The Koegel Autism Center and the Santa Barbara Public Library kick off a new monthly Autism Seminar & Discussion Series on February 6

Friday, January 26, 2018
Raising a social child (with autism)

A new collaboration between UC Santa Barbara’s Koegel Autism Center and the Santa Barbara Public Library, a monthly Autism Seminar & Discussion (ASD) series, will kick off with its first event on Tuesday, February 6 from 6:30 - 8 pm at the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. The event is free and open to the public.

This first presentation in the ASD series, “Raising a Social Child (with Autism),” will focus on practical strategies to motivate and empower toddlers, children, and teenagers to seek out peer connections. Drawing from the latest research on friendship formation and maintenance, this presentation will highlight strategies that parents, school staff, and other professionals can implement across community settings to jumpstart social relationships for youth with autism. This one-hour presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Dr. Ty Vernon – the Center Director of UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center – will make the presentation. Vernon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist. His research interests focus on the development of socialization interventions for individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder.

“We started the ASD series to ensure that the local community can immediately access the latest in autism research findings,” Vernon says. “We wanted a way that we could connect with families and professionals and share practical strategies that will benefit children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.” Some of the upcoming topics for the series will include socialization strategies for children and adolescents, school-based lunch clubs for students with autism, navigation of the special education IEP process, and adult transition considerations.

The monthly Autism Seminar & Discussion series is made possible through collaboration between UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center and the Santa Barbara Library to bring highly engaging and informative content to the local community. It will take place the first Tuesday of each month.

The Koegel Autism Center is internationally recognized for its innovative autism research and clinical training. The center is part of the University of California, a not-for-profit state institution of higher learning. Led by Center Director Dr. Ty Vernon and Clinical Director Dr. Anna Krasno, the center focuses on the development and implementation of strength-based, motivational interventions and supports for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders. Intervention models developed at the center include the Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) and the Social Tools And Rules for Teens (START) programs.

The center provides diagnostic assessments, intervention services, parent support, and clinical training opportunities through its funded research projects and clinics. It provides research and clinical training to doctoral students in clinical psychology and special education, many of whom have continued on to become highly influential members of the autism research community. The center was originally founded by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel, co-developers of the PRT autism intervention model.

The Center strives to develop and disseminate high-impact, strength-based autism interventions and services; build collaborative partnerships with local and global communities; be culturally sensitive and responsive; provide ongoing outreach and education to families and professionals; support the diverse needs of individuals with ASD across the lifespan; and serve as a model for excellence in autism research and training.

[Ty Vernon is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805.893.5789]