We are pleased to announce a brand new line up of the Autism 200 Series lectures for 2017.

Autism 200 is a series of 90-minute classes for parents and caregivers of children with autism as well as teachers and community providers who wish to better understand autism spectrum disorder. Faculty from Seattle Children’s, the University of Washington and community providers teach the classes. Each class includes time for questions.


Classes are held on most third Thursdays of the month at Seattle Children’s Hospital from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium. Parking in visitor lots. Lectures are available through Seattle Children’s video and teleconferencing outreach program and can be viewed at various locations throughout the region. View Seattle Children’s video teleconferencing site information (PDF).

Lectures are also recorded and can be viewed on our website following the lecture. For a list of teleconferencing sites or to view past lectures, please visit our website.


Class details:

Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2017 with Jim & Raphe

January 19, 2017; Instructors: Raphael Bernier, Ph.D. & Jim Mancini MS, CCC-SLP

Considerable advances have occurred in both science and on the community, state and national levels in 2016. Seattle Children’s Autism Center’s Dr. Raphael Bernier, clinical director and Jim Mancini, coordinator of training, education and outreach, will review the most newsworthy and influential scientific and community advances in the world of autism spectrum disorder from the past year.  We will also discuss what we can expect in the changing educational and political landscape of 2017.   

Autism 202: Autism Genetics: What Parents Should Know

February 16, 2017; Instructors: Heather Mefford MD & Jennifer Gerdts Ph.D.

Over the past decade, there have been major advances in our understanding of autism genetics, and genetic testing is often offered to patients and families. The tests (and sometimes the results) can be overwhelming and confusing. We will review what is known about autism genetics and what kinds of genetic tests are available to families. In addition, we will discuss the pros and cons of genetic testing and what types of results you might expect to receive. Finally, we will highlight research opportunities and exciting advances in genetic testing that are expected to become available in the near future.

Autism 203: Making Friends on the Playground: Social Skills Support in School

March 16, 2017; Instructor: Jill Locke Ph.D.

Ever wonder what your child does at recess? Or with whom he/she plays? Social impairment is one of the most challenging core deficits affecting children with autism. Dr. Jill Locke will discuss how social impairments manifest in schools, their implications with peers, and the steps educators can take to facilitate positive peer engagement. Both caregivers and educators are encouraged to attend this lecture!

Autism 204: Parent Training to Address Problem Behaviors of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

April 20, 2017; Instructor: Karen Bearss Ph.D.

As many as 50% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit behavioral problems such as tantrums, noncompliance, and aggression. These behaviors interfere with the performance of daily living skills and may also amplify caregiver stress. The challenges parents face in raising a child with ASD has sparked interest in the use of parent training in this population, as it empowers parents to be the agent of change for their child. This presentation will review the prevalence and impact of disruptive behaviors in ASD and how parent training is a promising line of treatment for these challenging behaviors and provide specific tips and strategies to dealing with disruptive behaviors.

Autism 205: Autism and Police: Staying Safe Together

May 18, 2017; Facilitator: Robin Tatsuda, MSW

With mounting tension across the country, creating a safe community requires collaboration.  For individuals with autism spectrum disorder, learning to interact with police and first responders is critical. On the other hand, it is just as essential for police to understand autism and be prepared to respond effectively and safely to situations that arise involving individuals on the spectrum. The autism community must work together with law enforcement and the general public to ensure we are all safe together.  This panel presentation of law enforcement officials, individuals with autism, families, and community members will discuss local efforts within police departments as well as strategies for individuals and families to promote safety for everyone involved.  

Autism 206: Transition to Adulthood: Finding a Job

July 20, 2017; Instructors: Richard Wilson MPA & Maureen Roberts M.Ed., C.R.C.

Transition from school to the adult world and successfully finding a job can be complicated and confusing.  Navigating resources can be a formidable and overwhelming challenge for most students and their families.  Being prepared requires early planning, appropriate expectations, and opportunities. Understanding what resources are available and how to obtain them is critical for decision making and taking action.  This session seeks to help participants better understand support systems, resources, and how to access vital services.  It will also cover the importance of starting early, breaking down steps that lead to employment, and the importance of advocacy and collaboration.

Autism 207: Transition to Adulthood: Keeping a Job

August 17, 2017; Instructors: Gina Solberg CESP & Abbey Lawrence M.Ed., BCBA

Landing a new job can be very exciting!  It’s a new world of possibilities.  It can also be where the real work begins.  We will discuss strategies and ideas to have a success on-boarding experience and the keys to making the job into a career.  Good tenure and successful employment often depends on soft skills, support networks, visual supports/ancillary aides, clear expectations, effective lines of communication and more.  

Autism 208: Screening for ASD: A Preventative Intervention Approach

September 21, 2017; Instructor: Lisa Ibanez Ph.D.

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been rising steadily, with rates now estimated to be as high as 1 in 68 children. Although parents often become concerned about their child by 17-19 months of age, children do not typically receive an ASD diagnosis until they are 4 years old. It is now well documented that early participation in ASD-specialized intervention can lead to significant improvements in skills and behavior for toddlers with ASD. However, despite the availability of publicly funded early intervention (EI) services, delayed detection of ASD risk and long waits for a formal ASD diagnosis can prevent children from receiving appropriately specialized intervention during the critical birth-to-three years. In addition, parents concerned about ASD experience high levels of uncertainty and stress during this waiting period. This provider-focused lecture will discuss how a preventive intervention approach may improve outcomes for both children and parents by increasing rates of ASD screening, promoting earlier referral to EI programs, initiating early ASD-specialized intervention, and reducing the time between ASD concerns and diagnosis.

 Autism 209: Early Intervention in Autism: An Overview of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center Model

October 19, 2017; Instructor: Mendy Minjarez Ph.D.

 Early intervention has been shown to improve outcomes for children with autism. Interventions based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have strong empirical support for improving a range of skills, including communication, social, play and adaptive skills. Other interventions, such as speech therapy and parent training, are also considered important in the treatment of young children with autism. This presentation will provide an overview of the current early intervention research and also describe the multi-disciplinary program at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, which includes ABA therapy, speech therapy, and parent training/support. The model being used at Seattle Children’s is also being replicated state-wide and efforts to expand ABA therapy services in WA State will be discussed.

 Autism 210: Autism from a Sibling’s Perspective: A Panel Discussion

November 16, 2017; Facilitator: Tammy Mitchel, Sister and Program Manager, Alyssa Burnett Center

What about the siblings?  Join us for an insightful evening featuring the unique perspectives of brothers and sisters of individuals living with autism.  In this dynamic and candid panel, siblings will share their personal stories and insights, and provide a platform for parents, siblings and other community members to ask questions about their journey of growing up with a sibling on the autism spectrum. 

Sharing their thoughts and experiences around both the positive, and the challenging aspects siblings experience, this panel will provide honest feedback and touching stories around hope and unconditional love.   Facilitated by Tammy Mitchel, sister to 22 year old Mikey, and hosting a dynamic panel of siblings, this Autism 200 will be one to remember.