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Friday, October 17, 2014

Practical Perspectives, Positive Lives: AANE's Annual Conference October 25th

The Asperger/Autism Network

October 17, 2014

Asperger Syndrome Connections 2014
AANE's Annual Conference for Those Interested
in AS/ASD and Related Profiles

We are pleased to welcome back Simon Baron-Cohen, Winnie Dunn, and Michael Forbes Wilcox, who will speak to us about current research in the field of autism, proven approaches to managing sensory processing in everyday life, and the joys (as well as sorrows) of living as an adult with Asperger Syndrome.

When:   8:30am to 5:00pm EDT, Saturday October 25, 2014

Where: Joseph B. Martin Conference Center
                77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
                Boston, MA 02115

Driving Directions. Public transportation: the Conference Center is accessible via the D and E Line subways and the #47, CT2, and 8A buses. For more information, see www.mbta.com or www.theconfcenter.hms.harvard.edu/directions/. Free parking is conveniently located at the venue’s garage.

Fees:  AANE member/person: $100; Nonmember: $150
             Additional person (at the same address):
             $75/non-professional; $100/professional

Register Now!

Registration fees include morning coffee, box lunch, and parking at the venue. An additional $25 fee applies for late registrations postmarked or received by AANE after 10/15.

Keynote Speakers

Simon Baron-Cohen, Ph.D. - Why Is Autism More Common in Males? A Review of Research into Prenatal Sex Steroid Hormones in Autism

Simon Baron-Cohen is director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Cambridge University. He is author of Zero Degrees of Empathy and The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain as well as editor-in-chief of the online open access journal Molecular Autism. His current research is testing the “extreme male brain” theory of autism at the neural, endocrine, and genetic levels.

Simon has been awarded prizes from the American Psychological Association, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), and the British Psychological Society (BPS) for his research into autism.

Winnie Dunn, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA - Focus on Strengths: Imagine the Possibilities

This session will explore the principles of strengths-based approaches and the evidence supporting this method. It will examine ways to implement strengths-based approaches in everyday practices.

Sensory Processing Patterns and Their Impact on Everyday Life

Sensory processing is an underlying factor in the human experience. Research indicates that people have particular sensory processing patterns, which are related to their choices in everyday life. This session will review the patterns and examine how they affect routines of a person’s life.

Impact of Strengths-Based Contextual Interventions

This session will review the methods and findings from an intervention study that employed strengths-based and authentic environment interventions with families that have a child with autism. It will examine the implications of these findings for future practice when serving individuals and their families.

Winnie Dunn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Kansas. She is an internationally known expert for her studies about sensory processing in everyday life.

Widely published, she is notably the author/coauthor of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which capture people’s responses to sensory events in everyday life; the Sensory Profile 2 has just come out with a new standardization and validity testing for children birth to 15 years.

She has received the top academic honors in her field as well as awards for innovative and engaging teaching. Her book Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses, received the Seal of Excellence from the Children of the New Earth magazine for parents, professionals and other caregivers.

Michael Forbes Wilcox - Growing Old Disgracefully: Adventures of an Activist Aspergerian

Growing up autistic: To grow up being autistic in an alien world means never fitting in. Taking on typical expectations is a surefire formula for feelings of failure. Not being able to do everything is okay; there isn’t time anyway. Not seeing boundaries is liberating; anything is possible. Not seeing boundaries is dangerous; neurotypicals have rules. Expect to be different. It is a blessing and a curse. Endless joy and endless sorrow will be your companions forever.

Michael Forbes Wilcox was born in 1946 and raised in western Massachusetts, before the concept of “special education” came about. Although he did well in school and made friends easily, his transition to adulthood was difficult. He eventually married and completed college and went on to a very successful career as a world-renowned quantitative investment specialist.

This success belies the difficulty he had with executive functions; he overcame many of his own limitations through self-created accommodations. In 2005, he read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and suspected that he might have autism. In 2007, at the age of 61, he received a clinical diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Today he serves on many boards and committees involved with disability advocacy.


NESCA will be an exhibitor at this conference, which Transition Specialist Kelley Challen, Ed.M., CAS helped to organize. 

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