Event Details

Social Workers Click here for CEUs.

A Continential Breakfast and light lunch will be served.

One in 59 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, signs of which can be detected as young as 2 years old and often younger, but it is often diagnosed much later. Early detection and interventions may lead to better outcomes.

The Children's National Health System's Primary Health Center at THEARC in SE, DC is offering a free interactive workshop for parents, professionals, families and caretakers, providing valuable information and resources useful for understanding and addressing the signs of Autism.

  • Learn strategies to help support your child
  • Listen to a panel of parents share their experiences and how they help their children navigate the world
  • Ask a panel of professionals what to look for, what to do and where to go
  • Hear what resources are available in the community

Gain a general understanding of the full spectrum of Autism as we take a closer look at the importance of early detection through development, monitoring, screening and evaluation to determine a diagnosis. Learn strategies to use in the classroom and at home. Also, hear how medication might be an option.

Social Workers may receive 6.0 CEUs for a fee. For CEUs click here.


Theiline T. Gborkorquellie, MD, MHS, Presenter: “Autism: An Overview” Attending Physician, Children's Health Center at THEARC. Attending Physician, Children's Health Center at THEARC, Children’s Health Project of DC, Mobile Health Programs. Residency Program, Pediatrics, University of Maryland Medical Center, Internship Program, Pediatrics, University of Maryland Medical Center MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences MHS, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, BA, Johns Hopkins University.

Sharon Singh, PhD, Co-Presentor - “Developmental, Monitoring, Screening and Evaluation: How to notice the early signs of Autism” Sharon Singh is a Clinical Psychologist, Children’s National Health System, Child Development Program and Healthy Steps Specialist (THEARC). is a clinical psychologist who specializes in infant, toddler and young child development. She completed her graduate degree at The University of Houston, and her internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Yetta Myrick, Co-Presenter - “Developmental, Monitoring, Screening and Evaluation: How to notice the early signs of Autism” and Facilitator - “Parent’s Perspective: Our Own Stories” Yetta Myrick is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Health System and the George Washington University’s Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, and serves as the CDC’s Act Early Ambassador to the District of Columbia. Ms. Myrick is the mother of an autistic teen. She is the Founder and President of DC Autism Parents (DCAP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the District of Columbia, where she oversees the daily operations and has created programs for autistic children and their families. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from The Catholic University of America.

Kara Covington, Ph.D., LPC, Presenter - "Strategies In the Classroom and At Home" Dr. Kara Covington is a School Psychologist having earned a Ph.D. from Howard University, M.Ed. from American University in Special Education: Emotional Disturbances and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She was a special education teacher for ten years with DCPS working with emotionally disturbed and learning disabled students. Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Covington has been providing therapy, social skills instruction and parent consultation at the Kingsbury Center, a school for children with learning differences such as ADHD, specific learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychologist, The Kingsbury Center, Psychoeducational testing – [email protected]

Faith R. Kelley, MD (formerly Dr. Rowland), Presenter - "How Medication Might Fit In" Director, Mood Disorders Clinic, Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Faith Kelley is a board certified Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Children’s National Medical Center and currently serves as a psychiatry consultant at Children’s Health Center at THEARC in Southeast Washington D.C. and is the director of the Mood Disorders clinic on the main hospital campus. She has worked with children with a range of mental health diagnoses across settings including the emergency room, outpatient clinic, and hospitals.


Tonya Gregory, a zealous public servant for the special needs community and native Washingtonian, is the mother of two children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. Ms. Gregory is a firm believer that it takes a village to help a child reach his fullest potential and she has dedicated her skills and resources to building such a village for children on the autism spectrum. A tireless advocate, Ms. Gregory is committed to providing families with the tools needed to ensure that their special needs children are afforded a quality education, proper medical care and appropriate inclusion in their community. Ms. Gregory is engaged with many Boards, Commissions and organizations whose vision aligns with her mission for “differently-abled” children.

Michelle Hawkins is the parent of two sons, one with autism, age 23. Presently works for Department on Disability Services as Community Liaison Specialist in the Intake and Outreach Unit. Ms. Hawkins formerly worked at Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute as Parent Coordinator for the DC State Policy Council. In earlier years, she worked for Dept of Agriculture and NASA Headquarters. She volunteered at New Endeavors by Women (homeless women’s shelter) and St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home. She participates and serves on various boards, committees, and advocacy organizations in DC involving disability community. She is actively involved in transition to adulthood for her son.

Sonja Risdon is the mother of a teen on the spectrum and an advocate for persons with disabilities. Ms. Risdon is the Secretary and Board Member of DC Autism Parents (DCAP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the District of Columbia, where she supports the daily operations of programs for autistic children and their families. Ms. Risdon has served as the Office Manager of Mount Bethel Baptist Church for over a decade. In addition, she serves as a Peer Navigator for Successful Parenting DC where she provides peer-navigation services to families in which parents have intellectual and other learning disabilities, and develops individualized parent skills curriculum to teach the parents. Ms. Risdon has also presented an overview of the Successful Parenting DC program at the 2016 Association of the University Centers on Disabilities Conference.

Allysa Ware, MSW, LGSW, provides case management and care coordination services to families, which includes assistance with the special education process, community resources and medical care coordination at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD).

Allysa received her master's degree in social work from The Catholic University of America (CUA), and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in social work at CUA with a research focus of autism diagnosis and treatment in the African-American community. She is licensed by the Association of Social Work Boards as a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW).

Additionally, Allysa is a loving parent to a 15-year-old daughter with autism.

Event Coordinator: Ellen Wiggins, LICSW, MSW, Program Manager, Children and Family Services, Child Development Team, Children's Health Center at THEARC, Children's Health Project of DC, Mobile Health Program. Ellen Wiggins is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who has created, developed and coordinated such CEU conferences and workshop at THEARC such as "The Balancing Act: Juggling Three Generations with One Hand" A conference for Grandparents raising Grandchildren; "The Essence of Adolescence" A three day in-depth conference on adolescence; as well as numerous other workshops and CEU trainings for Social Workers, Licensened Professional Counselors and Psychologists.

  • When: Wed Jul. 25
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm

  • Address: 1801 Mississippi Avenue Southeast
    Washington DC,US 20020

  • Web: Visit Website