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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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Autism and Relationship Building
Mary Rita Weller, PhD

Individuals with autism often have difficulty in developing meaningful relationships with peers. Signs and symptoms of autism include difficulty with social communication and interactions as well as restrictive and/or repetitive behaviors. Individuals with autism often display strengths related to learning materials that tweak their interests. Predominantly, they are strong visual and auditory learners, and often excel in math, science, music, or art (National Institute for Mental Health, n.d.). This workshop will provide participants with various tools/resources for family, friends, case managers, and providers to support individuals with autism in developing meaningful relationships. 

Participants will be able to:
1.  Develop a peer mentoring program to support relationship building skills for individuals with autism.
2.  Describe skills for individuals with autisum to develop and build meaningful relationships with peers.
3.  Explain how to run relationship groups for individuals with autism.

Mary Rita Weller is an assistant professor at Kutztown University’s Department of Social Work.  She has over 20-years clinical experience.  She is licensed in Pennsylvania in social work. Her area of expertise is in individuals with disabilities and sexual minorities.  She has a published several articles and book chapters.

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