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Kathy Morris

Prevention, Intervention, Post-Vention: What to do After the Meltdown - Part 1
Kathy Morris

Date:  1/8/2013, 3:30pm Eastern

Many students with ASD exhibit interfering behaviors to effectively and efficiently navigate their environment. These interfering behaviors should not be confused with the primary characteristic, unusual patterns of behavior, used to identify students with ASD. Screaming, throwing or hitting are not due to having ASD! Oftentimes, the term “meltdown” is used to describe a temporary event that appears to come “out of nowhere”. The meltdown appears as a moment where the person has lost control of their ability to cope or regulate their behavior. Difficulty regulating during the peak of a meltdown is usually due to a series of unfortunate events that happened throughout the day, and the fifth unfortunate event was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back.’ This presentation is the first part to the two-part series on management strategies for after the meltdown. Kathy Morris will discuss practical strategies to use throughout the meltdown cycle. Morris will explain preventative techniques and intervention strategies to teach coping skills to the student with ASD prior to the meltdown.

Kathy Kaluza Morris is the founder of igivuWings, a consulting company for autism spectrum and behavior disorders. She has been a special educator for 40 years, including a speech therapist and teacher in self-contained classes for students with emotional disturbances, autism, and cerebral palsy. She also taught resource and a first grade class.

She was a diagnostician and supervisor before becoming a consultant for behavior, autism, LIFE Skills, and assistive technology at an education service center in Texas. She started her own consulting firm when she started on her doctorate in educational psychology, specializing in autism and behavior. As an adjunct professor, she teaches a course in applied behavior analysis for teachers.

A frequent guest speaker for a local TV program, Kathy was honored as Outstanding Educator for Children with Disabilities in 1997. She was also selected as a delegate for the President's Commission on Special Education in 2002. Kathy has presented internationally as well as nationally. She has also been a keynote speaker at state and national conferences. Her favorite topic is her family. Kathy's husband, Guy, is also a specialist in behavior. Their oldest son, Guy, is a gifted speaker and has presented with her at conferences. Their twin teenage sons, Kirk and Drew, have Fragile X Syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Kirk also has cerebral palsy. No amount of education and experience prepared them for having children of their own with disabilities. Guy and Kathy's family "walks the walk as well as talks the talk."