FREE Parent and Professional Classes

All parent and professional classes are offered at no cost. Continuing education certificates are available upon request.

Email Leigh Ellen Spencer or call ABC of NC at (336) 251-1180 ext. 120 to register for classes. You must register at least one week in advance. ABC of NC reserves the right to cancel classes if there are not enough participants.

Please visit the Events page for a schedule of upcoming classes.

Download Fall 2017 Class Schedule

Class Descriptions

Autism and the Family Dynamic
Presented by Dr. Kelly O’Laughlin

  • Understand how the diagnosis of autism impacts individual family members.

Increasing Social Motivation

  • Motivating children with autism to engage/interact with others.

Reducing Problem Behaviors

  • Strategies for reducing frustration and increasing cooperation:  Accepting “No”, First-Then instructions, waiting, and transitions.

Reducing Problem Behaviors II

  • Strategies for coping and calming; increasing adaptive behavior with social narratives and video modeling strategies; and accepting when things don’t go as planned.

Communication Strategies

  • Increasing communication and understanding the communication of others.

Developing Play

  • Strategies to expand interests and develop functional play routines.

Diet Expansion

  • Motivating children with autism to eat healthier foods.

Toilet Training Strategies

  • Increasing success with toilet training.


Getting Started (Class #1 of JumpStart! Series)

  • What to expect from the six-week class series
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)
  • Informal and formal assessments
  • Tools for writing individualized student goals/the importance of considering typical developmental milestones when determining goals
  • ABC of NC service continuum

Reducing Challenging Behaviors (Class #2 of JumpStart! Series)

  • Functional behavior assessment and analysis
  • Important terminology for understanding behavior (e.g. reinforcement, consequences, etc.)
  • The importance of consistency and follow-through
  • How to increase appropriate behavior through selection of antecedent-based interventions
  • How to decrease inappropriate behavior through selection of consequence-based interventions
  • How to deal with self-stimulatory behaviors
  • How to handle sensory issues

The Importance of Play (Class #3 of JumpStart! Series)

  • The function of play and the relevance of social motivation
  • How to identify your child’s current interests
  • How to “meet the child where s/he is” in order to build a relationship and begin to expand play skills
  • Methods for increasing toy play, social interactions/social routines, symbolic/imaginative play
  • How to increase creativity within play
  • Strategies for limiting access to electronic toys, movies, computers, etc.
  • How to “compete with” self-stimulatory behaviors, limited interests, or routinized behaviors

Increasing Non-Vocal Communication (Class #4 of JumpStart! Series)

  • The importance of focusing on non-vocal communication
  • Types of non-vocal communication (e.g. eye contact, pointing, etc.) and developmental milestones for each
  • Specific strategies and activities for increasing non-vocal communication

Increasing Vocal/Expressive Communication (Class #5 of JumpStart! Series)

  • Definitions of expressive communication (including vocal, sign, pictures, etc.)
  • How to model language at developmentally appropriate levels
  • Teaching techniques such as prompting, prompt fading, shaping, differential reinforcement
  • How to target non-verbal imitation in order to increase vocal imitation abilities

What Next? (Class #6 of JumpStart! Series)

  • How to identify whether their child needs more intensive teaching, discrete trial therapy, discrimination training
  • How to determine if their child needs an augmentative communication device or introduction to sign language
  • What ABC of NC services are available that are appropriate for the child and family
  • What other community-based programs are appropriate for the child and family
  • About autism resources and treatment options

Language Skills and the Advanced Learner

  • Receptive and expressive language programs for advanced learners
  • How to implement advanced language programs using evidence-based teaching strategies
  • Curricula and teaching materials to support advanced language development

The Educated Parent: Advocating, IEPs, Transitions

  • The IEP process including evaluation, IEP meetings, advocates, mediation, and legal rights
  • How to guide the writing of an effective IEP for your child
  • Considerations when identifying an appropriate classroom setting

Addressing Rigidity

  • Examples of rigidity with individuals with autism
  • Identify how rigidity impacts acquisition of a variety of skills
  • Identify strategies to expand and “compete with” routine behaviors
  • Identify strategies to manage challenging behaviors that result from routine intrusion

Peer and Sibling Play

  • How to establish and sustain play activities with a child with ASD
  • How to facilitate play activities with children with ASD and peer(s)
  • Stages of play and how to use these stages as a guide for developmentally appropriate play


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