Canopy to Co-Sponsor Autism Conference at Mississippi College in October

Mississippi College, co-sponsored with Canopy Children’s Solutions, is pleased to present the Haley Rose Gunter Autism Conference, “Navigating Autistic Life: Our Journey Together” on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. The event will be held at Anderson Hall on Mississippi College’s campus in Clinton.

“Our idea is to truly journey together and learn from one another,” said Cindy Melton, Dean of the Mississippi College School of Education. The conference seeks to provide the best services and care for children with autism.

The conference opens with Donna Gale Gunter of Madison, discussing the journey with her daughter, Haley Rose, who has autism. Dr. Mark Yeager, CEO of TEAAM Autism, will deliver the keynote address followed by three breakout sessions.

As co-sponsor of the event, Canopy is pleased to offer the following breakout sessions for Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Continuing Education Units (CEU):

Laura Katherine Barker, MS, BCBA
Evaluating a Model of Effective Staff Training
(1.5 BACB Type 2 Supervision CEs)

Dr. Chris Furlow, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Assessment and Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior
(1.5 BACB Type 2 CEs)

Dr. Jim Moore, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
How Humans Learn:  Implications to Applied Behavior Analysis and the Treatment of Autism
(1.5 BACB Type 2 CEs)

BreAnna Newborne, MS, BCBA, LBA
Applied Behavior Analysis and the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
(1.5 BACB Type 2 CEs)

Nicole Thomason, MS, BCBA, LBA
The Role of Instructional Control in ABA Therapy
(1.5 BACB Type 2 CEs)

Registration for the conference is $50 for teachers, administrators, and other professionals; $35 for parents and family members of individuals with autism—lunch is included. Registration for continuing education units will be available on-site and may require additional fee depending on the type of certification. CE units will be available for educators through Mississippi College. Canopy will offer BCBAs the opportunity to earn up to 4.5 CE clock-hours and Social Workers up to 5.75 CE clock-hours through participation in all sessions. Click here for a printable version of Canopy’s BCBA CEU information.

For more information, please contact Shirley Tipton at or call 601-925-7667. You can also visit to access the registration form and find additional details.

Canopy Children’s Solutions is an approved provider for the Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Work & Marriage and Family Therapist: DP#SW14002, Renewal Date 3-6-20. Social Workers may receive up to 5.75 CE Clock Hours by attending all sessions on October 10, 2018.
Canopy Children’s Solutions has been authorized as a provider of Type II continuing education by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board: BACB ACE Provider # OP-18-2815. BCBA may receive up to 4.50 CEU’s by attending Breakout Sessions I, II & III on October 10, 2018.

Well-Trained Hands Change the World of Autism

As a student, working in your field of study offers depth and value to classroom instruction. Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience that can provide a competitive advantage in the job market. Canopy Children’s Solutions was proud to offer six students from an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) master’s program a well-rounded and intensive experience to prepare them for careers in ABA therapy.

The road to becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is long no matter which way it is travelled. A master’s degree from an accredited university is required and minimum 40 hours of course work in behavior analysis is just the beginning. Hundreds of hours of supervised clinical experience practicing and utilizing ABA therapy and gaining a full understanding of ABA methods to develop a gamut of skills is also required, which can be completed through independent fieldwork or an intensive practicum.

Interns at Canopy’s Early Intervention Autism Clinic fully experienced the career of a BCBA under the guidance of licensed professionals. They gained applied practice (much like clinical rounds for a medical or nursing student) with actual clients on a daily basis.

“We experienced the feeling of a full case load,” said Laura Katherine Barker, ABA intern from Grenada, Mississippi. “We were able to interact with not only the kids but also the parents and gain a deeper understanding of operating a clinic and being a full-time clinician. We participated in behavior assessments, developing data-driven treatment plans and data analysis to ensure what we were doing was the right course of action.”

Interns work with kids in clinic

While much of the first half of their year-long internship focused on practical applications and their own supervision, the second half focused on learning to become a supervising BCBA. This direct experience of supervising others who implement ABA programs is often missing in the training of many aspiring behavior analysts.

“We worked with our BCBAs and the Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) to offer feedback on therapy they provided to clients, and then our supervisors worked with us to improve the quality of the feedback we provided” said Barker. “It gave us another perspective of the field and the understanding of not only managing your clients but also managing supervision and insurance requirements that keep the clinic operational and in good standing.”

During her first year in the graduate program, Barker had experience working outside of a clinic setting. At the Canopy CARES School Hattiesburg, she worked with older students with autism by helping them to meet their academic goals.

“When you work in a school setting, it is still a great opportunity to gain practical experience but it is very different from working in a clinical setting,” said Barker. “In a school, you are working specifically toward academic goals and helping them progress in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and therefore, therapy with kids in a classroom looks different from a clinic setting.”

Barker, along with three other interns were offered full-time positions with Canopy at the end of their internships. The two other interns are re-locating out of state.

“We have fewer than 60 licensed BCBAs in Mississippi,” said Jim Moore, BCBA-D, Director of Autism Solutions for Canopy. “With more than 11,000 children in the state on the autism spectrum and limited access to quality treatment, we must do our part to ensure those who are coming up in the field are well-prepared when they leave college. Creating a meaningful experience preparing these future professionals is not only ethical, it is imperative to the future of the kids they will serve.”

In August, the interns will sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam, including the four new Canopy staff members. The exam will focus heavily on treatment plans, assessments, applied practice and supervision. Following certification, the former interns will then be eligible to become Licensed Behavior Analysts in the State of Mississippi.

“I’m thankful to have had this kind of hands-on experience to go along with the study materials,” said Barker. “I would not have succeeded without the two-year training experience I have received through the CARES School in Hattiesburg or the Early Intervention Clinic. I look forward to the exciting opportunities that are ahead with Autism Solutions at Canopy.”

We wish the best of luck to each of the future BCBAs as they sit for their licensure exam next month.

2018 Children’s Mental Health Summit

The Fifth Annual Children’s Mental Health Summit, hosted by Canopy Children’s Solutions (Canopy), will take place Thursday and Friday, May 10-11, at the Jackson Hilton Hotel in Jackson, Miss.

The theme for this year’s event is Every Child Can Be a Success: Creating Positive Outcomes. This two-day event will feature a half-day pre-conference on Thursday, May 10, with breakout sessions on varied topics that affect Mississippi families and children. The main conference will follow on Friday beginning at 8:00 a.m. featuring Scott D. Miller, Ph.D., of the International Center for Clinic Excellence as keynote speaker. In addition to the keynote, Canopy is pleased to welcome speakers Teresa R. Mosely, M.Ed, and Nick Hughes, M. Div., who will share their personal testaments of triumph over tragedy. A complete list of speakers and topics can be found on the event website.

“It is important that we provide tools to those who work with children so they can better support the intricate needs of the children they serve,” said Canopy CEO John Damon, Ph.D. “We have been very successful in bringing in speakers for the Children’s Mental Health Summit who challenge conventional thinking and broaden our skills as clinicians, teachers, social workers, child advocates and parents. I’m very excited about the opportunities that we will have again this year.”

Registration for the pre-conference is $50 per participant and $100 per participant for the main conference on Friday. Participants may choose to attend one or both days. These fees include the cost of materials, breaks, lunch (Friday only) and Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Licensed counselors and social workers can receive up to 9.5 CEUs for attending both days of the summit. Licensed educators may also receive up to 1 CEU credit for participation.

For complete information on the Children’s Mental Health Summit, including registration and information on overnight accommodations, please visit or contact Kym Williams at 601.352.7784.

Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) Being Offered by Canopy

Mississippi is in dire need of mental health professionals who are competent in adoption-related issues. Canopy Children’s Solutions is offering the only Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) program in or around the state in partnership with the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.).

TAC is a nationally recognized evidence-informed, Post-Master’s training program for professionals in social work, mental health, and child welfare. This prestigious training program provides significant benefits for the professionals completing the program and their employers. TAC students will master knowledge, values and skills in 18 domains critical to adoption-competent mental health services and helps to enhance knowledge of assessments, therapeutic practices, and adoption-sensitive workplace practices. Students who complete the training are eligible for up to 66 continuing education hours and access to six months of case consultation and technical assistance from adoption competent mental health experts. Those who complete the course and consultation will be listed on the C.A.S.E. national TAC adoption professional registry.  Click HERE to learn more about this upcoming training.

The TAC program is scheduled to begin in May 2018; however, space is limited so applicants are encouraged to register early. Classroom training sessions will be held at Canopy’s Gertrude C. Ford Training Center at 1465 Lakeland Drive in Jackson, Miss.

Training in Adoption Competency Dates 2018

Interested applicants will need to complete the Student Registration and Application to be accepted into the course. Deadline to register is Monday, April 30, 2018. The cost is $600 and covers all training materials, continuing education hours and meals. For more information, please contact Beth McNamee, Director of Organizational Development and Training.

Canopy Children’s Solutions is an approved Continuing Education Provider for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), ACEP No. 6857. Licensed Professional Counselors may receive up to 66 CE clock hours for completion of the TAC Course.

Canopy Children’s Solutions is an Approved Continuing Education Provider for the Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Work & Marriage and Family Therapist: DP#SWB14002 Renewal Date 3-6-2020. Social Workers may receive up to 66 CE clock hours including 6.0 Cultural Diversity and 6.0 Ethics CE clock hours for completion of the entire TAC Course.

For more information about the Center for Adoption Support and Education, please visit their website at