In-Person Event

Autism Strategies/Neurodiversity Affirming Practices & Making Sense of Sensory

Autism Strategies/Neurodiversity Affirming Practices andMaking Sense of SensoryDateSaturday, September 14 | 8:00 am - 3:30 pmLocationIowa Methodist Me

Autism Strategies/Neurodiversity Affirming Practices and

Making Sense of Sensory


Saturday, September 14 | 8:00 am - 3:30 pm


Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Education and Research Center

Virginia Thompson Auditorium

1415 Woodland Ave

Des Moines, IA 50309

If you are using GPS, make sure you chose Des Moines and not West Des Moines

*The ERC is located on Level 1 of the Iowa Methodist Medical Center parking garage on the west side of the campus

*Park in parking garage and take southeast elevators to Level 1

*Traffic can be very busy in the mornings in this area, so we suggest leaving early/giving yourself plenty of time to reach the conference venue.

*Conference center is large and temperature control can be difficult. We recommend dressing in layers or bringing a sweater/jacket for your comfort.

Intended Audience

Speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers and educators.


To enable the learner to apply evidence-based information to the care of autistic and/or neurodivergent patients.


Cari Ebert, MS, CCC-SLP, is a pediatric speech-language pathologist in private practice in the Kansas City, Missouri area. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1993 and her master’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1995. Cari is a therapist, consultant, author, product developer, and nationally recognized speaker who gets paid to do what she loves most—TALK! She has an animated personality, and this translates to a high-energy speaking style. Cari has an Autistic son, allowing her to engage audiences both as a professional and as a parent of a neurodivergent child.

Cari Ebert.JPG Cari Fun.jpg

Course Description

This course combines the two of the presenter’s most popular seminars. Part one provides an overview of how to provide strengths-based, neurodiversity-affirming services to Autistic children and their families. The strategies and goals addressed in this course are not focused on establishing compliance or fixing deficits identified on standardized tests, but rather on supporting regulation, connection, communication, and self-advocacy to help Autistic children learn, grow, and thrive as their authentic selves. Part two is an overview of the external and internal sensory systems along with observable characteristics of sensory dysregulation. Understanding that sensory input drives motor and behavioral output provides the foundation for this course. The way young children take in, process, and respond to sensory information significantly affects the way they learn, develop, and behave. While occupational therapists are the professionals who specialize in sensory integration therapy.


These courses are designed for all pediatric providers to better understand how to support children with sensory differences.


1. Describe the differences in how Autistic children develop and learn using neurodiversity-affirming language.

2. Summarize the racial and gender disparities in diagnosing Autism.

3. Explain how the medical model of disability promotes ableism.

4. Formulate neurodiversity-affirming therapy goals.

5. List and describe the 5 external sensory systems and the 3 internal sensory systems.

6. Explain how unmet sensory needs can contribute to challenging behavior.

7. Summarize how to create sensory-rich learning opportunities to support young children with sensory differences.

Continuing Education


Deadline to register is Thursday, September 6.


Please contact Ann Petersen at with any questions or concerns.

Event Location