Symposium to focus on autism spectrum in the mainstream classroom

Saint Joseph’s College will offer a weeklong symposium for educators called “Realize the Promise: Autism Spectrum in the Mainstream Classroom” on July 16-20 at its Sebago Lake campus in southern Maine. The symposium will explore issues, themes, and strategies for students of all ages on the autism spectrum, focusing on those with high-functioning autism/Aspergers. The presentations are geared toward mainstream classroom teachers, administrators, special education personnel, and others who work with children and youth on the spectrum. The goal is to enhance teachers’ understanding and effective instruction for students on the spectrum.

Presenters will discuss specific strategies for K-12 students in mainstream classrooms, legal issues and IEPs, bullying and advocacy. As special guests, the aide and parent of an autistic child will recount some of their experiences. The keynote speaker is child psychologist Dr. Christopher Kaufman, who is the lead psychologist for the Portland School Department in Portland, Maine. He is also a workshop leader nationally and the author of Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students.

“These presentations will offer real life stories about children on the spectrum and real strategies for teachers,” says Dr. Anita Charles, the symposium coordinator. “The focus is on mainstream students, particularly those on the high end of the spectrum.” Charles teaches in the online M.S. in Education program at Saint Joseph’s College and is a lecturer and administrator in the education department at Bates College.

Sponsored by the college’s Graduate & Professional Studies divi­sion, the symposium offers 3 CEU credits (30 contact hours at 6 hours per day) and is also available to Saint Joseph’s College students for graduate college credit. Lunch is included and lodging and other meals are available. For more information, call 800-752-4723 or 207-893-7841. Or visit

June 18, 2012
Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail