Autism Seminar & Discussion Series on April 2: "Fostering Flexible Kids"

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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The Autism Seminar & Discussion (ASD) series – sponsored by UC Santa Barbara’s Koegel Autism Center and the Santa Barbara Public Library – will host its monthly lecture and Q&A on Tuesday, April 2nd from 6:30-8 p.m. The talk, given by Jessica Hai and Kaitlynn Penner, two graduate researchers at the Clinic, is titled “Fostering Flexible Kids: What to Do with Picky Eaters, Rigid Playmates, and Other Strong-Willed Children.” This free, public presentation, which will be held at the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery.

This presentation will focus on strategies that foster flexibility in children who have difficulty tolerating unfavorable situations and unexpected changes. The presenters will discuss common problems that parents and children face when it comes to demonstrating flexibility and tolerating changes across daily routines. Drawing from evidence-based research and clinical experience, Hai and Penner will share strategies that can help parents teach their children how to be flexible playmates, try new foods, transition across daily routines, and tolerate unexpected changes.

Jessica Hai, M.A., is a doctoral student in the Department of Education with an emphasis in special education, disability, and risk studies. Her research interests include the cultural implications of Autism Spectrum Disorder and improving cultural competence in service providers and intervention services, particularly in the area of parent and community education. She has helped create and co-facilitate a parent education and communal experience (PEACE) group to further support parents who have a child on the autism spectrum.

Kaitlynn Penner, M.S., is a doctoral student in the Department of Education with an emphasis in special education, disability, and risk studies. Her research interests include improving culturally relevant interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families and the dissemination of interventions to underserved populations. She is currently helping to create an intervention package that combines multiple evidence-based interventions to foster the development of at-risk preschoolers.

The monthly Autism Seminar & Discussion (ASD) Program 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 takes place the first Tuesday of each month during the academic school year.

[The presenters are available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]