Friday, February 7th, 2020

8:00am to 8:45am 

Doors Open

8:45am to 9:00am

Opening remarks

9:00am to 9:15am 


9:15 o 10:45am

Session 1

Purpose Statement: Despite living in an age of technological interconnectedness, many of us struggle with social disconnection.  Adults are particularly impacted, as nearly half of the U.S. population reports feeling lonely – and the autistic community is particularly at risk.  To make matters worse, research has indicated that the impact of loneliness and isolation rivals the health morbidity of issues like smoking and cardiovascular disease. This is truly an epidemic – one that we have the power to address. Join Drs. Wendler and Shumway as they describe the impact of the Loneliness Epidemic and offer solutions for autistic adults and those who serve them.

Read Dr. Shumway’s bio.

Read Dr. Wendler’s bio. 

Participants will learn about Music Therapy and discover possible uses of Music Therapy in the Autism Community. 

Read Dana’s bio. 

This workshop gives participants a practical introduction to the principles of SRV through the legal and current structure of the process of special education.

Read Leslie’s bio.  

We have all been told that behavior is communication and that all behavior serves a purpose. However, sometimes figuring out that purpose is not so easy. Sometimes behavior is not necessarily about making the right choices as it is about having not yet mastered a much needed skill. And if a person with ASD repeats this behavior, then there is a series of unsuccessful interactions that can impact their mental health. In this session we will discuss different examples of behaviors, identify social skill deficits that may be involved, and look at different techniques in teaching those needed skills. 

Read Jennifer’s bio here

10:45am to 11:00am


11:00am to 12:30pm

Session 2

 This session will seek to identify the various strengths, challenges, pitfalls and operations of programming for students with ASD in general education classrooms. This complex style of programming will be examined in light of the student’s age/grade, degree of disorder, academic intensity, strengths and challenges in the hopes of building successful programs throughout the educational years.

Read Sheila’s bio.

Bullying represents an acute stressor for school-aged children, and those with Autism are particularly at-risk. Prevalence rates estimate bullying has impacted 10% of the student population, while 44% of students fall victim to these behaviors (Maïano et al, 2016). Children with Autism were found to have a significantly elevated risk, compared to neurotypical peers, for being victimized. The prevalence of these issues is well known among students and school administrators – and yet, many children and parents continue to feel helpless and unsupported. Participants will learn about modern bullying, how to recognize the warning signs and risk factors, and discover practical interventions that can be used to address the problem. 

Read Dr. Shumway’s bio.

This workshop gives participants a practical introduction to the principles of SRV through the legal and current structure of the process of special education. 

Read Leslie’s bio. 

The atmosphere at an airport can often be a stressful venue for many travelers. The experience can bring on challenges such as unpredictability with everything from flight delays, cancellations, to gate changes and loud noises. For an individual with autism, stress levels can be 10 times worse due to sensory overload, chaos and large crowds. These situations can cause meltdowns and other challenging behaviors. Luckily, airports are now offering opportunities that allow autistic individuals and families of autistic children to tour, and plan for travel. 

Read Miyah’s bio. 

12:30pm to 1:30pm


1:30pm to 3:00pm

Session 3

Participants will be encouraged to share their current concerns and successes with their students with ASD, finding solutions for students with ASD, and to share insight into personal situations and successes. Case studies will be presented for analysis, as well as those sought from the audience members.

Read Sheila’s bio.

This workshop with assist those helping people with ASD to learn and manage their emotions.

Read Jo Anne’s bio.

 This session will train participants to combine improv theater techniques with evidence-based psychotherapy concepts in order to overcome social anxiety and other obstacles that prevent autistic people from achieving connection.

Read Dr. Wendler’s bio.

This workshop will be lead by local advocates who will guide participants through interactive conversations about the active implementation of advocacy in participants’ daily lives. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to use what they have learned at the conference as a foundation for building a meaningful life for autistic individuals
  2. Participants will discover creative solutions to obstacles faced by young autistic adults
  3. Participants will have a foundation for becoming active advocates in their own lives and in the lives of autistic individuals

3:15pm to 4:15pm

Keynote Address: Outside Your Comfort Zone. Presented by, Dr. Daniel Wendler and Dr. Kyler Shumway


Conference closing