Autism Society of the Bluegrass Presents Our Annual Workshop
After School Special: Independence for Adolescents and Adults with Autism
Tates Creek Christian Church
April 22, 2017
Speakers and Topics Include
Eric Zimmerman – Living with Autism
Dr. Caitlin Allen – Mental Health and Anxiety
Karen Perch – Legal protections: Trusts and Able Accounts
Marilyn Barnett – Preparation for Employment
Amanda Ralston – ABA Tools for Functional Skills
Registration $25 per person, $10 for additional team members. Lunch provided. Scholarships are available. Contact moc.liamgnull@snegarpsaras for more info or scholarship requests.
Eric D. Zimmerman is Founder and Chairman of The Buddy Project, and understands technology’s ability to unlock some of the everyday barriers faced by the special-needs community: The 29-year-old has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism which hinders social interaction. Eric grew to recognize that, unlike him, many persons with disabilities may have little access to commonplace household technologies as their own email account. He decided to take action. Certified in computer repair and rehabilitation, his technological savvy and drive to help others have been brightening lives. Since 2007, his not-for-profit organization has provided free computers and other technologies to qualified IDD candidates. Used donated computers are the starting point for The Buddy Project’s initiative. Every device is completely refurbished and custom-tailored to meet the specific needs of its intended recipient. Eric also has a special interest in Surgical IT and he volunteers one day a week at St. Agnes Healthcare in Baltimore where he learns about Surgical Equipment and Instruments as well as help the hospital work more efficiently. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Service Coordination, Inc., the largest provider in Maryland of targeted case management for people with disabilities.
Dr. Caitlin Allen
Dr. Caitlin Allen is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked with individuals who have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum and their families since the early 1990s. Dr Allen attended graduate school at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego where her dissertation research was on stress and coping in parents of children with ASD. Dr. Allen’s training included multiple post-doctoral fellowships including the University of California MIND Institute and University of Tennessee Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities. She has been a clinical associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Education and is currently an associate professor in the university’s College of Medicine. She lives in Lexington, KY, with her husband, dean of the UK College of Pharmacy Dr. Kip Guy, 2 children and 2 standard poodles.
Karen Perch is an estate planning attorney whose practice has a focus on assisting people with disabilities and their families create the legal documents necessary to protect and safeguard those they love. Karen is also very knowledgeable in legal guardianship and Social Security issues. As the oldest of ten children, she has also been an advocate for her youngest sister who has an intellectual disability who currently lives in Massachusetts. Karen is a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and a founding member of The Arc of Central Kentucky.
Marilyn and her husband Lonnie live in Clay City, KY with their son Patrick who received a diagnosis of Autism in 1997. Marilyn served as a member of the Powell County Higher Education Development Board for three years and has been a member/officer of the Powell County Parents’ and Professionals’ Autism Support Group (now PUSH) for twenty years. In 2016, Marilyn became certified to provide Family Peer Support Services. Currently, Marilyn is the Program Director for Key Assets Foundation (Lex., KY) where she administers an Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) establishment grant titled Opportunities to Participate & Transform or “OPT In. The OPT In concept focuses on advocating for individuals (ages 14 to 24) with all types of abilities to receive pre-employment skills training to help prepare them and their families for the world of employment.
Amanda Ralston, BCaBA, LABA
In the past sixteen years, Ms. Ralston has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities, as well as providing education to parents and professionals interested in Applied Behavior Analysis and Verbal Behavior methodologies in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Amanda is the founder and President of Verbal Behavior Consulting, Inc., which provides early intervention, focused and comprehensive treatment, Behavior Supports Services via the Michelle P. Waiver in Kentucky, consultation, functional assessments, behavioral language assessments, IEP review and developments, and program development and supervision to multiple school districts throughout the state in addition to working in the homes of families of children with autism.