Mission Possible 2013: Successful Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders



Hot-button issues and leading players in autism are on the agenda for the 2013 Mission Possible: Successful Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders conference presented August 16-17, 2013, in Springfield-Branson, Missouri. The nation’s leading names in autism treatment gather to inspire, inform and educate you as never before.

Target Audience
The workshops in this conference are appropriate for psychologists, physicians, licensed/independent clinicians, interns/residents in training, nurses, teachers and administrators, special education professionals, behaviorists, allied health professionals, direct care and social services professionals, board & care/residential services staff, ILS/SLS staff, day program/club house/wellness center staff, service coordinators, case managers, and other professionals coordinating and applying treatment strategies for persons with dyslexia.

Workshop Schedule (FRIDAY AND SATURDAY)

Details of each workshop below this agenda:

8:00 a.m. Registration
8:15 a.m. Welcome and Announcements
8:30 a.m. Morning Workshop
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Morning Workshop resumes
11:45 a.m. Lunch (provided)
1:15 p.m. Afternoon Workshop
2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. Afternoon Workshop resumes
4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Friday, August 16, 2013

PEERS: A Parent-Assisted Social Skills Intervention for Teens with High Functioning Autism

Colleen Dolnick, Family Resource Specialist and Education Coordinator

SSM Cardinal Glennon Knights of Columbus Developmental Center, St. Louis, Missouri


Barbara Braddock, PhD, CCC-SLP

Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

This workshop will review the evidence-base of PEERS (Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills). PEERS is a manualized, social skills training intervention for adolescent and young adults with proven efficacy. It has also shown positive results in teens and young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression and other socioemotional problems. The screening and intake process will be reviewed. Fourteen treatment objectives will be highlighted using role play with teens and parent coaching.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • List five manualized objectives of PEERS training;
  • List two outcomes associated with PEERS training; and
  • Describe the parent coaching role in PEERS training.


Motivating Children with Autism to Speak: Strategies to Transition Children from Nonverbal to Verbal Communication

Tamara Kasper, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA, Director

The Center for Autism Treatment
Cedarburg, Wisconsin

This workshop provides practical, evidence-based treatment methods from the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis to develop communication skills in children who are struggling to speak. Emphasis will be placed on the use of Skinner’s behavioral classification of language, and teaching methods which refocus and refine the teaching of functional communication and transfer of skills from imitative to spontaneous requesting. Procedures to systematically shape functional verbal and/or manual communication will be demonstrated via video, including utilization of the K & K Sign to Talk teaching tools and Kaufman’s system of a hierarchy of vocalizations (word shells).
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • List two skills required for the development of verbal language.
  • List three motivators that can increase the use of verbal language
  • Describe the process of using phonemic approximations in the teaching of verbal language.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bringing Science to the Community: A New System of Healthcare Delivery for Infants and Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Ami Klin, PhD, Director

Marcus Autism Center
Atlanta, Georgia

This presentation highlights the critical role of early diagnosis and intervention in attenuating the symptoms of autism. Data will be presented on early diagnostic indicators obtained through eye-tracking-based behavioral assays that quantify the social disabilities in autism. The results of these assays were used to generate “growth charts” of normative social engagement, and the deviations from the norm were taken as early indicators of risk. These methods yielded high sensitivity and specificity for the screening of infants. The ultimate goal of this effort is to develop objectified and quantified tools for the detection of autism in infancy, tools that might be deployed in primary care and pediatricians’ offices. This work will be contextualized in terms of recent developmental social neuroscience research with toddlers with autism, which implicated developmentally very early emerging, and evolutionarily highly conserved, mechanisms of social adaptation that set the stage for reciprocal social interaction, which in term represent the platform for early social brain development. Effective screening of infants would be unethical without a clinical infrastructure providing access to family support and early intervention for those screened positive. Through a collaboration with Dr. Amy Wetherby, we are now establishing tools and procedures for the full integration of primary care physicians and early intervention providers with the goal of establishing a new system of healthcare delivery for infants & toddlers with autism spectrum disorders.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the early symptoms of autism, the recommended assessment protocols, and the typical priorities for treatment and intervention.
  • Describe new models of what is autism resulting from advances in genetics and neurobiology, and will recognize the significant of these new insights to clinical practice.
  • Discuss highly conserved and early emerging mechanisms of socialization, how these are quantified experimentally, and their implications for the instantiation of genetic liabilities in the first 2 years of life.
  • Analyze the new opportunities that this body of research opens for early intervention and for new research combining molecular genetics and social neuroscience.


Early Start Denver Model

Marie Rocha, PhD, BCBA-D, Project Manager

UC Davis MIND Institute
Sacramento, California

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a comprehensive behavioral early intervention approach for children with autism, ages 12 to 48 months. The program encompasses a developmental curriculum that defines the skills to be taught at any given time and a set of teaching procedures used to deliver this content. It is not tied to a specific delivery setting, but can be delivered by therapy teams and/or parents in group programs or individual therapy sessions in either a clinic setting or the child’s home. In this workshop, Dr. Rocha will provide an overview of the ESDM approach and its effectiveness.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the theoretical framework of the Early Start Denver Model;
  • List the basic structure and elements of the Early Start Denver Model; and
  • Assess the empirical evidence supporting the Early Start Denver Model.


Burrell is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Burrell maintains responsibility for the program and its content. This two day conference is approved for 12 hours of continuing education. All workshops at this two day conference are to be considered an intermediate to advanced level of training.

Burrell Behavioral Health is approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association to sponsor continuing education for occupational therapists. All workshops in this conference are to be considered intermediate level of training. Each workshop will provide .3 Category 1 AOTA CEU’s.


Barbara Braddock, PhD, CCC-SLP

St. Louis, Missouri

Barbara Braddock, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Saint Louis University. Dr. Braddock’s clinical and research focus is on cognitive communication profiles in individuals with sever communication disorders with a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She acts as a speech-language pathologist at the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. She is a certified PEERS social skills treatment provider and successfully completed the ADOS reliability and standards requirements.


Colleen Dolnick

St. Louis, Missouri

Colleen Dolnick is a Family Resource Specialist and Education Coordinator for SSM Cardinal Glennon Knights of Columbus Developmental Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a trained SOS Parent Mentor and has been directing families to support and resources within their community over the last 10 years. In addition, Colleen is a certified PEERS provider. Colleen received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Arizona State University. She is a proud mother of a 13 year old with high-functioning autism who has inspired her to be a strong advocate for all families of children with special needs.


Tamara S. Kasper, MS/CCC-SLP, BCBA

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Tamara S. Kasper, MS/CCC-SLP, BCBA, has practiced as a pediatric speech/language pathologist with emphasis on treatment of children with challenging behavior for over 20 years. She has specialized in treatment of children within the autism spectrum for the last 15 years. Her commitment to the children she serves led her to pursue treatment methods outside the field of speech-language pathology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Vincent Carbone and his protégé, Ms. Kasper became a Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst. Ms. Kasper has also completed advanced training in application of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior, Greenspan’s DIR approach, and Kaufman’s strategies for apraxia of speech. She has developed procedures to assist children with autism in developing verbal vocal language and is co-author of the K&K Sign to Talk Materials and Speak with Sign. She is past recipient of the Wisconsin Speech-Language-Hearing Association’ Currently, Ms. Kasper directs The Center for Autism Treatment and provides consulting services, training, and workshops to treatment teams who serve children with autism in the United States, Canada, and Europe.


Ami Klin, PhD

Atlanta, Georgia

Ami Klin, PhD, is Professor and Chief of the Division of Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Emory University School of Medicine, Director of the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of London, and completed clinical and research post‐doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. He directed the Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine until 2010, where he was the Harris Professor of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. The Marcus Autism Center is one of the largest centers of clinical care in the country, providing a broad range of diagnostic and treatment services, and is now growing a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of research in clinical science. Collaborative projects include several departments at Emory and other institutions such as the CDC and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as care‐providing agencies in the community. The Center also provides training in a broad range of disciplines, and is strongly committed to advocacy at the local, national and international levels. Dr. Klin’s primary research activities focus on the social mind and the social brain, and on developmental aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. These studies include novel techniques such as the eye‐tracking laboratories co‐directed with Warren Jones, which allow researchers to see the world through the eyes of individuals with autism. These techniques are now being applied in the screening of babies at risk for autism. He is the author of over 180 publications in the field of autism and related conditions. He is also the co‐editor of a textbook on Asperger Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers published by Guilford Press, the third edition of the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders published by Wiley, and several special issues of professional journals focused on autism spectrum disorders.


Marie Rocha, PhD, BCBA-D

Sacramento, California

Marie Rocha, PhD, BCBA-D, is the manager of the Early Start Laboratory and the project manager of the Early Steps Study at the UC Davis Mind Institute in Sacramento, California. Dr. Rocha is a board certified behavior analyst and received her doctorate in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Her primary responsibility is the supervision and training of the Early Steps Study team. In addition, she provides parent coaching and case supervision for families. Her research to date focused on developing and evaluating naturalistic behavior analytic techniques including parent education models. Her clinical experience includes supervising home and school-based behavioral intervention programs for children in community-based treatment programs. Dr. Rocha is also a certified therapist and trainer of the Early Start Denver Model. She has experience training large groups of professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Dr. Rocha has been working with children with autism and their families since 1996.

Hotel Reservations

RamadaThe New Frontiers in Pediatric Mental Health Conference will be held at the University Plaza Hotel Convention Center, Springfield, Missouri

Located in the heart of downtown Springfield – surrounded by great restaurants, lounges and coffee shops – this first class hotel has terrific resort-style amenities like a fitness center, whirlpool, sundeck and indoor and outdoor pools.

Special Room Rates

We have special room rates for conference at $89 (plus applicable taxes) single/double.

Call the reservations department at 417.864.7333 and be sure to ask for the Burrell New Frontiers conference block to receive the discounted conference rate.

NOTE: Rooms at the special rate are subject to availability and sell out quickly! Hotel reservations are separate from conference registration and must be booked and paid for separately.

University Plaza

See their website and take a tour of the hotel at: http://www.upspringfield.com/

University Plaza Hotel
333 John Q. Hammons Parkway
Springfield MO 65806

Hotel Phone: 417.864.7333
Hotel Fax: 417.831.5893