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Autism 200 Series

Autism 200 Series

Autism 200 is a series of free 90-minute classes for parents and caregivers of children with autism who wish to better understand this disorder. Faculty from Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington and community providers teach the classes. Each class includes time for questions.

Classes are open to the general public. There is no need to register in advance to attend. Lectures are held the third Thursday of the month, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Seattle Children’s Hospital's main campus in Wright Auditorium. Park free in Lot 1. Enter the hospital through the River entrance, located straight across from the parking garage. Get an entrance badge from the Greeter Desk (bring photo ID).

Lectures are available through Seattle Children's video and teleconferencing outreach program and can be viewed at various locations throughout Washington, Alaska and Oregon. View Seattle Children's video teleconferencing site information (PDF). Lectures are also recorded. View past lectures.

Please call Seattle Children's Autism Center at 206-987-8080 with questions.

Class schedule

Autism 205: Understanding Developmental Disability Administration (DDA): New Pathways to the Future
May 19, 2016
Instructor: Ed Holen, executive director, Developmental Disabilities Council

The Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) provides support for some families who have children with autism spectrum disorder. Within the vision of the disability movement, Ed Holen will cover changes in the DD service system including funding to serve 5,000 more people, ideas about how to ask for services, and how to advocate for supports and services in your local community.

Autism 206: Transition to Adulthood – Community-Based Housing Options for Adults with Disabilities
June 16, 2016
Instructors: Vicki Isett and Pam Blanton, Community Homes, Inc.

Finding or creating community-based housing for adults with disabilities is a daunting task. The housing itself needs to be affordable. The support services need to be appropriate. Family members need to be actively involved to make this happen for their son/daughter/sister/brother. Join us for an evening learning about the three basic residential models available in the state of Washington, including how families access them and their availability. Together we will help you explore the many pieces of the housing puzzle to be considered, and which model might be the most appropriate for your family. Topics will include Medicaid services, subsidized housing, caregiver recruitment, collaboration with other families, continuity of care, and sustainability.

Autism 207: Transition to Adulthood – Connecting to Vocational, Educational, Social and Wellness Resources
July 21, 2016
Instructors: Ben Wahl, MSW, Aspiring Youth, and Therese Vafaeezadeh, ARNP

The transition from high school to the adult world can feel overwhelming for our spectrum young adults. And very overwhelming for parents. Fortunately there is an ever-expanding pool of resources for young adults on the autism spectrum. The presenters will review local resources for recreational, vocational, and social supports. The presenters will also discuss the best ways to help your young adult get engaged (and excited) about building their support system.

Autism 208: Transition to Adulthood – Social-Sexuality Education for Young People with Autism
August 18, 2016
Instructor: Britta Saltonstall, PhD, BCBA

Parents of teenagers and young adults with autism often have questions and concerns related to sexuality education. Britta Saltonstall, a board-certified behavior analyst who focuses on services for sexuality education, will present information related to personal safety, hygiene and social interaction. Attendees will be introduced to a) recognizing unique challenges, b) prioritizing learning areas and c) identifying resources for sexuality education for children through young adults. Sexuality in context of ASD will be conceptualized as a component of healthy social development. This workshop provides direction in supporting positive sexual maturation for individuals with developmental disability, their service providers, families and educators.

Autism 209: Multicultural Issues and Autism Spectrum Disorder
September 15, 2016
Instructors: Robin Tatsuda, MSW, ARC of King County, and Sayaka Omori, MEd, Open Doors for Multi-Cultural Families

Research has indicated that autism impacts individuals equally across cultures. However, families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds often face obstacles to accessing information, support and treatment across systems (e.g., educational, medical, state agencies). Tatsuda and Omori will identify and discuss the structural and cultural barriers for families of linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. This includes barriers for the family to access information and services and barriers for professionals to effectively support families. Real family stories and tips/strategies will be integrated throughout the presentation.

Autism 210: Benefits of Mindfulness
October 20, 2016
Instructor: Felice Orlich, PhD

Mindfulness involves “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). It is practiced by focusing on the present moment and being aware of one’s feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Mindfulness has been shown to have benefits in reducing stress and improving people’s quality of life. Dr. Felice Orlich will discuss the benefits of mindfulness for children with ASD and their families. Her presentation will include “mindful moment” exercises that are: 1) easy to do, 2) have practical application, and 3) promote self-care.

Autism 211: In Our Own Words: A Panel of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
November 17, 2016
Facilitator: Gary Stobbe, MD

Join Dr. Gary Stobbe, director of the UW Adult Autism Clinic, and a panel of adults with autism spectrum disorder to hear about their perspective of growing up with autism. What was helpful? What was not helpful? What should parents and professionals know about their children, students, and patients? Audience participation will be encouraged!


Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2016
Raphael Bernier, PhD, and Jim Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism 202: Addressing Challenging Behavior Part 1 of 2: Use of Applied Behavior Analysis to Assess and Treat Disruptive Behavior
Eric Boelter, PhD, BCBA-D

Autism 203: Addressing Challenging Behavior Part 2 of 2: Strategies for Home and School
Nancy Rosenberg, PhD, BCBA-D

Autism 204: Helping Children with Autism who Struggle with Restrictive Eating: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Mealtimes
Danielle Dolezal, PhD, BCBA-D

Many children with autism and developmental disabilities struggle with restrictive eating and food refusal. The usual feeding strategies are not always effective, leaving parents frustrated and unsure of how to proceed. The Pediatric Feeding Program at Seattle Children’s Autism Center will review best practices in addressing feeding goals in this population of children. The team includes a nurse practitioner, registered dietitian, occupational therapist, child psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst. This team will provide a presentation that will include information about factors that contribute to feeding difficulties, best practices in assessment and various treatment approaches for addressing increased acceptance in children, and troubleshooting specific feeding problems, such as fears, and refusal. We will also have two parents speak on their experience in helping their child with specific feeding challenges broaden their diets with our team.

You can view all Autism 200 Series lectures from the past two years on the Autism 200 Series playlist. For additional resources, visit the Autism Center Resources page or The Autism Blog, authored by Seattle Children's Autism Center. The world of autism spectrum disorders is constantly changing and we at Seattle Children’s Autism Center are eager to share with parents and caregivers what we continue to learn. The Autism Blog is designed to be a resource on autism as well as to give you an opportunity to comment on our posts and engage with our experts.