do you begin exploring and understanding a child’s ability to self-regulate?
Teachers and parents/caregivers have a critical role to help facilitate the development of self-regulation by understanding the distinct capacities and acknowledging the multiple stressors that a child is simultaneously demonstrating and coping with. With the right support and opportunity to practice and experience self-regulation in the classroom and at home, children will become more successful in their learning environments.
This presentation will explore the continuum of self-regulation in children and adolescents and how to identify the capacities and stressors that are impacting their ability to self-regulate in order to develop appropriate supports and goals.
Tom Malterre, M.S., C.N.
Tom Malterre MS, CN holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in nutrition from Bastyr University. Tom is a faculty member of the Autism Research Institute, a member of the medical affairs team at Thorne Research, and a clinical nutritionist for Whole Life Nutrition. Mr. Malterre has trained with the Institute for Functional Medicine for the last 7 years and is soon to be one of the first practitioners with an advanced certification in functional medicine. He specializes in whole body wellness, looking at all factors of a person's life to bring about healing. Stress, environmental toxicants, nutritional deficiencies, and epigenetics all contribute to a decline in health. Whole Life Nutrition encompasses all aspects of life to get to the root of the health issues.
Mr. Malterre co-authored, with his wife, the best-selling cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, with over 50,000 copies sold, as well as their newest cookbook and guidebook for raising healthy children, Nourishing Meals. He and his wife have five beautiful children and enjoy organic gardening, wild harvesting, hiking in the mountains, food preserving, and cooking together as a family.
Why Diet is Important for People on the Autism Spectrum
Autism, like other diseases, arises from a state of being out of balance. There is either too little of something the body needs, or too much of something it does not. Genetics, diet, and toxic exposures are intertwined in producing either a high functioning child, or one that is suffering from numerous symptoms of imbalance. Topics discussed in the presentation will includes the avoidance of daily toxic exposure, and the inclusion of healthy foods into your children's lives.
Heather 爱童 McCracken is founder/executive director of the FRIEND 2 FRIEND SOCIAL LEARNING SOCIETY in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a parent of three children, one with ASD. As originator of the Friend 2 Friend (F2F) Autism Demystification model and founder of Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society, she leads training and outreach efforts to establish inclusive peer play and friendship programs worldwide. Widely published in peer-reviewed journals and books, she is the author of That’s What’s Different About Me, Demystifying Autism: the Friend 2 Friend Simulation Game, Can I Play Too and coauthor Learners on the Autism Spectrum: Preparing Highly Qualified Educators.
Friend 2 Friend Autism Demystification
Friendships, occupy a central place in children’s social lives. Research suggests that friendship is not only associated with children’s social, emotional and cognitive development but is also a determining factor for social adaptation and adjustment (Hartup, 1996; Ladd, 1990). Studies show that children with mutual friends are more socially competent and better adjusted than children without friends. These children tend to have higher self-esteem, are more sociable and cooperative, and better able to cope with change and manage interpersonal conflicts (Berndt, 2002; Gest et al., 2001). Further, children with positive and stable friendships exhibit higher engagement, better adjustment and greater achievement in school (Berndt, 1999). Studies also reveal that children without close friends are decidedly lonelier than children with close friends (Parker & Asher, 1993). The presence of even one close friend has been associated with a child’s happiness and sense of belonging.
Children on the autism spectrum encounter significant challenges learning how to play and socialize with peers (Boucher & Wolfberg, 2003; Wolfberg & Schuler, 2006). Hallmarks of ASD include a “lack of varied and imaginative or imitative play” as well as a “failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level”. Problems in these areas are intricately tied to characteristic impairments in reciprocal social interaction, communication and imagination (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
Despite inherent problems, there is strong evidence to suggest that children with ASD share many of the same desires and capacities for play, companionship and peer group acceptance as typical children (Bauminger & Kasari, 2000; Boucher & Wolfberg, 2003; Jordan, 2003). What differs is that their intentions are expressed in ways that are uniquely their own. Unfortunately, their subtle or awkward attempts to socialize and play are frequently misinterpreted by peers as signs of deviance or limited social interest. Without a system of support, they are highly vulnerable to being rejected or neglected by peers and thus deprived of opportunities to actualize their potential to socialize and play.
Friend 2 Friend Model. The Friend 2 Friend (F2F) model was developed out of deep concern for children who face peer rejection, neglect and bullying. The model is designed to foster mutual friendships between children with ASD and they peers by building awareness, empathy and understanding in their peers, siblings and classmates (McCracken, 2004; 2005abc; 2009, 2010, Wolfberg, McCracken & Tuchel, (2009). Friend 2 Friend offers innovative educational programs that include Puppet Presentations targeting children (ages 3-11) and Simulation-Game Presentations targeting children (ages 12 and up). These programs are designed in an age-appropriate and sensitive manner, offering demystification by modeling, labeling, explaining and normalizing characteristics of autism and providing prosocial communications strategies to help peers socialize and play with a child with autism.
Geared to educators, clinicians and families, this presentation will use videos and hands-on activities to introduce the principles and practices of the Friend 2 Friend model while illustrating the experiences of a wide range of children representing diverse ages, abilities, cultural, linguistic, ethnic and socio-economic groups. .
Jim Tanaka, Ph.D.
Jim Tanaka, Ph.D. is currently a professor at the University of Victoria and works in the Social Sciences department. Tanaka received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Oregon. He has also written a number of books including 'Exploring the perceptual spaces of faces, cars and birds in children and adults' and 'Using computerized games to teach face recognition skills to children with autism spectrum disorder: The Let's Face It! program.
Improving Face Recognition Abilities for Children with
Autism Through Video Games
This lecture will show how the use of interactive media can have serious benefits for children and adults living with autism. He explains some of the reasons for their emotional and social disconnect and how his new software program CERT can help change this. His lecture will explore how using interactive media with facial recognition can help better their understanding of people and expressions.