Trainings & Workshops

Have Dreams provides a number of autism –related interactive trainings and workshops for families and professionals across the state of Illinois including one, two and five-day seminars. These trainings and workshops provide comprehensive instruction regarding structured teaching for children on the autism spectrum. All Have Dreams trainings are based on the TEACCH methodology of Structured Teaching. Over the past several years, we have trained over 7,000 educators, parents and professionals in best practice autism methodology.


Training Presenters

Caroline McCarthy, M.A.
Lead Trainer
Caroline McCarthy is a special education teacher with 15 years experience. Caroline has provided trainings for Have Dreams for eight years. She provides expert ASD consultation to families and schools.

Christine Bellosa, M.A., LCPC
Christine Bellosa is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and has been a trainer at Have Dreams since 2010.
She has had experience working with individuals and families affected by ASD across various settings such as Have Dreams, schools, residential, hospitals and in-home.  Currently, she is working in private practice in addition to training.

Basic Elements of Structured Teaching (BEST)

  • Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Basics of Structured Teaching
  • Practical Application and Interventions
  • Interactive lectures and instruction

A two-day interactive workshop providing an overview of Structured Teaching and its application for moderately to severely challenged children with autism spectrum disorder. Video presentations of three students (beginning level, mid- and higher-functioning) enhance the lectures and provide information for the hands-on activities.

Current Topics in Autism

  • Effects of Social Media, Gaming & INternet on Individuals with ASD
  • Incorporating Employment Skills into Lesson Plans
  • Introduction to the Workforce; Walgreens Training Center
  • Systematic Barriers to Autistic Employment
  • Overview of Vocational Applications of Structured Teaching

Reading, Math & Social Skills

Reading: Dozens of ideas for adapting books and increasing literacy. Skill levels range from matching concepts through advanced reading comprehension and even ideas for book groups.

Math: Tutorial on creating activities for beginning level Math

Social Skills: various ways to adapt commercially available independent and social leisure materials to make them accessible and enjoyable to children with autism.


Workplace Structure Promoting Independence

If you work with Transition-age students or in Vocational Rehabilitation, this training is for you!

  • Overview of ASD and Structured Teaching
  • Environmental Supports in the workplace; Physical Structure, Schedules, Work Systems
  • Routines and Visual Structure
  • Soft Skills in the Workplace
  • Informal Assessment of vocational and soft skills
  • Hands-On Activities to Apply Concepts


Structured Teaching Classroom Set-Up (CSU)

Topics include:

  • Characteristics and classroom assessments of students with autism
  • Principles and implementation of Structured Teaching
  • Working with families of children with autism
  • Communication and socialization strategies
  • Proactive behavioral strategies promoting independent, vocational and social skills


Register for Workshop or Training
To register for a workshop please contact or send the appropriate forms to Lydia Wissing at If a scheduled training is full, please call Lydia Wissing at 847.685.0250 ext. 111 to have your name put on a waiting list.