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US Autism & Asperger Association
November 14, 2014


Watch the recap of the USAAA 2014 World Conference Self-Advocacy Panel now.
This emotional 90 minute session has many surprises including a 14-year-old non-verbal self-advocate who received a standing ovation. We are certain that his amazing ability to communicate will bring you to tears.

(l to r) Jennifer O'Toole, Christopher M. Gauthier, MFA, Stephen M. Shore, EdD,
Tim Page, DFA, Benjamin Tarasewicz
 

"When you know that you don't have to be all things to all people, you can stop trying so dang hard. You can stop trying to be perfect, because we all know that trying to be perfect is that one goal that we can all set that we can all be sure that we are going to fail to reach. Once you know who you are, then you know what you can be and you can stop trying to be what you were not meant to be and let someone else do it."
- Jennifer O'Toole


"I was in my forties when it happened [getting a diagnosis of Aspergers]. So for me on the diagnosis side of things, it became freedom. It became the platform of understanding myself through a lens that I never had before. I'm no longer this freak of nature. Imagine living forty plus years believing you're wrong and you are out of sync with the rest of the world."
- Christopher Gauthier


"You can either be a poor imitation of somebody else or you can be the best you, you can be. I was fortunate to have a diagnosis even way back when they weren't really doing early diagnosis and parents who understood intuitively what my strengths were. And even at a young age of four years old it was clear that I had mechanical abilities. By the time I got to my teen years I had a fascination with bicycles which maybe had to do with spinning parts."
- Stephen M. Shore


"I sometimes wonder whether early diagnosis would have been good for me or not. It certainly would have gotten rid of some of the bully teachers that I had. None of this stuff would be allowed pretty much in any of the schools these days...I think they taught me [when I was at a very young age] about feelings. I would listen to one track [on a record in the the 1950's] on a recording and that would teach me about tenderness and in some strange way that was hard for me to get.... I'm pretty much self taught because curricula doesn't do too much for me."
- Tim Page


"My strengths are music, acting, and of course public speaking, telling jokes, and talking in spoonerisms, and I have even made up my own jokes at times...My pre-school teacher was absolutely extraordinary. She taught me how to interact with the other children when I was socially isolated and there's a focus on making everything artistic and beautiful which is the way she and also my mom thinks. The Waldorf [education] approach made a huge difference."
- Benjamin Tarasewicz


Get the entire US Autism & Asperger Association 2014 World Conference on Video and Audio Downloads today. View over 30 hours of presentations with topics including:
Self-Advocacy; Reducing Brain Overload; IEPs; Medical/Biochemical Interventions; Treating the Underlying Causes of the Symptoms; Nutrition and Cooking; Cognition, Sensory Processing and Behavior; Social Skills; Assessing and Teaching Functional Living Skills; Music, the Carrier Signal for Verbal Communication; Co-morbidities: Depression, anxiety, and more; Pathobiology of Autism; Functional Imaging of the Brain - New Discoveries; Adult Challenges; Severe Autism; Sensory Issues; Tantrums and Other Challenging Behaviors; Steps to Finding a Job and Keeping It; Support Services; Transitioning; Cutting Edge Research; Siblings; Preparing for the Future; Common Biochemical Abnormalities; Interventions for Schools; plus much much more.

Click here for more information.


  • Jennifer O'Toole Founder, Asperkids; Self-advocate
  • Christopher M. Gauthier, MFA Assistant Professor of Art, Photography, Utah State University and co-founder of Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism, a photographic project; Self-advocate
  • Tim Page, DFA Professor at University of Southern California at both the Thornton School of Music and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Author; Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Stephen M. Shore, EdD Professor, Adelphi University; Author; Self-advocate; Has presented in more countries and states than anyone from the autism community
  • Benjamin Tarasewicz Self-advocate; public speaker; actor; musician
The information, presented at the conference and all recordings, is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended in any way to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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