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Home » OAR’s Spring Webinar Series Starts March 20

OAR’s Spring Webinar Series Starts March 20

OAR’s Spring Webinar Series Starts March 20

Join OAR and a series of expert presenters to learn evidence-based strategies to help nurture a positive school culture and teach practical skills that lead to greater independence. Together, let’s help autistic students unlock a greater sense of happiness, independence, and sense of belonging. If you are a teacher, parent, or autistic individual, do not miss this enlightening and informative webinar series.

The webinars are free and include Q&A sessions with the presenters. If you are unable to attend a live event, you can access a recording of each webinar one week after the live event date.

Practical Ways to Integrate Wellbeing into Special Education for Teachers and Students

March 20, 2024 at 2:00 PM EST

Presenters: Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, Katie Curran, MAPP, and Jamie Evanko, MS

Register today!

Educators are the backbone of our educational system and championing their wellbeing is imperative to assuring special education students achieve a high-quality life. Additionally, within the special education classroom, autistic students’ mental health crisis continues to require immediate support and resources. Come celebrate the International Day of Happiness with us as we explore immediately applicable ideas and ready-made materials for educators to implement for themselves and their students.

Patricia Wright’s commitment to ensuring all individuals with autism have access to effective services and support has guided her work for more than 30 years, from her earliest responsibilities as a special educator to state and national-level program management. Specific examples of her advocacy include managing the design of a statewide system of support for children with autism for the state of Hawaii, several years as the national director of autism services for Easter Seals, industry positions leveraging technology, and her current role as the executive director at Proof Positive spreading the science and skills of happiness.


Katie Curran is the chief wellbeing officer of Proof Positive, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading the science and skills of happiness for individuals with autism, and their families, educators, and service providers. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience working with autistic individuals. She’s widely recognized as a creative force when it comes to autism intervention, developing strategies and tools that fuse positive psychology with applied behavior analysis to improve wellbeing.


For Jamie Evanko, the science of happiness extends well beyond the classroom’s walls. She first discovered the potential of positive psychology to benefit her students, teams, and personal life while teaching, and it quickly became a passion. As an educator, she knows positive psychology practices can foster not only academic growth but also emotional wellbeing among her students because she’s experienced and implemented it first-hand. As Proof Positive’s manager of customer success, she applies her expertise and leadership in education to ensure anyone using Proof Positive resources has the highest-quality implementation support.



Making Math Meaningful for Autistic Students

April 17, 2024 at 2:00 PM EST

Presenter: Jenny Root, Ph.D., BCBA

Register today!

This webinar will describe a framework for supporting autistic students to gain meaningful math skills that will increase their independence at school, home, and in the community. This approach can be used by teachers, therapists, and families to support school-age and adult autistic students with a wide range of support needs. Participants will learn evidence-based, practical strategies that can be used immediately.

Jenny Root is an associate professor at Florida State University who teaches courses on differentiating instruction, access to the general curriculum, and transitions for students with disabilities. Her extensive research background has focused on instructional ways to encourage academic learning for students with autism and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Root received applied research grant recipient funding from OAR in 2018 to investigate how augmented reality can be utilized to teach math and social problem-solving skills to transition-age youth. This study, along with many others, are projects led by Dr. Root with Florida State faculty and students. As a SCOAR member, she hopes to “contribute to discussions about identifying and addressing systemic ableism that may be unconsciously impacting the research, education, and treatment of individuals with autism.”


Building Connection and Community in Middle and High School Settings

May 2, 2024 at 11:00 AM EST

Presenters: Kara Hume, Ph.D., and Victoria Waters, M.Ed.

Register today!

School connectedness is linked to positive and meaningful outcomes for middle and high school students. In this webinar, the presenters will share both personal perspectives on navigating these settings and evidence-based practices that can be used to enhance connections and community building and support priority outcomes for students. They will share easily accessible online resources and personal, classroom, and school-based examples.

Kara Hume is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Hume has worked with and learned from autistic children and young adults for almost 35 years in a variety of capacities, including as a home program therapist, teacher, trainer, consultant, fitness coach, and researcher. She serves as principal investigator and co-principal investigator on several studies with children, adolescents, and adults on the autism spectrum. Her research focuses on increasing access for individuals with developmental disabilities to high-quality community-based supports.


Victoria Waters is an educational consultant at the University of North Carolina’s FPG Child Development Institute, She has over 10 years of experience in autism and developmental disabilities and over 20 in early childhood intervention. She coordinates autism projects and develops evidence-based practice modules and resources for autistic learners. She also works at STEMIE, a center dedicated to cultivating STEM learning for young children with and without disabilities, developing resources and outreach content.



About OAR’s Webinar Program

OAR offers live webinar events for autistic individuals and stakeholders. To suggest future webinar event topics or provide general feedback on OAR’s webinar program, please contact us at webinar@

The post OAR’s Spring Webinar Series Starts March 20 first appeared on Organization for Autism Research.

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