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Board hosting autism workshop Friday
A symposium 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 Francœur, 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,” Francœur 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 514 345-8330, ext. 319.