A Spectrum of Care at FACT Conference

Conference participants learned practical information to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

When Sr. Mary Annelle Velivis gave the invocation at the 3rd annual Felician Autism Collaboration in Teaching (FACT) Conference, she fittingly adapted the Prayer of St. Francis to the occasion, praying “that where some see disability, we may reveal to them extraordinary gifts.”

On a campus that values inclusivity, conference participants learned practical and relevant information to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Keynote speakers and leaders in ASD research connected with more than 250 in-person attendees who gathered at the Rutherford campus, along with another 50 who participated online, to provide both interpersonal and institutional support for individuals with ASD.

Dr. John Burke, the Felician University professor who has chaired the FACT Conference committee every year since its inception, is a pioneer in early intervention for autistic children. He brought on two event co-chairs this year: Dr. Theoni Mantzoros, a first-year faculty member, and Dr. Katharine Croce, a specialist in behavior analytics. Before the conference, Dr. Mantzoros said, “Our speakers have so much to offer in terms of practical strategies that individuals can implement immediately for better quality of life.”

Participants left the conference with updated information and resources to support individuals with autism, as well as a renewed sense of service for these individuals. The FACT conference meshes well with Felician University’s mission, since the university both educates students with ASD and trains students in the School of Education with programs in Behavior Analysis and Autism Studies.

Students walk across the campus of Felician University.
Felician University, an inclusive campus, hosts an annual FACT conference.

Access resources from the conference that help in understanding people with ASD »

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Serving where needed since 1874

Founded in Poland in 1855, the Felician Sisters are a congregation of women religious inspired by the spiritual ideals of their foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, and Saints Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi and Felix of Cantalice. Arriving in North America in 1874 following Blessed Mary Angela’s directive “to serve where needed,” they helped to weave the social service system. Today, the Felician Sisters founded, sponsor or support through the presence of our sisters, more than 40 ministries – all continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the people they serve.

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