Beyong the Classroom Temple Grandin

The Beyond the Classroom Series will include topics that encompass the exploration of individuals with Autism. Our community will engage with leading scholars, advocates, and individuals with Autism to gain access to the important information related to governmental policies, legislation and advocacy, literature, history, technology, and music to find ways to provide supportive, and promote inclusion, of people with Autism. Through this series, we seek to promote awareness and ignite a conversation between diverse populations in New Jersey.

Events will take place in several locations across Ocean County, and will feature both Free events open to the public, as well as lectures and performances that require advance ticket purchases. Series events include:

February 19, 2019: Access to the Arts for All

Access to the Arts for All
February 19, 2019 3:00 p.m.
Bishop Building, Toms River Branch of Ocean County Library
Dr. Ryan Hourigan

For Teachers, Arts Administrators, Arts Educators, Teaching Artists, Parents, School Boards, Arts Organizations

Free, Registration Required

Please contact The Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission at 732-929-4779 to Register.

About the Event

Ryan Hourigan shares the unique story that has led him to become a leading advocate for the inclusion of students with disabilities in arts education. Ryan invites the audience along on his journey from music educator and parent to advocate for change, highlighting stories of the exceptional students that have inspired his work along the way.

About Ryan Hourigan

Ryan Hourigan Beyond the Classroom
Dr. Ryan Hourigan

Ryan Hourigan (2010 Indiana Music Educators Association Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year) joined the faculty at Ball State University in the fall of 2006 after nine years of teaching music at the secondary and university level. Dr. Hourigan holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University (B.M.), Michigan State University (M.M. Wind Conducting) and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Michigan. Dr. Hourigan currently teaches music education and is the Director of the School of Music at Ball State University.

Currently in its fifth printing, Hourigan is the co-author (Alice Hammel) of Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-free Approach. This is a comprehensive text written by practicing music educators, music teacher educators and researchers in the field of teaching music to children with special needs. Hourigan and Hammel’s second book Teaching Music to Students with Autism was released in the fall 2013.

In 2009, Hourigan co-founded the Prism Project (prismprojectbsu.org). This program provides an opportunity for Ball State students to gain skills in the area of teaching students with special needs. In 2013, Dr. Hourigan, along with Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans expanded the Prism Project to the city of New Orleans and will be expanding to other cities around the United States in 2015.

Starting in 2012, Dr. Hourigan provided a series of presentations for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His workshop: Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts: Implications for Inclusive Arts Classrooms is now on the National Roster of presentations through the Kennedy Center. He has since been added to the National Speaker’s Bureau for the John F. Kennedy Center.

Dr. Hourigan has been published or is in press in most of the major music education journals. His article (along with Amy Hourigan) entitled Teaching Music to Children with Autism was the most downloaded article for the Music Educators Journal for 2012.

Cultural and HeritageThis event is in partnership with the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission

March 21, 2019: Understanding and Supporting Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Understanding and Supporting Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
March 21, 2019 6:00 p.m.
Mancini Hall, Ocean County Library – Toms River Branch
Kate Fiske, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Rutgers University

Free, Registration is Required

Register Now

About the Event

Parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents unique challenges. The symptoms of ASD, including deficits in social skills and communication and the presence of restricted, repetitive behavior, all contribute to elevated stress among parents of children with ASD (Abbeduto et al., 2004; Davis & Carter, 2008; Donovan, 1988). Further, the role of parenting a child with ASD has significant impact on the parents’ participation in the workplace and their relationships with their spouse and other children (e.g., Brobst et al., 2009; Cidav et al., 2012).

In this workshop, I will summarize the research on the impact of raising a child with ASD on the mental health and relationships of parents. Further, I will describe the emotional reactions of parents in response to their child’s early diagnosis, but also as their child ages over time. Strategies for navigating the practical and emotional challenges that arise will be provided to parents and practitioners, such as how to establish effective coping strategies and build up social support for parents. Personal anecdotes shared by parents will be offered to help illustrate their perspective on the joys and challenges of raising a child with ASD.

About Kate Fiske

Kate Fiske
Kate Fiske, Ph.D., BCBA-D Rutgers University

Kate Fiske, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and an Associate Director of Behavioral and Research Services at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center. She has worked in the field of ASD treatment for over 15 years, providing evidence-based services in skill acquisition and behavior reduction in inpatient, outpatient, and school settings. She has authored numerous chapters and journal articles on the treatment of children with ASD and their families, and is the author of the forthcoming book, Autism and the Family: Understanding and Supporting Parents and Siblings.

This event is in partnership with the Ocean County Library

April 1, 2019: Practical Considerations for High-quality Supports for Adults with ASD

Practical Considerations for High-quality Supports for Adults with ASD
April 1, 2019 6:00 p.m.
East Dover Elementary School Media Center, Toms River
Christopher J. Manente, Ph.D., BCBA Rutgers University
Moderated by Gina Zippo-Mazur, Ocean County College
Limit of 25 attendees. RSVP on a first-come, first serve basis. Please email grunincenter@ocean.edu to reserve space.

About the Event

Recent research has demonstrated that individuals with autism are likely to have far less favorable outcomes in terms of quality of life throughout adulthood as compared to individuals across other disability categories.   Despite the fact that ASD is a life-long disorder, the transition from the school-age educational system to the realm of adult services often involves a significant reduction in the availability of high quality support services.  There are many factors that contribute to the lack of availability of high-quality programs and services for adults with ASD.  Some of these factors include a lack of funding, transportation, opportunities for community-based employment & recreation, training, research, provider agencies, and highly qualified staff.  The current presentation will explore the various barriers to successful outcomes for adults with ASD and examine the model provided by the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services in addressing these barriers for adults on the spectrum with a diverse range of support needs.

About Christopher J. Manente

Christopher Manente Beyond the Classroom
Christopher J. Manente, Ph.D., BCBA Rutgers University

Christopher J. Manente Ph.D., BCBA is the founding Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS). Dr. Manente has worked to enrich the lives of people with autism across the lifespan and in various settings for over 10 years.  Prior to accepting the role of Executive Director at the RCAAS, Dr. Manente served as an Assistant Professor of Education at Caldwell University and a behavior consultant working in schools throughout NJ.  Previously, Dr. Manente served as the Senior Program Coordinator of Adult Services at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC) at Rutgers University. Dr. Manente is currently the Chair of the Adult Services Workgroup for the NJ Association for Behavior Analysis and is a strong advocate for the advancement of community-based educational, vocational, and residential opportunities for older learners with autism. He has authored articles in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored book chapters, and presented at numerous local and national conferences on a variety of topics related to supporting individuals with Autism.

About Gina Zippo-Mazur

Gina Zippo-Mazur is the Coordinator of Disability Services at Ocean County College. She received her B.S. degree from Kean University and UMDNJ in Psychology and Psychiatric Rehabilitation and her M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Rutgers University. Currently, Gina holds the credentials of a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner, and Licensed Associate Counselor working toward her professional counseling license. Gina is experienced in working with students who have a variety of disabilities by providing academic accommodations, coaching, and advisement on the Community College level.

April 2, 2019: Navigating New Jersey’s Service Systems for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities

Navigating New Jersey’s Service Systems for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities
April 2, 2019 6:00 p.m.
Mancini Hall, Ocean County Library – Toms River Branch
Jonathan Sabin, LSW

Free, Registration Required

Register Now

About the Event

A New Jersey citizen is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Her/His family looks to their state government for assistance.  Who do they turn to?  What kind of help is available?  The Departments of Health, Children and Families, Education, Human Services, Consumer Affairs and Labor and Workforce Development all provide important programs and services to people living with developmental disabilities.  Knowing which department to reach out to at what point in an individual’s life can often be confusing. This presentation and discussion will provide consumers, families, teachers, therapists and anyone else, interested in assisting people with and ASD, with information on how New Jersey’s government is designed to help people living with ASD/developmental disabilities.

About Jonathan Sabin

Jonathan Sabin Beyond the Classroom
Jonathan Sabin, LSW

Jonathan Sabin is the Director of the Office on Autism and the Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities.  Both are in the Division of Developmental Disabilities, which is part of the Department of Human Services.  His work includes promotion of knowledge regarding autism related issues and the causes of developmental disabilities such as fetal alcohol exposure, lead poisoning and other environmental teratogens.

Through the Office on Autism, Jonathan has worked with colleagues from other state departments to develop and promote a guide to services for families with a member on the autism spectrum.  The purpose of this guide, Through the Maze: A Family Guide to Navigating the New Jersey Service Systems for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities, is to assist anyone in need of ASD related services to find their way through New Jersey’s state system of programs and services for individuals with ASD.

Jonathan has experience working with individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings.  He has advocated on behalf of some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens while working in the non-profit sector as well as at the Department of Children and Families and the Office of the Child Advocate.  Jonathan received his BS from Rutgers University and his MSW from Columbia University.

This event is in partnership with the Ocean County Library

April 4, 2019: More Than A Buzz Word: Sensory Friendly Performances

More Than A Buzz Word: Sensory Friendly Performances
April 4, 2019 3:00 p.m.
Bishop Building, Toms River Branch of Ocean County Library

For Teachers, Arts Administrators, Arts Educators, Teaching Artists, Parents, School Boards, Arts Organizations

Free, Registration Required

Please contact The Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission at 732-929-4779 to Register.

About the Event

Sensory and Autism Friendly are words that have been a part of our vocabulary for several years but Presenters and Artists face challenges when developing and offering these shows to their community. Join us as we discuss best practices and further explore the possibilities of this unique offering.

  • Attendees will understand the difference between sensory and autism friendly performances.
  • Attendees will learn the basic best practice elements required to present these types of performances to their community.
  • Attendees will gain insights into effective marketing techniques to reach these audiences.

About Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer Beyond the Classroom
Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer is a teaching artist, researcher, speaker, consultant, and award-winning film producer as well as faculty in the Special Education program at Carlow University (PA) where he teaches a course on the intersection of the arts for special populations. He is also a world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit. He and his wife, Cindy, were the recipients of the Merlin Award for International Magicians of the Year (2009) and six-time recipients of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year. Most recently, the Milbourne Christopher Foundation honored them as Illusionists of the Year (2015) for their unique contributions to the art of magic.

Spencer is widely considered the leading authority on the educational and therapeutic benefits of magic tricks in education and rehabilitation. His work has taken him around the world where he has conducted professional development training for educators, interactive classroom activities for students, and continuing education workshops for rehabilitation specialists. He is a regular speaker at international education and healthcare conferences and believes in the power of the arts to bring transformative experiences to people of all abilities.

Spencer is the creator of Hocus Focus and Healing of Magic and holds a Certification in Autism Studies. His groundbreaking research has been published in the Journal of the International Association of Special Education and the Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education. And his work has been featured in Today in OT, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, Today in PT, REHAB Today, HEALTH magazine, ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, and numerous other publications. Spencer has presented research at numerous education and healthcare conferences world-wide.

Cultural and HeritageThis event is in partnership with the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission

April 6, 2019: An Afternoon of Magic & Illusion: A Sensory Friendly Performance

An Afternoon of Magic & Illusion: A Sensory Friendly Performance
April 6, 2019 11:00 a.m.
The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
Adult $12 Child $10

Get Tickets

About the Event

An Afternoon of Magic & Illusion features Kevin Spencer, an extraordinary magician, in a fun-filled show that combines storytelling, stage magic, and audience participation. This sensory-friendly, relaxed performance is designed to create an experience that is welcoming to all families with children with autism or with other developmental or intellectual disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. The performance was specifically designed to be baffling and entertaining for all members of the audience!

About Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer Beyond the Classroom
Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer is a teaching artist, researcher, speaker, consultant, and award-winning film producer as well as faculty in the Special Education program at Carlow University (PA) where he teaches a course on the intersection of the arts for special populations. He is also a world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit. He and his wife, Cindy, were the recipients of the Merlin Award for International Magicians of the Year (2009) and six-time recipients of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year. Most recently, the Milbourne Christopher Foundation honored them as Illusionists of the Year (2015) for their unique contributions to the art of magic.

Spencer is widely considered the leading authority on the educational and therapeutic benefits of magic tricks in education and rehabilitation. His work has taken him around the world where he has conducted professional development training for educators, interactive classroom activities for students, and continuing education workshops for rehabilitation specialists. He is a regular speaker at international education and healthcare conferences and believes in the power of the arts to bring transformative experiences to people of all abilities.

Spencer is the creator of Hocus Focus and Healing of Magic and holds a Certification in Autism Studies. His groundbreaking research has been published in the Journal of the International Association of Special Education and the Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education. And his work has been featured in Today in OT, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, Today in PT, REHAB Today, HEALTH magazine, ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, and numerous other publications. Spencer has presented research at numerous education and healthcare conferences world-wide.

April 6, 2019: Temple Grandin – The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s

Temple Grandin – The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s
April 6, 2019 5:00 p.m.
The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
Tickets $35

Get Tickets

About the Event

In this lecture, Dr. Grandin gets down to the REAL issues of autism, the ones parents, teachers, and individuals on the spectrum face every day. Temple offers helpful do’s and don’ts, practical strategies, and try-it-now tips, all based on her “insider” perspective and a great deal of research.

About Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin Lecture
Dr. Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes, was recently brought to the screen with the HBO full-length film Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes. Dr. Grandin is a speaker who inspires and motivates others through her story. She didn’t talk until she was three-and-a-half years old. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. Instead, Dr. Grandin developed her talents into a successful career as one of few livestock-handling equipment designers in the world. She has published multiple books on her field as well as autism.

Matus Law Group

This event is sponsored by The Matus Law Group.

OCC Foundation

Presented by the Ocean County College Foundation.

April 6, 2019: Temple Grandin: Developing Individuals Who Have Different Kinds of Minds

Temple Grandin: Developing Individuals Who Have Different Kinds of Minds
April 6, 2019 7:00 p.m.
The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
Tickets Currently Sold Out

About the Event

In this lecture, Dr. Grandin will touch audiences with her rich experience with autism spectrum disorders and her professional career.

About Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin Lecture
Dr. Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes, was recently brought to the screen with the HBO full-length film Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes. Dr. Grandin is a speaker who inspires and motivates others through her story. She didn’t talk until she was three-and-a-half years old. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. Instead, Dr. Grandin developed her talents into a successful career as one of few livestock-handling equipment designers in the world. She has published multiple books on her field as well as autism.

Matus Law Group

This event is sponsored by The Matus Law Group.

OCC Foundation

Presented by the Ocean County College Foundation.

April 7, 2019: 3rd Annual Ocean County Library Autism Resources Fair

3rd Annual Ocean County Library Autism Resources Fair
April 7, 2019 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ocean County Library – Toms River Branch

Free Event, No Registration Required

The Fair will provide a forum in which families affected by autism can access the resources of state, county, and local organizations.  Participating groups include medical professionals, therapists, advocates, schools, and other agencies.  In addition, the 2019 Fair will feature:

  • A Keynote Address by Christine Matus, Esq., of The Matus Law Group
  •  Workshop “ABA Therapy: An Overview,” by Cyndee Policastro-Smith, BCBA, of The Family Resource Network
  • Workshop “Employment Opportunities for People with Autism,” by Tara Cunningham, CEO, Specialisterne USA and Jessica Vail, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor I, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Workshop on Service Dog Law by Louise and Kim Bratnik of Canine Companions for Independence
  • The Sensory-Friendly Magic Show “Hocus Pocus” by Kevin Spencer, Educator & Artist
  • Balloon Art by Cheryl Schwendel
  • In-Person Registration for Sensory Storytimes.
  • An appearance by the Vader’s 501st Legion Star Wars Costumed Characters
  • Additional presentations on autism-related topics

Other features of the Fair include Entertainment, Therapy Dogs, Sensory Storytimes, and Drop-In Arts & Crafts.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Additional Information:  This event is being sponsored by The Ocean County Library Foundation and the Matus Law Group