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Colorado Department of Education Professional Development

A Spectrum of Voices: Listening to Young Adults with ASD (21-22 ASD Tri-State Webinar Series)

Audience: Advocates, Educators, Other District/School Staff, Parents, Students, General Public | Topic: Autism, Special Education | Hosted by: Office of Special Education

On-Demand format. A Spectrum of Voices: Listening to Young Adults with ASD (21-22 ASD Tri-State Webinar Series)
On-Demand format

About this Webinar

Presented by: Dr. Mitzi Ritzman Ph.D., CCC-SLP & Panel

Originally aired on: October 13, 2021

For an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the transition from adolescence to young adulthood can create new challenges, as there is a continuing need for support, often with limited available resources. This is a time in which changes take place in development (e.g., emergence of different types of relationships) and when different life skills are necessary for success (e.g. maintaining a job). Many dynamics of social communication and social interaction also shift, depending on the individuals needs and goals. Therefore, supports for those with ASD should look different to reflect this movement into adulthood. Listening to those who are on the autism spectrum can help professionals be more sensitive to their goals, needs, concerns, wishes, and preferences. Often, the element of seeking individuals' input about programming, educational issues, independent living, employment, or housing is not included. Each young adult brings a unique perspective to this transition into adulthood. The objective of the panel is to allow professionals to acquire knowledge of how to serve such a diverse population by hearing voices

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Learner Objectives:

  • Structure conversations with individuals with ASD to seek their input about programming and educational issues.
  • Assist individuals with ASD to articulate specific ideas and views to foster a strong partnership during the post-secondary transitions process.
  • Foster a symbiotic relationship where both professionals and Individuals with ASD are learning to create a supportive environment.


About the Presenter

Mitzi J. Ritzman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is the director of a peer-mediated social learning program for young adults on the autism spectrum.

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