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MCC to Host Symposium for Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

[Thursday, September 6, 2018]


Barbara Doyle

McHenry County College will host a symposium on Understanding and Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20 at MCC, featuring workshop presenter Barbara Doyle. The college is located at 8900 U.S. Hwy. 14 in Crystal Lake.

Presenter is Barbara Doyle, clinical consultant and educator with 47 years of experience, who will help participants understand the essential features of ASD and how these features impact learning, communicating and socializing. She is co-author of the award-winning book, “Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z.” Families, high school staff and community members are encouraged to attend. The symposium is sponsored by the Access and Disability Services Office at MCC.

Doyle will host four different workshop sessions throughout the day for MCC students, faculty and staff and for community members, educators, health care agencies and professional organizations. Workshop topics include: Helping Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Learn Participate and Succeed, from 9-11:30 a.m. in Room B166; Preventing Conflict and Using Effective De-escalation Strategies, from 1-2:45 p.m. in Room B166; Self-awareness, Self-knowledge and Self-advocacy: Keys to Lifelong Success for Students with ASD, from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. in the Scot Room, B178; and Teaching People with ASD to be Truly Included in the Community, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Scot Room, B178.

Attendees will learn how to:

- recognize when a feature of ASD is causing a learning problem that results in unconventional, unsafe or problematic behavior and how to more effectively resolve the problem

- respond appropriately to students who do not comply with typical classroom rules, routines and instructions

- provide information in the classroom and in printed materials that will better support students with ASD (and others!)

- help students with ASD remain calm or more quickly regain their composure

- recognize when additional supports are needed and how to acquire them

Autism spectrum disorder includes diagnoses such as autism, Asperger syndrome, atypical autism, and pervasive developmental disorders. Strategies for understanding and supporting people with ASD will likely benefit those working with students with diagnoses such as Fragile X syndrome, Rett disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities, Semantic-Pragmatic disorders and others.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged by emailing For more details, visit or for more information, contact Adriane Hutchinson at (815) 479-7829.

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