National Conference5 - 6 May 2016,
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Important Dates

10 December 2015
Abstract submission closes
midnight (AEDT)

10 February 2016
Author notification

31 March 2016
Early Bird Registration Deadline

4 May 2016

5 – 6 May 2016
Conference dates

Expression of Interest

Conference app: Scan the QR code or look for Autism16 in the app/play store!

Half-Day Workshops

The masterclasses will be held on Wednesday 4 May 2016 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and are open to everyone. For information on prices and how to make a booking, please visit the registration page.

Wednesday 4 May 2016
9.30am – 12:30pm Aspect Masterclass:
ipads for teaching and learning
Craig Smith and Heath Wild
Aspect Masterclass:
PBS for schools
Tom Tutton and Caitlin Mangan
2pm-5pm International Masterclass:
Just Give Him the Whale
Patrick Schwarz
Aspect Masterclass:
Managing Sensory Needs for Successful Learning
Caroline Mills

ipads for teaching and learning

Craig Smith and Heath Wild

Participants will be provided with iPads loaned by Apple to enable each person to engage with hands on learning.

Students on the spectrum require a dedicated educational experience that caters to the wide range of communication, behavioural, emotional and academic needs they experience daily. With the introduction of the iPad, many educators of students on the spectrum have discovered an incredibly powerful tool to assist in accommodating these evolving educational needs. In this unique workshop specially tailored for the Autism In Education conference, Craig Smith, an Aspect Practice Specialist and an Apple Distinguished Educator, and Heath Wild, Aspect Hunter School Coordinator, will showcase a range of creative iPad classroom workflows, behavioural interventions and innovative accessibility features that will change the way you approach using the iPad in the education of children and young people on the spectrum. Brand new educational resources related to coding and maker spaces will be utilised in this workshop, including Sphero, MaKey MaKey and Little Bits.

Craig-SmithCraig Smith

Craig works as an Aspect Hunter School coordinator, an Aspect Practice Specialist and an Apple Distinguished Educator. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle and has presented at national and international research conferences including the Asia Pacific Autism Conference and National Boys’ Education Conference, specialising on autism pedagogy and technology. Craig was one of 30 Australian educators selected for the ‘2015 Hot List’ of inspiring teachers and has been selected to present on accessibility and disability initiatives at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in December 2015. He has authored a number of popular educational texts including ‘The iPad Model Classroom’ and the best selling ‘Minecraft In Your Classroom’, co-authored with Heath Wild.

Heath Wild

B.Teaching/B.Arts (Primary/Special Education):B.Communications & Media Arts/B.Arts

Heath has worked in Special Education for 9 years, the majority of that time spent working with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). Having worked with students from the ages of three to fifteen he has been able to gain an appreciation and understanding of the variety of needs that students on the autism spectrum have. Heath likes to create and facilitate learning experiences that are engaging and meaningful for students, drawing upon the creative arts, gaming, and student wellbeing to shape his pedagogy and utilising the accessibility of technology to meet students in the place where they are best able to make progress in the learning and awareness.

PBS for schools

Dr Tom Tutton and Caitlin Mangan

  • We will review the theory that explains why challenging behaviour occurs in the context of our understanding of autism and neurodiversity. This research includes the interactions between a person on the spectrum, their environments, the people in those environments, their attitudes and beliefs, the culture they live in and the history of these interactions.
  • We will use this model to highlight key components of an evidence based whole school approach to Autism and Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) and how to individualise supports to students on the spectrum using Aspect’s Comprehensive Approach to Education.
  • We will teach practical skills that will enable participants to implement key strategies in a school setting. These include: using positive behavioural expectations, developing autism friendly school environments, good classroom practice, completing a functional behavioural assessment and designing a multi-element intervention, support for school staff and work in complex situations.
  • We will give practical resources that participants can take away and continue to use in their school settings

Tom-TuttonDr Tom Tutton

Doctor of Clinical Psychology D.Clin.Psych. (University of Southampton, UK)

Dr Tutton has worked for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) since 2006. Tom is National Manager, Aspect Practice and Clinical Lead for PBS. Tom also supports all Aspect staff to maintain good practice PBS as part of their service delivery, developing policy and practice, writing, training and constantly linking the international research with Aspect’s evidence based practice.

Caitlin Mangan

Bachelor of Science (Cell Biology and Physiology),
Graduate Diploma Arts,
Graduate Diploma Education

Caitlin has worked at Aspect for more than 2 years, within the Positive Behaviour Support(PBS) team. Shen is currently the Service Coordinator PBS for Metropolitan Melbourne.

Caitlin has facilitated PBS workshops as well as Aspect regional and metropolitan Support and Advisory panels. Caitlin has worked directly with families and carers, liaised with a range of workplace and educational facilities in both Government and Non-government sectors and worked with direct to program referral clients referred through the DHS or other non-governmental agencies.

Caitlin has worked previously as a Secondary School Science and English teacher with experience in student transition programs and Individual Learning Plans. Caitlin has delivered a range of educational programmes including inclusiveness education to students of differing abilities and backgrounds. She has also and worked with students on personal development programs including VCAL. Caitlin has experience managing student learning difficulties and integrating students with behavioural issues and disabilities into a mainstream classroom. Caitlin has also delivered professional development to teachers and participated in teacher education.

Prior to teaching Caitlin worked in medical research and University administration.

Just Give Him the Whale

Patrick Schwarz

Considering the fascinations, passions and interest areas of learners, powerful new ways of viewing these areas as positive teaching tools that calm, motivate and improve learning will be illustrated. Using authentic student examples, participants will discover how to make the most of fascinations, passions and interest areas to help learners they support. Areas included will be learning standards-based academic content, developing social connections, minimizing anxiety, boosting literacy learning and mathematics skills, expanding communication skills and much more!

Patrick SchwarzPatrick Schwarz

Dr. Patrick Schwarz is a dynamic and engaging professor, author, motivational speaker and leader in Education (Inclusive Education, Special Education, General Education, Educational Leadership) and Human Services. He is a professor at National-Louis University, Chicago. Patrick’s company is Creative Culture Consulting LLC. He is the author of From Disability to Possibility, You’re Welcome (with Paula Kluth), Just Give Him the Whale (with Paula Kluth) and Pedro’s Whale (with Paula Kluth). His new book is From Possibility to Success.

Managing Sensory Needs for Successful Learning

Caroline Mills

This workshop combines practical strategies with the latest research evidence in sensory processing for students with autism.

Workshop Outcomes

  • Participants will learn about the latest research and evidence in relation to sensory processing and autism and how this affects learning and behaviour in the classroom
  • Participants will learn about how to identify different sensory styles and how these might impact students with autism in the classroom.
  • Participants will learn about the Sensory Activity Schedule framework and how to follow the steps to implement this in the classroom.
  • Participants will learn practical strategies for managing sensory issues in the classroom for students with autism. 

Caroline-MillsCaroline Mills

Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy); Master of Applied Linguistics; PhD (C)

Caroline graduated from Occupational Therapy at The University of Sydney in 2003. Caroline has worked as a Children’s Occupational Therapist in Australia, China, England and Wales in government and non-government organisations within health and education settings. In 2008, Caroline was selected by AusAID as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development and relocated to China to work as the first Occupational Therapist in the Shenzhen Autism Society. Caroline has been a School Occupational Therapist at Aspect Vern Barnett School since October 2009. She has also worked as a Behaviour Support Specialist within Aspect’s Positive Behaviour Support Team. Caroline is currently a member of Occupational Therapy Australia’s national paediatric steering committee which is committed to guiding best practice in occupational therapy for children in Australia. 

Caroline holds a Master of Applied Linguistics from Macquarie University and is currently a PhD Candidate in Occupational Therapy at The University of Sydney. Caroline’s PhD research involves evaluating the effectiveness of sensory processing intervention in the classroom for students on the autism spectrum. In 2013, Caroline was awarded the Aspect Elizabeth Hoyles Fellowship for her research into sensory processing and autism. Caroline has presented papers on research and practice issues in autism at numerous Australian and International Conferences including Australian OT, World OT and the Asia Pacific Autism Conference. Caroline has a particular interest in working with children with autism and co-occurring intellectual disabilities.