PEAK Virginia Autism Conference

MaY 4-5, 2017

Featuring Scott Bellini, Ph.D., & Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D

“Building Social Relationships through Evidence-Based Social Skills Programming for Youth with Autism Spectrum disorder"

MaY 4TH, 2017 - Scott Bellini, Ph.D.

 The workshop will provide an overview of the Building Social Relationships (BSR) program, a social skills instructional model developed by Dr. Bellini.  Too often social skills interventions are designed merely as a reaction to problem behaviors.  This often results in parents and practitioners “chasing” problem behaviors while failing to systematically teach social skills.  Many youth on the autism spectrum struggle to build and maintain social relationships which can lead to peer failure, rejection, bullying, social anxiety, social isolation and depression.  The workshop integrates research on social-emotional functioning with effective strategies for teaching social skills to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The BSR program provides a systematic and comprehensive framework to guide parents and practitioners in the development and implementation of social skills programming by addressing both social cognitive processing and social skill performance.  This presentation has high impact strategies that you can use in your classroom, practice or home immediately!

Learning Objectives for Participants

  • Identify the characteristics of social and emotional functioning 
  • Describe the relationship between social skill deficits and social anxiety 
  • Demonstrate skills necessary to assess social functioning 
  • Compare skill acquisition versus performance deficits 
  • Describe evidence based social skill strategies 
  • Demonstrate skills necessary to implement social skills strategies 

Speaker Bio

Scott Bellini, PhD is the Director of the Social Skills Research Clinic (SSRC), a university based center specializing in developing and empirically examining the outcomes of social skill interventions for youth with ASD. He is also a faculty member in the School Psychology program at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of Indiana and an endorsed Health Services Provider in Psychology. He is currently conducting research on professional development outcomes for educators, anxiety disorders, and social skill interventions, including video modeling for youth with ASD. He has published numerous research manuscripts and has provided consultation and training to families and professionals in over 35 states on the topic of social skills programming for students with ASD. He is the author of the book, Building Social Relationships, which was named the Literary Work of the Year by the Autism Society of America.

“Strategies for Supporting Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who Engage in Problematic Behaviors”

MaY 5TH, 2017 - Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Challenging behaviors are frequently the primary obstacle in supporting students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Effective behavioral support requires highly individualized practices that address the primary areas of difficulty in social understanding and interactions, pragmatic communication, managing anxiety, preferences for sameness and rules and ritualistic behaviors.  This informative and entertaining presentation will focus on practical strategies that can be implemented in a range of settings that utilize the technology associated with applied behavior analysis (ABA) and positive behavior support that can be implemented immediately in your classroom, practice or home.

Learning Objectives for Participants:

In this session, participants will gain tools and knowledge in:

  • Identifying crisis situations
  • Analyzing problematic behaviors to determine underlying causes, including antecedents, setting, events, and functions
  • Describing and teaching alternative behaviors
  • Formulating a behavior support plan
  • Applying strategies for achieving long term behavior change
  • Analyzing techniques for teaching alternative behaviors.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D, is the Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism located at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana’s University Center for Excellence in Disabilities.. Dr. Pratt coordinates the Autism Special Interest Group (SIG) through the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD).  Dr. Pratt serves on numerous Advisory Boards, including the Advisory Boards of Maap Services, Inc., the Temple Grandin/Eustacia Cutler Autism Fund and the College Internship Program.  In the past, she served on the Board of the national Autism Society and is the Past Chair.  Dr. Pratt also serves on the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society.  In addition, she is a member of the National Autism Leadership Collaboration.  She also served as a member of the expert working group on services and as a member of the public review committee for the Research Roadmap of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and in 2010 was invited to the White House to provide feedback on the president’s initiatives on autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Pratt has been honored by the Autism Society with the Individual Achievement Award, with the Princeton Fellowship Award, and with various awards through NYFAC (New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc.), including recognition from the United States House of Representatives. Dr. Pratt was awarded with the Distinguished Service Award by the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education.


  • One Day (5/4 or 5/5)  -   $165
  • Two Day (5/4 & 5/5)  -   $225

* Participants may also register for graduate credits online or at the conference. Cost is $250/credit and 1-3 credits are available.

Professional development opportunities - click here

Virginia Educators must obtain 180 professional development hours every 5 years to renew their license.  Two options to earn hours are (1) attending a professional conference (up to 40 professional development points) and (2) earning graduate credit (up to 90 professional development points).  

Professional Development Offered:

  • Graduate Credit
  • ASHA - Speech & Language
  • APA - Psychology
  • ASWB - Social Worker
  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses

Click on the link above for details.


  •     7:00 - 8:00 AM        Registration
  •     8:00 - 9:30 AM        Speaker
  •     9:30 - 9:45 AM        Break
  •     9:45 - 11:15 AM      Speaker
  •     11:15 - 12:15 PM    Lunch (on your own)  
  •     12:15 - 1:45 PM      Speaker
  •     1:45 - 2:00 PM        Break
  •     2:00 - 3:30 PM        Speaker


Conference Location

Embassy Suites, 8100 Loisdale Rd, Springfield, VA22150, 571-339-2000

A courtesy block of rooms is available at the Embassy Suites.  Please use Group Code PC2 or the following link.