Conferences and Training

2020 Conferences

This year we have held training

  • International Speaker, Kelly Mahler, OTR/L  on Interoception: the Eighth Sense
  • Growing Up with Autism featuring a panel of adults with autism
  • Emergency Preparedness in Spanish
  • Emergency Preparedness for adults with Autism
  • Emergency Preparedness Resource Fair
  • Law Enforcement:  Staying Safe
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Many webinars specific to COVID-19.

Click the webinar graphic to view our recorded webinars.

Upcoming Conferences

Distance Learning Your Student on the Spectrum: START from Your HAMMOCK
Thur, Sept 10th 3-5pm

Wendela Whitcomb Marsh, MA, BCBA, RSD

Perfect for family members and professions who are distance learning with students with autism and other developmental disabilities preschool through 8th grade.

Parents and educators face the new reality of distance learning and new routines in classrooms. Parents and professionals are concerned with the physical and educational wellbeing of students while distance learning.  It is more important than ever to set the stage for success by providing the tools your student needs to be the best they can be. Dr. Marsh describes how to build a structure for better behavior as well as identifying activities to keep your child engaged throughout the day.

Presenter:  Wendela Whitcomb Marsh, MA, BCBA, RSD, is the author of Independent Living with Autism: Your Roadmap to Success, and The ABCs of Autism in the Classroom: Setting the Stage for Success. Drawing from her experience as a special education teacher, educational psychologist, and behavior analyst, and her personal history as spouse and parent of autistic adults, she offers insights and practical solutions to many challenges associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Learning Objectives:

Learn strategies for

  • Supporting individuals on the autism spectrum’s need for routine
  • Activities to support socio-emotional needs of students.
  • Accommodations that can be used to help students not be overwhelmed with schoolwork.

Fee:  $49 pp for one presentation or $129 for all three and the Autism in Lockdown Survival Kit. Vendored by Inland Regional Center PJ 5144-102.

Employment & the Discovery Process
Mon, Sep 14, 2020 02:00 PM - 3:15pm

Debbie Ball, Vice President Employment Services, Easterseals Southern California

Free Webinar!

Our Inland Empire community has a 96% unemployment rate for adults with autism.  Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It is based on an individualized match between the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Discovery is the foundation of Customized Employment. It is a proven evidence-based practice that improves employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities.

Independence U: Building Healthy Habits
Tuesday at 10-11am Oct 13, 20, 27, Nov 3rd and 10th

Theresa McFarland, M.A.

Audience: Individuals with I/DD ages 16 and older.

Presenter: Theresa McFarland, M.A., retired special educator.  Theresa has had over 25 years of education and experience providing services to children and adults who have disabilities including autism. Throughout her career, she has provided support to families through educational interventions, workshops, and parent support groups. She has extensive training in research-based interventions including discrete trial training, TEACCH, behavior modification, music therapy, social skills training, and functional academics. Ms. McFarland has advocated for many children and will continue to provide support to families and individuals who live with disabilities.

Description: We are all creatures of habit. We tend to wake up at the same time each day, brush our teeth, have morning coffee and commute to work, following the same patterns every day. So why is it so hard to form new healthy habits?  It’s not about willpower. Behavioral scientists who study habit formation say that many of us try to create healthy habits the wrong way. We make bold resolutions to start exercising or lose weight, for example, without taking the steps needed to set ourselves up for success. This five-week class will meet once a week for an hour. Adult content may be presented or discussed in class.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will learn:

  • how to build better habits in 4 simple steps
  • how habits shape their identity
  • to identify their own habits
  • the role of family and friends in shaping their habits

Cost is $40 pp for five-week class. Vendored by Inland Regional Center PJ 5144-102.

Screen Time Stress
Thur, Oct 15th 3-5pm

Dr. Raun Melmed

Perfect for family members and professions who are distance learning with students with autism and other developmental disabilities preschool through 8th grade.

As a developmental pediatrician, Dr. Melmed sees children with special needs, along with typically developing children. The problems they encounter in their lives are all very similar – stress, anxiety, attentional issues, too much screen time, making and keeping friends. Using science and humor, Dr Melmed gives family members and educators tools to help with stress, anxiety, and self-monitoring screen time.

Presenter:  Dr. Raun Melmed is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and Director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is co-founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. Dr. Melmed is on faculty at Arizona State University in Phoenix and Clinical Associate Professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  He is the author of Succeeding with Difficult Children; Autism: Early Intervention; Autism and the Extended Family; and a series of books on mindfulness in children, Marvin’s Monster Diary – ADHD Attacks, Timmy’s Monster Diary:  Screen Time Attacks, Harriet’s Monster Diary – Anxiety Attacks,  and soon to be released, Lyssa’s Monster Diary – Anger Attacks.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase the knowledge of strategies to have children self-monitor the amount of time they spend on technology.
  • Identify signs of stress in children
  • Increase knowledge of stress management tools that can be used for children

Fee:  $49 pp for one presentation or $129 for all three and the Autism in Lockdown Survival Kit. Vendored by Inland Regional Center PJ 5144-102.

Cooped-Up Kids with Sensory Challenges
Thur, Nov 5th 3-5pm

Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA

Perfect for family members and professions who are distance learning with students with autism and other developmental disabilities preschool through 8th grade.

Kids gotta move! But because of COVID-19, children can’t simply run outside and play. Cooped up at home, away from friends and regular activities, children with sensory challenges may feel especially out of sync. Here are some sensory-motor activities to help parents cope with meltdowns, build on children’s self-therapy, and maintain a sensory lifestyle at home until it is safe to return to school and be out and about.

Carol will discuss how sensory processing develops and six types of sensory challenges. Then she will demonstrate several fun, functional, hands-on, body-on activities that help children with SPD (as well as their typical friends and siblings) to get “in sync.” Activities emphasize heavy work, body awareness, rhythm and timing, visual and auditory processing, motor planning, crossing the midline, and calming down. Using simple equipment such as paper plates, cardboard tubes, sticks, and stretchy bands, participants will review old-fashioned, three-dimensional strategies to get kids moving and learning, communicating, and participating joyfully in life around them.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase understanding on how sensory processing develops as we grow, affecting everything we do and making it possible to function as active participants in daily life.
  • Identify the six types of SPD and how they can affect the daily lives of children.
  • Select “In-Sync” activities designed to engage various sensory systems and thereby improve learning and regulate behavior.

Fee:  $49 pp for one presentation or $129 for all three and the Autism in Lockdown Survival Kit.

Vendored by Inland Regional Center PJ 5144-102.

Person Centered Thinking Workshop
Sat, Nov 14th 9am – Noon via Zoom

Joe Donofrio

Audience:  Individuals with I/DD, family members with loved ones of all ages, and professionals.

Person-centered planning is more than just a buzz word, it is a system shift that puts the desires and life goals of a person in the center of a support system.

People with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities are often not given the opportunity to decide or be considered when thinking about who will care for them or how they will spend their time. Many find themselves in the situation where they are simply looking for a solution, a place to put their loved one during the day to break up the monotony video games on the couch.

Instead of asking, “In what program does Michael best fit?” Person-centered planning and programming asks, “Michael, what are your life goals? What makes your life joyful? What makes you feel alive? What drains the life from you?” By starting with the person first, we can begin to construct a support system around an individual instead of forcing people into programs that don’t fit.

Participants who attend this workshop will develop skills in person-centered thinking through a series of discussions, applied stories, and guided activities.

Presenter:  Joe Donofrio is a certified Person-Centered Training trainer and a mentor as well as the Executive Director and co-founder of CHOICES, one of the first organizations in California devoted to supporting individuals with disabilities so that they can live an independent life.  In Joe’s eyes, every individual should live with independence and his or her own choices. Joe helps transforms lives into ones filled with achievement of goals and independence in lifestyle.


  1. Participants will understand the philosophy and guiding principles of Person-Centered Planning
  2. Participants will understand the use and facilitation of a person-centered planning process.
  3. Participants will learn fundamental skills, how to use planning tools and processes to implement person-centered approaches in schools and Regional Center services.

Fee:  $50 pp for 3 hour presentation.  Vendored by Inland Regional Center PJ 5144-102.

Conferences are one of the best way for individuals, families, educators, care givers, service providers and all concerned to gain insights and learn concrete strategies.  The Autism Society Inland Empire is committed to bringing in national speakers, who are leaders in their field, to the Inland Empire so that individuals with autism, family members, and professionals have access to the latest and the best information.


Are you wondering how to work more effectively with students, clients, employees, or customers with Autism Spectrum Disorders? The Autism Society Inland Empire can provide training and consultation customized to meet the specific needs of your school, organization, parent group, or business.

A wide array of topics are available and can be tailored to suit your specific needs. Request by emailing or call us at (951) 220-6922.  Trainings are available in English and Spanish.

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