Halifax, NS – March 29 & 30, 2019



Hotel Halifax, 1990 Barrington Street, Scotia Square, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Learn practical skills that can be immediately implemented into existing curriculum and training programs, at home or in school!


Friday, March 29

Ruth Aspy

Positive Strategies for Supporting Self-Regulation

Saturday, March 30

Carol Burmeister

Strengthen Executive Function Skills to Decrease Negative Behaviors and Build Positive Behaviors

Conference Description

Friday, March 29

Ruth Aspy

Positive Strategies for Supporting Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is where successful functioning and independence starts. There is no way to get there without it.

Self-regulation is defined in many ways:

• The ability to control one’s own behavior.
• The ability for the mind to organize itself.
• The ability to modulate emotions – to soothe oneself when distressed or to express or suppress certain feelings.
• The ability to adapt to new people and new situations.
• The ability to match arousal level to the task or situation.
• The ability to set a goal and adjust behavior to reach that goal. • The ability to deal with frustration.

ASD presents some challenges to developing self-regulation skills – sensory differences, difficulty with flexibility and change, difficulty modulating emotions, and challenges understanding the social world.

This presentation provides information on how to identify when characteristics of ASD are interfering with self-regulation. A range of strategies for supporting regulation and building self-regulation skills will be discussed.

Ruth Aspy, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist. She is co-creator of the Ziggurat Model and author of the following books: Designing Comprehensive Interventions for High-Functioning Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Ziggurat Model, High-Functioning Autism and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Reducing Meltdowns, and FBA to Z: Functional Behavior and Intervention Plans for Individuals with ASD.

Dr. Aspy also specializes in transdisciplinary evaluation of ASD. She speaks and consults internationally. Dr. Aspy is currently Director of Programming at Common Threads Family Resource Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Saturday, March 30

Carol Burmeister

Strengthen Executive Function Skills to Decrease Negative Behaviors and Build Positive Behaviors

Many individuals struggle in academic and social settings due to executive function (EF) challenges — the ability to switch between topics and activities, initiate action, cope with change, make choices, plan and organize, manage time, inhibit impulses, regulate emotions, and solve problems. Often these individuals are seen as unmotivated or behaviorally challenged. It may seem as though an individual could meet expectations if he wanted to, but doesn’t do so because he simply won’t. However, the reality is that he lacks the skills to do what is expected and, therefore, cannot meet expectations without support.

Fortunately, there are numerous evidence-based practices that can be incorporated into preschool through high school classrooms, home, community, and work routines that develop EF skills and provide a foundation for building positive behavior that supports individuals in all environments. Furthermore, individuals with EF challenges can be taught to use the strategies independently, leading to self-regulation and sustainable improvements.

This conference is designed for teachers, educational assistants, parents, related service providers, and other professionals who work with and support children and adolescents with executive function challenges. Using lecture, demonstration, discussion, and video clips, the presenter will introduce participants to a variety of strategies that can be used immediately by parents, educators, professionals, and individuals with autism themselves to achieve greater levels of success.

Carol Burmeister, M.A., has a life-long passion for supporting individuals with special needs, their families, and the schools and community settings that serve them. Her professional experience includes serving as a paraeducator, general education teacher, special educator, program specialist, university instructor, and consultant across a variety of educational settings. Burmeister has presented extensively on autism and related disorders as well as served as part of the University of California, Riverside committee that developed and implemented a certificate program for teachers of students with autism. She currently serves on the board of the Autism Society of the Inland Empire.

Armed with the knowledge that evidence-based interventions for children and youth with ASD are the basis on which effective educational programs are built, Burmeister served as a reviewer of the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder’s update on evidence-based practices. For the past several years, her work has focused on the crucial topic of executive function (EF), helping parents as well as educational professionals understand the complexity of social, academic, and behavioral challenges that accompany executive function deficits and practical tools that support EF across all environments. Burmeister has presented at regional, national, and international conferences and has authored several articles on this topic. In addition, she is co-author, with Dr. Sheri Wilkins, of the book, FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills.

Tentative Daily Schedule

Friday, March 29

Registration 7:30 am – 8:45 am
Opening Remarks 8:45 am – 9:00 am
Ruth Aspy
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Refreshment Break 10:30 am – 10:45 am
Ruth Aspy 10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch on Own 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Ruth Aspy 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm
Refreshment Break 2:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Ruth Aspy 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Saturday, March 30

Registration 8:00 am – 8:45 am
Opening Remarks 8:45 am – 9:00 am
Carol Burmeister 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Refreshment Break 10:30 am – 10:45 am
Carol Burmeister 10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch on Own 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Carol Burmeister 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm
Refreshment Break 2:30 pm – 2:45pm
Carol Burmeister 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm




Professional Rates

BEFORE March 15, 2019 AFTER March 15, 2019
2 Days
$315.00 $47.25 HST = $362.25 $345.00 $51.75 HST = $396.75
1 Day Only $240.00 $36.00 HST = $276.00 $270.00 $40.50 HST = $310.50

Parent/Para-Professional Rates

BEFORE March 15, 2019 AFTER March 15, 2019
2 Days $275.00 $41.25 HST = $316.25 $305.00 $51.75 HST = $350.75
1 Day Only
$165.00 $24.75 HST = $189.75 $195.00 $29.25 HST = $224.25

Registration Includes

Sessions, session materials, refreshment breaks. If you do not receive a confirmation 7 business days prior to the conference please contact Autism Awareness Centre. Registrations received after the deadline may not be sent a confirmation before the conference.

General Information

Conference Location

Hotel Halifax
1990 Barrington Street, Scotia Square
Halifax, NS
B3J 1P2

Standard Single Room – $139 per night

*Please note additional costs for triple and quad occupancy may apply.

Hotel room rates are subject to applicable taxes and fees in effect at the time of check in (currently 15% HST and 2% Halifax Regional Municipality Marketing Levy).

Reservations for hotel rooms can be made directly with reservations at (902) 425-6700 or by using the link below. Reservations must be received on or before Wednesday, February 27, 2019 in order to receive this room rate.

Book your group rate for Autism Awareness Centre, Inc.

Certificates of Course Completion

Delegates will receive a certificate of course completion for 6 hours of training for each day of the conference.

Dress Code

Dress is business casual. Delegates are reminded that the room may be chilly at times and are encouraged to wear a sweater.

Meals, Refreshment Breaks

Delegates are on their own for lunch. Refreshment breaks will be served in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be in writing and received prior to March 15, 2019. There will be a $50 administration fee applied to all cancellations until March 15, 2019. No refunds will be given after March 15, 2019 for any reason such as inclement weather, illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.  You may substitute someone in your place.


Off-site parking, fee: $4 CAD hourly
On-site parking, fee: $24 CAD daily
Valet parking, fee: $29 CAD daily


The Autism Awareness Centre Bookstore will be open throughout the conference.



Download the Halifax Conference Flyer »


Download the Halifax Conference Brochure »

Autism Awareness Centre Inc.

To Register by Phone or Email
Or For Books and Resources:

Maureen Bennie:

Phone: 403-640-2710
Toll Free: 1-866-724-2224

To Display a Product or Service at an AACI Event

Maureen Bennie:

Phone: 403-640-2710

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