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Saturday Seminars

Autism Society-The Heartland (ASH) will host a monthly, educational workshop known as a Saturday Seminar. This workshop typically lasts two hours to allow members of ASH and other caregivers/professionals in the area time to meet other parents and join in a presentation related to the autism community. Some of the topics we have included, and hope to include, are: social skills, siblings and sibling rivalry, nutrition, therapy animals, jobs, books by individuals with autism, and resources for adults on the spectrum.

If there is a specific topic you would like addressed, please call or send an email to info@asaheartland.org, and we will try to address that topic in an upcoming presentation. If you are interested in presenting at one of our workshops, please email ashofficeasst@gmail.com

Please check the Calendar of Events and our Facebook page regularly to stay updated on all our upcoming Saturday Seminars.


Our Saturday Seminar at Aspire Behavioral Solutions on April 9th, 2022, has been cancelled.  Stay tuned for our next seminar!




Below you will find webinars of our past virtual Saturday Seminars. Enjoy!

March 2022: Two ASH Adult Volunteers with ASD Share Their Stories and answer your questions

October 2021: You Are How You Eat: Strategies to Expand the Diet of Picky Eaters with Breta Alstrom, R.D. from Nourished Together

Imagine not worrying if your child is getting enough nutrition, not worrying about the next meal, and not worrying if there will be a meltdown at a restaurant. In this seminar with Breta Alstrom, R.D. from Nourished Together, you will learn the basics of feeding, understanding the source of picky eating, and strategies to expand your child's palate. From feeding small children to teens, addressing picky eating can reduce stress the entire family feels around food.

September 2021: Creating Expectations and Routines in the Home Environment with Jill Wade, M.A., B.C.B.A., L.B.A. and Sally Sinn, M.A., B.C.B.A, P.L.B.A. from Behavioral Health Holdings Kansas City

Throughout the pandemic, many students have had to adapt to changes in learning models – from hybrid learning to virtual learning — but for some children with developmental disabilities, this can be especially difficult. Many experts say a well-structured routine is crucial to helping students with disabilities succeed, particularly during these unprecedented times. Behavioral Health Holdings shares how its school provided continuous services, set appropriate goals and overcame its challenges during the Pandemic.

August 2021: Employment at The Golden Scoop and the ABLE Account with The Golden Scoop team

This Saturday Seminar focuses on The Golden Scoop and ABLE Accounts! The founding team of this new nonprofit talks about the process to open their doors to employ individuals with disabilities. They discuss how they got their funding, partnerships, job descriptions, menu items, events, and how they are keeping their super scoopers successful while being paid to be employed. The ABLE Account is also explained to help save money for an individual and the application process is shared.

June 2021: Canine Companions for Independence - Service Dogs 101 with Sherri Bryant from the Kansas City chapter of Canine Companions for Independence

Please join us for a fun and educational presentation about service dogs! Sherri Bryant, the Kansas City Chapter President for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), talks about service dogs from A to Z, including the types of services dogs CCI places, the breeding program, the role of volunteer puppy raisers, professional training, and matching dogs to individuals. She also discusses service dog etiquette, what the ADA has to say, and the problem of service dog fraud.

May 2021: Camp is for EVERYONE - Information and Live Q&A with Kristi Loftus from Camp Encourage

This Saturday Seminar, with Kristi Loftus, is about Camp Encourage: a local non-profit camp for kids on the Autism Spectrum. You will hear about who they are, who they serve, and what they offer. *The mission of Camp Encourage is to provide youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder meaningful experiences in which they build the knowledge, courage, and skills to be empowered participants in the community.

April 2021: Financial & Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs with Scott Adams from Special Needs Planning Center at CommunityAmerica.

This seminar with Special Needs Planning Center at CommunityAmerica focuses on several key issues that families with a child with special needs face regularly, regarding their financial goals as well as the legal planning needed to make the transition from one generation to the next. In this comprehensive workshop, we dive into these four topics: financial planning, legal planning, transition tools, and ABLE accounts. Scott Adams shares both his personal and professional experiences of planning for his own children with special needs.

*Securities and advisory services offered through Community America Financial Solutions, LLC (“CAFS”), Member FINRA/SIPC. CAFS is a SEC registered investment advisor. Products offered through CAFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. CAFS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Community America Credit Union. Autism Society-The Heartland and CAFS are unaffiliated.

March 2021: Transition Planning Beyond the IEP Table with Jennifer Hulme from Hulme Resources.

This Saturday Seminar assists parents of transition age children with ASD on strategies to develop a strong transition plan into adulthood, including autism-specific local, state, and federal funding streams and services beyond school. This training can be used to help collaborate with the school IEP team to ensure that the unique needs of ASD are addressed and implemented.

Feburary 2021: Brain-Body Connections Through NaturePlay with Stephanie Novacek, PT, from Well Wilderness Kids Therapeutic Nature Center.

Join us for a discussion on the benefits of NaturePlay for the developing child & how the outdoors promotes healthy brain-body connections in a natural environment. Stephanie Novacek, pediatric nature-based Physical Therapist & Director of NaturePlay at Well Wilderness Kids Therapeutic Nature Center in South Olathe, shares how the elements of nature provide a profound impact on the foundational skills required for healthy growth & development including Sensory Regulation, Immunity & Social Emotional Intelligence. She provides tips on how to incorporate exposure to NaturePlay during the Winter season that can help reduce Stress & Anxiety and build Resilience & Confidence in our children during these uncertain times.

January 2021: Dental Considerations for Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Dr. John Fasbinder, D.D.S. from Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas and with Jeff Glasco, CRNA, A.S.A. from Advanced Specialty Anesthesia.

This Saturday Seminar focuses on dental related issues for patients with special needs, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Personal hygiene tips and products are shared by Dr. John Fasbinder, D.D.S. and Jeff Glasco, CRNA, A.S.A. to promote oral health at home. There is also information about professional care including expectations of treatment, ability to treat, and sedation. Finally, there there are questions and answers with the experts!

October 2020: What Does Good ABA Look Like? A Review and DIscussion with Christie Stiehl from Stiehl Behavioral Consulting, LLC.

This Saturday Seminar addresses how ABA agencies and services come in all shapes and sizes and how it can be difficult for caregivers to navigate which, if any, ABA services may benefit their learners. This event first reviews critical components of quality ABA services and concludes with an open discussion of considerations for caregivers (not part of the recording to maintain confidentiality).

September 2020: Special Education Law - Tactics In Advocacy with Ben Brockert, JD from Brockert Legal Services.

This seminar focuses on when you feel like you are in a constant battle with your child's school with the founder of Brocket Legal Services, Ben Brockert, JD. The workshop teaches you how to leverage your position as a caregiver of a student with special needs in an efficient and effective manner. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the checklist in this video, please email ashofficeasst@gmail.com.

August 2020: What Is Regulation and How Can We Help a Child Self-Regulate with Brookes Barrack and Emily Tritz from KC Developmental Therapies.

The co-founders of Kansas City Developmental Therapies, Brookes Barrack, MS CCC-SLP and Emily Tritz, OTD, OTR/L, focus this seminar on a brief description of regulation, the importance of self-regulation, and how regulation typically develops. They give strategies to help foster language comprehension and self-regulation skills.

July 2020: Transition Services and The IEP: Building The Dream with Leia Holley from Families Together, Inc.

Transition planning as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) is crucial in increasing successful outcomes for life after high school. This workshop is a must for parents with a youth 14 or older; it will help parents discover how the transition plan can (and should) reflect their youth’s dreams for his/her future. Participants will learn how to effectively use transition services in the IEP to prepare for the future.

June 2020: Special Needs - Pediatric to Adult Transition with Dr. Laura Gaffney from AdventHealth

This seminar will focus on discussing the transition from pediatric to adult care and negotiating the adult world of medicine. Laura Gaffney, MD, is the medical director of the Special Pediatric-to-Adult Need (SPAN) program through AdventHealth Medical Group. This program is Kansas City's only primary care program that provides a consistent, reliable medical home.