TAMIU Hosts Autism Workshop Saturday, April 24
Posted: 04/22/2010

Free Autism Workshop
at TAMIU Saturday

Texas A&M International University’s Communication Disorders Clinic and the National Student Speech Language & Hearing Association (NSSLHA) will host an autism workshop Saturday, April 24 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Bob Bullock Hall, room 101.

This workshop is free and open to the public.

A walk was held earlier this month to raise awareness about autism and the upcoming workshop.

Developmental pediatrician Dr. Patricia Harkins and speech language pathologist Sheila Shwiff are the featured presenters.

Dr. Harkins practices in San Antonio and specializes in autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and learning disabilities. Her son, Brian, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 1996, a time when few had heard of the disorder, including Dr. Harking. Her daughter was then diagnosed with ADHD and Dysgraphia (learning disability in writing). She experiences both the parents’ and the clinician’s roles in the lives of children with disabilities. Dr. Harkins is one of 520 Board Certified Developmental Pediatricians in the country.

“Autism 101 and Learning Styles,” presented by Dr. Harkins, is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The second session, “Social Thinking,” will be presented by Shwiff from 1 – 4 p.m.

Shwiff received a B.S. from Texas Women's University in 1970 and a master’s in communication sciences and disorders in 1993. She was awarded a certificate of clinical competence in 1994 and has 37 years as a school based speech-language pathologist.

She joined Stone Oak Therapy Services (a pediatric clinic providing speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy) in 2008. For the past 15 years, she has had a special interest in children functioning at the higher level of autism spectrum disorders. She attended the mentor program at Michelle Garcia Winter's Social Thinking Clinic in 2007 and has recently completed an internship at the clinic in March of 2010.

“Social Thinking” applies to children with high functioning autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, language/learning disorders and social-emotional difficulties.

For more information, contact Melissa Garcia, TAMIU assistant professor, College of Education, at 326.3139 or e-mail mpgarcia@tamiu.edu

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu