Autism Family Training Opportunities

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics offers educational opportunities for families, health care professionals, and community professionals to share and discuss topics related to autism. All training modules are limited to approximately 10 families. Each family may have up to four members participate. Scholarships are available for families who qualify. Residency is based on the state in which the child resides.

Registration Fees

  • Families are free, except for Toilet Training Made Easy
  • Professionals - $25

Meet the Presenters

Get to know those who will be leading the family training sessions. 
Presenter Bios »

Children's Mercy Autism Family Training Series:


The Building Blocks of Great Communication

Aleah Brost, MHS, CCC-SLP

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015  6:00-8:00pm

Children's Mercy South Hospital - Jerry Blouin Conference Room 5808 W. 110th Street, Overland Park, KS  66211


  • Understand the different forms of communication a child uses and why they are important.
  • Have a basic understanding of what foundational skills are needed to build and promote language.
  • Identify why PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) may help build language even if it was not successful in the past.


Communication Made Simple for Home

Keenan Stump, SLP

Effective Communication can be difficult for children on the Autism Spectrum.  This training will look at evidence-based communication interventions (PECS, sign language, voice output devices, verbal speech) and teach families the the principles of communication that can be applied to different communication aides.  Also, participants will learn the importance of eliciting communication from their child and the importance of consistent methods being utilized by everyone that interacts with their child.
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  • Families will understand the similarities and differences between visual support and a visual communication system.
  • Families will be able to identify reinforcing items in their natural environments and incorporate those items for language development activities.
  • Families will be given strategies to increase opportunities for expressive and receptive language development at home.

Let's Go: Community Outings

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 6-8 p.m.  Children's Mercy South Hospital - Jerry Blouin Conference Room 5808 W. 110th Street, Overland Park, KS 66211

Transitioning from one environment to another is often challenging for children with ASD.  Strategies for successfully taking a child with ASD on community outings such as grocery shopping, doctor/dentist appointments, church, haircuts, etc., will be discussed.

Amy Naylor, M.Ed.

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  • Families will identify community activities in which it is appropriate for their child to participate.
  • Families will identify their child's strengths and the supports needed for joining in community activities.
  • Families will develop a plan for their child's participation in community outings.

Managing Problem Behaviors

Common problem behaviors associated with Autism and developmental disabilities (including tantrums, noncompliance, aggression and self-injury) can interfere with day to day activities at home, in school and in public.  A variety of strategies based on the basic concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) will be shared  that can help children and families prevent and reduce these types of behavior. 

Dr. Cy Nadler, Ph.D.

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  • Participants will understand and recognize common functions (causes) of problem behavior.
  • Participants will identify teaching strategies to prevent and reduce problem behavior.
  • Participants will become aware of how management strategies can be adapted to a variety of settings.

Toilet Training Made Easy

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 from 5:00-6:30pm  at South Developmental and Behavioral Clinic, 5520 College Boulevard, Suite 425, Overland Park, KS 66211 

This training is designed for PARENTS ONLY (or CAREGIVERS ONLY) to attend, NOT the children.  It is for families of children with special needs that have been unsuccessful with traditional toilet training efforts.  $10 for MO Families; $20 for KS Families 

Dr. Bo Youngblood, Ph.D.

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  • Families will learn techniques in helping facilitate the toilet training process along with understanding the steps in toilet training
  • Families will learn new strategies for children who have been unsuccessful with traditional training methods

Taking Care of Business: Managing Your Child's Home and School Programs

  The Plaza Library - Large Conference Room 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112

Robin Jordan, RN, CPN and Mary Anne Hammond, B.S.

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  • Families will learn the value of taking charge of their child's care.
  • Families will come to understand the "rules of the game" in regard to school matters.
  • Families will be given tips for effective communication with the people involved in their child's care

Got Friends?

Molly Pomeroy, MS, BCBA, LBA

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  • Participants will learn how to set up and structure fun, interactive play dates.
  • Participants will learn to identify ideal peer models for their child and ways to connect with other parents.
  • Paricipants will work toward developing the necessary skills for increasing the learning opportunities and advancing social skills during their child's play dates.

Sleeping 101 for Children with Autism

Dr. Cy Nadler, Ph.D.
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  • Participants will be able to identify healthy sleep habits for children with Autism.
  • Participants will identify teaching and management strategies to address common bedtime and sleep behavior problems for children with Autism.
  • Participants will identify additional resources for addressing sleep concerns for children with Autism.

Professional Training Opportunities

Presentations offered by members of the Section of Developmental & Behavioral Sciences geared towards other professionals (i.e. early childhood educators, school nurses, teachers, Parents as Teachers, parent support groups, school districts, etc.)

Approaching and Coping with Puberty: Guidance for Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities

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Parents Guide to Autism Research and Evaluating Interventions

Autism Today: An Overview


  • Identify the "Red Flags" of autism spectrum disorders
  • Identify resources for early intervention services for children with autism spectrum disorders
  • Understand the importance of early intervention services for children with autism spectrum disorders

Toilet Training Made Easy


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