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April 13 & 14, 2012Vancouver, BC
Presentations by:Laurie Vismara, Ph.D., BCBA-D, UC Davis MIND InstituteLonnie Zwaigenbaum, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of AlbertaKaren Bopp, Ph.D., Senior Behavior Consultant, MCFD & Research Associate, UBCCo-sponsored by The Ministry of Children and Family Development &Simon Fraser UniversityRegister Online or use our Registration Form (pdf)
In celebration of April - Autism Awareness Month
Day 1: Friday, April 13, 2012
Early Start Denver Model – Its Origins, Research, and Contributions to Early Intervention in AutismLaurie Vismara, Ph.D., BCBA-D, UC Davis MIND InstituteThis presentation will describe the latest research on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), an evidence-based approach for treating toddler and preschoolers with ASD which is exciting great interest in the field of autism treatment. The unique features of the ESDM as an early intervention approach will be described, including the theoretical foundations and intervention components. The complex issues involved in early intervention studies with very young children will be reviewed, in addition to the encouraging results of UC Davis MIND Institute studies of the ESDM. A particular focus willbe Dr. Vismara’s clinical research into the use of the internet to provide direct coaching to parents of newly diagnosed pre-schoolers with ASD – an approach that has the potential to help meet needs within rural communities for access toindividualized, quality early intervention service.Day 2: Saturday, April 14, 20129:00-12:00 – Focus on Early Identification – Lessons from the Baby Sibs ProjectLonnie Zwaigenbaum, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of AlbertaDr. Zwaigenbaum is the co-director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Alberta and former chair of the international Baby Siblings Research Consortium. His research focuses on understanding the development of autism in very young children through studying the infant siblings of children with ASD. As these ‘baby sibs’ are at significantly higher risk of developing ASD, intensive research of their development is crucial to understanding early identification, screening, diagnosis and treatment.1:00-4:00 – Best Practices in Early Intervention – Helping Families Build the “Team”Karen Bopp, Ph.D., Senior Behavior Consultant, MCFD & Research Associate, UBCThis presentation will provide an overview of treatment approaches focusing on developing collaborative partnerships between behaviour consultants, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals in order to enhance optimal outcomes for children with ASD and provide their families with meaningful support. Dr. Bopp has spent nearly 20 yearsin the autism field, as a clinician, researcher and in policy development.
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Laurie A. Vismara, Ph.D., BCBA-D Dr. Laurie Vismara is an assistant research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a board certified behavior analyst. She specializes in conducting treatment research with young children with autism and their families. She is collaborating with Dr. Sally Rogers in examining treatment efficacy and effectiveness in autism using the Early Start Denver Model, as well as developing a coaching curriculum and parent education model for immediate provision of intervention to at-risk infants and toddlers. In addition, she studies the effectiveness of distance coaching through the use of telemedicine technology, as well as various teaching modalities to best disseminate evidence-based intervention models to families and community-based service providers.
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, M.D.His research focuses on early development in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. With the goals of identifying early behavioural and neurobiological markers of autism, his research group is following a high-risk cohort; namely, infant siblings of children with autism.
Dr. Karen D. BoppDr. Karen D. Bopp is the autism policy consultant for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), a researcher, and a registered Speech-Language Pathologist. Karen has worked extensively with children with autism spectrum disorders and their families for over 17 years. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of BC where she examined the relationships between problem behaviours and developmental outcomes in children with autism and maternal stress. After graduating in 2006, she completed a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship funded by the National Alliance for Autism Research, now Autism Speaks. While at UBC Karen had the honour of working for the Canadian Autism Pathways Project and teaching courses in language development, special education, and autism.
As an autism policy consultant for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Karen is the Senior Behaviour Consultant for British Columbia. She works in the Children and Youth with Special Needs Policy department and provides clinical and best practice consultation to autism service delivery and policy.
** special rates ** Register for one-day only. Until April 3rd, register for one day only: $100 for parents, para-professionals and students or $175 for professionals. Please call our office if you wish to register for just one day.
Bursaries for low-income participants and/or those travelling from outside their home regions to an event are available for B.C. residents. Call ACT’s office for more information or email
prior to registering. ACT provided $18,000 in bursaries in 2011 and gratefully accepts donations to our bursary fund. More Bursary Information >
Parents who receive Autism Funding may use 20% of the total for equipment, books, training and travel costs. ACT’s live and online events and the books we sell at our book table are all considered eligible expenses by the Autism Funding Unit. More Autism Funding Information > Link to Top ^
In order to stretch the funds participants have available, ACT negotiates preferred rates at city hotels. Please look below for hotel details.** please note that the very popular Vancouver Sun Run is Sunday, April 15th, and so hotels are booking up quickly (maybe you'd like to do both the conference and run that weekend!)
8:00 – 9:00
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10:30 – 10:45
10:45 – 12:00
12:00 – 1:00
1:00 – 2:15
2:15 – 2:30
2:30 – 4:00
Registration (both days)
Break – Coffee served
Lunch – on your own
We are working to build an online community space (the AOLC) for you to share stories, successes and to reflect and learn. It can provide a learning and community space that you can access at a time and location that is convenient for you.
You may wish to be an active participant, posing and answering questions, encouraging others to share their stories, and actively contributing to the creation of a safe and welcoming environment. You may wish to browse and take your time before engaging with the online community.
* When you register online for the first time you are automatically given an ACT Online Account. Use this account to participate in the ACT Online Learning Community, register for more live events or subscribe to online videos.
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