A series of seminars hosted by Soaring Heights School was created to help families who have dependents with autism.
Initiated in the fall, with the help of the school’s behavioral consultant Melissa Hunter, the seminars will continue monthly, starting Thursday and lasting through April.
School Director John Dibert said the series was sparked after consulting with parents of children who have autism.
“We have been listening to parents and realize that they also need assistance in appropriately dealing with children with autism,” Dibert said. “It is not just what we do at our school, but general and specific skills that help with in-home, and outside community functions. So many of our students do well in the structured school setting, but struggle with unstructured home time or going out into the community.”
Last year, the seminars included information on autism basics, living with autism and dealing with change.
Topics for this year include training on eating and feeding issues, as well as laws that affect individuals on the autism spectrum.
Hunter, who’s leading some of the seminars, worked at an autism-specific residential treatment facility in Arkansas prior to working at Penn State. She has been a consultant with Soaring Heights School since 2008, and has assisted with staff training for handling autism issues.
Soaring Heights School provides educational and behavioral programming for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, and is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Feb. 9: Training on eating and feeding.
March 16: Understanding laws that affect individuals with autism. This will assist with parents to know their rights.
April 6: Dealing with change and how to address behavioral issues at home and in the public.
Each training will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Soaring Heights School, 180 Regent Court, Suite 50, State College