Teaching Safety Skills to Individuals with Autism (Webinar)

Individuals with autism present with unique challenges that make them at risk for a wide range of safety concerns. They may, for example, wander from caregivers, be unable to seek assistance when lost and may not know how to respond to unwanted advances by strangers in the community. There have been a number of studies documenting a functional analysis of some unsafe behaviors such as elopement. This has led to the development of function-based treatments and strategies that can potentially prevent unsafe behavior.

This presentation will review recent research in the area of safety assessment and interventions and provide proactive, practical strategies and resources, to help ensure the safety of individuals with autism.


  • Identify why individuals with autism are at a risk for safety concerns.
  • Identify current applied research directives to address safety concerns.
  • Identify components of functional analysis of elopement.
  • Identify skills to teach to address safety skills of individuals with autism.

There is no cost to attend and this webinar is not eligible for CEUs. The presentation will be posted on our blog within two weeks.


Bridget A. Taylor, PsyD, BCBA-D is the Executive Director of Alpine Learning Group. She is also a Senior Clinical Advisor for Rethink. Dr. Taylor was recently recognized by the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis International for her outstanding contributions to behavior analysis, and was given ABAI’s Fellow designation. Dr. Taylor is considered a leading authority on effective, and innovative interventions for autism.

Erin Mayberry, BCBA, LBA is Director of Customer Success at Rethink Behavioral Health. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and licensed behavior analyst in TX. Prior to Rethink, Erin provided consultation services in home and clinic settings and provided staff training in behavioral crisis prevention and management.

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5 Tips to Prepare Kids for Fireworks - Fireworks and Autism

Fireworks and Autism

Fourth of July can be fun for many children, but for children on the autism spectrum it may be very overwhelming. Lights, noises, crowds, and smells may contribute to overstimulation for many children on the autism spectrum. Not only that, but this is a break in the normal routine for children. 

Your child is probably already experiencing a disruption in their normal routine due to summer schedules, but this holiday is likely to be another change in their routine that can be very difficult to manage. 

Holiday Tips

Below are a few quick tips to prepare for activities and events your child may participate in during the upcoming holiday.

Prepare for a Change in Routine

  • Start early. Introduce this change a few days in advance, if possible.
  • Use videos, pictures, stories, etc. to prepare your child for what they can expect.
  • Practice! Try role-playing with your child so they can practice how to successfully get through the event.

Establish a Structure for Activities and Events

  • What is the schedule for the day?
  • What can your child expect during scheduled events or activities?
  • How can your child let you know if they need a break? What is the plan for providing a break from the event?
  • Use visuals, pictures, schedules, etc. to prompt your child through the activities and events of the day.

Minimize Overstimulation

  • Provide sunglasses, headphones, and other cool accessories that can reduce stimulation from light or noise.
  • Have preferred and familiar items available that the child can hold or play with when they feel overstimulated.

Prepare With Reminders

  • Prior to a transition to a new activity or event, remind your child what is coming next.
  • Give them a countdown to the transition or use visual cues.
  • Prompt your child to communicate if they need a break from the activity/event.

Have a Backup Plan

  • It’s ok to arrive late or leave early.
  • Consider having two options of activities for the day. At the time of the planned event, if your child is overwhelmed, they can always choose a different activity.