AERI Leaders Travel to Nigeria to Present at International Autism Conference and Provide Consultation for Families

Greensburg, PA –April 18, 2012 – Two members of  AERI’s Distinguished Speakers Bureau – Christine L. Sheffey, Director of Development, and Terry Sheffey, Community Outreach Coordinator, recently returned to Lagos, Nigeria to participate in GT Bank’s 2nd Annual International Autism Conference in collaboration with the Blazing Trails International Center.

The conference is part of Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank’s Orange Ribbon Initiative to support children with developmental disabilities, including autism. GT Bank’s website notes that over 1.2 million people in Nigeria live with autism.

Mr. Sheffey presented a model for an exercise program in collaboration with a certified physical trainer to target gross motor deficits. Mr. Sheffey met with 43 children, family members and/or caregivers and therapists at the Patrick Speech and Language Center over a course three days.  He had the opportunity to work 1 on 1 with the child to gain the ability of their skill level, then design a program for them to follow with the help of their family.

Mrs. Sheffey met with 20 students, family members and/or caregivers and therapists at the Patrick Speech and Language Center over a course of two days. Families had the opportunity to share areas of concern and complete assessments while Mrs. Sheffey observed the children and probed for current skill level.  She was able to process the evaluation with the family and provide suggestions and recommendations for them.  Mrs. Sheffey will give each family a detailed summary of the consultation as well as follow up through teleconferencing and internet communication.  She also presented a session, “Understanding Applied Behavior Analysis,” at GT Bank’s autism conference.

The Sheffeys participated in a dinner and social hour hosted by the American Women’s Club at the American Consul with dignitaries hosted by General Stafford.

“It truly was a whirlwind of activity but the work that we did was so rewarding.  It was amazing to be afforded the opportunity to work directly with children and their families and provide them with some suggestions regarding behaviors of concern.  These families were so appreciative of the brief amount of time that we were able to give.  As I reflect on my experiences in Lagos, and compare it to what we are able to offer children and families in the United States, I am committed to future efforts that ensure that all children, regardless of country of origin, have access to quality clinical care grounded in research.  I am blessed to work for an organization (AERI) that supports international efforts such as those sponsored by GTBank” states Mrs. Sheffey.

To learn more about AERI’s Distinguished Speakers Bureau, or the organization’s community outreach , call 1-866-727-AERI (2374) or send email to AERI can also be found on Facebook.

About Autism Education and Research Institute (AERI)
The Autism Education and Research Institute (AERI) an organization based in Pennsylvania, is committed to providing behavioral consultation and intervention services that incorporate innovative research in the field of autism. AERI was founded in 2009 by Rick J. Murray, LSW, BCBA and Jerry Joseph, PhD. Serving multiple states, AERI is rapidly expanding into other areas where needs have been identified. AERI provides consultations, trainings, and other related services in homes, community settings and school districts. AERI supports consumers and families through the lifespan. AERI is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for its Intensive Family Based Services.
By: Catherine Hughes

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