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More than 400 people from around the region participated in Gwynedd Mercy University's 10th annual Autism Conference on Saturday, April 1. The all-day conference, hosted by GMercyU's Autism Institute, featured tracks geared towards specific audiences, including educators, health care professionals, and law enforcement.
GMercyU's Autism Conference is just one of the many resources and services the Institute provides that contributes to the development and educational progress of person's on the autism spectrum. The Institute was founded by Deborah Schadler, PhD, assistant professor and coordinator of undergraduate special education at GMercyU.
Dr. Schadler saw the need to provide research-based best practices for students majoring in special education, as well as teachers, administrators, and parents of children on the autism spectrum and any interested community members.All programs emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of children showing symptoms of ASD, as well as the presentation of evidence-based best practices for use across the lifespan of a person on the spectrum.
The signature offering of the Institute is the annual Conference held each April. The Conference is free and provides workshops covering a wide variety of professional topics by leading professionals in the area.
GMercyU early childhood and special education senior Stephanie Holtz has attended the conference since her freshman year. This year, she was able to apply the knowledge learned immediately at her student-teaching placement.
"The Autism Conference validated many of my concerns in my current classroom. I am very grateful for the information I gained at the conference," Holtz said. "Each session was extremely interesting and provided me with numerous resources to take into my own classroom."
The Autism Institute is dedicated to assisting in identifying and providing for the needs of the local community. To collaborate with the Institute or to find out more information, contact:
Dr. Deborah Schadler
215-646-7300 ext. 21160