Building Bridges Autism Conference: March 1

This conference, sponsored by Foundations Behavioral Health, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Ruttenberg Autism Center, will assemble the region’s leading researchers and clinicians to present best practices in autism across four key age ranges: early childhood, school age, transition planning, and adulthood. The Director of the PA Bureau of Autism Services, Nina Wall, and Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large Derek Green, Esq., will kick off our conference, leading into a pivotal keynote presentation by renowned researcher and clinician Dr. Giacomo Vivanti, who will share some of the most exciting best practices in autism from research-to-practice. Providers, educators, family members, self-advocates, and others are welcomed together as we pave new roads for better outcomes and quality of life across the lifespan within the autism community.

Location: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Evans Hall, 4190 City Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19131

Date: Friday, March 1, 2019

Time: 8:00am-3:00pm

Cost: Early Registration: $45 (through January 31st)
$60 (until February 22)
Walk-In: $75 per adult (neurodiverse family members would be free with paying registration, but need to notify in advance). Please note that if financial constraints are a concern please notify conference contact for scholarship consideration by the planning committee.

Breakfast & boxed lunch provided to all attendees

Parking: $5; PCOM Parking Garage

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ruttenberg Autism Center
Foundations Behavioral Health

Educational tracks offered by age-groups: Early Childhood, School-age, Transition Planning,and Adulthood

Target Audiences: Doctoral-Level Psychologists and Other Mental Health Professionals, providers, educators, family members, self-advocates and others!

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Number of CE Hours/Credits: 5

*Meet the region's leading providers & valuable resource  organizations at the conference resource fair! Exhibit tables available to attendees throughout the day*

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Conference Agenda & Presentation Summary

Click "Full Conference Info" Below for Details & Participant Information

Registration, Networking, Light Refreshments and Vendors (8:00-8:45am) 

Welcome & Keynote Presentation (8:45-10:00am)
Evans Hall, Ginsberg Auditorium

Welcome Remarks
Dr. Robert DiTomasso, Dean, School of Professional and Applied Psychology, PCOM
Dr. Gina Fusco, CEO, Foundations Behavioral Health
Dr. Eric Mitchell, Director, Ruttenberg Autism Center

Introductory Remarks
Nina Wall, MSS, LSW, Director of the Bureau of Autism Services, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, & Derek S. Green, Esquire, Philadelphia Councilman At-Large

Keynote Presentation
Giacomo Vivanti, PhD, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute 
Early Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder

The keynote presentation will cover recent research on early learning and cognition in young children with Autism, with a focus on social communication, social-emotional understanding, and behavioral flexibility during the first years of life. Dr. Vivanti will highlight the impact of the learning style of children diagnosed with Autism for early intervention, and discuss the implications for outcomes across the lifespan.

Session A1 (10:30am-12:15pm)
Evans Hall, Ginsberg Auditorium
G-ESDM for Better Outcomes and Cost Reductions During Early Transitions
Early childhood:
Giacomo Vivanti, PhD, Steven Glazier, MA and Eric Mitchell, PhD

Session A2 (10:30am-12:15pm)
Evans Hall, Zedick Auditorium
Teaching School-Age Youth Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination
School age:
Presenters: Dr. Christina Villani, PsyD & Donna Putignano, MS, BCBA; Audrey Burger, M.Ed.,LPC; and Jesse Menarde, MS.

BREAK (12:15-1:00pm)
Lunch, Networking, Vendor Tables

Session B1 (1:00-3:00pm)
Evans Hall, Ginsberg Auditorium
Ready, Set, Go! Successful Transition Planning From School Toward Adulthood
Teenage/Transition Planning:
Facilitator: Eric Mitchell, PhD
Panel: Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D, Kate Tresco, PhD, Carol Weinman, Esq., Bridget Siess, M.S., Shane Eynon, PhD

Session B2 (1:00-3:00pm)
Evans Hall, Zedick Auditorium
Success Along the Journey: Adulthood and Quality of Life Among Self-Advocates
Facilitator: Beth Rosenwasser, PhD
Panel: Sam Huber; Greg Bannett, MS; Robert Schmus, MSW; Ev Smith; Nanci Goldenberg, MS


Conference Planning Committee:

Dr. Robert DiTomasso, Dean, School of Professional and Applied Psychology, PCOM
Dr. Jessica Kendorski, Chair, Department of School Psychology and Director of MS Program in School Psychology and the ABA Certificate program, PCOM
Dr. Katy Tresco, Director, PsyD program in School Psychology, PCOM
Katie Garson, M.S.Ed., Coordinator of School Psychology Programs & Continuing Education, PCOM
Dr. Gina M. Fusco, Group Director, UHS; CEO, Foundations Behavioral Health
Colleen Drake, MS, Community Relations Liaison, Foundations Behavioral Health
Stacie Vaccarino, Business Development, Foundations Behavioral Health
Katie Chapman, M.S., Senior Administrator, Director of Business Development, Foundations Behavioral Health
Dr. Eric Mitchell, Director, Ruttenberg Autism Center
Jessica Bollard, Communications Director, Ruttenberg Autism Center