Tag Archive for: autism

conference highlight: serving children and families on the autism spectrum

Smithsonian Affiliations is pleased to be working with the Smithsonian’s Accessbility Program to offer a special workshop during the 2013 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference on the ways that museums can and are serving children on the autism spectrum.  The first part of the workshop will cover the basics of autism spectrum disorders, answering questions such as:

– what is autism and what does it look like?
– how do families with children on the autism spectrum engage with museums?
– what strategies can we use to engage and disengage a child on the autism spectrum?
– what are the best practices for teaching children on the autism spectrum?
– what techniques can be used to solicit necessary information from school groups and families regarding a child’s needs?

Expert speakers include Roger Ideishi, Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; Beth Ziebarth, Director of the Smithsonian Accessibility Program; and Jahmar Hannans, Manager of Guest Programs at Georgia Aquarium, an Affiliate.  

In the second part of the workshop, participants will engage in hands-on activities in Smithsonian galleries, designed to address the needs of children on the autism spectrum and their families.  We will share a series of pre-visit materials, cart activities, and best practices that can be adapted by any museum.  

The workshop will draw on the experiences of all participants, combined with the information provided by other professionals in the field, to equip everyone with necessary tools to provide the highest quality of programming for  visitors.   Hope you can join us!

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, 202.633.5304, for more information. Click here for 2013 Conference hotel information, agenda and registration.