University’s Autism Center Holding Conferences for Caregivers, Law Enforcement

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Feb. 25, 2009 – The Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment at Southeast Missouri State University will host two conferences on autism in honor of Autism Awareness Month this April – “Autism Risk and Safety” for parents and caregivers, and “Autism and Law Enforcement Training” for law enforcement personnel and first responders.

Both presentations will be given by Dennis Debbaudt, an author, expert on autism-related law enforcement training and the parent of an autistic child. For more information on Debbaudt, visit www.autismriskmanagement.com.

Debbaudt’s “Autism Risk and Safety” conference for parents and care providers will be held April 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Glenn Convocation Center on the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus. The session is designed to help parents and caregivers identify and manage risks at home, school and in the community. There is no cost to attend, but participants are required to register by calling the Autism Center at (573) 986-4985 or by e-mail at rmallard@semo.edu.

“Autism and Law Enforcement Training” will be held April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium in Southeast’s Robert A. Dempster Hall, and also via interactive television (ITV) through the University of Missouri Extension. The seminar will give law enforcement personnel and first responders a practical understanding of the best approaches to use when interacting with children and adults affected by autism spectrum disorders. Cost will be $30 per person or $100 for a group of four, and lunch will be provided. If a POST CEU certificate is desired, an additional fee of $10 per person is required. Online registration is available at www.semo.edu/continuinged, or participants can contact a University of Missouri Extension site to participate via ITV. The “Autism and Law Enforcement Training” is sponsored by Southeast Missouri State University, the University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Department of Mental Health Division of Developmental Disabilities, Office of Autism Services.

In addition, the University’s Autism Center will participate in the Transition Fair hosted by the Local Administrators of Special Education (LASE) in southeast Missouri and the Southeast Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) on

April 28 at the Cape Career and Technology Center.  The Transition Fair will host numerous colleges, agencies and services providers relevant to preparing individuals with disabilities for adult life. In conjunction with this event, the University’s Autism Center will host Lisa King, director of Higher Education and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Inc., (www.collegeautismspectrum.com) to present a session from 5:30-6:30 p.m. specific to parents and families supporting individuals with ASD in higher education.  This is a free event for families, educators and other interested persons. King will be available to address questions, concerns, and planning issues during the Transition Fair from 12:30–2:30 p.m. and again from 4-7 p.m.  No registration is necessary for this event.  

King also will present the keynote address and give a presentation for breakout sessions at the Autism and Higher Education Conference for families, service providers, and professionals in higher education on April 29.  This conference is scheduled at the University Center from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  Information regarding cost and registration for this event is available by e-mailing rmallard@semo.edu or calling (573) 986-4985.   For more information on the conferences, call the Autism Center at (573) 986-4985.