Form and Function: The Hidden Curriculum and Executive Functioning

iStock 000014432495SmallA workshop offered in partnership by AuSM, Minnesota Life College and the University of St. Thomas

Presented by Glenis Benson, PhD

Including breakout sessions facilitated by L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, Chrissy Cleveland and Dawn Brasch

November 14, 2014
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Workshop Location

Terrence Murphy Hall
University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis Campus
1000 LaSalle Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Click here to view a pdf of the workshop brochure and manual registration form.

About this Workshop

Parents, educators, and autism professionals will learn about the hidden curriculum and executive functioning skills for young adult and transition-age individuals with mild to moderate autism spectrum disorder and other learning differences. Learn how these skills impact home, school and work environments. Discussion will include case study examples, missteps, challenges, and how to apply and resolve ongoing challenges.

The hidden curriculum and executive functioning will be introduced, defined and expanded into intermediate discussion levels of case studies. Breakout sessions will cover problem solving and challenges specific to home and school, and transition and employment. 

Breakout sessions will be led by professionals from the Autism Society of Minnesota, Minnesota Life College, and the University of St. Thomas. 

ASD Criteria Standards C2 and C4 will be addressed, and CEUs will be available for participants completing the workshop.

Workshop Objectives

  • Identify the five main areas of excecutive functioning: flexible thinking, organization, prioritizing, accessing memory, and self-regulation.
  • Identify specific strategies and resources to support skill-building in the executive processes of: attention/focus skills, emotional control, organization, working memory, and planning skills.
  • Discuss impact of the hidden curriculum and study concrete examples across multiple environments including transition and employment.
  • Learn a practical approach to understanding the hidden rules within the complex dialogs in the home, school and work environments.


About the Presenters

bensonGlenis Benson, PhD
Glenis Benson obtained her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she minored in Communication Disorders. She has supported persons with ASD for 35 years. Dr. Benson has been Senior Advisor to the Middle East for the United Nations, Director of the Autism Program for USD, and she currently teaches at both UW-Madison and UW-Oshkosh. She presents nationally and internationally, and her published works include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and a DVD. She consults to school districts, agencies and families and is a founding board member of Camp AweSum, a non-profit organization that operates both youth and family camps for persons with ASD. Dr. Benson’s private practice is based in Madison, Wis.

L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, PhD
University of St. Thomas
Dr. Stansberry Brusnahan has a PhD in Urban Education with a focus in Exceptional Education. As an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas, she coordinates the autism spectrum disorders program for the Department of Special Education.

Chrissy Cleveland
Minnesota Life College
Cleveland served as the Autism Specialist at Minnesota Life College for eight years before being recently promoted to Undergraduate Coordinator - Advisory. She currently is pursuing her Masters in Special Education from the University of St. Thomas. 

Dawn Brasch
Autism Society of Minnesota
Brasch is the Senior Director of Operations and Finance, and a Training and Education Specialist at AuSM. Formerly a special education paraprofessional in Independent District #112 schools, Brasch currently focuses on managing AuSM’s operations and training. 


Exercise is the Gateway to Build Fitness, Self-Esteem and Relationships

CoachDaveweb2015Presented by 
David S. Geslak, BS, ACSM-HFS, CSCS

January 23, 2015
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


About this Workshop

Coach Dave will teach you the structure, visual strategies and protocol to implement an effective autism exercise program. Whether you are a parent or professional you will leave with exercises and routines that can be immediately implemented in your home, center or classroom. Be ready to move and you will leave with the tools to transform lives.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Identify the Five Components of Physical Fitness for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders©
  • Understand the importance of visual exercise supports used in a school, therapeutic setting or home with individuals or in a small group.
  • Learned structured exercise routines to help improve cardiovascular endurance and to reduce weight gain.
  • Design two exercise stations using masking tape (Ladder and Letter Jumping).
  • Teach a child with autism the Crossover March, Superman, and Wall Sit.
  • Understand your role in leading an individual with autism to a physically active lifestyle.

About the Presenter

Founder and president of Exercise Connection,Coach Dave has become widely recognized in the autism community for his aᴀection to the community, dynamic presentations and for the pioneering of structured visual exercise programs. He has trained parents and professionals throughout the world on the Exercise Connection protocol, authored three books, hosts a TV show, “Coach Dave,” on The Autism Channel, and provides jobs for individuals with autism through his Champion Program. The autism and special needs community has enthusiastically embraced Dave’s message and is especially encouraged by his results.


20th Annual State Autism Conference

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AuSM Cancellation Policy

Notification of cancellation: If a workshop is cancelled or postponed, AuSM will attempt to notify you via phone, using the phone number provided with your registration. We also will post notice of cancellations and postponements on

Cancellation by registrant: Refunds less a $10 processing fee will be given for cancellations received in writing to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  seven business days prior to the start of the workshop. Following this date, no refunds will be given. Requests for transfer of registration to another individual will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Cancellation by program organizer: AuSM reserves the right to cancel a workshop due to low registrations or other circumstances that make the workshop non-viable. If AuSM cancels a workshop, registrants will be offered a full refund. If the workshop is postponed, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer registration to the same workshop at the new, future date.