This training is presented by The Professional Youth Worker. It's our mission to help you and your team build your skills and boost your passion for serving young people. Join us!

Autism Through the Cultural Lens of Neurodiversity

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  • Live Online Training
  • Wednesday, October 27, 2021
  • 10:00 am to 11:30 am Central Time
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • $30 for non-YIPA members
  • Not a member? Annual membership is $99 for individuals or $250 for organizations. Join now or learn more.

Your Training Description

Many people have a fixed idea of what autism looks like. But that view is often narrow and fixes our focus on a disorder rather than the diverse individual. As autism diagnoses increase, there is growing need to widen our view and learn how culture may shape autism in different ways. Many support services focus only on immediate need. But that misses the opportunity to expand equity for autistic young people. Seeing autism through the cultural lens of neurodiversity opens the possibility for understanding beyond a medical model. With that fresh perspective, you can support better outcomes.

Understanding autism as part of a neurodiverse culture helps shift your mind to think of autism as a difference, rather than a disorder. Autism is a spectrum, and every individual has their own strengths and identities you can embrace and celebrate in your work with young people. Your understanding will help fill the need for programs and services to support individuals with autism.

This training will help you take a multicultural approach to understanding the experience of neurodiverse young people. You’ll expand your idea of what autism is. Being aware of what autistic youth experience, you can be a trusted and caring adult in their lives. Join us to gain strategies to better support autistic individuals. You’ll hear from an autistic adult how autism impacts them. You’ll be better prepared to help when an autistic youth faces barriers or challenges in your program.

Your Learning Objectives

  • Understand that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a diverse condition that is a part of all communities
  • Learn about perspectives and experiences of autistic individuals to inform your youth work
  • Review ways youth workers can provide support for autistic individuals in shared spaces

Your Trainers

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Jillian Nelson (she/her) is an autistic adult and the Community Resource and Policy Advocate for the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM). Jillian has a degree in human services and a diverse background in disability service work including DSP, special education, housing, employment supports, support groups and more. Jillian routinely connects with the community through AuSM’s information and resource hotline. She is ingrained in the disability public policy field as a registered lobbyist, and is co-chair of the consortium for citizens with disabilities anti-discrimination committee. Jillian has been appointed by the governor’s office to the Council on Developmental Disabilities and State Rehabilitation council. She also serves on many workgroups and committees.

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Eric Ringgenberg (he/him) is the Education Program Director for the Autism Society of Minnesota. He has a Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and a Master of Arts in Special Education - Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of St. Thomas. Eric has extensive experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum in multiple settings and capacities, as well as coordinating implementation of evidence-based practices. Additionally, Eric has experience training individuals, families, and professionals on a variety of topics related to ASD.

Your Competency Focus Area

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Each of YIPA’s trainings are designed around a broad framework of eight youth work competencies. The competency focus of this training is: INTERCULTURAL ENGAGEMENT.

You'll raise your awareness to appreciate diversity, foster equity, ensure inclusion, recognize and address bias and prejudice, and cultivate respect for all cultures.

Your Training Details

  • Live Online Training
  • Wednesday, October 27, 2021
  • 10:00 am to 11:30 am Central Time
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • $30 for non-YIPA members
  • Not a member? Annual membership is $99 for individuals or $250 for organizations. Join now or learn more.
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This training will count as 1.5 CE hours for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions on submitting. You are encouraged to print or save this training information as a PDF for your records.