GMercyU Hosts 12th Annual Autism Conference

April 9, 2019

Gwynedd Mercy University hosted its 12th Annual Autism Conference on Saturday, April 6. The all-day conference had more than 350 registered attendees and offered more than 25 workshops presented by highly-respected professionals in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The workshops provided research-based best practices for working with individuals on the autism spectrum. There were three tracks for professionals in Higher Education, Healthcare, and Law Enforcement.

Some of the workshops covered topics such as:

  • Planning for Your Loved One with Special Needs: What Every Caregiver Needs to Know
  • Navigating the Special Education System: The Evaluation and IEP Process
  • Appreciating Autism: A Training for Law Enforcement
  • Autism and Interventions informed by Neuroscience

The Autism Conference is sponsored by GMercyU's Autism Institute. 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 students studying education as well as freshmen in First Year Experience also get hands-on experience by helping organize and run the Conference.