Scaffolding Post Secondary Independence for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Scaffolding Post Secondary Independence for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum
March 26, 2024
6:00PM - 7:30PM

Colleagues & Conversations @ Yellowbrick

Scaffolding Post Secondary Independence for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

March 26, 2024 | 6pm-7:30pm CST

with Jordi Kleiner, PhD, BCET and Tina Giordano, M.Ed.

Conference Description:

The underrepresentation of individuals on the Autism spectrum in higher education and the workforce – when compared to both neurotypical and other neurodiverse peers – is an overlooked opportunity for those directly impacted as well as for society more broadly.

Dr. Kleiner and Ms. Giordano will share recent peer-reviewed research and vignettes from their clinical work with young adults on the spectrum to guide professionals through a cognitive and emotional scaffolding framework to help improve postsecondary outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of participation in this event, participants should be able to:
  1. Identify neurocognitive and societal factors that contribute to underrepresentation in postsecondary education and employment of young adults on the Autism spectrum
  2. Distinguish specific skill domains for those on the spectrum that are both disproportionally challenging and impactful on functioning, as well as practical research-backed strategies and interventions to mitigate these challenges
  3. Describe how to modify and personalize scaffolding supports for young adults with ASD to build independence in college and the workplace


Jordi Kleiner, PhD

North Shore Learning Clinic, Evanston, IL

Dr. Kleiner is the director of the North Shore Learning Clinic in Evanston. He conducts comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults impacted by learning disabilities, attention disorders, and other neurodiversity. He also provides individualized educational therapy. Dr. Kleiner draws on his classroom experience teaching all ages of children from preschool through graduate school (Northwestern and DePaul Universities). He received his B.A. in Psychology and Education from Swarthmore College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Learning Disabilities and Language & Cognition from Northwestern University. His dissertation examined how children are more successful at learning when their parents have a solid understanding of their children’s skill levels. He has presented at numerous national conferences on the intersection of diagnosis and intervention in the learning lives of children and adults.

Tina Giordano, M.Ed.

Tina has worked with clients of all ages and is focused on inspiring a love of learning. She grew up in Evanston and then moved to Montréal, Canada to study at McGill University. There she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Education in Inclusive Education. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology (ISPP) at National Louis University. Tina has worked in a multitude of educational settings and roles, including developing an inclusion program at the Lincoln Park Zoo for their camp programs. To work effectively with clients at the North Shore Learning Clinic, she uses her knowledge of best practices in education, experience as a Social Skills Educator, Literacy Coach, ABA Therapist, and creativity. Tina has worked for multiple research labs and is currently in the process of publishing a paper on the impacts of the 2020 school closure on family routines.


Call Tracy Ashworth 847-869-1500 ext. 207

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