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New Mexico State University

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NMSU presents first Tri-Unity Community Conference

Autism Spectrum Disorders will be the focus of the first Tri-Unity Community Conference, presented by New Mexico State University's Special Education/Communication Disorders Department in the College of Education and Direct Therapy Services L.L.P.


> The first of the three-program conference, Autism and Assessment, will be presented at the Best Western Mesilla Valley Inn, Saturday, Feb. 4. Families, professionals and students will have the opportunity to learn about autism, a neurologically based communication and learning disorder, and the services that are available for individuals who suffer from it.

"Just finding out what services are available is difficult for some people because they can't afford to go to professional conferences," said Stephen Farmer, co-director of NMSU'S communication disorders program. "Direct Therapy Services and NMSU wanted to provide an affordable community conference to families, professionals and students."

The second program, Autism and Intervention, will be presented at the Hilton Las Cruces, Saturday, March 4.

The third program, Autism and Families, will be presented at the Best Western Mesilla Valley Inn, Saturday, April 1. During this program there will be a mini-session for siblings of children with Autism.

"Most of the attention usually goes to the individual with autism, but never for the families or siblings," Farmer said. "At this session siblings can talk about different issues and share common experiences and concerns."

Families of individuals with autism may register for free. Students and professionals get a reduced registration rate per program. Participants may register for one, two or three programs.

The programs are sponsored by the Jack and Martha Cole SPED/CD Department Conference Fund, Direct Therapy Services and Aprendamos Intervention Team, and the Las Cruces Public Schools.

The conference is made possible through an endowment fund set up by Direct Therapy Services L.L.P.

"We are truly committed to giving back to the community, that is why we set up the fund," said Abel Covarubbias, program director for Direct Therapy Services and 1998 graduate of NMSU's communication disorders program. "This is a commitment to the community and to the university to keep providing conferences like these."

Direct Therapy Services L.L.P. provides speech, occupational and physical therapy for Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Deming, Silver City and Truth or Consequences.

To register, contact Margo Speer at (505) 646-3906 or visit http://web.nmsu.edu/~nmsucd.
Bianca L. Granado
Jan. 30, 2006