Seattle Course #8- Counseling Students on the Autism Spectrum

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Wednesday- March 7, 2018      8:00am – 4:00pm

Course #8 -Counseling Students on the Autism Spectrum

by Chris M. Abildgaard, NCSP, LPC, NCC, The Social Learning Center, Cheshire, CT

About the Speaker

Chris Abildgaard NCSP, LPC, NCC has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since 1999. He is the owner and director of the Social Learning Center, LLC located in Cheshire, CT. Chris also holds a clinical appointment at the Southfield Center located in Darien, CT and an appointment at the Benhaven Academy located in Wallingford, CT as their School Psychologist. Chris is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist , a Nationally Certified Counselor & a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In addition to a master’s and 6th year degree in school psychology, Chris has earned a Graduate Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Behavioral Interventions in Autism. Since 2008, Chris has presented in eight different states at conventions such as the Autism Society of America and American Counseling Association national conferences, and through the state of Connecticut on topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorders, social cognitive development, executive functioning and counseling techniques used when working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Disclosures: Financial-Chris is employed by the Social Learning Center in Cheshire, CT and he receives speaker/consultation fees. There are no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Target Audience (who should attend):  

School Psychologists, School Counselors, Speech-Language Pathologists, Social Workers, Principals/Administrators

Target Age Range: 4th Grade through 21 Years

Course Description:  Ever have a student referred to you due to “behavioral issues” in the classroom because they didn’t want to write or because they always blurted out in the middle of a teacher lecture? Or, ever have a student get in trouble for not knowing when to stop texting a female classmate? Ever have a student enter your office who has “elephant” size reactions to “ant” size problems? For individuals with various neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD, Social Communication Disorders, Specific Learning Disorders, etc.) the idea of being “social” can either be extremely motivating or can be draining, overwhelming, fragmented, and/or depressing. Yet, society demands a certain level of “social” out of all of us, even those of us whose cognitive hardwiring may not be made for being “social”. How will those struggling with social cognitive deficits make it through their school day without having their cognitive countertop break day in and day out? There is no specific training for mental health counselors in the educational setting around social cognitive deficits and how core deficits impact the counseling sessions/outcomes. This intensive one-day course is intended to advance the competencies of mental health professionals and provide them with proven intervention strategies, essential treatment tools, and cognitive behavioral techniques to use tomorrow! This course will create a framework for approaching treatment and with an emphasis placed on understanding the origins of these deficits and utilizing modified methods of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to provide effective interventions to improve one’s overall quality of life. Led by Chris Abildgaard, LPC, NCC, NCSP a national speaker on the topic of ASD’s and social development who takes a hands on approach to education, you will quickly master skills needed to work more effectively with individuals who struggle with social challenges. By the end of the course, your tool bag will be filled with relevant methods of counseling and interventions you will be able to apply in your practice the next day.

 What You Will Learn

Course Objectives– Participants will be able to:

• Evaluate core deficits and how they impact school based counseling practice and outcomes
• Analyze the difference between social and nonsocial cognitive deficits and their impact on one’s quality of life
• Assess how a modified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective counseling practice for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders
• Identify useful techniques to various core deficits (e.g., improve rigid thinking, accepting the impact one has on another and improving self advocacy)
• Demonstrate the ability to explore new ways for helping a student to initiate and reflect on new social behaviors within their educational setting
• Examine various methods for collecting data for social/ emotional goals within the educational setting