April is Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month! Join us at Autism Summit 2018 hosted in partnership with Families Together, Inc. This year's Team Empowerment Conference features a keynote presentation by Aaron Likens, Autism Ambassador and two afternoon breakout sessions "Solving Those Challenging Behaviors" presented by Linda Burgen, M.S., BCBA, and "Making It Work: Individualizing the General Education Curriculum" presented by Leia Holley.
Friday, April 27, 2018
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Kansas Association of School Boards
1420 SW Arrowhead Rd., Topeka, KS 66604
Who Should Attend: Kansas parents, relatives, caregivers, educators and anyone interested in learning more ways to support a child with autism.
Keynote Speaker Biography & Presentation Information:
Aaron Likens, author of Finding Kansas: Decoding the enigma of Asperger’s Syndrome, and the National Autism Ambassador for Easter Seals, has spoken to over 80,000 people at over 900 presentations and has given to the world a revelation of how the Autism Spectrum Disorder mind works. His willingness to expose his inner most thoughts and feelings has unveiled the mystery the Asperger's mind. Join him on his journey from hopelessness to hope.
Aaron Likens—an accomplished public speaker, published author, avid blogger and remarkable individual—was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, at age 20. Now in his 30s and a recipient of the prestigious Mental Health Champion award given by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Aaron spends his time educating people of all ages about autism and sharing with the world how the autism mind works. Having been diagnosed later in life, Aaron is committed to advocating for early-intervention autism services and to helping students, educators, parents, school administrators, community groups, first responders and others better understand autism—how it feels, how individuals with autism face unique issues and challenges, and how to interact effectively with someone with autism.
Sharing Experience & Education
Since 2009, nearly 90,000 students, educators, parents, school administrators, community groups, first responders and others have heard Aaron Likens speak about autism. As diagnosis rates continue to rise—now, 1 in 68 children in the United States have autism—it is increasingly important to build awareness and understanding in our communities about autism and what it feels like to have autism.
Because Aaron can share his personal experiences from the point of view of an individual with autism, his impactful, touching presentations offer incredible insight. A captivating speaker, who has given hundreds of talks all over the country, Aaron also was awarded the Youth Leadership Award in 2013 by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, along with receiving numerous other accolades.
Through Aaron's autism-specific community outreach and education efforts, he is increasing autism literacy for individuals and families, and the community care providers who support them. By educating those who can first notice autism symptoms and make referrals for a diagnosis, he is helping children with autism receive the timely, intensive treatment that is proven to improve their language and behavior development, now and in the future.
Session Presenter Biographies
Linda Burgen, MS, BCBA, earned a Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Life from the University of Kansas and completed her Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Emporia State University in 1996. She has been Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2012 and serves as our Autism Services Director.
Leia Holley is a Parent Health and Resource Specialist for Families Together, Inc., the Parent Training and Information and Health Information Center serving Kansas families. She is also the proud parent of two amazing young men. Her youngest son, Sean, has autism and medical needs. Leia has navigated the educational, local, state, and national disability systems for more than 20 years. She has done training at the local, state and national level. Leia’s passion is working with transition age youth and their parents. Leia also coordinates the Parent-to-Parent Program for Families Together, Inc and has been with the organization for more than 18 years.
Contact us by email or phone at 785-272-4060 with questions about this event.