Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference


Square Logo Conference 2021

In a World Where You Can Be Anything...Be Kind

Thank you to everyone who participated in the spring 2021 conference!

The next Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference is coming fall 2022.  Watch our website for details.  

Past Conference Resources


Friday, February 19, 2021
8:00am - 12:00pm
Dr. Erik Carter

A Future of Flourishing: The Postures, Practices, and People that Can Change Trajectories
Like anyone else, individuals with ASD want to experience an enviable life—during childhood and throughout adulthood. Professionals, families, and community members can each play a powerful role in supporting these aspirations to become a reality in every corner of Oklahoma. This presentation will highlight what we know about what works best for supporting inclusion, relationships, and belonging across the lifespan. Moreover, it will emphasize how the perspectives we hold, the postures we adopt, and the practices we prioritize can bend the trajectories of individuals with ASD toward a future of flourishing.
•             Attendees will be able to identify relevant indicators of flourishing for the individuals with ASD whom they support
•             Attendees will be able to explain the role that aspirations and expectations can play in shaping employment and other outcomes
•             Attendees will be able to relate key values and principles that should inform how we approach service delivery and intervention
•             Attendees will be able to describe research-based practices known to improve individual outcomes
•             Attendees will be able to identify partnerships in their community and region that can be drawn upon to enhance their work


Saturday, February 20, 2021
8:00am - 12:00pm
Dr. Shahla Ala'i

Nurturing Contingencies of Joy

The purpose of this seminar is to provide an overview of practices that nurture joy in the lives of children with autism, their families and their supporting professionals. The talk is divided into three sections. The first section explores the concept of joy and discusses the role of contingencies in understanding and changing behavior for the better. The second section focuses on the role of evidence-based practice, the need to go beyond reducing problems, and the importance of striving to preventatively and proactively foster healthy relationships at all levels. The final section provides a framework for continued progress by establishing intentional communities of practice. Communities of practice with a mission of increasing joy are likely to encourage ongoing learning, human connections and loving approaches to intervention.

This presentation is based, in part, on Alai & Zueg (2010), Three Considerations,  Alai, Toussaint & McGee (2018) Incidental Teaching: Happy Progress, Miller, ReCruz & Alai (2019) Inherent Tensions and Possibilities: Behavior Analysis and Cultural Responsiveness, Alai-Rosales, et al, (2019) The Big Four, and Alai & Heinkle-Wolfe (coming in Winter 2020) Love, Science & Autism.

At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to:
1.    To describe the conceptualizations and rationales for nurturing joyful interventions
2.    To identify practices that contribute to joyful interventions for children with autism, their families and their supporting professionals.
3.    To identify ways to continue progress and encourage ongoing learning, human connections and loving approaches to intervention.





Dr. Erik Carter

Erik Carter is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching focuses on evidence-based strategies for supporting inclusion and valued roles in work, community, school, and congregational settings for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. He has published more than 200 articles and chapters, along with 6 books. Learn more about his work at www.erikwcarter.com.





Dr. Shahla Alai

Shahla Alai received her B.S. from Southern Illinois University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. Shahla and her students collaborate with community partners to serve people who are under resourced and marginalized within current societal structures. Shahla teaches courses on technology transfer, ethics, autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, behavior change techniques, and assessment. She has published and presented research on social justice, ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, change agent training, supervision and the relationship between love and science in the treatment of autism. She coauthored a book on supervision and mentoring and another on love and science in the treatment of autism. Shahla has over four decades of experience working with families and has trained hundreds of behavior analysts.