“Just Give Him the Whale”: Using Passions, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism

“Just Give Him the Whale”: Using Passions, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism
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Do you know someone who loves whales? Or ceiling fans? Or elevators? Most of us do know learners with specific interests. Often, however, these favorites of students with autism are not celebrated but seen as annoying, problematic or in need of “extinction”. In this presentation, Dr. Kluth will explore alternative perspectives and will focus specifically on how they can serve as supports, teaching tools, inspirations, and hobbies. Participants will learn how honoring fascinations and using them as tools can help teachers calm, comfort, teach, inspire, and connect with their students with autism labels. Some of the topics to be covered in this session include using interests to teach standards-based academic content, nurture social connections, minimize anxiety, and expand communication opportunities and skills.

Course Outline

  • understanding special interests 45 min
  • research & person-first accounts 45 min
  • break (15 min)
  • examples (e.g., curriculum & instruction, social needs) 60 min
  • conclusions/questions (15 min)

Course Objectives

On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • learn information about the types of fascinations commonly seen in learners with autism
  • explore how to use fascinations as a tool in planning curriculum and instruction
  • explore how to use fascinations to calm & comfort students
  • explore how to use fascinations to inspire & motivate students
  • examine a planning tool that can be used to catalog strengths, abilities, and fascinations

Who Can Benefit?

Administrators, special and general educators, family members, family educators, paraprofessionals, therapists, psychologist, speech language pathologist (SLP), social worker

Providers Terms
  1. Please note that registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis and course fees must be paid prior to closing date to reserve a place.
  2. Payment of fees is not a guarantee for the event to be staged as planned. Should the event be cancelled for any reason, a full refund will be made to all registered participants and no other claims are allowed. The organiser disclaims responsibility should any change in the event occur for any reason.
  3. Participants to the course are not allowed to split registration for different persons.
  4. For 1 full day seminar, only one set of meal entitlement per day shall be given to the registered participants. For half day seminar, only coffee and tea will be provided.
  5. Food served will be “no pork and no lard”.
  6. No refund of fees for participant cancellations including medical leave but substitutions are allowed with written request to organizer at least two working days before the course commences.
  7. Registration will be taken as confirmed upon receipt of payment or issuance of invoice. Any cancellation will not be allowed. However, substitutions are allowed with written request to organizer at least two working days before the course commences. Please note that registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Payment must be received by due date, before attendance of training.
  8. All information provided in this form is accurate up to the closing date of normal registration
Early Bird$200Closed
Course Fee$230Select


Early BirdClosedCourse Fee$230
Contact Hours:

3.0 hrs


Fri, 10 September 2021

Start Time:

8:00 AM


Morning Session


Live Online Training





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Bridging Talents
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Dr. Paula Kluth

Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. She is a former K-12 special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, co-teacher, and inclusion facilitator. Paula has also been a university professor and has taught courses on both inclusion and disability studies. Most recently, Paula’s work has centered on helping teachers and administrators educate all students in their schools and classrooms. She also frequently works with families and advocacy groups to support goals related to inclusion. In addition to inclusive education, her professional interests include Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and educating students with complex support needs.

Universal Design Daily is Paula’s newest book. She is also the author or co-author of 14 other titles including 30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom, Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?, and “You’re Going to Love This Kid!”: Teaching Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms. She is also the author of a few books for children including Coaster, a story of puppy with wonderful wheels.

Paula has won several awards in her field. She is the recipient of the PEAK Parent Center’s Ally for Inclusion Award; The PEAL [Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership] Center’s Inclusive Education Champion Award; The National Down Syndrome Congress’s Educator of the Year; The Belle Center of Chicago’s Inclusion Advocate of the Year; and the University of Wisconsin’s “Forward Under 40” Award.


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Centre for Advanced Professional Practices (CAPP) was founded in 2005 in Dubai, UAE with the sole purpose of delivering excellence in Dental Continuing Medical Education in the Middle East and beyond. 

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CeoDental Seminars was founded in 1999 by Drs Tony Rotondo and Michael Mandikos. Originally an online service, CeoDental sought the best speakers on the international lecture circuit and recorded their lecture for viewing over the internet.