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Series for Parents/Caregivers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Hosted by Wheeling Hospital, Marshall County Schools and WV Autism Training Center

August 18, 2017

WHEELING – A free series to assist parents and caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is being presented by Wheeling Hospital’s Center for Pediatrics Rehabilitation Services, Marshall County Schools and the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University.

Highly trained and experienced therapists, physicians and educators are scheduled to lead the sessions, which will be held at the RESA 6 location on GC&P Road in Wheeling and is open to anyone in Ohio or West Virginia.

The five-session series will be held Sept. 14, Oct. 26, Nov. 16, Dec. 14 and Jan. 11. Each session will be offered from 1-2:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. to accommodate the schedules of parents and caregivers.

Leading the series will be:
Dr. Marc Ellison, Ed.D., LPC, executive director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University
Dr. Shelby Haines, Ed.D., BCBA-D, director of Special Programs, Marshall County Schools
Sheila Archer, M.A., CCC-SLP, Wheeling Hospital’s director of Speech and Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation
Dr. Judy Romano, M.D., FAAP, director of Wheeling Hospital’s Center for Pediatrics.

The first of its kind in the area, the series will address a number of topics vital to the parents and caregivers of children with ASD.
“We know that early identification is integral to the development of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder,” said Ellison. “It’s important, too, that parents of children diagnosed with ASD receive information about evidence-based strategies and effective resources, and that they connect with others to form a common community. It is our hope that this parent training series will provide for each of those needs.”

Romano said, “There are many misconceptions about what autism is and isn't. Because parents are the first teachers of their children and the experts for their child, helping them understand the diagnostic criteria is an important step.”

Parents of children diagnosed with ASD “want more information about ASD,” said Archer. “They want to know what to expect academically, socially and emotionally at age 3, 10, 15 and as young adults.”
“The partnership between Wheeling Hospital, Marshall County Schools and the West Virginia Autism Training Center will afford parents a venue for training and support necessary to make educated choices their child is entitled to so as to be able to perform at the highest level possible,” said Haines.

Dates and topics for the series are:
Sept. 14: Finding and Accessing Vital Resources (Ellison, Haines and Archer)
Oct. 26, 2017: Understanding the Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Romano)
Nov. 16: Supporting the Development of Effective Communication (Archer)
Dec. 14: The Basics of Behavior Analysis (Ellison)
Jan. 11: Positive Behavior Supports to Improve Life Quality (Haines)

Archer said, “Parents haven’t had this type of resource for a while, and we hope to offer it two or three times yearly.”
While the sessions are free, registration is required. Register by calling the Office of Special Programs, Marshall County Schools, at 304-843-4400 extension 318.

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Contact: Gregg Warren – Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing, 304-243-3260
Wheeling Hospital

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