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Read more about: Education and school

Get the latest autism updates from SPARK, including information about genes and ASD research, webinars, and personal stories from our community.

Our ‘genes’ page provides short, easy-to-understand descriptions of genes linked to autism. Under ‘research’, you’ll find the latest updates from SPARK and other autism studies. In our ‘stories’ section, families, scientists and others share their journeys. In our monthly webinars, speakers from the autism community provide useful information for families and people with autism. All are welcome–invitation links are issued in our monthly newsletter. If you have suggestions for webinar topics, please email us at webinars@sparkforautism.org.

Helping Students with Autism Navigate Back-to-School Time

Returning to school after summer vacation can be hard for any child. For a student with autism, this time of year can be especially stressful. Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have trouble adjusting to change. In fact, “insistence on sameness” and “difficulties with transition” are symptoms of ASD. A new classroom, schedule, teachers, classmates, or new school can trigger distress far beyond the typical back-to-school blues.

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Answers for Autism

We asked you what you wanted to know about autism, and you responded with thought-provoking and important questions.

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Autism Heroes: Sarah Easterling

Sarah Easterling teaches English and science to fourth-graders at Palmer Elementary School in Missouri City, Texas. At Palmer, children with special needs, including autism and dyslexia, join mainstream classes.

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“Adulting”: Effectively Preparing Individuals with ASD

The speaker for our sixth webinar is Mary E. McDonald, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA associate professor in the Department of Specialized Education at Hofstra University and interim associate executive director of Long Island Programs for Eden II/Genesis. In this webinar, McDonald discusses how to prepare children and teens with ASD for adulthood. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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Advocating For Your Loved One with Autism

The speaker for our third webinar is Gary Mayerson, JD, founder of Mayerson and Associates, the nation’s first civil rights law firm dedicated to representing individuals with autism. In this webinar, Mayerson discusses how families can have an effective IEP meeting and make the case for services and assessments. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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ASD Consultation and Treatment Across the Lifespan

The speaker for our second webinar is renowned autism expert Catherine Lord, Ph.D. Her talk will feature a discussion on interventions and what types of questions parents or independent adults with ASD should ask doctors and specialists. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

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Practical Strategies to Address Challenging Behavior

Children with autism can present with challenging behavior. Problem behavior can significantly interfere with and limit educational and social opportunities, negatively impact family functioning, and if not addressed can limit overall community integration experiences. This talk will provide an overview of the potential reasons why problem behavior exists and practical strategies that parents and teachers can implement to prevent the development of problem behavior. This webinar is 90 minutes long.

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