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Thursday, September 6
5:00pm-9:00pm Registration and Expo open

"Autism 101 and Conference Information Tips"
Lori Knowles
Abstract: As a parent or professional, whether it is your first conference or you have attended other conferences in the past, the information can be an extremely overwhelming. What treatments do you embark on first? Unsure if you should consider biomedical approaches in treating autism? Are you confused about where and how to get started? This presentation is designed for those new to the autism/Asperger's diagnosis and nutritional and biomedical approaches as well as for those seeking an easy to understand overview of some of the most important introductory interventions. There will be an overview of therapies including dietary intervention, developmental and behavioral therapies, supplements therapy, and other alternative interventions. There will be tips on how to approach the overwhelming amount of information presented.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. List three different interventions.
2. Discuss ways on how to approach the overwhelming amount of information presented.

"Fathers of Children with ASD" Panel
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
Michael D. Zeitlin, CPA

Christopher Gauthier, MFA
other panelists TBA
Abstract: The panelists presenting in this workshop are fathers that have children on the autism spectrum. All dads share their perspectives on how having a child with autism/Asperger's Syndrome has affected them personally, what it has meant for their spouses and families, and how they continue to adjust to a challenging and positive future. Each dad brings a unique view and experience to the dialogue and demonstrates unusual resilience. Learn about the challenges, but also how dads are deeply involved in the treatment and interventions of their children.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Understand the importance of the roles for fathers of children with autism.
2. Learn how to include fathers into the educational and treatments plans.

"Adults - Ongoing Services Throughout The Lifespan"
Suzette Bartlett, MSW, LCSW
Suzanne Grimshaw, MSW, LCSW

Abstract: Diagnosis Adult Autism: Now What? Your children were most likely diagnosed when they were young. Now, they are becoming an adult or soon will reach that age where they might need ongoing services throughout their lifespan. While some adults with autism will likely live in homes of their own with only a little support, many more will require a range of ongoing and even intensive services throughout their lifespan. The sad reality at this time is that there is a tremendous lack of adult residential supports and programs that meet the hopes and dreams of many people with autism and their families. This presentation will cover some options that are available when an individual with autism/Asperger's Syndrome reaches age 22 or ages out of the school system.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify some options for adults as they age out of the school system.
2. List new and existing models for providing high quality residential supports.
3. Identify services available throughout the lifespan.

Friday, September 7
7:00am-5:00pm Registration and Expo open
8:15am-8:30am Welcome
8:30am-9:30am Martha Herbert, MD, PhD - Opening Keynote Address
Abstract: Environmental factors affect brain development but the problem does not stop there. Environmental exposures persist as body burden, they continue to accumulate, and they have ongoing and active impacts on metabolic and immune function at the subcellular, cellular, organ and systems levels. Therefore autism is more than a developmental disorder. The chronic and persistent features of autism include many treatable features as well as a component of alteration of brain development; the relative contributions of these different aspects are virtually unevaluated, but responsiveness to treatment suggests we have been underestimating the importance of chronic and persistent contributors. It also challenges us to ask how much damage is fixed and how much the mechanisms are dynamic, even if stubborn. Understanding this aspect of autism further underscores the importance of treatment, the importance of research oriented toward environmental contributors and interventions and toward optimization of health and brain plasticity, and the allocation of major resources toward reducing unnecessary suffering. It also highlights how often we see "circular thinking" in autism, where the assumption that autism is fixed and hopeless biases research priorities and interpretations of findings toward looking for fixed impacts on early development, rather than promoting systematic examination of our assumptions and aggressive search for things that can be modulated after birth to improve outcomes.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Understand how environment impacts brain physiology and how that altered physiology produces autistic behaviors.
2. Identify the cellular problems in the brain and body associated with environmentally vulnerable physiology.
3. Understand why many different environmental factors may produce similar physiological impacts
4. Understand how health and well-being is the result of Resilience Minus Total Load, where Total Load is the sum of genetic vulnerability and accumulated environmental stressors.
5. Understand the difference between epidemiology which studies what causes autism and pathophysiology which studies how autism works.

9:30am-10:00am Break and Expo

"Beneficial Interventions and Critical Health Challenges During the Lifespan"
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
Abstract: Dr. DeMio will address medical issues that present problems associated with ASD throughout the life span from childhood into adulthood that include the gastrointestinal tract, immune system, viruses including HHV6, hormonal imbalances, and other areas.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. List three medical issues that present problems associated with ASD throughout the lifespan from childhood into adulthood.
2. Explain co-morbidity and how it applies to each individual.

"A New Look at Prioritizing Interventions and Therapies"
Patricia Lemer, MEd, NCC
Abstract: Prioritizing therapies for children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum is a challenging task, not unlike putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone a parent speaks with has an opinion on what to do, and professionals in a myriad of disciplines make recommendations to work in areas they know best. Because each child is a unique individual with a unique history, no one-size-fits-all program works. Furthermore, therapy is never linear. If only it were possible to do A, then B, then C, etc. When one takes a developmental approach and treats autism, attention deficit disorder, Asperger Syndrome and other pervasive developmental disorders as lags in development instead of different frank conditions, the job of remediation is not so onerous. Causes and treatments fall into categories fairly neatly, and these line up into first, next, and onward.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Why a diagnosis does not prescribe treatment
2. How to use medical, environmental, psych-social history to focus on what to do first
3. Programs that can be integrated into home and school
4. Maximize a child's function without depending upon insurance coverage or an IEP.
5. Focus on biological and nutritional issues first. l

"A Journey of Pain, Suffering, Struggles, and Hope"
Aaron Likens
Abstract: What is life with Asperger's like? Unless you've been there you don't know. My personal experience with Asperger's has been a journey of pain, suffering, struggles, and hope. As the author of "Finding Kansas," I have exposed the cognitive process of the ASD brain. People laugh, cry, and lives are changed and empowered with hope.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees will learn about the following important concepts:
1. Film Theory: Like a photo, all things have to be the same every time.
2. Game Theory: Rules are the spice of life.
3. Cement Theory: Early intervention is the key to molding a mind.
4. The cognitive process of the brain.

"Vision: The Effects on Balance, Vestibular, Movement and Cognitive Function"
Lynn Fishman Hellerstein, OD, FCOVD, FAAO
Abstract: 20/20 vision does NOT mean perfect vision! Individuals with special needs, including those on the Autism Spectrum (ASD), often have numerous undiagnosed and untreated vision problems. Research shows a higher incidence of strabismus (eye turn) and visual processing disorders. These visual problems impact your child s school success, coordination and behavior.

Learning Outcomes: In this interactive presentation you will:
1. Gain a better understanding of the visual process
2. Understand the effects of vision on balance, vestibular, movement and cognitive function
3. Find creative solutions to help individuals on the ASD with vision processing problems


"Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Autism/Asperger Interventions in the Schools" Panel
Marlo Payne Thurman, MS
other panel members TBA
Abstract: With exploding autism rates, increasing budget cuts and narrowing definitions and classification criteria for special education funds, the ability of our schools to meet the demands of our children with autism becomes more challenging each year. Yet, comprehensive assessments, strength and interest based teaching and appropriate school-based interventions and supports continue to pave the way for academic success for individuals with autism. As has always been the case, good educators adapt. In this session, experts in the field of education for individuals with autism will offer insights and creative solutions to assist both parents and educators in establishing and maintaining a multi-disciplinary treatment team to serve children with autism in today's ever changing school systems.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Learn why now, more than ever before, the treatment of autism in the school requires a multi-disciplinary team approach.
2. Identify 3 basic components to an effective, multi-disciplinary treatment plan for individuals with autism.
3. Learn how good communication and a well thought-out learning plan are keys to success in the classroom.

12:00pm-1:00pm Break, Cash Lunch, Expo, and "Meet the Authors"
1:00pm-1:50pm "New Discoveries in the Underlying Pathobiology of Autism"
Valerie Hu, PhD
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the multiple factors giving rise to autism which require better integration of the different types of whole genome studies in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying pathobiology of autism. This comprehensive level of understanding is critical to the development of novel treatments that are based on correcting specific deficiencies in different individuals with ASD. Dr. Hu will also stress the need to focus studies on subgroups of individuals with similar clinical and behavioral profiles.

Learning Outcomes: You will learn about:
1. A biomarker screen and biology-based therapeutics based on gene expression.
2. Different gene signatures that are associated with different subgroups of autistic individuals, such as those with severe language impairment, with milder forms of ASD such as Asperger's Syndrome and with savant skills.
3. The association of biological profiles with behavioral profiles that is needed for development of therapies targeted to specific symptoms or subgroups of ASD.
4. That testosterone and estrogen have opposite effects on the gene RORA; why RORA levels run low, which affects every gene that RORA is supposed to turn on; RORA is also believed to be help maintain the body's daily circadian rhythm, and people with autism frequently experience sleep disturbances; the RORA gene has been shown to protect neurons against the effects of stress and inflammation - both of which are elevated in autism; estrogen raises RORA levels in cells.
5. Epigenetic expression

"Strength and Interest-Based Learning: Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities"
Stephen M. Shore, Ed
Abstract: Going against conventional wisdom, this presentation examines how deficits and challenges so pervasively attributed to autism can be reframed as strengths. Employing an autobiographical structure combines with experiences of others with autism, participants will come away with practical solutions for considering characteristics of autism as potential springboards to success.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. List at least three situations where a deficit can become a strength.
2. Develop a familiarity as to how strengths can be used to navigate around challenges.
3. Learn that considered decisions can be made to avoid areas of challenge while still leading a fulfilling and productive life.
4. Understand the importance of people with autism understanding themselves as a key factor in success.

2:00pm-3:00pm "Seizures and Mitochondrial Disorders"
Richard E. Frye, MD, PhD
Abstract: Twenty-five percent of children and adults with autism have seizures, and another fifty percent may have sub-clinical seizures that are often undetected but may affect their intellectual functioning. The mitochondrial is the powerhouse of every cell in the body. There is strong evidence that many children with autism also have mitochondrial dysfunction. This presentation will review the causes and consequences of seizure in autism and the benefits and side effects of medical, dietary, and nutritional treatments. This talk will also discuss the importance of mitochondrial dysfunction in autism and the challenges of how to test for and the treat mitochondrial dysfunction.

Learning Outcomes:
1. The evidence for the increased incidence of seizures in autism spectrum disorder
2. Characteristics of individuals with autism and seizures.
3. The diagnosis and treatment of seizures
4. The importance of mitochondrial function in health and disease
5. The evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder
6. The diagnosis and treatment of mitochondrial dysfunction

"Building Relationships, Marriage, and Family in the Context of Autism" Panel
Christopher Gauthier, MFA Jacqueline Gauthier
Lauren H. Kerstein, MS, LCSW

In this session, a couple will discuss married and family life on the autism spectrum. Here is a situation where not only the couple has two of their children diagnosed with autism, but one parent is also affected by Asperger's Syndrome. A parent will discuss being a target of bullying during adolescence; The couple will discuss finding love and partnership; Raising children on the autism spectrum; Lessons from a "surviving but struggling to thrive" a marriage; Developing a community network of support; Stress; Developing a language to understand one another based on Aspergers Identity/Sensory Issues; Cognitive distortion. The therapist will discuss how to work with couples on their own interpersonal relationships given that one parent is on the autism spectrum and at least one child is affected by autism; How they cope with each other's behaviors; lack of insight and the pressures of having children with ASD.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will learn:
1. To identify a community network of support
2. To avoid isolation in a relationship
3. To create realistic options for reduction of stress and how to implement these options and for it to be supported by an outside network
4. How a therapist works with couples on their own interpersonal relationships
5. What kind of therapy and counseling is available for the couple to have a healthier relationship

1:00pm-3:00pm "Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Autism/Asperger Interventions in the Community" Panel
Marlo Payne Thurman, MS
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
James Partington, PhD, BCBA
Raun K. Kaufman
other panel members TBA
Abstract: Whether you are just starting to learn about various community-based interventions available for children with autism or you are a parent or professional who has been trying to sort through the myriad of available interventions for some time, this panel of experts from various specialties can help. In this session, experts from a variety of different cutting edge treatment modalities will guide you through some of the key elements to establishing and maintaining a multi-disciplinary treatment team for a child with autism. Biomedical intervention, support and training for visual, auditory and sensory processing deficits and formal cognitive, social and behavioral supports and therapies are some of the primary elements to a good community-based treatment plan.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify three community based interventions.
2. State three primary elements for a good community-based treatment plan.
3. List three key elements to establishing and maintaining a multi-disciplinary treatment team for a child with autism.

3:00pm-3:30pm Break and Expo

"The Doctors and Researchers Q&A Panel Discussion"
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
Richard E. Frye, MD, PhD
Martha Herbert, MD, PhD
Debby Hamilton, MD
Valerie Hu, PhD
William Shaw, PhD
J. Michael Uszler, MD
Abstract: The panelists presenting in this workshop discuss the most frequently asked questions associated with medicine, research, and interventions. They will review medical cutting edge interventions and treatments as well as cutting edge research. Each panelist will provide a take away message with regards to their area of specialty in the field of autism/Asperger's Syndrome.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify how the parts of the brain are connected and coordinated with each other and describe how one can develop measures sensitive to changes in brain and body function that could result from treatment interventions.
2. Outline new research in ASD on the importance of targeted evaluations and treatments to improve clinical outcomes among patients diagnosed with autism.
3. Compare a variety of interventions that are supported by research.

Saturday, September 8
7:00am-5:00pm Registration and Expo open
8:15am-8:30am Welcome
8:30am-10:00am Temple Grandin, PhD - Keynote Address
Abstract: In this presentation, Dr. Grandin will describe her experiences with autism, specifically in the areas of visual thinking, sensory problems, and difficulties with communication. After she describes her experiences, she will discuss the similarities and differences between herself and other people with an autism diagnosis. "There is probably a continuum of autism subtypes that vary in the pattern of neurological abnormality and the severity of neurological problems", explains Dr. Grandin. Dr. Grandin will also discuss how parents, teachers and all professionals who work with individuals affected by autism "must be kept engaged so that their brains can develop more normally". "They must recognize and treat sensory problems. As children get older they tend to separate into two groups. Children like me who can be "jerked" out of the autistic world and asked to pay attention, and individuals like Donna Williams and Therese Joliffe who require a gentler approach. Both types of young autistic children MUST be prevented from shutting out the world", says Dr. Grandin.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Learn about visual thinking as it applies to ASD.
2. Discuss the autism subtypes that vary in the pattern of neurological abnormality and the severity of neurological problems.
3. Identify sensory issues with individuals with ASD.

10:00am-10:30am Break and Expo
10:30am- 11:20am "Functional Imaging of the Brain - A New Discovery"
J. Michael Uszler, MD
Abstract: Autism is an actual brain cell function disorder, not a psychiatric disorder. As such it is a medical condition which has areas of the brain under function or over function. You can see this for yourself on a brain SPECT scan. This way we look inside of the "world of autism". Our medical imaging tools look inside at how the parts of the brain are working in autistic individuals. Rather than "guesstimating" only from behavioral observation, we look directly inside the brain and combine the information from both internal and external methods. This evaluation helps you to decide the appropriate therapy path. Brain function imaging technology is known as SPECT and PET. Both have the advantage of showing the functional state of different brain regions throughout the entire brain. SPECT imaging is more widely available, and thus there is much more experience in using it to evaluate the brain function of autistic individuals.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Learn why Brain SPECT imaging is the appropriate effective imaging to use, rather than MRI or CT (CAT) scanning.
2. Discuss how Brain SPECT scanning performed before and after therapies shows you effectiveness of interventions and treatments, both medical and behavioral.
3. Learn how co-morbidities can be recognized.
4. Discuss Cerebral Hypoperfusion in ASD children.

"Grateful for the Diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome; It Explained Everything"
Tim Page, DFA
Abstract: Learn how Tim Page, currently a professor at the University of Southern California, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his writing in the Washington Post, and a former music and cultural writer for The New York Times, finally stumbled upon his secret biography. As described in Parallel Play, "Here it all was - the computer-like retention, the physical awkwardness, the difficulties with peers and lovers, the need for routine and repetition, the narrow, specialized interests." He was forty-five when he realized that he wasn't alone. That's when he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand that finding work that makes use of your strengths and doesn't test your weaknesses is a huge benefit.
2. Learn how not being able to read faces can be overwhelming and could cause a meltdown.
3. Understand how you can be good at certain things and completely oblivious to others.
4. Learn how unstructured participation in social gatherings may be agonizing.

"Brain Plasticity and Executive Functioning"
Sharon Jones, ABD, CCC-SLP

Abstract: This presentation will highlight new discoveries in the literature regarding a second wave of neural reorganization occurring during adolescence, and discuss the potential utilization of this naturally occurring phenomenon combined with principals of rehabilitation and neural plasticity to improve executive function abilities in adolescents with ASD.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Describe the process of neural reorganization during adolescence.
2. Understand and explain the principles of neural plasticity.
3. Describe how these processes may be useful in supporting interventions for the adolescent ASD population.

11:30am- 12:30pm

"Effects of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals on the Incidence and Severity of Autism"
William Shaw, PhD
Abstract: A wide range of chemicals including mercury, lead, organophosphates, pyrethrins, solvents, and other chemicals have been implicated as risk factors for autism. However, is there a single factor that appears to be much more important than all these other factors?

Learning Outcomes:
1. The attendee will learn the evidence that associates a wide range of toxic chemicals with increased incidence of autism.
2. The attendee will learn which chemicals appear to be the major causes of autism.
3. The attendee will learn how to diminish exposure to chemicals and to remove these chemicals if exposure has already taken place.

"Behavioral Issues and New Approaches with ASD"
Raun K. Kaufman
Abstract: This presentation is a very practical explanation of some fundamental techniques of The Son-Rise Program that can be used immediately. With humor and inspiration, the speaker will begin by telling the story of his own full recovery from severe autism. He then outlines some simple things that can be implemented at home to substantially boost social engagement by first entering the child's unique world.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will know steps to:
1. Help a child move beyond stimming without stopping or discouraging the child's behavior.
2. Teach a child new skills without having to push or pressure.
3. Enable a child to form meaningful, caring relationships with others.

"Auditory Hypersensitivity and ASD: A Treatable Condition"
Alex Doman
Abstract: Many children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are described as having auditory hypersensitivities. This talk describes auditory hypersensitivities, the systems involved, methods for evaluation, and treatment options including TLP Spectrum. Children described as being hypersensitive to sound have negative emotional reactions to sounds and situations in which the sounds are present. It is possible to desensitize these negative emotional reactions and reprogram the emotional memory system so that children are no longer frightened by or find sounds uncomfortable.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand what auditory hypersensitivity is.
2. Learn the neural mechanisms involved in auditory hypersensitivity.
3. Understand the available treatment options.

12:30pm-1:30pm Break, Cash Lunch, Expo, and "Meet the Authors"
1:30pm-2:20pm "Holistic Medicine: Effective Treatment with a Focus on Nutrition"
Debby Hamilton, MD
Abstract: This presentation will introduce people to a holistic/integrative medical practice and how this can help a child with an autism spectrum disorder. It will discuss the importance of nutrition and how this is a basic cornerstone of health. It will then try to simplify all the different information that people encounter about nutrition, diets, and autism.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Understand how a holistic practice can be beneficial in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
2. Learn how holistic medicine focuses initially on nutrition and digestion and why this is a foundation for better health.
3. Understand the foundations of a healthy diet: What to eat and what to avoid.
4. Learn the basic ideas behind different recommended diets (GF/CF, GAPS, SCD, etc), why they are used, who would benefit and risk of malnutrition if not followed correctly.

"Assessing and Teaching Functional Living Skills to Individuals of All Ages Using The AFLS™"
James Partington, PhD, BCBA
Abstract: Individuals of all ages must learn many functional living skills to be able to participate in a wide range of home, school and community-based activities. The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (The AFLSTM) reviews 735 skills in 24 functional skill areas such as travelling in the community, making purchases, seeking assistance as required, preparing meals, participating in household chores, and in social and leisure activities. An emphasis will be placed on helping parents, educators and other caregivers identify functional skills that their child needs to learn. Additionally, practical and easy to implement methods they can use to help their child learn these skills without requiring additional time than is currently needed to do the tasks. By selecting a few learning targets for daily activities, parents can quickly make a significant difference in their child being able to independently perform those skills. A major emphasis will be placed on learning how to break down tasks into easy-to-teach steps (task analysis). Additionally, methods to keep the child motivated to participate in the tasks, and methods for using and then fading prompts to help the child quickly learn those skills will be demonstrated. A review of videos of parents teaching functional living skills to their children in the home will be provided.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify the differences between functional and basic/conceptual skills.
2. Identify 3 broad cluster of functional skills.
3. identify at least 24 specific skill repertoire areas of functional skills.
4. Choose initial targets to be included in a functional skills intervention program.

"DSM-5: Its Impact and Scope"
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD
Theresa Wrangham
Abstract: What is DSM-5 - and what will be the immediate and associated impact if the proposal succeeds in reclassifying those who have a diagnosis falling within the scope of the proposed changes. What can parents and interested parties do to change the course of DSM-5? How can your voice make a difference?

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Understand the problems associated with the changes in the proposed DSM-5 that result in the elimination of Asperger's Disorder, PDD-NOS, Rett's Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
2. List the reduction of research that will be allocated to autism.
3. Understand phenotypes and it's significance in the proposed changes.
4. Understand the narrowing of opportunities to make significant inroads in helping children with these diagnoses.
5. Learn the potential loss of services.
6. Discuss how a parent or professional can make a difference in having their voices heard.


"A Neuroplasticity-based Intervention for Home & Clinic"
Ron Minson, MD
Abstract: This presentation describes the neurological basis for a sensory approach to autism as well as the neurological and functional connections between auditory functioning, behavior, attention, focus, impulse control and emotional regulation. This presentation will introduce participants to the functional efficacy of such interventions as well as discuss recent research on the effectiveness of the approach with children with autism.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand the inter-connectivity of the auditory, visual and balance systems, and how these systems play a role in our ability to function.
2. Recognize the underlying neurology involved in self-regulation and sensory processing, and how these relate to a person with autism.
3. Identify key ways in which a sensory, neuroplasticity-based approach might complement behavioral and bio-medical approaches to autism.

"The Continuums of Autism: Cognition, Sensory Processing and Behavior"
Marlo Payne Thurman, MS
Abstract: Like everyone else, individuals affected by autism have differing cognitive skills, learning styles, and sensory needs. However, because autism itself is so complex, we often fail to recognize the continuums of autism and focus instead, on what we can easily observe, the behaviors. This session, offered by Marlo Payne Thurman, will detail the complex relationship between cognitive processing and sensory regulation and will provide unique insights and recommendations to address those mechanisms that negatively impact learning, social and emotional functioning and behavior in individuals with ASD.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Learn how cognitive potentials are not accurately reported in IQ Scores for individuals with autism.
2. Identify how bright kids take in more information and require more energy to filter their sensory input.
3. Describe how children with autism struggle with cognitive energy depletion.
4. List three behavioral issues for individuals with autism that can be addressed through mind/body asynchrony.

"Visual Social Thinking Strategies"
Michael McManmon, EdD
Sandra R. Wise, PhD
Abstract: Many people with ASD think visually. Some visuals work well while others do not. This session brings together social thinking and visual thinking. Schools have not accessed into visual social thinking strategies as a teaching method. The key to changing perception of the autism/Asperger diagnosis means for the individual to put equal time and energy into learning about non-verbal language and social competencies as they do their special interests and then things start changing in a positive way.

Learning Outcomes:
1. List practical ideas of how to incorporate visual thinking both at home and at school.
2. Describe how students can improve academically through the use of visual social thinking.
3. Understand how visual social thinking helps from pre-school to post graduate students.
4. Describe how visual social thinking is a critical tool in overcoming problems with communication and memorization.

3:30pm-4:00pm Break and Expo
4:00pm-5:00pm "Advocacy and Combating Bullying" Panel
Christopher Gauthier, MFA
Aaron Likens
Michael McManmon, EdD
Tim Page, DFA
Rachel Wrangham
Abstract: The panelists presenting in this workshop each describe his or her personal experiences with autism or Asperger's Syndrome in the areas of Visual Thinking, Sensory Problems, Difficulties with Communication, Socialization, Work Environment, Education, and many other challenges they face each day. Panelists discuss challenges and transitioning through the life span. One specific area discussed will be bullying and ASD.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. List three areas that are challenging to adults each day.
2. Understand the importance of the challenges they face throughout their lifespan.
3. Identify lessons to be learned from bullying experiences the panelists may have encountered early in life.

"Social Networking: 10 Lessons Learned from 25,000 Parents"
Eric Peacock, MBA
Abstract: MyAutismTeam is a social network for parents of children with autism. It's like a combination of Facebook + Yelp, designed specifically for parents, so that it's easy to find and learn from other parents who have been in your shoes. Since its launch one year ago, over 25,000 parents have joined MyAutismTeam, sharing their stories, tips, emotional support and their teams of local doctors, providers & services that have helped their children develop and thrive. Parents have covered every topic from IEPs, bullying, sleep-training and ABA, to transition to adulthood, planning for the future, the right providers to assemble, and tips for dealing with insurance companies. MyAutismTeam have sifted through and aggregated the mountains of data from all of these parents - so you don't have to. In this session, you will see a live demo of the site with real life stories and examples.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Find and connect with other parents exactly in their shoes.
2. Learn what types of providers are on the typical "autism team".
3. Hear what specific types of therapies parents have found most beneficial for their children.
4. Learn the top 10 lessons shared by other parents who have been in your shoes.
5. Professionals & Providers will learn how parents can interact with MyAutismTeam.

"Panel Discussion: The Siblings"
Panel - TBD
Abstract: The siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum will share their experiences and answer questions. Siblings of children with autism carry the burden of extra responsibility and worry about their the future. They also develop compassion and family love. Autism creates an enormous responsibility on siblings, according to educators, therapists and a dozen scientific studies. Children affected by autism can have raging tantrums, which can be frightening or embarrassing to siblings.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify ways that siblings of children affected by autism may cope in different settings at home, shopping, at a restaurant or at school.
2. Determine when familial problems regarding equal attention exist.

Sunday, September 9
8:00am-12:00pm Registration and Expo open

"Oral Health Care for the Dental Patient with Autism"
Robert E. Rada, DDS
Abstract: The patient with autism can present quite a challenge in the dental office and a source of frustration for parents. There are numerous issues specific to dentistry related to mercury, fluoride, nitrous oxide, antibiotics and acetaminophen. This program will review interrelationship of oral health, systemic health and behavioral health.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Learn how to work with the dentist by employing specific behavior guidance techniques to effectively treat patients with autism in the dental office.
2. Learn how parents and caregivers can participate in a program of dental office desensitization for children with autism.
3. Learn strategies to communicate with dentists the general health issues and environmental controversies related to dentistry.

"Multimedia Social Skills Program for Children with Asperger's Syndrome"
Kathleen Davey, BPsySc MPsych(Clin)
Abstract:This presentation is an espionage-themed social skills program for children with Asperger's Syndrome and the parents and professionals who support them. This presentation will include summary of research findings, child session footage and demonstration of the innovative resources used to optimise child engagement.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Knowledge of program structure, resources and integration of technology into intervention processes.
2. Understanding of strategies to promote skill generalisation across environments.
3. Awareness of local program availability and future directions for program development.
4. List research findings.

10:00am-10:30am Break and Expo
10:30am- 12:00pm "Emergencies, Surgeries, and Anesthesia: Inside the Hospital From ER to Overnight Stays"
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
Abstract: Many individuals with autism have "comorbid" illness, which means they have more than one disorder in addition to their autism spectrum problem. It is not uncommon for such children to need surgery or anesthesia for these illnesses. It is also not uncommon to end up in the Emergency room.

Learning Outcomes:
1. List two comorbid illnesses that are common with individuals affected by autism.
2. Understand the three basic types of anesthesia as well scheduling a preoperative visit or phone call with your anesthesiologist.
3. Learn about emergency room visits and what to expect in ER.
4. Learn about surgery preparation, hospital admission forms and other details prior to your scheduled surgery.

"Nutrition and Cooking: Guidance for Beginners and Beyond"
Julie Matthews, CNC
Abstract: In this session you'll learn WHY and HOW to use food and nutrition to support the improved health and potential of those with ASD. This presentation gives a science-backed overview of the most effective diet and nutrition strategies. You ll learn how to get started or make further progress with diet, and gain best practices for ensuring adequate nutrition and sustaining success. Julie teaches practiced "how to" advice based on 10 years clinical (and creative cooking!) experience with autism diets and picky eaters. She includes short "in the kitchen" video demonstrations of easy-to-make dishes kids will eat. All attendees receive a GFCF Success Guide and Recipe pack.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand why diet matters and how food choices can affect symptoms.
Know which diet changes are imperative and how to get started right away.
Be able to help their child using food and nutrition.

12:00pm Conference concludes

The US Autism & Asperger Association 5th Annual World Conference, held October 1-3, 2010, became the most viewed Autism/Asperger conference in the world. This was the first ever Autism and Asperger conference streamed lived in its entirety.


"In the fall of 2011, the greatest gift we received yet was attending the four-day USAAA conference in Seattle. There I met my heroes and found mentors that gave me hope and expanded my paradigm. Since the conference, we now approach life and our son from the view of acceptance, help him to see and know himself, teach him how to self advocate, and join with him in enjoying the things that make him smile. We no longer fight against our son’s differences but embrace them and this way of loving has even taught us to how better accept and love each other as a couple. We still have a long way to go and even more to learn, but I now know that hope has no limit unless I place it there.
- Sara McCarter, Mom to Magnus "the great"


"Let's experience what their life is like for a day. Our children are in pretty much of a constant state of overload. Your living room is like LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] to your child. They can't recognize patterns the same way we can, so everything that seems predictable and understandable to you and I seems totally unpredictable to our children."
- Raun K. Kaufman

"I was the kid who grew up with no diagnosis. I'm undiagnosed Asperger's. I refused to do it because of institutional discrimination. I grew up in the 70's, one of the odd balls and I have fought and struggled my way. I was "the dumb one" of the family. I am the only one with a higher education degree at this point."
- Christopher M. Gauthier

"The vast majority of persons on the Autism Spectrum (ASD) who make significant gains from biomedical treatments will require care that addresses the triad of dietary intervention, digestive/gastrointestinal problems, and detoxification techniques."
- Phillip C. DeMio, MD

"When we gaze back into the past and evaluate our impressions during the early stages of our children’s lives, we observe an experience unlike anything we had ever expected. When we receive a warning that our baby does not seem to be developing like other “normally developing” kids, we may either shift into early denial or become too intimidated to ask what we feel are appropriate questions. Unfortunately, when we do ask the right questions, the replies often are either not sufficient or are limiting in nature." (from¬†Diagnosis Autism Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes; A Parent-Physician Team Approach).
- Kaplan/Burstein, 2005

"Autism is defined behaviorally, as a syndrome of abnormalities involving language, social reciprocity and hyperfocus or reduced behavioral flexibility. It is clearly heterogeneous, and it can be accompanied by unusual talents as well as impairments, but its underlying biological and genetic basis is unknown."
- Martha Herbert, MD, PhD

Our goal should be to help persons with autism understand and use their strengths to work around any presenting challenges so they, just like everyone else, has an equal chance at living a fulfilling and productive life.
- Stephen M. Shore, EdD


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