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University of Maryland Autism Research Consortium

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UMARC's Community-wide Learning about Autism Speaker Series: CLASS


Do you have questions about your child with autism? Come to CLASS and let's talk! UMARC's Community-wide Learning about Autism Speaker Series (CLASS) brings in outside speakers and our faculty board members to inform parents, professionals, and students about hot topics related to autism as well as answer questions during audience led discussions! Our upcoming lectures are listed below; other talks will be posted as the dates are finalized.

All lectures will be held in 0135 Lefrak Hall at the University of Maryland unless otherwise specified. Free childcare will be provided for those who request it in advance.

December CLASS: Special Needs Trusts and Guardianship: How can your family find more money?

On December 10th Chase Philips, Certified Special Needs Advisors & Matthew Bogin, Special Needs Attorney came and spoke about about long-term financial planning for families with special circumstances. Parents will learned about government benefits, special needs trust, guardianship and the new ABLE accounts.

November CLASS: Accommodations for IEP

On November 5th Susan Barnett, M.S., OTR/L & Kathy Dow-Burger, M.A., CCC-SLP spoke about IEP accommodations. Parents and other attendees learned how to differentiate between goals /objectives, cues & prompts, classroom and test modifications and classroom and test accommodations for their child’s Individual Education Plan.  Parents also learned about the difference between the categories of accommodations from the Maryland State Department of Education as well as ways to investigate and advocate for accommodations for their child.

October CLASS: Dr. Rebecca Resnik

On October 8th, Dr. Rebecca Resnik presented "Executive Functioning in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Building on strengths." Dr. Resnik is a Licensed Psychologist and founder of Dr. Rebecca Resnik and Associates LLC in Bethesda and Rockville. Dr. Resnik specializes in psychological assessment of children and young adults. Prior to becoming a psychologist, she received her Masters Degree in Special Education. She has served both as a clinician and an educator for children with learning differences.

September CLASS: Speaker and AAC Workshop

On September 17, we hosted two speakers. The morning speaker was Eve Megargel, advocate for nonverbal autistic individuals and author of Learning to Kiss. She spoke about her experience with her non-verbal son, Billy, who has become an accomplished local artist under her guidance.

Read about Billy - Billy is a Painter and Dr. Nan Bernstein Ratner's review of Learning to Kiss

Barbara Delsack, MSPA-CCC led a make-and-take AAC workshop. Participants created their own customized communication boards to take home.

Here's what past attendees have to say about UMARC's CLASS:

"We're lucky to have UMARC so close! I've enjoyed coming to the UMARC lecture series - the topics & resources are so valuable, parent-friendly, and such a service to the local community. The speakers have been happy to answer specific questions, too." -Mary

"I shared a lot of the lecture series info with parents/friends, which has been helpful. The free babysitting makes it easier to take advantage of the opportunity to attend, learn, & connect with others. I look forward to coming to UMARC's lecture series again next semester!" -Lydia

"The UMARC lecture series is an excellent resources for parents, teachers, and service providers in the area. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to access these informative events!" -Vivian

Past UMARC Events

2016-2017 School Year
  • November 2016: IEP Accommodations with Susan Barnett, M.S., OTR/L & Kathy Dow-Burger, M.A., CCC-SLP

  • October 2016: Dr. Rebecca Resnik presented "Executive Functioning in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Building on strengths."

  • September 2016: Learning to Kiss with author Eve Megargel, advocate for nonverbal autistic individuals & AAC & Autism Workshop, with Barbara Delsack, MSPA-CCC

2015-2016 School Year

  • September 2015: An Individualized Approach to Behavior Management in Autism with area pediatrician Dr. Dan Shapiro, M.D.

  • October 2015: Financial Planning for Children with Special Needs with Mark Friese, CRPC and Matthew Bogin, Special Needs Attorney

  • November 2015: What Comes Next? Preparing Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum for Life with Dr. David Black, PhD, a neuropsychologist, nationally and internationally recognized autism expert and director of the Center for Assessment and Treatment & Hope Harris-Black, MSW, an accomplished child and family therapist with over 15 years of clinical experience

  • December 2015: Ways Parents Can Foster their Children's Language Development with Dr. Nan Bernstein Ratner, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, F-ASHA, BRS-CLLD, UMARC Director

  • April 2016: The College Planning Process for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders with Judy Bass, Certified Educational Planner

  • April 2016: Maryland Day!!

  • May 2016: The Road Towards Independence: Living and Working with Autism with Jan Miller-Vogel & Sarah Shick from the Treatment & Learning Centers (TLC)

  • June 2016: Updates on Autism Research at NIH with Audrey Thurm, Ph.D. from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

2014-2015 School Year

  • September 2014: Know Your Child; Know Yourself: Parenting with Your Child's Profile in Mind with Sarah Wayland, Ph.D.

  • December 2014: Financial Planning for Children with Special Needs with Chase Phillips CSNA and Special Needs Attorney Matthew Bogin

  • February 2015: Current Brain Research in Autism with Dr. Elizabeth Redcay, Ph.D.

  • March 2015: Responding to Disruptive Behavior in the Home Setting with Dr. Andrew Egel, Ph.D.

  • April 2015: UMARC & NSSLHA Movie Event and Guest Panel

  • April 2015: Maryland Day

2013-2014 School Year

  • March 2014: Supporting Functional Communication in Young Children with Autism with Vivian Sisskin, M.S., CCC-SLP

  • May 2014: Accommodations for the IEP and Classroom with Kathryn Dow-Burger, M.A., CCC-SLP