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As an autistic adult or a parent of a child on the spectrum, it is essential to understand how the sensory world impacts behaviour. Here’s the challenge, though: no one really drives home the importance of seeking this often-critical information. Sensory differences can make a person anxious, tired, hungry, aggressive, inattentive, fidgety and defiant. Come and listen to one of the best occupational therapists in Ontario working with autistic individuals. She will help you to understand why a comprehensive occupational therapy assessment is so important in creating ideal environments for learning and living. Ellen Yack presenting. *ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRESENTATION WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS
It’s a fact: autism is a communication disorder. People think they understand what that means in a non-speaking person, but there’s little knowledge of what it means to be bright and speaking with a communication disorder. The fact is, society expects that non-speaking or emerging speaking people are not bright and therefore, little is expected of them. People think that because the person is not speaking. Alternately, too much is expected of verbal individuals who often cannot find the words to be effective communication partners. Come to the Communication presentation to increase your understanding this poorly understood aspect of the autism experience. Emma Zurcher Long/Ariane Zurcher*SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION , Adam Wolfond/ Estee Klar * ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRESENTATION WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS, Maxine Share, *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION, Mandy Klein presenting * ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRESENTATION WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS.
We all know that when our children are well-matched with caring, flexible, creative educators and support staff, it’s a good year. Come and be inspired by the wisdom, advice and, experience of education professionals who demonstrate that teaching students on the spectrum is a work of heart. We bring you an outstanding teacher, a remarkable Child and Youth Worker, and one of the best principals a child with autism could ever hope for. You’ll also be moved by the experiences of a young adult who suffered in a system that expected little of him, and a mother who was determined to provide an academic education for her non-speaking son. Estee Klar, Andreas Petrei, Steven White, Carol Parks, and Renee Herzog presenting. *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION
WOMEN AND GIRLS
Yeah, yeah. We know that statistics show boys are identified with autism four to five times as often as girls. Why is that? Simply, girls fly under the radar. Shyness is a feminine trait. Ditto for clumsiness. Our special interests can be more mainstream, such as animals, fashion, beauty and celebrities. The reality is that girls on the spectrum may have a very difficult time in school and often endure misdiagnosis, misunderstanding, and missed opportunities. This session features Dori Zener, an expert on teen girls and women on the autism spectrum, followed by a panel that will share their experiences of autism. Dori Zener *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION., Mandy Klein *ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRESENTATION WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS, Anne Mason, Diana Merrell, Micah Klein presenting *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION.
This presentation gives an overview of the close connection between autism and anxiety.
As people with an autism identification, we want you to know this: ALL ROADS CAN LEAD TO ANXIETY. Anxiety is not an incidental sidebar to the autism identification, but a consequence of living a life where typical people and institutions continuously remind you that you don’t measure up. In order for autistic individuals to lead full lives, it is essential to validate, prevent, and address anxiety any time it rears its ugly head. Maxine Share will discuss the various kinds of anxiety that may surface based on common experiences in ASD. Knowledge is power, and understanding that anxiety can stop progress in its tracks may lead you toward more relevant and useful support for you or your loved one with an ASD identification. *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION
We really wanted to keep the jargon to a minimum, but since our systems of support don’t drive home the importance of executive functions as they relate to autism, we intend to. These neurological functions can be responsible for many of the challenges you may see in yourself or your child. Can’t start your work or manage your time? Cry at the drop of a hat (idiom)? Can’t remember what you learned five minutes ago? Flip out if plans change? Hate to move, change jobs, or even think about organizing your basement? Come. Get someone to remind you to be there on time and learn about how an executive functions is essential to understanding autism. Maxine Share presenting. *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION
LIFE SKILLS THROUGH THE AGES
Many of us already know that our children may take longer to acquire their life skills than their typical peers. Some of them have great difficulty; others can learn quickly if someone takes the time to identify the challenge and then teach them in the way they learn. Fine…but what happens when those children grow up? Have they learned all of the life skills they need to know? Our sources say no…our sources would be our two autistic speakers who will discuss life skills in children and youth followed by life skill challenges for adults. Diana Merrell *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION and Mandy Klein presenting *ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRESENTATION WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS.
TIPS AND TALES FROM PARENTS ON THE SPECTRUM
Parenting is an often rewarding journey that challenges parents to raise capable, responsible children to become happy, healthy, independent adults. Let’s hope it surprises no one that parents on the spectrum share that experience. This panel of autistic parents will share some of their best advice along with some of their struggles raising children from their vantage point. Come and hear the sage advice from this successful group of parents. Anne Mason, Diana Merrell *SPEECH NOT AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION, Mandy Klein ELECTRONIC VERSION OF PRESENTATION WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS*presenting.