Autism & Trauma Workshop Sessions Announced

A collaborative workshop virtually by the Autism Societies of Greater Wisconsin and Minnesota

Dec. 3, 2020 from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Autism & Trauma:
Exploring Effects and Strategies
A collaborative workshop offered virtually by the Autism Societies of Greater Wisconsin and Minnesota
Dec. 3, 2020 from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
The Autism Societies of Minnesota and Greater Wisconsin invite autistic individuals, caregivers, mental health professionals, direct service providers, and more to a virtual one-day workshop during which leading professionals in our region will explain the compelling intersection between autism and trauma in children and adults. Learn about the models for understanding traumatic experience, as well as possible interventions, accommodations, and adaptations for individuals with autism.
A Neurodivergent Brain in a Neurotypical World: Neurology and Trauma in the Autistic Experience
Phyllis C. Solon, PsyD, LP
During this keynote presentation, participants will review neurological information underpinning social, emotional, and relational development from childhood through emerging adulthood. In that context, people’s responses to a neurotypical world can be understood as being adaptive to overwhelming situations. This knowledge can help neurodiverse individuals understand themselves and their responses in context and assist them in creating environments and relationships that most support them to continue to be all of who they are meant to be in the world. Parents, partners, friends, and families will be better equipped to understand and appreciate their neurodiverse people and teachers, coaches, and therapists will be more able to see and serve their needs.
The Interplay Between Sensory, Trauma, & Autism
Jen Bluske, OTR
In this presentation, we will look at the bi-directional relationship between trauma and the sensory regulation system as it impacts those with a diagnosis of autism. We will explore how a trauma response could be created in individual with sensory differences and/or autism and how we can mitigate this. Finally, we will explore fundamental strategies to help individuals with autism work through trauma responses and feel a sense of empowerment through safety and connection.
Now Is Not Then: Identifying and Treating Trauma with Autistic Clients
Sara Lahti, MA, CCTP
This unprecedented time of pandemic has the ability to trigger past trauma for many people on the autism spectrum. Learn how past trauma can affect current and ongoing trauma for autistic clients. Understand how to recognize trauma in autistic clients and how to use their strengths in healing, and learn common techniques used in treating trauma and how they can be adapted to benefit autistic clients. 
EMDR and ASD: Barriers and Successes
Beth Pitchford, MA, LPCC
Mental health therapist Beth Pitchford, MA, LPCC will discuss perceived and real barriers to EMDR therapy with clients on the Spectrum. Creative solutions to navigating those barriers will be discussed and successful cases will be presented. Challenges discussed will include clients with PTSD symptoms who do not meet the DSM 5 criteria for PTSD, difficulties with joint attention, and sensory sensitivities that present as a barrier to EMDR. We will also be celebrating the creativity of autistic clients and their approach to trauma therapy.
Choosing Acceptance and Appreciation: Supporting Autistic Individuals in Non-Autistic Environments
Barbara Luskin, PhD, LP
The non-autistic environment fails to support individuals by assuming verbal capacity equals thinking capacity, lack of consideration for sensory differences, reluctance to socially interact with those seen as different, and generally discounting the capacity of those who appear different. These characteristics include sensory differences, literal understanding of language, differing use of nonverbal information, difficulty imagining alternative behaviors, processing delays, and communication differences. Apply the concepts presented throughout the day to better support individuals who have experienced trauma, acknowledge the validity of their experience, and how to modify evidence-based practices to increase effective coping techniques.
Understand how a supportive, flexible neuro-majority can positively impact neurodiverse lives. This includes honoring others’ experience and truth-asking for information with honesty and true curiosity; being willing to adapt rather than demand that the autistic person always be the one to change – not assuming you have all the answers; not assuming that behavior you dislike is deliberately intended to upset you and/or that the individual knows how to do something else; and incorporating alternative communication and sensory strategies (i.e., universal design).
This session will conclude with a mindfulness exercise to process, center, and relax.
Interested in attending, or want to learn more?
Click on the link below to visit our website for more information on sessions, presenters, registering, sponsoring, and more!
Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin
Menasha, WI 54952



About akutil86

Diagnosed with Aspergers at 34, this blog chronicles some of the life events I've gone through, and how I hope to help others on the Autism Spectrum. Posts that are personal opinions will be moving to another Wordpress site by the end of the year; for those looking for help with autism, I hope you will continue to visit and spread the word about the articles that most of the time are links to something I read. Please let me know what challenges you are facing, and I will do my best to address them. Thanks for reading my blog!
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