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Featuring: Dr. Barbara Cutler, EdD
originally recorded March 28, 2016

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. This LiveTalk is part of the Advances in Autism bundle.

Description: In this LiveTalk, Dr. Cutler will discuss practical strategies that parents and professionals can use to advocate for their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a strong supporter of increased recognition of sensory and motor problems in children with ASD she has developed the RESPECT ME model of advocacy which highlights the importance of accommodations, communication and respect in promoting the potential of all individuals with ASD. She support parents to become vocal, visible, knowledgeable, and relentless in order to become an effective advocates for their children. Dr. Cutler’s strategies are as effective for other practitioners working with children with ASD as they are for parents.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this LiveTalk listeners will be able to:

  1. Identify 4 strategies for advocating for needed services for children with ASD.
  2. List the components of the RESPECT ME model and identify how each component promotes individual potential in children with ASD.
  3. Identify 3 resources to assist parents and professionals to advocate for their child with ASD.

Course Level: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Suitable For: Occupational therapists, OT assistants, Parents, Teachers.

Domain: Contexts
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.0 contact hours or 0.1 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the recorded LiveTalk in its entirety, and complete the accompanying assessment.

About the Speaker: Dr. Barbara Cutler is a single parent, author, autism consultant,  advocate (since 1969), and service provider who founded her first program for adolescents with autism in 1972, established respite care programs, trained parents and professionals in behavioral programs for their children/students, and consulted with schools and community programs regarding individuals with autism. She has served on various boards and state committees after receiving her A.B. and M.Ed from Harvard (1972) and her Ed.D. in Special Education from Boston University (1990). She helped to develop many conferences on autism including establishing the Northeast Regional Conference on Autism in 1972 and the Autism National Committee in 1990.  Dr. Cutler has presented on education, autism, and advocacy in more than half of the US states, Canada, Puerto Rico and England. She was instrumental in the design of Chapter 766, the model for the Federal Special education law (IDEA) used in Massachusetts. She is deeply committed to human rights and access for all people with disabilities.  She is also the author of You, Your Child, and Special Education: A Guide to Dealing with the System.  She is the proud mother of Rob and George Cutler, Rob because of his courage in persisting in spite of the various challenges related to his autism, and George because of his devotion and commitment to improving the quality of his brother’s life.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969-4410 ext. 231.

Continuing Education:


Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


The Spiral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such your donation is tax deductible.