Social Emotional Wellness for Youth with Autism

Logo for RethinkRethink is offering a webinar at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. CST) this Wednesday, December 9, 2015, called Social Emotional Wellness for Transition Age Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and one of the experts online is none other than our own Maurice Snell.

Maurice was nonverbal as a child, and it wasn’t until he was diagnosed with autism at age 6 and attended Easter Seals Therapeutic Day School that he learned to communicate with others. From there he went to the high school where his mother taught, and he graduated 13th in his class with a 3.5 grade point average. In May 2006 Maurice received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Rethink is an online platform that places evidence-based treatment solutions in the hands of educators, clinicians, and parents working with individuals with developmental disabilities like Maurice. Their webinar will explore the challenges transition-age youth face when they leave the education system and identify ways we can do better to support these young adults.

Maurice Snell and Beth Finke

Me (Beth Finke) and Maurice Snell

Maurice Snell is 32 years old now and employed as the Development Coordinator at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago’s Central Office. For many with autism, achievements like those are beyond reach. “Maurice…exhibits milder effects of the complex neurological disorder,” Rethink’s press release for the webinar says. “Despite that advantage, Maurice’s future was uncertain for most of his childhood.” More from Rethink’s press release:

Anne Roux, Drexel Institute researcher and author of numerous leading studies exploring the challenges and needs of young adults with autism, will discuss current research on mental health in young adults with ASD and the significance of social and emotional development. She will be joined by Dr. Kimberly Smalley, the autism clinical specialist/behavior analyst for the Redwood Coast Regional Center in California who will discuss best-practices in promoting social emotional wellness for this population and Maurice Snell, the development coordinator at Easter Seals, who will share his first-hand experience of transitioning into adulthood as a young man with ASD.

Registration for Social Emotional Wellness for Transition Age Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is free and open to all. Register now — not only will you have the privilege of hearing Maurice Snell tell his story in his own words, but you’ll also learn about the impact of social emotional learning and ways to help more students make an effective transition after leaving school.


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  1. Phil - Says:

    I guess I will need to look for more info about rethink, as it can be a good inclusive education solution.

  2. Beth Finke Says:

    No pamphlets or brochures that I know of, but if you search his name here on the EasterSeals blog you’ll find all sorts of stories about Maurice — before he got so busy with work and his band and public appearances, he used to blog for us here pretty regularly. And you are right: he’d be an exceptional role model for your sons.

  3. elaine strand Says:

    do you have a pamphlet or brochure out on Maurice. Since I have 2 sons with autism I would love to hear his story.

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