WNYRCASD Annual Conference

The WNYRCASD Annual Conference includes presentations by experts in the field of autism spectrum disorder on evidence-based interventions and practices shown to improve educational outcomes.

Virtual Conference – Strategies for Helping Children with ASD: Exploring Various Applications of Behavioral Interventions

  • March 23, 2023 (7:50 am – 3:15 pm)
  • Registration: $25
  • Continuing Education Units Available: $15
  • Sponsored by The Summit Center and the Western New York Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • View the flyer here.

To register for the conference, visit 

Click here to view speaker presentations, the conference schedule, and CEU procedure information.

This conference is sponsored by The Summit Center and the Western New York Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for parents, teachers, therapists, and other helping professionals. There continues to be considerable controversy regarding the best approach to ensure that autistic children are learning in school. Autism is a neurological disorder characterized by significant impairments in communication, socialization, and interests. These deficits mean that some learning readiness skills are absent. The field is associated with a great number of instructional / treatment movements to overcome these challenges, but most have not been subjected to objective evaluation. At the same time, evidence-based approaches, are often rejected as too rigid and removed from the natural environment. However, there are a broad range of empirically validated techniques that can be applied in many ways and conditions. This conference will present some of those approaches.

Download flyer for additional information including presenter bios, abstract, learning objectives, and speaker disclosures.

Presentation 1: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

Cultural Responsiveness in Professional Practice: A Commitment to Collective Empowerment
Presented by Margaret Uwayo, Ph.D., BCBA
Kalamazoo Academy for Behavioral & Academic Success (KABAS) and YWCA of Kalamazoo, MI

Presentation 2: 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Progressive ABA with Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Recent Advancements in Research and Clinical Practice
Presented by Justin Leaf, Ph.D., CPBA-AP, BCBA-D
Autism Partnership Foundation & Endicott College

Presentation 3: 10:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Increasing Play Complexity in Young Children with Autism and Other Disabilities
Presented by Erin Barton, Ph.D., BCBA,  Associate Professor
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Presentation 4: 1:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Presented by Danny Openden, Ph.D., BCBA
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Phoenix, AZ

ASHA, BCBA, CTLE, OT/OTA, PT/PTA, PSY (Pending) CEUs will be available for a fee of $15.00 each. Please see flyer for additional details.

Please call 716-629-3417 or email with any questions.

Workshops and Information Sessions

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How to Encourage Appropriate Toileting Behavior in a School Setting – March 28, 2023

Presented by Amy Armstrong (Approximate Length: 35 minutes)

  • This webinar will discuss appropriate toileting behavior in a school setting. Toileting is an important skill to improve behaviors in social situations, increase community involvement, and improvement in hygiene.  In this webinar, participants will learn what behaviors surrounding toilet training should be reinforced and how to assist students with being as independent as possible.

View the recording here.

Webinar PowerPoint

Applied Behavior Analysis: What is it and Why is it Used? – June 9, 2022

Presented by Stacey Chambers. (Approximate Length: 30 minutes)

  • This 30-minute webinar will give participants a basic understanding of what Applied Behavior Analysis is and what quality ABA instruction looks like for young children. Participants will also be given a brief explanation of the research supporting the use of instruction rooted in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis for young children with autism.

Register to view the recording:

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Help Me Help You: Teaching Children to Complete Chores at Home – June 8, 2022

Presented by Juli Gunner, MS.Ed., BCBA (Approximate Length: 50 minutes)
Audience: Parents or caregivers

  • This one-hour webinar is intended for caregivers of children with different abilities. As children get older, they are often expected to complete more chores at home. However, this is easier said than done if children lack the motivation or thoroughness needed to complete these tasks. This training will discuss ways to select, teach, and reinforce domestic skills to help your child become more helpful at home.

Register to view the recording:

Webinar Slides Download

Chore Checklist Download

Strategies for Effective Advocacy for Children with Autism – May 31, 2022

Presented by Rebecca Meyer, M.S., M.S.W. (Approximate Length: 20 minutes)
Audience: Parents or caregivers and professionals

  • Effective advocacy by both practitioners and caregivers is essential to meeting the unique needs of children with autism. It is also critical that we support self-advocacy by the individual. This 30-minute webinar will help both practitioners and caregivers develop a framework for creating a collaborative approach, in which the child’s needs can be met

Register to view the recording:

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Behavioral Strategies to Reduce Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior – May 18, 2022

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Felber, Ph.D., BCBA, LBA (Approximate Length: 55 minutes)
Audience: Parents or caregivers

  • Research suggests approximately 80% of children with developmental disabilities often meet criteria for a pediatric feeding disorder at some point in their lives. This session is designed for caregivers with children who demonstrate feeding difficulties or challenging behaviors surrounding mealtimes. This presentation will provide an overview of feeding challenges and difficulties and provide examples of evidence-based treatment strategies.

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Functional Communication Training: The Basics – May 17, 2022

Presented by Rachel Epstein, MS. Ed. CCC-SLP and Amy Armstrong, MS. Ed., BCBA, LBA (Approximate Length: 30 minutes)
Audience: Professionals

  • This webinar will consist of a presentation by Rachel Epstein and Amy Armstrong. They will discuss Functional Communication Training (FCT) which is when an individual is taught to communicate their wants and needs instead of engaging in an inappropriate behavior. Participants will be provided a brief introduction and examples of how FCT can be incorporated into a classroom setting.

Register to view the recording:

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Tools, Tips, and Strategies for Successful Toilet Training – May 4, 2022

Presented by Dr. Daniel W. Mruzek, PhD, BCBA-D (Approximate Length: 1 hour)
Audience: Parents or caregivers

  • In this one-hour workshop, we will discuss straightforward strategies for toilet training learners with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. In addition, Dr. Mruzek will address common barriers to toileting success.

Register to view the recording:

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Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Social Skills – April 27, 2022

Presented by Mary Bennett, M.S. Ed. (Approximate Length: 40 minutes)

  • This webinar will consist of a presentation by Mary Bennett who will discuss Behavioral Skills Training (BST), which is a well-researched teaching strategy that can be used across a wide variety of contexts. The content of this webinar will focus on using instructional design and data analysis to help your students learn and generalize social skills. Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is used to teach and practice new skills by providing directions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback to individuals or groups of learners. In this webinar, participants will learn the fundamentals of using BST to teach social skills to learners with autism and other developmental disabilities.

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Promoting Independence Using Activity Schedules: Explore the Possibilities – April 25, 2022

Presented by Chrissy Ray, M.S. Ed. (Approximate Length: 1 hour)

  • This webinar is intended for parents and caregivers of children with autism and/or developmental disabilities. An activity schedule is comprised of visual reminders to help children perform a series of activities or task. The visual reminders can be pictures, photographs, words and objects. Ms. Ray will help participants in this webinar learn how activity schedules can be used at home to promote independence in domestic, self-help, play and leisure skills. This webinar will provide practical guidance that many parents may be able to deploy right away.

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Striving for Independence: Teaching Self-Help Skills to People with Autism – March 30, 2022

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Toomey, PhD (Approximate Length: 30 minutes)

  • This webinar will consist of a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Toomey who will discuss how self-help skills, often delayed in individuals with ASD, are crucial in developing independence. Failure to address may prevent community integration, school functions, recreational activities, and eventually housing and job opportunities. This webinar will help practitioners find ways to choose and develop these skills

Register to view the recording:

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