Workshops & Continuing Education

The NIA offers a wide array of training opportunities for educators, support personnel and families for our member districts and out of region districts.

Sign Language Workshops

Image of adult students learning sign language

Sign Language classes are taught by certified interpreters and are held in two locations. CPDUs are available for educators.

Family Sign Classes at Westfield Community School in Algonquin, IL are great for families and educators. These classes are an hour and a half long and run for eight weeks in the fall and spring. There are multiple levels of Sign Language Classes at the NIA St. Charles and NIA Rockford Offices. Family Sign Language classes are held once a year and are great for families with children in 1st grade or above. Family classes are an hour long and run for 10 weeks. Sign Language Level 1 and Level 2 Classes are great for educators and students in 6th grade or above. Classes are one and a half hours and run for ten weeks.

Therapy Workshops

Image of large classroom with adult students

The NIA Therapy Department offers a wide variety of continuing education workshops hosting nationally internationally recognized speakers from around the country. Course topics are determined by the NIA Therapy Department staff and therapists in NIA-member districts. The courses offered are typically one or two days and frequently incorporate hands-on or lab instruction to facilitate in-depth learning and synthesis of the material presented. Registration cost for course attendance is reduced for therapists in member districts within the NIA region.

Making Movement Count: An Evidence-based Course on Enhancing Fitness, Movement and Participation for Children and Youth with ASD

by Karen Tartick, PT

Thursday, February 27, 2020   OR   Friday, February 28, 2020

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most common and fastest growing pediatric diagnosis in the United States today. While there has long been recognition of the social-communicative and sensory difficul-ties children and youth with ASD experience, there has been a steady increase in research showing that motor differences may result in fine and gross motor delays, balance and coordination impairments. Poor development of motor function has a deleterious impact on health and fitness for children with ASD. In this course, Karen will discuss the most recent evidence pertaining to brain development in infants later diagnosed with ASD, as well as new research demonstrating these children have unique motor learning patterns affecting their sensorimotor and fine and gross motor abilities. Children with ASD demonstrate lower physical activity levels and more sedentary behaviors than their peers; impacting their overall health and quality of life. Sensory processing differences combined with motor delays and coordination impairments have contributed to decreased socialization and participation in everyday activities commonly used in a child’s daily life at home, school, and in the community. Through utilization of didactic and inter-active instructional methods, Karen will demonstrate evidence-based practices that can be used to improve functional motor skills, promote socialization and participation, address sensory processing differences and increase levels of physical activity to enhance quality of life for children with ASD. Karen will discuss assessment tools and evidence-based strategies and utilize case studies to highlight collaborative interventions for children with ASD. Karen will share a personal perspective and in-sight into the unique stressors facing families of children with ASD.


Thursday, February 27, 2020
DeKalb County Regional Office
2500 North Annie Glidden Rd., Ste. C
DeKalb, IL 60115


Friday, February 28, 2020
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
3795 Campton Hills Rd.
St. Charles, IL 60175

Find us in Northwestern Illinois

4 Office Locations

  • Sycamore
  • Rockford
  • St. Charles
  • Sterling

5 Hearing Clinic Locations

  • Aurora
  • St. Charles
  • South Beloit
  • Rockford
  • Sterling