Winthrop, Maine 1-800-273-5200

ASM's Annual Autism Fall Conference - November 2, 2019

The Autism Society of Maine is pleased to invite you to be a part of this exciting opportunity to exchange ideas, resources and knowledge that will inspire hope and innovation for those who live and work with individuals with autism. Join us at the 
Black Bear Inn & Conference Center, Orono, ME

                                                            REGISTRATION IS CLOSED! 


Keynote Speaker: James Ball, Board Behavior Analyst Ed.D., BCBA-D

Dr. James Ball is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and the President/Chief Executive Officer of JB Autism Consulting. He is also a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. He has been in the field of autism for over 30 years providing preschool, educational, residential, and employment services to children and adults affected by ASD. Dr. Ball has been a member of the Autism Society of America for the past 30 years. He provides private consultation to organizations, schools, and families regarding home program, staff/parent training, home support services, classroom design/support, behavior management/assessment, and functional behavior assessment.



8:00 - 9:00: Registration

9:00 - 9:15: Opening Remarks by Cathy Dionne, ASM Executive Director

9:00 - 12:00: Keynote Speaker, James Ball: This presentation will discuss the seven evidence based strategies, described in the book Early Intervention: Real Life Questions; Real Life Answers, authored by the presenter, that have been proven the most effective in teaching students and adults with an autism spectrum disorder. It will focus on teaching specific skills, reducing challenging behaviors, and building an effective program as outlined in the book You can’t Make Me: Proactive Strategies for Positive Behavioral Change. It will guide the participant, step, by step, through the process of implementing  these 7 evidence based strategies in a school based or adult services program. Real life examples will be used. Modifications will be explored that allow this particular program to be effective with students significantly challenged with autism, as well as those students with Aspergers Syndrome. Because of the nature of this presentation, a question and answer period will be provided.

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch: On your own or a boxed lunch option is being offered by the Black Bear Inn for $10 at the time of conference registration. Lunch orders are due by October 25th and no refunds will be available after this date. Boxed lunch payments need to be made at the time of registration.



A.) Dr. James Ball presents: The Use of Video Modeling for Learners with Autism
This presentation will discuss the use of video modeling when dealing with teaching and its use with problematic behavior. It will focus on teaching specific skills, enhancing motivation, and generalization training. A step by step demonstration will be presented using real life examples. Modifications will be explored that allow this particular program to be effective with students significantly challenged with autism, as well as those students with Aspergers Syndrome. Because of the nature of this presentation, a question and answer period will be provided. 

B.) Deborah L. Rooks - Ellis, Ph.D and Sarah K. Howorth Presents: Sexuality and Autism
During this workshop, participants will engage in conversation about sexuality and relationship education for people with autism and developmental disabilities. Sexuality is a healthy part of life and is comprised of much more than our body parts and sex. Sexuality is how we feel about our bodies, our gender identity, our sexual orientation, and our thoughts and feelings and experiences about our sexual experiences. Research suggests that we learn about sexuality via casual social experiences. These social experiences include the way in which the media, family, friends, school, religion, age, life goals, and our self-esteem shape our sexual selves. However, individuals with autism and developmental disabilities often lack ability to effectively learn in unstructured social situations. This is often misconstrued as the individual wanting to be alone. Yet, individuals with autism self-report that they want to have both social and sexual relationships. The need for sexuality and relationship education is often overlooked by professionals and even family members. Participants will be asked about their own beliefs and attitudes about sexuality prior to and then following the workshop. Participants will be provided with strategies they can use to advocate for and participate in sexuality education decisions for their family members with autism. This is a critical but sensitive topic, and the hope is that this workshop will facilitate dialogue about how to talk to individuals about their sexuality and help them engage in healthy sexual behaviors.
Presenter bio and workshop description PDF                                 




A.) Carrie Woodcock, MPF: Supported Decision Making an Alternative to Guardianship
Learn about the least restrictive options to full guardianship with a concentration on Supported Decision-Making. In this session, you will learn more about changes to the probate code, all available options when considering guardianship, how Supported Decision-Making can work within those options and on it's own, and what it means to be a supporter versus a decider. Presenter bio and workshop description PDF

B.) Cathy Dionne, ASM, facilitates: Adult with ASD Panel discussion
A discussion with a panel of 3 adults on the Autism Spectrum. Questions related to working (past and present) will be presented and their perspectives will be shared.  Adults will range in ages from 18-37. Cathy will also speak on behalf of individuals who may be at a different level when it comes to working.

Cindy Thielen: I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maine in 2017. In July of this year, I started working as an administrative specialist at the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at UMaine. Some of my interests include photography and reading in my spare time. I earned a third place photography award from the Maine Press Association as a student in 2016 after completing a newspaper internship with the Penobscot Bay Press in Blue Hill.

Brigid Rankowski:  An artist, educator, and advocate living in Maine. She obtained a Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern University after attending undergrad at Cornell College in Iowa. She holds positions on state and national boards including Felicity House’s Self Advocate Advisory Board, Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engage Together, and Autism Society of Maine. Brigid continues to present both nationally and internationally on multiple issues facing the disability community. When not doing advocacy work, she is a licensed fire performer helping promote safe practices across Maine and New England. 

John Hiatt: I live in Bangor. When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with Autism. I am 36 years old now. I hold an Associate Degree in Executive/Legal Science and I am finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Business. I hold an Education Technician 3 certificate and a Certified Nursing Assistant license. I work as a Tutor and Substitute Teacher and Ed Tech. I am a trained EMT. In November of 2018 I was Elected County Treasurer of Penobscot County and as a Member of the Bangor School Committee. I am also a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. I enjoy animals and going for long car rides. I also enjoy going to my day program for people with Autism and working with my support staff. Being a foster child I had to really fight for what I have. I also suffered a severe brain injury as a child and have difficulties because of that to this day.  It’s not been easy. I have vowed to be a voice for others with Autism. 


Certificate of Attendance: 6 Contact Hours or 0.6 Continuing Education Units (CEU's) 

Sponsorship: Be a part of this event and become a valued sponsor! There are levels of sponsorship that come with corresponding recognition including media and vendor tables. Please see our sponsorship form and call ASM with any questions you may have:

Autism Society of Maine: 1-800-273-5200 or email: asm@asmonline.or