Friday, November 19, 2010

Autism/Asperger's Conference - "All Ages & Abilities"

Temple Grandin with Sabeeha Rehman

On Oct. 23-24, we held our third annual conference in NYC in collaboration with Autism Conferences of America, the organizer of the conference. Attendees came from all over the city, the State, out-of-state, and from all over the country. Parents, educators, caregivers, doctors - all filled the conference space to capacity.

With Temple Grandin as the keynote speaker, followed by Eustacia Cutler, her amazing mother, there was standing room only. Temple brought the house down with her incredible journey and the audience hung on to every word she said. To say that Eustacia Cutler was inspirational, is an understatment. There was not a dry eye in the room when she closed. Stephen Shore, also diagnosed with Aspergers, gave us key tools on how to integrate the social needs of children with ASD into a regular teaching experience. Ginny Hodge presented practical tips on how to enable children to adapt into a community setting, like using public transportation, grocery shopping, etc. Our Day 2 keynote speaker, Diane Twachtman-Cullen provided a comprehensive instruction on addressing an impaired executive function through the educational system, and how to develop social skills for all levels of functioning. Ken Bock gave a very concise, complete, and detailed overview on biomedical approaches to treatment. Dr. Marvin Boris outlined some of the current and groundbreaking approaches to treating immune dysfunction, generating a lot of spirited discussion.

There was fun time, with coffee breaks, raffles, and door prizes. The exhibits generated tremendous interest and a tremendous opportunity to network.

Many thanks to Jim Adams and Jerry Lundy at Autism Conferences for bringing this conference to us every year, to our exhibitors for bringing their wares to us, and to our attendees for being part of this learning experience. Thank you to our wonderful team at NAA NY Metro for volunteering their time - Kim, Peggy, Stuart, Amy, Kirstin, and Kathleen.

Sabeeha Rehman

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