Group Workshops, Seminars
and Speaking Engagements

Group Workshops and expert speaker on autism and ASD photoSteven Wertz is available as a presenter/speaker for conferences, parent groups, etc.

Sample topics include:

Attitudinal training
The attitudes of parents and caregivers are instrumental in creating positive change in children. This talk focuses on how attitudes, thoughts and feelings may influence our ability to help children with ASD, and how to harness the power of a positive attitude to encourage children’s motivation and communication.

Improving communication and connection for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This session includes techniques to help increase children’s attentiveness and rapport, along with methods to encourage children to initiate communication and to strengthen their motivation and ability to interact. These are practical techniques that can be immediately put into practice with children.

Handling challenging behavior in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Practical strategies and attitudes that will help minimize a child’s challenging behaviors and to make it less likely that problem behavior will emerge in the future.

Assessment and goal-setting for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Effective assessment is essential to helping children with ASD to make progress. The session will focus on identifying the child’s unique strengths and weaknesses and setting appropriate goals

An overview of teaching methods for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
An overview of various methods currently in use to support children with autism and related conditions, including intensive interaction methods (such as Son-Rise and Floor Time), ABA (Discrete Trial Teaching, Lovaas, Verbal Behavior) Structured Teaching (also known as TEACCH). This will provide a foundation for developing and synthesizing the participant’s style, and for customizing methods to the child’s unique needs.

Creating custom learning experiences
Introduction to to designing playful and challenging experiences that will motivate the children to learn and grow.

Helping children with motor difficulties (dyspraxia) and executive function problems.
Many children with autism have obvious or hidden neurological difficulties. These children progress more rapidly with strategies that are adapted to their specific needs. This segment provides information and discussion on identifying motor difficulties and designing appropriate strategies.

Group Training for Parents and Professionals

Group Training for Parents of children on ASD photoSteven and Kaitryn Wertz are also available to present a 3 or 4 day workshop training for groups of 10-60 parents and professionals, throughout North America and abroad, working in partnership with parent groups and other sponsoring organizations. This can be an excellent and affordable way for sponsors to provide inspiration, practical training and support for parents and teachers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in locations close to home.

This program teaches skills to increase children’s motivation and cooperation, to improve their communication and social skills, to assess progress, to set appropriate goals and to incorporate effective methods to achieve those goals. Central to the Growing Minds approach is the understanding that every person on the autism spectrum can develop communication, deepen social interaction and maximize their fullest potential. Each individual with autism has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses which must be assessed in order to create an individual program to meet his or her needs.

Participants will gain skills to help their child:

  • Improve social self-help skills, such as intellectual functioning, the ability to perform simple and complex tasks and self-care.
  • Increase both expressive and receptive communication
  • Reduce problem behavior
  • Increase social interest, understanding, participation and enjoyment
  • Develop practical skills and activities aimed at improving independence and psychosocial functioning.

This program is recommended for:

  • Parents who currently have a home-based program for their child (either full or part time).
  • Parents interested in a home-based program, either full-time or in addition to school.
  • Family members and caregivers who support children or adults with autism.
  • Professionals who work with individuals affected by autism and related difficulties.

Contact us to discuss hosting or sponsoring a Growing Minds Workshop or Presentation for your group.