advanceLaParents and professionals are invited to register now for The Help Group’s Advance LA Conference, The Science of Happiness: Purpose. Connection. Optimism. Grit., which will be held at American Jewish University on Friday, May 1st . L.A. Parent Magazine will serve as Media Sponsor of this year’s event.

Now in its fourth year, this one-of-a-kind conference brings together nationally prominent experts whose research and practice focus on how to best support young people with autism, learning differences and ADHD in their preparation for a successful transition to adulthood. Registration is open to all parents, educators, clinicians, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students interested in learning about the latest research and best practices in this field. Additionally, continuing education credits are available for psychologists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, therapists and behavior analyst practitioners through the appropriate accrediting organizations. Certificates of attendance will be provided to other professionals upon request at the conclusion of the day’s program.

Dr. Sonia Lyubomirsky, best-selling author, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and leading expert on the scientific study of happiness, will deliver this year’s Keynote Address. She recently explained why happiness is especially important for Advance LA’s young adult population, “Young adults with challenges who learn practices that increase their happiness will not only FEEL better (more tranquil, more joyful, more curious, more affectionate, more proud, etc.), but they are also expected to experience the same benefits of happiness as their typical peers.  For example, people who are happier smile more and are more likable and approachable to others – thus, generating more social support and making friends.”

Advance LA Director Jill Rosenberg elaborated on the conference’s theme, “Happiness is not only intrinsic, it can be learned.  Our speakers will present practical ways to foster and maintain happiness in young adults through the development of purpose, connection, optimism, and grit.”  Popular 2014 Keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Shatte returns this year to present, “Optimism, Hope & Perseverance: Skills to Boost Your Positivity.” Following the two morning sessions, conference participants have a wide range of sessions to choose from including, “Executive Functioning: Building Internal Scaffolding for the Young Adult,” “Smart Change: Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits,” and “The Role of Purpose in the Transition to Adulthood,” to name just a few.

Parents and professionals interested in attending the 2015 conference are encouraged to take advantage of early bird registration rates, available through this Friday, March 20th, before the event sells out. For more information about the conference sessions and presenters and to register online, please visit


At Advance LA we offer the answer to one of the most frequently asked questions by parents of teens and young adults with special needs, “What happens next?” Our personalized program provides clients with the experiences and opportunities necessary to lead a fulfilling adult life.

Advance LA is dedicated to providing resources, support, and training to teens and young adults with a wide range of needs including learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, executive functioning difficulties, ADHD, and other social, emotional and behavioral challenges including substance abuse recovery.

Our services include one-on-one life skills coaching, a transitional living program, social and recreational clubs for teens and young adults, parent-to-parent support groups, parent and family coaching, workshops for teens and young adults, and conferences for parents and professionals.