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Autism Clinic Recorded Trainings

Children's Mercy offers several online training modules and educational events for families affected by autism. These recorded presentations are available anytime at no cost to families.

Training modules

Christina Low Kapalu, PhD
Licensed Psychologist


  • Highlight the basic principles of ABA.
  • Discuss behavioral targets of ABA.
  • Identify features of a strong ABA program.

View Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis.

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.

Dr. Cy Nadler of Children's Mercy Kansas City's Department of Developmental and Behavioral Health shares a variety of strategies based on the basic concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that can help children and families prevent and reduce these daily problems.

View Managing Problem Behaviors in Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Essentially, you are the CEO of your child’s life. And when that includes managing their home and school programs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it's easy to feel overwhelmed. This training will help in practical ways such as knowing what to records to keep, effective ways to communicate with the professionals involved in your child’s care, as well as give you some tools to navigate the process.

This page also includes resource links to other helpful sites for families managing an autism spectrum disorder in the "Additional resources" section.


  • 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 people involved in your child’s care.

View Managing Your Child's Home and School Program.

Difficulties around mealtime are common for many children, including those with autism and developmental disabilities. In this video training session, Melissa Campbell, PsyD, discusses behavioral strategies for adding structure to this daily routine, setting limits, and teaching children how to tolerate and participate appropriately. Since this activity occurs every day, there is always an opportunity to practice!

View Eating and Enjoying It by Melissa Campbell, PsyD.

Toilet training is an important developmental milestone for all children, including children with autism spectrum disorder. It can also be a source of stress for both parents and children.

This training video will provide an overview of toilet training strategies often used with children with autism spectrum disorder.

The prerequisite skills needed to toilet train will be outlined and techniques to facilitate toilet training will be reviewed.

If you child is not yet toilet trained for urine, Part 1 is a great place to start. If you child is trained for urine but is not yet bowel trained or overnight urine trained, Part 2 is a good place to start.

Objectives for Part 1:

  • To learn the developmental signs of toilet training readiness.
  • To understand the steps in toilet training.
  • To learn techniques that facilitate the toilet training process.
  • Answer frequently asked questions related to toilet training methods discussed.

View Toilet Training Part 1 by Christina Low Kapalu, Ph.D.

Once a child has been urine trained during the day, the next steps are to achieve overnight urinary continence and bowel training.

This training video will provide a description of these processes and will review techniques commonly used for toilet training children with special needs. Frequently asked questions will also be covered during this training.

Objectives for Part 2:

  • To understand the steps involved in bowel training and overnight urine training.
  • To learn techniques that facilitate bowel training and overnight urine training in children.
  • To answer common questions regarding toileting training.

View Toilet Training Part 2 by Christina Low Kapalu, Ph.D.

Paige McArdle, PhD, BCBA
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician


  • Sleep basics.
  • What can go wrong.
  • Behavioral and medical interventions.

View Sleep 101 for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Previous events

Speaker: Kerry Prout, PhD

This training addresses the challenges and changes that happen during puberty, the importance of appropriate sex education for individuals with special needs, and how to respond to behavioral concerns related to emerging sexuality for individuals with developmental disabilities spanning various ages and levels of need.

View a recording of the Addressing Puberty and Sexuality in Youth with Developmental Disabilities and ASD presentation.

Speaker: Jo Ann Youngblood, PhD


  • 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.

View a recording of the Managing Problem Behaviors presentation.

Speaker: Alison Anderson, LBSW

Children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder are at a higher risk for numerous safety concerns: eloping, encountering law enforcement, sexual safety and accidental drowning, to name a few. This training will discuss ways to help ensure your child's safety in addition to many actionable steps you can take to help keep them safe.

View recording of Autism and a Spectrum of Safety

Speaker: Dr. Alec Bernstein, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA and Rebecca Ebbers, MS, BCBA, LBA

Sometimes aggressive behaviors emerge in persons with autism spectrum disorder, and it can be hard to know how to respond in order to not get more frustrated or even hurt. Managing Aggressive Behaviors provided by Dr. Alec Bernstein, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA and Rebecca Ebbers, MS, 
BCBA, LBA help us navigate responses to these challenging behaviors. 

View a recording of Managing Aggressive Behaviors in those with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Speakers: Dr. Cy Nadler; Dr. Meredith Dreyer; Dr. Brenda Salley; Dr. Zohreh Talebizadeh; Saskia Derritt, CIP

What does it mean to volunteer for a research study? What are the ‘hot topics’ in autism research today? How is the Kansas City community contributing to autism research? This information session will help to expand your understanding of autism research, featuring a panel of several researchers from region.

View a recording of the Caregiver Autism Training Series: Autism Research in Kansas City presentation.

Speaker: Christina Low-Kapalu, PhD, Child Psychologist

This training addresses the challenges and changes that happen during puberty, the importance of appropriate sex education for individuals with special needs, and how to respond to behavioral concerns related to emerging sexuality for individuals with developmental disabilities spanning various ages and levels of need.

View a recording of the Caregiver Autism Training Series: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring GI Conditions presentation.

Speaker: Melissa Robinson, PhD, Child Psychologist

This presentation aims to inform caregivers of youth on the spectrum how to be successful social coaches and aid in the development of social skills and independence. Social skills are often more difficult to recognize and integrate for the person with ASD. Participants will learn about social skills curriculums and evidence-based treatments. This will all be in an effort to help your child gain more independence.

View a recording of Caregiver Autism Training: Promoting Social Skills and Independence in Youth with Autism

Presenter: Angie Bright, Project RISE Manager

  1. Description: Having a job is more than just a paycheck—it’s an opportunity to be productive and engaged in the community, offers opportunity for routine and social engagement, and contributes to better health outcomes.  However, navigating the world of employment and finding a good fit can be an overwhelming experience.  Please join us to discuss tips for career exploration, career skill building & support resources.
  2. Objectives:
    1. Participants will learn various strategies for career exploration and networking.
    2. Participants will learn skill building strategies for employment- including soft skills and ideas to foster independence.
    3. Participants will become aware of various local and virtual resources to aid in the job search and preparation process.

View a recording of Caregiver Autism Training Series: Transition to Employment: Setting a Foundation of Success

Speaker: Melissa Campbell, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist


  • Participants will grow familiar with feeding problems common among children with ASD.
  • Participants will understand the potential risks associated with those feeding problems.
  • Participants will learn strategies you can use to improve your child’s acceptance of nutritive foods and decrease problem feeding behaviors.

View a recording of the Eating and Enjoying It! presentation.

Speaker: Kacy Seitz

As a fellow special needs parent, Kacy Seitz knows the importance of crafting a whole story plan that considers the complexity of each family's unique situation. In 2013, she created her financial planning practice Whole Story Planning, devoted to helping Special Needs families like hers. In this short workshop, Kacy guides parents, guardians, and family members like you to better understand the planning your children may need during each stage of life. Content includes: Special Needs Trust, Guardianship, Medicaid, ABLE Accounts and more.

View a recording of How to Develop a Life Plan for Your Child with Disabilities.

Speaker: Sally Sinn and Jill Wade - Behavior Specialists/Behavioral Health KC


  • Participants will understand what makes a routine successful.
  • Participants will be coached on how to teach life skills (toileting, food preparation, hygiene) within the daily routine.
  • Participants will receive information on clues that point to the need for a change in the routine.

View a recording of the Morning Routines for LIFE! presentation.

Speakers: Cy Nadler, PhD, Child Psychologist; Robin Jordan, BSN, CPN Family Resource Specialist Nurse; Mary Anne Hammond, Education Coordinator, Autism


  • Participants will understand an autism diagnosis and hear information on evidence-based therapies.
  • Participants will learn about connecting with services after an autism diagnosis.
  • Participants will learn a family perspective of living with autism. 

View a recording of the Next Steps After an Autism Diagnosis presentation.

Speaker: Megan Laurent, OTR


  • Participants will gain understanding of the sensory systems.
  • Participants will identify the sensory qualities of daily routines.
  • Participants will learn how to influence sensory input in order to accomplish daily routines.

View a recording of the Sensory Survival Skills presentation.

Speaker: Mary Anne Hammond, BS, Education Coordinator for Autism

An IEP (Individual Educational Program) is part of the framework of school instruction and activity for many children with ASD. This training will set you up for success in expectations, preparation, communication, and goal setting for that important meeting with the school staff that interacts with your child. Help make this tool its very best!


  • Unpack the value of prepared talking points for the meeting.
  • Identify the goals you have prior to the meeting.
  • Explore opportunities that will encompass life skills.

View a recording of Setting Up for IEP Success.

Speaker: Dr. Jena Randolph, The Thompson Center


  • Provide definition of EF and relationship to ASD.
  • Explain a framework for working through EF challenges.
  • Describe how to support EF needs related to homework & online schooling.

View a recording of the Supporting Executive Functioning in ASD presentation.