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CARE Expert Speaker Series SPRING 2018

Mental Health and Medical Challenges In Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dr. Jean Frazier, M.D. (UMass Medical School, Executive Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center): "Mental Health and Medical Challenges In Autism Spectrum Disorder."

This event is free and open to everyone.

There is a metered visitor's lot on Bachelder Street (access from Wilder). This lot is across the street from O'Leary library. The lot is next to the large parking lot on the corner of Wilder and Broadway.

Register Online

This presentation will cover medical and psychiatric comorbidities that commonly occur in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. One highlight of the talk will center on how medical conditions can first manifest in emotional and/or behavioral symptoms, complicating the diagnostic process. Finally, the prevalence of various psychiatric disorders and how they manifest in individuals with autism spectrum disorders will be covered.

Transition to College: Preparing Students to Navigate the Post-Secondary Terrain

Susan B. Woods, M.Ed. (Retired Associate Dean, Student Support Services, Middlesex Community College): "Transition to College: Preparing Students to Navigate the Post-Secondary Terrain."

This event is free and open to everyone.

A large parking lot is available across the street from O’Leary on the corner of Wilder and Broadway (access on Wilder). After 4:30 p.m. the barrier to this lot should be raised and you are able to park in there for free.

Objectives of this presentation:

  • Defining and understanding applicable laws in post-secondary settings
  • Discussing the process for determining eligibility, documentation and requesting accommodations
  • Discussing the concept of “reasonable accommodations” in post-secondary settings and what to expect
  • Assisting students and families to prepare for the transition to college/post-secondary environments
  • Identifying questions to ask college/post-secondary programs
  • Learning about resources and alternative programs to traditional academic college pathways

Susan B. Woods M.Ed, retired Associate Dean, Student Support Services at Middlesex Community College, BS in Special Education from Boston University and  M.Ed from Northeastern University in Rehabilitation Administration.

Susan has spent the last 27 years at Middlesex Community College managing the Transition Program and Disability Support Services, as well as overseeing the college's Federally funded TRIO student support programs, Counseling and Consultation services and coordinating the Student Assessment Intervention Team with the office of the Dean of Students.

Prior to coming to Middlesex, Susan worked at the Department of Mental Retardation and Mental Health—now the Department of Developmental Services—and was involved with the Turning 22 transition planning initiative, and the early stages of development of community based individual service planning. For the past 9 years, Susan has also been an adjunct faculty, teaching an online section of Developmental Disabilities in the Psychology and Education Department at Middlesex Community College.

A significant part of Susan's work has included providing professional development and training to college faculty to promote and support their use of teaching strategies and approaches using principles of universal design for instruction. The goal of this work is to create and support inclusive pedagogies and create a welcoming environment to support the success of diverse learners. Susan has also provided workshops and professional development training at local high schools. This training is provided to special educators, transition specialists and guidance department staff, as well as parents and students, on how to prepare and support the transition of individuals with disabilities to post-secondary education.

Register Online

Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Katherine Fox (Director of Training and Development, Vinfen), “Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.”

This event is free and open to everyone.

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • UMass Lowell, University Crossing, Building B, Room 159, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell Get directions to UCrossing with campus maps. A large parking lot is available across the street from the building with entry on Salem Street. This parking lot has an attendant - please let the attendant know that you are coming to the presentation. Parking is free.

What does it take to become more Mindful, and less MindFULL? Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center to assist patients with chronic pain. Since then, a variety of MBSR practices designed to focus our attention on current experiences without judgment, have been used to reduce and reframe stress. This presentation will provide a high level overview of relevant research and outcomes from the practice of MBSR on brain function and health. Through practicing a series of exercises including gentle seated yoga postures, guided meditation, and focused breathing, participants will have the opportunity to experience key MBSR program components. Suggested resources for self-study and formal MBSR programs will be provided.

Katherine is a Registered Yoga Teacher and has completed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) study through the UMass Medical School. She has conducted MBSR workshops for human service providers and senior managers throughout Massachusetts and teaches adapted yoga to adults with I/DD and to direct support professionals. She is passionate about the benefits of mindfulness which she has been studying and practicing for decades.

Katherine loves learning and teaching. She is an instructional designer and Director of Training and Development for Vinfen where she is also supporting a wellness initiative to include MBSR. As Senior Adjunct Professor at UMass Lowell, Katherine teaches courses in Disabilities Studies. She has worked in a variety of formal management and informal advocacy roles on behalf of people with disabilities and their families for over 30 years.

After completing her BA and MA studies in Psychology, Katherine obtained her Masters in Health Administration from Suffolk University and completed her LEND / Leadership in Neurodevelopment and Disabilities Fellowship with the UMass Medical School. She is currently providing leadership development in Community Inclusion to employees and families in Northeast Massachusetts and Support Broker consultation to the ARC of Massachusetts.

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