What is Social Thinking?
Oregon Reportedly Has Highest Rates of Autism in Nation, April is National Autism Awareness Month
SAN JOSE, Calif. - April 10, 2008 - Two workshops presented by Michelle Garcia Winner, an author of seven books and an international speaker on autism spectrum disorders (ASD), will offer strategies for parents, teachers, therapists and others on how to improve the social functioning of students with ASD and similar disabilities. Winner will conduct the workshops on Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18 at the Ambridge Event Center in Portland, Ore. Registration and a fee are required, which can be fulfilled at the workshops at 8:30 a.m. each day.*
"Awareness of high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome is critical right now," said Tamra Hass, autism specialist at the Columbia Regional Program, which assists Portland Public Schools in the education of special-needs students. "Oregon is extremely fortunate to have Michelle Winner, an expert on autism spectrum disorders, visiting us. Michelle's books, curricula, research and workshops provide educators and parents with a clear understanding of ASD, as well as the necessary tools and intervention strategies to help our children succeed."
On Thursday, April 17, "Looking Into the Mind of ASD and Like Disabilities: Exploring How Informal Assessment, Mental Health and Adult Transition Issues Link to Practical Program Development" will examine how standardized tests rarely capture the complexities of social interaction, even as social competence is at the core of the success of students.
On Friday, April 18, "Teaching Beyond the Think Social! Curriculum: Addressing Preschool, Anxiety, `Superflex' and Emerging Perspective Takers" will illustrate how teaching social thinking and related social skills provides a broad base for social-emotional functioning for students on the higher functional end of the autism spectrum.
According to the Autism Society of Oregon, Oregon has the highest autism rate in the country. In addition, April is National Autism Awareness Month.
About the Portland Social Thinking Workshops
*The workshops will be held at the Ambridge Event Center, which is located at 300 N.E. Multnomah Street in Portland. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the workshops going from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fees are as follows: professional two-day attendance: $320; one-day attendance: $180. Parent, or nonprofessional college student two-day attendance: $280; one-day attendance: $160.
About Michelle Garcia Winner
Michelle Garcia Winner is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the treatment of students with social cognitive deficits, which include the diagnoses of autism, Asperger syndrome and nonverbal learning disorder. She runs a clinic focused on these disorders in San Jose, Calif., where she works with clients and consults with families and schools. She conducts workshops internationally and has written seven books that offer curricula for addressing social cognitive deficits. Winner's goal is to help educators and parents appreciate how social thinking and social skills are crucial to a student's success, both in school and as he or she enters the wider adult world. Winner's books, DVDs, information on future workshops and events and more information can be found at www.socialthinking.com.