More than 1 million children in the U.S.—one in 45—have been diagnosed with autism, a growing number that impacts educators, counselors, speech learning pathologists and millions of parents across the country.

This month at Longwood University, those professionals and parents will gain insight into this complex and sometimes debilitating condition at the first Summer Autism Institute. Set for June 21-22, the intensive training session will bring together experts from across the state, including several from Longwood, to speak about best practices and strategies to reach patients and students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“This is an important opportunity for anyone who works with individuals with autism spectrum to not only learn best practices but also network with professionals who have significant experience,” said Dr. Aftab Khan, assistant professor of special education and coordinator of the autism spectrum disorders certificate program at Longwood. “We’re looking at autism through a variety of lenses and giving professionals the tools to better help their patients.”

Highlighted programs include:

  • Assessing Individuals with ASD — Dr. Aftab Kahn and Stephanie Bailey, Longwood University
  • Scripting Workshop — Jackie Neidle, Virginia Department of Education
  • Video Modeling Workshop — Karen Feather, Longwood University
  • Hearing Loss in Children with ASD — Dr. Mani Aguilar, Longwood University
  • Literacy and ASD — Dr. Peggy Agee, Longwood University
  • Engineering the Environment for Individuals with ASD — Andrea L. Johnson, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication for Students with ASD — Wendy Pulliam, Longwood University

The Autism Institute training session will be held in the Nance Room of Dorrill Dining Hall on Longwood’s main campus. Registration is $100 per person, which includes breakfast and lunch.

Participants will receive a certificate for 12 Continuing Education Unit credits from Longwood.

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