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Autism workshop held in Lake Placid

News-Sun - 10/25/2017

LAKE PLACID — Thirty educators, parents, grandparents and students gathered Saturday, Oct.14, in Lake Placid for a day of enrichment. The topic was overcoming the obstacles and challenges of growing up with autism.

Noted Autism educator and speaker John Miller conducted a multi-session training presentation directed at dealing with the Autism spectrum, which affects 3.2 million people in the United States alone. Miller pointed out that one student in 68 deals with this disability on a daily basis. He also discussed how 63 percent of these school aged children are bullied by their peers.

The morning instructions were aimed at enlightening teachers from Highlands, Desoto, Glades, Hendry and Hardee counties. The afternoon was for parents, family members and the students themselves. Miller systematically addressed the behavioral patterns, social implications, and futures of these students. He himself has dealt with this disability his whole life; and, was quick to point out his successes.

At the end of the session, Miller took time to speak directly to the high school students present who identify with the Autism spectrum. He provided them with an overview on how to handle dating and social issues. He encouraged the students to “Live as if you don’t have Autism – Adapt as if you do!”. He has also written a book on the subject.

Miller was born and raised in Canada. He earned his BA degree in Political Science and Master’s in Special Education. He then embarked on his career, teaching students with autism spectrum disorder.

He teaches at Boca Raton Middle School and lives with his wife and daughter in Coconut Creek. In addition, Miller travels around the country and to Europe to run independence skills workshops geared for young adults.

This valuable training day was brought about by FDLRS, which stands for Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System, based at 1076 US Highway 27 North in Lake Placid. FDLRS/Heartland provides information, training, and support to districts and families, to promote effective parent participation in the education of children who are exceptional and/or have special needs.

Specifically, FDLRS educators Kerry Lanier, Melissa Carle and Stephanie Moreo are tasked with the responsibility of providing Highlands and surrounding county schools districts with the tools needed to facilitate the education of special needs students. They invited Miller to Highlands County to conduct his educational workshop.

To learn more about childhood screening, parent services, human resource development and the latest technology, contact any one of these staff members at FDLRS/Heartland. The phone number is 863-531-0444. You can also go to


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