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Professional Training

Professional Training
Please get in touch with us for an up-to-date, comprehensive list of professional training sessions. We are constantly adding new sessions but have included a taste here.
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Abuse Prevention & Safety (1 hour recommended):

This is client-specific training for groups of up to 10 people.  Explores feelings with the person while correlating forms of touch. Focuses on identifying what abuse is or what may constitute a harmful situation and how to respond in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or hurt.  The cost for this training is $50/per person.

Abuse Prevention & Safety: How Helpers and Staff Can Provide Education and Support (2 hour recommended):

Understand why it’s important to discriminate between feelings or negative situations instead of “good touch vs. bad touch.” Know why it’s essential to give a person a voice and allow them the opportunity to say “no” and even protest. Explore tools that may help a person better learn about their feelings, potentially dangerous or abusive situations, degrees of relationships, and corresponding forms of touch and conversation. Learn the critical three steps in supporting a person in knowing what to do should they find themselves in an abusive or potentially harmful situation.

Autism: A General Discussion of Autism & Approaches  (1.5 hour recommended):

Reviews myths about autism and research regarding potential causes. Focuses on traits and characteristics specific to autism, which include social difficulties, communication challenges, and repetitive behaviors. Provides support on ways to enhance communication skills and reduce challenging behaviors.

Autism & Legal Issues: A Growing Concern (1 hour recommended):

This 45-minute training with 15 minutes for Q&A.  For professionals or those who love or support those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or other cognitive disabilities. This training explores the growing concern about the link between those with ASD who engage in behaviors that are or could be considered illegal. This includes explaining what has changed over the years and what we can do to provide better education, support, and services to divert people from the criminal justice system.

Boundaries & Social Interactions: Building Community Integration Skills (1.5 hour recommended):

Developed specifically for professionals or those who love or support anyone with an intellectual or developmental disability, including an autism spectrum disorder, who are working on skill development to improve their success in the community.

Building Awareness in the LGBTQIA Community (1 hour recommended):

Developed specifically for professionals or those who love or support anyone identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual. Explores changes over the decades, what is unique to specific populations, and what we can do to provide better support.

Dementia & Related Disorders (1.5 hour recommended):

This training teaches about various forms of dementia, stages of dementia, and changes that occur in the brain. Those attending will learn how to maintain memory for as long as possible and maintain a connection with the person they are supporting. The participant will also understand behavioral changes and how to provide the best possible support.

Dementia & Sexuality (1.5 hour recommended):

This training covers the basic human needs related to sexuality. It also explores how dementia affects the brain regarding sexual feelings, behaviors, and inhibitions and how to respond to a person’s feelings and perceived behaviors.

Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace (1.5 hour recommended):

This training addresses practical ways to reduce and manage barriers to inclusion, equality, and diversity.  By paying attention to the negative impact of blame and finger-pointing, the participant is invited to evaluate themselves.  The goal is to build empathy and encourage a connection that empowers us to disarm problematic habits and consider ways to become an ally to various minority groups.

How to Discuss Sexuality (1.5 hour recommended):

This training covers the five areas of sexual consent and discusses strategies for how to teach critical components related to legal vs. illegal sexual behaviors. The participant will also learn strategies for how to teach advanced skills related to understanding age discrimination, reading body language, and navigating the Internet and social media. The training begins to explore components related to abuse prevention and safety.

Internet Safety (1 hour recommended):

This training was developed for both those we support, as well as their supporters.  An overview of Internet safety is reviewed and discussed.  Topics range from social media to dating sites to pornography use and even scams.  Various safety skills are reviewed, and tips are provided on using the Internet more wisely and safely.

Introduction to Human Sexuality (1 hour recommended):

This is a virtual-only training.  Developed by advocate and pioneer in human sexuality Sharon Potter, this is a uniquely crafted training presented by Sharon and Shawn McGill.  It covers barriers to supporting those with disabilities and what we can do to work on the prevention side of sexuality, as opposed to being reactive.  For instance, once someone has been sexually assaulted or even engaged in sexually offending behavior.

Let’s Talk About Sex! (2 hour recommended):

This is client-specific training for groups of up to 10 people.  We’ll work together to ensure the identity of private sexual body parts.  We will also examine and learn more about the five areas of sexual consent:  sex acts, how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, private vs. public sexual behaviors, legal vs. illegal sexual behaviors, and how to avoid potentially abusive or exploitative situations.  The cost for this training is $50/per person.

Navigating Sexuality (3 hour recommended):

This training aids parents and professionals supporting people with disabilities to address sexuality in a healthy, safe, and useful way rather than dismissing or ignoring it.  Simple strategies and skills, as well as more complex and advanced strategies and skills, can be taught to and support a person to wade through sexual feelings, build relationships, and navigate dating.

Neuro Diversity and Gender Diversity (1 hour recommended):

Recently, there has been a debate, or question, as to whether people on the autism spectrum are more likely to identify as transgender or gender diverse. Studies now show evidence of overlap, but what does it mean to support someone on the spectrum to navigate all of this? This session cannot answer the question related to the underlying cause of the overlap but instead focuses on prioritizing and supporting the clinical needs of the autistic gender diverse.

Positive Approaches (2.5 hour recommended):

Provides an opportunity to learn simple and creative ways for supporters to fully listen to and understand the perspective of the person with a disability. Learn how to identify and focus on what is critically important to the person, identify core issues, and offer support and help by checking in and following their lead rather than making assumptions and getting in the way.

Relationships & Dating – Client Specific (1.5 hour recommended):

This training aids people with disabilities to learn more about critical skills to navigate relationships safely and successfully.

Restrictive Procedures (1.5 hour recommended):

This training reviews the Office of Developmental Program’s (ODP) regulations concerning restrictive procedures and rights violations. The training provides a comprehensive overview of what interventions and strategies are considered restrictive and those that warrant using a Restrictive Procedure Plan (RPP). The training reviews the required development and review of an RPP and various other forms of documentation that may be required. This is suitable training for any agency concerned about the rights of those they serve or those that work within the scope of ODP.

Social Story Development (1.5 hour recommended):

Social Stories may help people with autism or intellectual disabilities by supporting the development of a “theory of mind.” Daily social life and behaviors are best accomplished by dedicated cognitive systems called the “theory of mind.” A Social Story might explain social situations in terms of what another person might think or why they may behave in specific ways, reducing or eliminating confusion or unpredictability and creating a sense of safety and security. This training will assist the participant in describing sentences used to create Social Stories, understanding how pictures are used to interpret information correctly, and understanding the steps to implement Social Stories.

Supporting People with IDD Through the Criminal Justice System (1.5 hour recommended):

Supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has changed and continues to change. Having a disability does not make a person exempt from facing the natural consequences of the criminal justice system. However, this is a unique and vulnerable population of people that requires specialized treatment and support. This training will discuss how the planning and support of the offender with a disability can begin and what tools and strategies are most beneficial in reducing the risk of re-incarceration. The training will also help the participant learn more about specialized court systems, working with the criminal justice system, and various laws and bills specific to the USA and PA that govern successful community integration.

The Impact of Trauma (1.5 hour recommended):

Research and studies indicate abuse among people with disabilities is far more prevalent than amongst the general population. Some studies conclude that at least 85% of people with disabilities are subjected to trauma or abuse in their lifetime. However, resources and treatment to support a person to navigate their thoughts and feelings can prove limited. Nevertheless, we must look at ways to understand a person’s experience and help them feel safe and secure so their thoughts and feelings are not manifested through challenging behaviors. This training will help caregivers and professionals to understand what trauma is, how it manifests for a person with disabilities, and how we can better support a person to feel safe and secure to manage symptoms associated with trauma-based responses.

Understanding & Approaching Sexual Behaviors (1.5 hour recommended):

This training is developed specifically for professionals or caregivers who are concerned about or managing what may be considered sexual behaviors. This training examines potential reasons behind problematic sexual behaviors and how to develop prevention and intervention strategies that promote safe, healthy sexual behaviors.

Understanding Gender Identity (1.5 hour recommended):

As a society, we are progressing in our comfort and ability to talk more about sexuality and gender identity, but there are still many taboos and misconceptions.  This is particularly true for people who identify as transgender and those with disabilities who may fall within this.  This training walks the participant through understanding the differences between gender identity and sexual identity, societal constructs related to both, and best practice standards, supports, and resources available to assist a person through transition if they identify as transgender.

Need a training you do not see listed? Just ask! We customize training sessions to meet your needs.

Virtual training is offered, and times can be adjusted. Please ask!

Cost: $100/hour plus .56 cents per mile for travel to/from the training site for those up to 60 miles from the trainer’s zip code of 15221. For all others, a flat fee of $500 per training is instituted due to the time/cost of travel. Only two training sessions per day can be scheduled.

Travel Fees:

  • Applicable Airline fees

  • Applicable taxi/shuttle fees

  • Applicable hotel fees

  • Applicable meal fees

  • 62.5 cents per mile for driving

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