Autism Strategies

Sunday, 15 Rajab 1439 AH - 1 April 2018 AD 1:30 PM-3:30 PM Main Auditorium

Session moderator : Dr Saleh Al Salhi


1- O-17 : What matters in the long run: Improving adult outcomes in autism and other developmental disabilities

Speaker: Dr Lauran Kenworthy

Time: 2:00 PM-2:20 PM

Lauren Kenworthy, PhD

Children's National Medical Center
Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Division of Neuropsychology
Principal Investigator, Children's Research Institute, 
Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR)
George Washington University

Lauren Kenworthy, PhD, is Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Kenworthy received her BA from Yale University and PhD from the University of Maryland. She did internship and residency training in clinical psychology/pediatric neuropsychology at Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital Boston, Johns Hopkins Medical School and Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. She has been on the faculty at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University School of Medicine since 1995. Dr. Kenworthy's research interests are in describing and treating the neuropsychological phenotype of autism.  She is an author of over 80 peer-reviewed publications documenting non-social deficits in autism. She is a co-author of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which has been used in over 1,000 research publications to document executive functioning in various clinical groups. Her recent publications have focused on the role of executive dysfunction in autism and its treatment.  She is author of a school based executive function intervention for children on the autism spectrum, Unstuck and On Target.  She has a long history of federally funded research on autism and executive function and is currently completing a large randomized effectiveness trial of Unstuck in low-income schools for children with ADHD as well as ASD. A national and international speaker on autism spectrum disorders and executive functions, she is the author of three books and multiple chapters on these topics.

What matters in the long run: Improving adult outcomes in autism and other developmental disabilities


More and more children are identified with autism and other developmental disabilities each year.  Outcomes for these people are poor in adulthood, with as few as nine percent able to live and work independently. Basic real-life challenges, like getting dressed, washed and ready to go in the morning, can prevent otherwise able people from functioning well in society as adults. Yet, proper treatment early in childhood has been shown to dramatically improve long term outcomes for adults with autism and other disabilities. I will review the research findings on outcomes, including data on the importance of early diagnosis and our own longitudinal studies showing which specific behaviors and cognitive skills are important to learn in order to improve outcomes.  I will also provide practical advice, based on our research, on how to help children with disabilities learn in standard educational settings and reach their full potential as adults.

2- O-18 : Strategies for Interviewing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speaker: Dr Leslie Daniel

Time: 2:20 PM-2:40 PM

Dr Leslie S. Daniel

Associate Professor, special education

Radford University


Leslie S. Daniel, Ph.D. is an associate professor in special education at Radford University and has taught and supported individuals with disabilities for 34 years, For the last 25 years all of Leslie’s teaching has been in inclusive environments, even at the university level where she includes students with autism and other disabilities in her senior level Introduction to Autism class at Radford. Prior to teaching, she worked in group homes supporting adults with disabilities to live full lives in their communities. Leslie is the developer and coordinator of Radford University’s Certificate of Autism Studies. She is the editor of Educational Practice & Reform, an online peer-reviewed academic journal addressing the challenges of schooling in kindergarten-12th grade and higher educational settings.


Strategies for Interviewing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder


According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fifth Edition people with autism have deficits in social communication and social interaction. This makes interviewing or having deep conversations much more difficult. The presenter will share strategies used with participants who have autism to help support more successful, and less stressful, research interviews. These same methods have served the presenter well during deeper conversations with individuals with ASD.

3- 0-19 : 7 Evidence Based Strategies for the Perfect Program for a Child with an Autism Spectrum Condition

Speaker: Dr Jim Ball

Time: 2:40 PM-3:00 PM

Dr James Ball Ed.D., BCBA-D

President/Chief Executive Officer

JB Autism Consulting


Dr. James Ball, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral, is the President/Chief Executive Officer of JB Autism Consulting. He is also a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee as a public member, this Committee, as outlined in the Autism Cares Act, makes recommendations to the Secretary on autism research gaps and submits to the Congress and the President an annual update on the summary of advances and an annual update to the strategic plan.  He has been in the field of autism for over twenty-five years providing preschool, educational, residential, and employment services to children and adults affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is also the Director of Clinical Services for New York Families of Autistic Children (NYFAC), a private not-for-profit organization providing support and training for children and families in New York City. He provides private consultation to organizations, schools, and families regarding home program, staff/parent training,  home support services, classroom design/support, behavior management/assessment and functional behavior assessment. 

Dr. Ball is a past member of the Autism New Jersey, formally known as the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC) Board of Trustees, and a past member of the Autism New Jersey, Professional Advisory Board. A member of the Autism Society’s (AS) National Board of Directors, he is currently the Executive Board Chair and has also served in the past as the co-chairperson of the AS’s Panel of Professional Advisors.  He sits on the advisory board for the Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine and has been a Featured Author for the magazine for the past 5 years.  Dr. Ball has lectured nationally and internationally on various topics related to autism, such as early intervention, inclusion, functional behavior assessment, social skills training, behavior management, direct instruction, sensory issues, and accountability.  He has published in many of the above areas and authored the award winning breakthrough book Early Intervention and Autism: Real-life Questions, Real-life Answers, winning the 2008 NAPPA Gold Award Winner, Finalist for the 2008 ForeWord Book of the Year & Gold Award Winner in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Dr. Ball has won numerous awards including:  NYFAC’s Autism Inspiration Award, ASA’s Publication Award for his manual on Social Security and Employment for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, Autism New Jersey, formally known as COSAC highest honor, their Distinguished Service Award, and most recently was honored at the Phoenix Center in Nutley, New Jersey during their 20th Anniversary Gala as “Professional of the Year”.


7 Evidence Based Strategies for the Perfect Program


This presentation will discuss 7 systematic techniques for working with children with an autism spectrum disorder.  It will focus on teaching specific skills, enhancing motivation, and generalization training.  A step by step demonstration will be presented using real life examples.   Modifications will be explored that allow this particular program to be effective with students significantly challenged with autism, as well as those students with Aspergers Syndrome.  Because of the nature of this presentation, a question and answer period will be provided.


4- O-20 : Psychometric properties of the Sensory Processing Measure - Preschool - Home (SPM-P-H) among children with autism in Saudi Arabia

Speaker:Shahad Alkhalifa

Time: 3:00 PM-3:20 PM

Shahad Alkhalifah

Occupational Therapist

King Faisal Special Hospital and Research Center at Autism Research Center


Occupational therapist working as paediatric occupational therapist in King Faisal Special Hospital and Research Center at Autism Research center. She obtained her BS in OT at King Saudi University, her MS in occupational therapy at University of Brighton. Sensory Integration postgraduate certificate from Ulster University, UK with distinction as the first in the Middle East to earned this prestigious certificate. Project management of Sensory Processing Measure and Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool assessments adaptation and validation to Arabic with WPS, US.


Psychometric properties of the Sensory Processing Measure - Preschool - Home among children with autism in Saudi Arabia.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder associated, for 42 to 88% of people with ASD, with sensory processing disorders. Sensory processing disorders (SPD) impact daily functioning, and it is therefore essential to be able to diagnose them accurately.  Currently, however, there is no assessment tool available for the Saudi Arabia (SA) population that would cover a wider enough age range. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the psychometric properties of the Sensory Processing Measure preschool- Home Form (SPM-P) when used in English, with a population of English-speaking Saudi participants. This was chosen due to time limitations and the urgency in providing practitioners with appropriate tools. Using a convenience sampling approach group of caregivers of typically developing (TD) children and a group of caregivers for children with ASD were recruited (N = 40 and N = 16 respectively), and completed the SPM-P Home form. Participants were also invited to complete it again after two weeks for test-retest reliability, and respectively nine and five agreed. Reliability analyses suggested some issues with a few items when used in the Saudi culture, and, along with interscale correlations, it highlighted concerns with the factor structure. However, it was also found that the SPM-P Home has good criterion-based validity, and it is therefore suggested that it can be used until a tool is developed through translation and cultural adaptation. It is also suggested that the current factor structure of SPM-P Home is reassessed using a large sample.

5- O-21 : The relationship between executive functions and motor skills in children with autism

Speaker: Rehab Alsaedi

Time: 3:20 PM-3:40 PM

Rehab H. Alsaedi

PhD candidate

Queensland University of Technology (QUT),

Brisbane, Australia


Prior to this, she has worked as a special education lecturer at Taibah University in Saudi Arabia. She holds a Master's degree in Autism from Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. Her research experience is concentrating on neurocognitive theories, specifically Executive Dysfunction Theory and its role in understanding the link between the brain and behavior in autism. In the last few years, she has been mainly concentrating on her research to expand the availability of Arabic versions of the standard instruments used for evaluating the developmental and cognitive divergences. This may, in turn, contribute to better clinical decision making by providing detailed information that will assist in determining the most effective approaches for treatment interventions that better support the progress and quality of life of children with autism in GCC countries.

The Relationship Between Executive Functions and Motor Skills in Children with Autism in the Gulf Region

R. Alsaedi a, L. Gilmoreb, K. Sullivenc and E. Elkhamisd

Rehab Alsaedi: PhD candidate, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia, and Lecturer at Taibah University, Saudi Arabia.

Linda Gilmore: Professor, Faculty of Education, QUT, Brisbane, Australia

Karen Sullivan: Professor, Faculty of Health, QUT, Brisbane, Australia

Elsayed Elkhamisi: Associate Professor, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University (AGU), Manama, Bahrain.


Executive dysfunction (EDFs) and motor performance abnormalities (MPAs) are hallmark deficiencies of people with autism spectrum disorder. The current study examines the correlation between executive functioning domains and motor performance skills in children with autism, using a sample of 119 children with autism (aged 6–12 years). The second edition of the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-2) was used to measure executive functioning domains, and the second edition of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2) was used to measure fine and gross motor skills. The results revealed a number of significant negative associations between executive functions and motor performance variables, indicating that when executive functioning scores increase, motor performance scores decrease and vice versa. The findings of this study support neurological and developmental hypotheses that suggest such a relationship. A better understanding of the relationship between these two constructs may provide a basis for clinical decision making and for designing effective interventions for ASD.