Autism Society of Wisconsin


25th Annual Autism Society of Wisconsin Conference
April 24-26, 2014
Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells

Keynote Speakers

OAR Sponsored Sessions

General Conference Information

Conference Schedule

Workshops at a Glance

Breakout Session Descriptions

Registration is closed. You may register on-site at the Kalahari at an additional cost.

Sibshop Information and Registration Form

Special Events Registration Forms

Download a Save the Date

Graduate Credit

Continuing Education Units (CEU's)

Keynote Speakers

The Zones of Regulation
Leah Kuypers, M.A., OTR/L. leah_kuypers
Thursday, April 24

Gain hands-on knowledge on the nature of self-regulation and strategies for improving self-regulation and emotional control in individuals of all ages. The presentation addresses topics such as: the brain’s involvement, typical development, sensory  processing, emotional regulation, and executive functioning. Audience participants  will learn an explicit, stair-stepped method and tools to guide students in utilizing The Zones framework across situations and environments to regulate sensory needs, impulses, and emotional states to social demands. Click here to find out more about The Zones of Regulation®

About Leah Kuypers:

Leah Kuypers earned a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Graduate Certificate in Autism and a MA in Education from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She has practiced as an OT/autism specialist in school and clinical settings, specializing in self-regulation and social learning, and has worked with students of all ages and challenges, including anxiety, ADHD, and ASD.

Leah created The Zones of Regulation® (, a framework designed to teach self-regulation, and is author of the book by same name (2011, Social Thinking Publishing). In addition to working with students, she provides trainings and consultation to parents and professionals on self-regulation and challenging behavior, as well as offers workshops on the Zones to groups across North America. She currently resides in Minneapolis, MN with her husband, son, daughter and dog. Presentation sponsored by the Organization for Autism Research.

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Executive Functioning
Monica Adler Werner
Friday, April 25monica_adler

Ms. Adler Werner will discuss the role of executive function in understanding autism spectrum disorders.  Executive Functions are the planning and organizational systems in the brain that allow people to flexibly problem solve, self monitor, inhibit impulses and persist in times of frustration or adversity.  In her talk Ms. Adler Werner will provide examples of difficulties with executive function in people with autism and strategies that support those areas of difficulty.  In addition, she will discuss how to understand the strengths that are the result of some executive functioning differences  and how to support and grow those strengths in people with autism.

About Monica Adler Werner :

Monica Adler Werner is the Director of the Model Asperger Program (MAP) at the Ivymount School. In that capacity she has spearheaded the development of a social learning curriculum that emphasizes problem solving, self advocacy and self regulation while keeping students on track academically. She also collaborates with Children’s National Medical Center’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders to develop curricula that support the development of executive functions. Last year she coauthored Unstuck and On Target (Brookes, 2011), a curriculum to enhance cognitive flexibility and problem solving in students with Asperger Syndrome. The efficacy of that intervention is currently being evaluated by an NIMH R34 grant. She is the coauthor on several papers and posters about working with children with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism. Prior to going to Ivymount, Monica co-founded of Take2 Summer Camp, a program designed to pilot the application of evidence based social skills programs. Monica has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Masters degree from Johns Hopkins. She has completed her coursework for her BCBA and expects to earn certification by July 2014. Presentation sponsored by the Organization for Autism Research.

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Grinding out a Bachelor’s Degree: How Did I Manage to Do It?
Sue & Rita Rubin
Saturday, April 26

Sue_&_RitaSue Rubin and her mother Rita Rubin will talk about Sue’s journey from a typical non-verbal, intellectually disabled, low-functioning autistic child to a recent college graduate.  Sue will address all of those aspects of autism that sabotaged her (and still do).  Sue and Rita will talk about how the attitudes of educators in their community and researchers around the world encouraged them to soldier on.  They will expand on the supports put into place for Sue to be successful.

Sue Rubin was diagnosed at 4 with autism and mental retardation. She attended public special day classes until high school, where, when given a means of communication, she was fully included and graduated with honors. In May 2013, after sixteen years, Sue graduated Whittier College (BA, Latin American History). She carried the 1996 Olympic Torch in Los Angeles; received CalTASH’s 1st Annual Mary Falvey Outstanding Young Person Award (1998) and the Autism Society’s Wendy F. Miller Award (1999); has presented at over 100 conferences, workshops and classes; was the subject of two PBS Life and Times program, had articles published in the L.A. Times, TASH Connections and Disability and Society, wrote chapters in two books, was the subject and writer of the 2004 Academy Award-nominated Autism is a World, and was elected to TASH’s National Board of Directors. Sue is now an elected CalTASH Board member, and a dedicated advocate for people with disabilities, enjoying an active social and cultural life.

Pioneer and Master Trainer of Facilitated Communication, Rita Rubin began working with her daughter Sue in 1991. Through continuous effort, consultation with experts and determination they achieved independence in communication after five years. A member of the Standards in Facilitated Communication Task force for Syracuse University, Rubin helped determine best practices for FC. She has served on many boards of directors in leadership positions over the past thirty years - the Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center, the Community Advisory Council for WACSEP (her local SELPA); Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK), Beth Shalom of Whittier, and the Greater Long Beach/San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the Autism Society for which she organized annual conferences for over twenty years. Presently she trains developmentally disabled individuals and care providers to communicate using FC, and speaks frequently on autism, inclusion, and FC. Rita holds a B.A. in history and M.A. in American Civilization.

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Shana_NicholsOAR Sponsored Breakout Sessions:

Teaching Personal Safety to Teens and Young Adults with ASDs
Shana Nichols
Saturday, April 26

Research has demonstrated that individuals with disabilities are highly likely to experience some form of abuse or to be the victim of a crime during their lifetime. Though much of the work on personal safety for individuals with ASD has focused on childhood, the importance of developing safety skills is a lifelong effort. This session will target teaching specific safety skills for teens and young adults on the spectrum. Safety related to one’s body and relationships and in day to day life situations (e.g., riding public transit) will be emphasized. General safety principles will be introduced as the foundation for learning, and then specific situations will be addressed through the use of case examples, practical teaching strategies and interventions.

Sexuality Development and Learning for Individuals with ASDs
Shana Nichols
Saturday, April 26

Sexuality education for youth, teens and young adults with ASD is an essential component of healthy development, personal safety and enhancing quality of life at all ages. From learning about the body, to privacy, boundaries and personal space, to attraction, dating and relationships, sexuality encompasses our knowledge, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings and is an important part of social learning and growing up. ASD presents unique learning challenges related to sexuality development, and families, educators and professionals need to know how best to teach and assist individuals with ASD in achieving healthy sexuality. In this session engaging case presentations and materials will be shared, providing practical skills that participants can use to create an effective sexuality education plan.

Shana Nichols, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher who has worked in the field of autism spectrum disorder for over 15 years. She founded ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development in Melville, NY in 2010, an outpatient center providing a range of services to individuals, families, schools, and organizations including direct services, consultation, and trainings. She specializes in the experiences of females with ASD, adolescence and growing up, and dual diagnosis and mental health interventions. Dr. Nichols has extensive expertise in cognitive and diagnostic assessment, treatment and consultation, and she conducts applied research. She has received grant support for her work in sexuality, puberty, and ASD, and fitness and healthy living. She is the lead author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum, and is a co-author of the set of therapeutic manuals Fighting Worries and Facing Fears: A Coping Manual for Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Families.

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Registration is now closed. You may register on-site at an additional cost.


Conference Sponsors

Major Conference Sponsors
Supporting Conference Sponsors

Organization for Autism Research
Special Needs Planning, LLC
Integrated Development Services
Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin
Fox Valley Autism Treatment Program
Lund Van Dyke, Inc.
Wisconsin Early Autism Project

Autism Society of Central Wisconsin
Autism Society of Chippewa Valley
Autism Society of the Fox Valley
Autism Society or Northeast Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction



Save the Date

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Graduate Credit

Those attending 2 or more days of the conference can apply for one graduate credit through Viterbo University.  The cost of the credit is $220.  You do not have to sign up ahead of time, instead, you can register for the course at the conference.  A representative will be available on Friday, April 25 from 7:30am until 12:00pm by the registration booth.  You may print the course documents ahead of time and bring them to the conference with you.  Please do not mail any items prior to the conference. 

Course Registration Form

Course Syllabus

Course Instructions

Credit Validation Form

Continuing Education Units (CEU's)

The following CEUs have been approved through Wisconsin Counseling Association (WCA); Thursday: 6, Friday: 5.45, and Saturday: 4.5. Individuals requesting CEU’S who are members of the Wisconsin Counseling Association (WCA) can request them at no charge to them. Non WCA members requesting CEU’S will be required to pay $15.00 for processing or they can join WCA. CEU request forms can be found on the WCA website: under the “Professional Development” tab.

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