Together We Can Make A Difference

First Annual Autism Spectrum Conference
Saturday, May 14th  7 am 4 pm
Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, 501 Broad Street, Gadsden, AL 35901


Affiliated Organizations: Gadsden Regional Medical Center, Gadsden State Community College, and Mary G. Hardin Center of Cultural Arts

Presenting Speakers: Mamta Mishra (author), Dr. Billie K. Snell (pediatrician), Dr. Larry Beard (professor), Fire Chief A. J. Martin, and Dr. G. Michael Shehi (psychiatrist)

Target Audience: physicians, nurse practitioners, community members, teachers, first responders, special needs individuals and their parents/caregivers

Learning Objectives:
After participating in this conference attendees should be able to:

  1. Recognize the signs of Autism
  2. Understand the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in Autism
  3. Recognize assistive technology to improve functional capabilities
  4. Deal with safety issues for individuals with Autism in emergency situations
  5. Provide support to families through creating support groups

Gadsden Regional Medical Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Gadsden Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Gadsden State Community College awards 5 contact hours of instruction (CEU) for this conference. It is conferred to education professionals to provide continuing education under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

The Fire College, Birmingham, AL awards 4 contact hours of instruction (CEU) (continued education number 22-R4-0012) to first responders, medical professionals, and educators by Fire Chief A. J. Martin.

Registration is $50 per person and includes breakfast and a boxed lunch.

After the conference, please join us for a ribbon-cutting event at 4:30 pm celebrating “Parag’s Sanctuary,” a new sensory inclusive room for visitors to the Hardin Center.

Conference Agenda:

7:00 am to 7:45 amRegistration and breakfast
7:45 am to 7:50 amConvene
7:50 am to 8:00 amWelcome from Tom Banks, Executive Director, Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation
8:00 am to 9:00 amMamta Mishra, mother of ASD individual, Master of Science in Education,
author Autism: Our Journey and Finding Happiness
Title: Evidenced Based Applied Behavioral Teaching Methods for Individuals with Autism
9:00 am to 10:00 amDr. Billie K. Snell, M.D., specialty: pediatrics
Title: Importance of Early Diagnosis and Intervention in Autism
10:00 am to 10:15 amMr. Justin Bryant, Gadsden Regional Medical Center
Services provided by GRMC for special needs individuals and their families
10:15 am to 10:30 amBREAK (first responders breakout for “Safety for Individuals with Autism” workshop)
10:30 am to 11:30 amDr. Larry Beard, Ed.D., Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Jacksonville State University
Title: The Use of Assistive Technologies in Autism
11:30 am to 11:45 amMs. Stephanie Holley, Co-founder and President of Families Undefined
11:45 am to 12:45 pmLunch Break (boxed lunch provided)
12:45 pm to 1:30 pm(sign in sheet for CME and CEU attendees only)
1:30 pm to 2:30 pmChief Alan J. Martin, retired Chief of Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service
Title: Safety Issues in Emergency Treatment of Individuals with Autism
2:30 pm to 2:45 pmMr. Chip Rowan, Director/Teacher of Beautiful Rainbow Café education program
2:45 pm to 3:45 pmDr. G. Michael Shehi, M.D., Medical Director, CEO, and Chairman of the Board,
Mountain View Hospital, Gadsden, AL
Title: Mental and Emotional Wellbeing of Individuals with Autism and their Families
3:40 pm to 4:00 pmMrs. Rhonda Davis, mother of ASD individual, founded special needs support group in
Cullman, AL, former board member of Flourish Cullman, Inc.
4:30 pmAfter the conference, please join us for a ribbon-cutting event at 4:30 pm celebrating “Parag’s Sanctuary,” a new sensory inclusive room for visitors to the Hardin Center.


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