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Love & Autism Speakers: 2014-2018

2018

Jenna Boyd

Actress

Jenna Boyd is an American actress whose currently stars in the popular Netflix show 'Atypical'. Love & Autism speaker David Finch is the creative consultant behind the show, which features a teenage boy living on the autism spectrum.

 Session - Autism & the Media

    • Together, David Finch and Jenna Boyd the will discuss the importance of autistic characters in the media.

Clay Marzo & Jill Marzo

Profesional Surfer/Free Surfer

Clay Marzo is a professional surfer, widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater called him the best surfer of his generation.

From childhood it was obvious that Clay Marzo‚Äôs single-minded focus on surfing was unique, his skills otherworldly. But the deeper reasons for this obsession didn‚Äôt become clear until his teens, when Marzo was diagnosed with Asperger‚Äôs syndrome/high functioning Autism. Clay‚Äôs fascination with surfing and little regard for much else suddenly had a biological explanation. Marzo‚Äôs elusive character and ability to hyper focus made him a surfing phenom winning 17 NSSA titles by the age of 16, one being the prestigious National Surfing ‚ÄúOpen Men‚Äôs‚ÄĚ where he was not only the youngest to ever win but Clay also is a record holder for being the only one who has ever scored 2 perfect 10‚ÄĚs in their final winning heat.

Accolades of his surfing began to roll in, ESPN Television interviews, X GAMES, Water Man of the Year, Surfers Poll Awards, over 10 Magazine covers, numerous articles in Surfer, Surfing, Rolling Stone, Outback and so on. The Worlds Cup and on and on‚Ķ All this hype spurred a documentary film titled ‚ÄúClay Marzo: Just Add Water‚ÄĚ. This film went on to win the Sundance Film awards in 2008. Followed by a book in 2015. More accomplishments to follow: Water Man of the year and Maneuver of the year at The Surfer‚Äôs Poll Awards, he has been featured in over 10 magazine covers and numerous articles including Surfer, Surfing, Tracks, Rolling stones and Outback to name a few. Following the documentary came a book that got released in 2015 called ‚ÄúJust Add water.‚ÄĚ Marzo‚Äôs elusive character and ability to hyper focus made him a surfing Savant

Surfing with soul, passion, and creativity, Clay thrives in the water, but outside of it, he struggles, like so many in the spectrum. Clay increasingly withdrew from the competitive surfing and the limelight but is still widely regarded as one of the best free surfers in the world and a you tube/Viemo sensation. Today Clay Marzo is seen surfing the North shore of Maui and continues to chase this passion and the peace he can only find in the ocean, riding the waves.

Jill Marzo Clark is the mother of three and has spent the last twenty-nine years in Lahaina working as a masseuse, interior designer and entrepreneur. She was introduced to the autistic community in 1998 when her son a professional surfer Clay was diagnosed as being in the spectrum. She has since engaged with autism awareness groups, doctors, authors and parents across the country sharing joys and trials of having an autistic child.

 Session - Surf Sessions & Life Lessons: Living Your Best Life

    This professional surfer is one of the industry’s most recognizable talents. Clay and his mother Jill will share candidly through video, interview, and conversation about what it’s like to be authentically autistic and one of the world’s best surfers.

Michael Ryan Andolsek

Fashion Designer

Michael Ryan Andolsek, was born in Landstuhl, Germany on June 20, 1991 to William and Mary Andolsek. As a child, he quickly developed a fixation with the fashion world that has lasted into adulthood with immense intensity. At age 17, he began studying all the basics of the industry at the Salt Lake Community College Fashion Institute. Two years later he moved on to study abroad with Parsons The New School For Design in Paris, France. He continued his mentorship in the art and practice of draping under Cecile Pelous, a retired Master Draper for notable couture houses like Christian Dior and Nina Ricci. He was then accepted to study at the prestigious √Čcole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Still not diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at this point, a year in Paris proved to be too much for his unresolved personal difficulties.

Throughout his childhood, no thought of autism was on anyone's mind, despite many clear indicators. He made a sudden move back from France to Salt Lake City, which prompted the Andolsek family to seek medical analysis. Immediately, mental health professionals at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute concluded that Michael Ryan Andolsek, 21 years old, was indeed a person with autism. He claims that his diagnosis has only helped him, and does not necessarily wish he had been given it sooner. He continues to heavily focus on his strength in creating. Composing music, drawing, painting, designing interiors, and building the Andolsek Company are what fill the days of MR ANDOLSEK.

 Session - Loving Beauty

    Autistic clothing designer and social change maker, Michael will temp our senses with his colorful high fashion designs. Watch him draw a design and enjoy a special presentation of his unique women's apparel that lets us glimpse into how he appreciates all things aesthetic.

Marcelle Giamona Ciampi (also known as Samantha Craft)

M.Ed., Author

Samantha Craft (aka Marcelle Ciampi) is best known for her prolific writings found in her well-received blog and book, Everyday Aspergers. She is the founder of Spectrum Suite LLC and has worked as Lead Job Recruiter and Community Manager for ULTRA Testing (a technology company with a neurodiversity hiring initiative). Craft was the Community Achievement Award Recipient at the 2017 ANCA World Autism Festival. A professional educator, Craft has been published in peer-reviewed journals and been featured in autistic literature. Some of her works, especially The Ten Traits, have been translated into multiple languages. Her list of traits for females on the autism spectrum has been shared in counseling offices around the world.

¬†Session - The Courage to Be You: Living a Be ‚ÄĘ YOU ‚ÄĘ itful life

    • We all want to live from a place of purpose and nurture our loving relationships. This experiential workshop will guide participants through several activities towards values centered living.

Presented with Rebecca Bass-Ching & Dr. Jenny Palmiotto.

 Breakout Session - Opportunity Makers

    Discover self-empowerment tools through the Know-Now-Net Method and 5 A’s of Community Inclusion. Take away logical action steps to create tools for self-advocacy, inclusion, and leadership.

Daniel Wendler

M.A., Author, Speaker

Daniel Wendler is the author of the books Improve Your Social Skills and Level Up Your Social Life as well as the website ImproveYourSocialSkills.com. Daniel's commitment to help others find social success was born from his own search for connection. With Daniel's quirky personality and awkward behavior, his childhood was full of rejection, bullying, and loneliness. After he was diagnosed with Asperger‚Äôs Syndrome, Daniel began teaching himself social skills from the ground up. When he then started reaching out to other ‚Äúoutsiders‚ÄĚ, he discovered he was not alone in his search for connection, and that the best way to find a place to belong was to create that place for someone else. Today, as an author, speaker, and clinical psychology doctoral candidate at George Fox University, he works to help others make that same discovery.

 Session  - How to be a Friend

    Author and seasoned Love & Autism speaker, Daniel Wendler will talk friendship with his best friend Kyler Shumway. Learn strategies that everyone (autistic and neurotypical) can use to make new friends or deepen the friendships they already have.

 Breakout Session  - "You Belong"

    • Love & Autism just for Teens!

Find out more here

Kyler Shumway

MA

Kyler Shumway, MA, is the author of The Friendship Formula, a book dedicated to helping teens and adults find friendship by being better at it. Kyler is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at George Fox University completing his clinical internship at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, Texas. He is a sought-after speaker for organizations like The American Psychological Association and The Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. He is an advocate for the Autism community and scientist with a mission of translating mental health research into something digestible for kids and families. He and his best bud, Daniel Wendler, will take the stage at Love and Autism to speak about their deep friendship, with an additional breakout workshop for youth called "You Belong!" Kyler's research focuses on the effects of psychotherapy in the brain and the impact of social isolation on wellbeing. He has a passion for helping youth succeed and feel connected, with a background as a school counselor and collegiate track coach. In his free time, he enjoys lifting weights with his best bud Daniel, cooking food with his wife Mary, and playing video games.

 Session  - How to be a Friend

    Kyler Shumway will talk friendship with his best friendDaniel Wendler. Learn strategies that everyone (autistic and neurotypical) can use to make new friends or deepen the friendships they already have.

 Breakout Session  - "You Belong"

    • Love & Autism just for Teens!

Find out more here

Noah Cummins

Singer/Songwriter

Noah Cummins is a Singer Songwriter from Park Ridge Illinois. Since the age of five, singing and performing has been his passion. Noah studies commercial music at Belmont University while writing and performing in the Nashville circuit. He has sung the national anthem for the Chicago Cubs, Bulls and White Sox. This tenor singer-songwriter has multiple genres and his repertoire. Noah has had music in his life since he was born and perfects his with many professionals. He is looking to debut a new EP in September.

 Session  - Musical Performance

    Autistic singer-song writer, Noah Cummins will jam with our master of ceremony, David Finch, in a conference closing that will sure to have you on your feet.

Jeremy Sicile-Kira

Intuitive Artist, Author

Jeremy Sicile-Kira is an award-winning intuitive artist who communicates by typing. When he was a young child, his family was given no hope for his future. Nonetheless, Jeremy graduated high school in 2010 at age 21 with a full academic diploma. To help others with autism transition to adulthood, Jeremy co-authored a book, A Full Life with Autism (Macmillan).

Jeremy has synesthesia ‚Äď he sees emotion as color. In August 2012, Jeremy began to tell others about his dreams: dreams that he was painting the emotions of people into colorful abstract portraits. One night he dreamt that he painted ten of his paintings and had an art show. Jeremy was encouraged to make this dream come true, and began to paint in real life. In April 2016 his first curated solo art show held in San Diego was covered by local and national media, resulting in a sold-out show and 24 private commissions. Currently, Jeremy meets clients at his art studio in San Diego or via skype, and then paints their portraits. According to Jeremy, ‚ÄúMy ability to paint the colors I see in my dreams is the greatest gift I have.‚ÄĚ For more information, go to Jeremysvision.com.

 Session  - Dreams of Love & Autism

    Nationally recognized local artist will paint live while telling his story through video. Jeremy who communicates by typing is a author, advocate and award winning artist who translates other people's emotions and mood into beautiful works of art.

Rebecca Bass-Ching

¬†Session - The Courage to Be You: Living a Be ‚ÄĘ YOU ‚ÄĘ itful life

    • We all want to live from a place of purpose and nurture our loving relationships. This experiential workshop will guide participants through several activities towards values centered living.

Presented with Marcelle Giamona Ciampi & Dr. Jenny Palmiotto.

Sally Pla

Author

Sally J. Pla is an award-winning author of books for young people.

THE SOMEDAY BIRDS (HarperCollins 2017) -- Winner of the 2018 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award. Junior Library Guild Selection for 2017. 2017 Nerdies Award winner. A New York Public Library Best Children’s Book of 2017.

STANLEY WILL PROBABLY BE FINE (HarperCollins 2018) -- Junior Library Guild Selection for 2018. Starred review from Kirkus.

BENJI, THE BAD DAY, & ME (Lee & Low 2018) -- Coming this fall.

Sally has worked as a business journalist and in public education. She is an #ownvoices writer who believes in kindness, respect, and the beauty of different brains. We are all stars shining with different lights.

She lives with her family and a big fluffy dog in San Diego, where she’s hard at work on the next book.

 Session - An Unexpected Journey: On Novel-Writing, Autism, and Self-Love

    I started writing a children's novel, writing as the mom of an autistic son. But along the way, I started realizing that I was writing from a different place altogether. This is the story of how writing a book helped rewrite the story of my whole life. How it strengthened me, and brought me to self-acceptance and love.

 Breakout Session - Creative Writing and Self-Love

    Self-Expression is an act of Self-Love! And creative writing enhances self-understanding. Telling imaginative stories is how we learn -- about the world, about each other, about ourselves. So... let's get writing! Hints, tips, and fun exercises to help you uncover the joy in writing and storytelling.

David Finch

Author, Speaker

2018 Love & Autism Master of Ceremonies

David Finch is a humorist, public speaker, and author of the acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, The Journal of Best Practices. Married in 2003 and diagnosed five years later with Asperger syndrome, David has committed himself to relentless self-improvement, sometimes to a comical extent. David has written for The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Slate, and he writes a relationship blog for Psychology Today. But his greatest accomplishment by far has been learning how to thrive as a family man.

 Session - What Would David Finch Do?

    David will open up our morning with a funny and endearing story that will make you laugh while speaking to the power of self-acceptance and Love & Autism. Mr. Finch will also engage each presenter in a moderated discussion following each presentation.

 Session - Lie Better and Other Essential Skills

Gavin Martin

Musician - Drummer

Gavin Martin is a sweet, high energy, intelligent boy, who also happens to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, and a receptive/expressive language disorder. Gavin’s love for music started at a very early age and has turned into a passion for playing drums! He received his first drum set in 2014 for Christmas and hasn’t stopped playing since! Gavin takes drum lessons three times a week and also plays with a band in St. Louis. He loves performing on stage and hopes to become a professional drummer when he grows up!

 Session  - Musical Drum Performance

    Rock out with Gavin Martin, our 9-year old drummer who shows us the power of positive autistic identity through his high-energy drum set.

Alix Generous Lancaster & Roy Lancaster

Alix Generous is the founder of Generous & CO, a VR development company dedicated to helping the lives of those with autism. Generous grew up in Bethesda, MD and did not speak until she was six. At 12, she received an autism diagnosis. She is a survivor of childhood and institutional abuse but more importantly, she is a champion for the neurodiverse, a gifted healer, and a strong advocate for children and their families. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in psychology and molecular biology. She’s interned with the Medical University of South Carolina researching neuropathic pain and at Tufts Medical School, where she volunteered her time as a neuroscience lab technician studying traumatic brain injury. She speaks all over the world on autism & has given a TED talk that’s been viewed over 1.6 million times. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Roy, and her St. Bernard Chauncey. She works as a music & arts therapist for disabled youth when she’s not working on her company. She is currently fundraising to develop an application that allows nonverbal autistics to communicate clearly with the world around them.

 Session - A Love That Endures: Newlyweds with Autism

    These newylweds will discuss how they have grown their love while contending with some of the hurdles that face neurologically mixed partnerships.

 Breakout Session - Learning To Love Myself, Quirks and All

    Alix Generous first captured our hearts in her wildly popular TEDtalk. She will do it again by letting us in to her formidable struggle to accept, appreciate, and fully love the person that she is; quirks and all.

Jack Arnold & Michael Cox

 Session  - For Shizzzle Our Friendship is Aight: Lessons Learned in a Decade of Friendship

    • Get real friendship tips from two young men who started their friendship in an unlikely place.

Presented with Dr. Jenny Palmiotto

Quincy Tafoya

 Autistic & Proud: A Musical Performance by Quincy Tafoya

    Quincy Tafoya, is an 11 year old social change activist and long time Love & Autism fan. Nicknamed ‚Äúthe Canary,‚ÄĚ he will use his musical talents that have helped him uncover his own strength and resiliency.

Breakout Speakers

Jenny Palmiotto

Founder of Love & Autism

Jenny Palmiotto is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified RDI program consultant. She uses well-researched treatment methods including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Behavioral and Brief Models. She has extensive training and a decade of experience treating individuals on the autism spectrum.

She specializes in serving persons with invisible social deficits. She also has advanced training in working with couples that are longing to reconnect with on another. She is currently a 4th year doctoral student at Alliant International University. She received her masters from University of San Diego.

¬†Session - The Courage to Be You: Living a Be ‚ÄĘ YOU ‚ÄĘ itful life

    • We all want to live from a place of purpose and nurture our loving relationships. This experiential workshop will guide participants through several activities towards values centered living.

Presented with Marcelle Giamona Ciampi & Rebecca Bass-Ching

 Session - For Shizzzle Our Friendship is Aight: Lessons Learned in a Decade of Friendship

    • Get real friendship tips from two young men who started their friendship in an unlikely place.

Presented with Jack Arnold & Michael Cox.

 Breakout Session - Resilient Parenting: Tools to move away from Blame, Shame and Anger

    When we are hurt and scared, we often go to blame, shame and anger. These emotional responses don't serve us or our children. Explore these emotional triggers and learn new ways to respond.

 Breakout Session - Conversations about Love & Autism

    So many ideas swirling through your head? Have a few questions? Want to get the inside track to next year’s event? Join Jenny to have a casual conversation about Love & Autism.

Lisa Burgess

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Lisa is a Developmental Therapist with FGTC, and is also a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, as well as an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. She has worked with clients of various ages, ranging from toddlers to adults, and has experience working in a variety of mental health settings. Throughout her time as FGTC, Lisa has developed a passion for helping families build strong relationships through RDI, and aspires to use her knowledge to make an impact in the world.

 Breakout Session - Finding Your People: A place for Conference Connections

    Have real conversations with new people or strengthen old connections in this unstructured social gathering.

David La Frenz

David LaFrenz is an autistic man raising his autistic child with their other parent who also happens to be autistic. Not learning he was autistic until adulthood, David embraces his unique neurology. He is passionate about serving others through his work as a volunteer and board member for various advocacy organizations.

In addition to his advocacy work and dedication to dynamic parenting, he is fulfilled by his professional presence within the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as a driver license examiner. David has conducted tens of thousands of driving tests in his near decade of service to the motoring public and is an expert in examining the driving patterns, behaviors, skills, and abilities of all types of persons. He understands fully the unique needs of autistics in navigating the many facets of traffic and driving. Also, in his service to the DMV David serves on its Disability Advisory Committee analyzing, interpreting, and implementing policies to better meet the needs of all disabled Californians.

 Breakout Session - Driving while Autistic: Being your Best Self Behind the Wheel

    David, a driver license examiner with the Department of Motor Vehicles, Driving is anxiety provoking for many. Learn practical tips to overcome fears about getting behind the wheel so you can get out on the road.

Kasey Connors

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Kasey specializes working with children and pre-adolescents. She focuses on helping through transitions in early life, by supporting young people in finding their voice and sense of self. Through being authentic, empathetic, and transparent, Kasey provides a safe space for her clients to discuss obstacles they face which may inhibit positive growth.

Kasey is a creative and nature inspired individual who believes in the power of making art and being in-tune with nature as guides to healthier functioning. By engaging and guiding her clients through the process of creating art and being in tune with nature, Kasey focuses on the importance of perspective taking and having tangible creations to aid in discussion of depression, communication issues, self-awareness, and relationship problems. Kasey received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy specializing in Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont California.

Meghan Murphy

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

I have spent my career working in the field of autism and other various developmental disabilities. Over the past many years, I have witnessed the value of strengthening the family unit as a whole, as a vital piece of a child’s success and growth. Therefore, as a certified RDI consultant and Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, my approach has consisted of providing a safe, comfortable environment in which I can support each member of the family in their relationships with each other, as well as with themselves.

I specialize in working with children, adolescents and adults with autism and co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression. I also have a particular interest in working with couples or individuals who are impacted by a diagnosis.

I firmly believe in the importance of collaborating with my client and am constantly learning and growing from each experience a client shares with me. I ensure that I view each client as an individual and support them to find the right level of challenge necessary to experience growth.

 Breakout Session - Getting Creative: Deepening Emotional Expression in Autistic Individuals

    Discover and practice meaningful ways to increase emotional literacy in our homes. Find new ways to make emotions safe and understood.

Terri Colachis

 Breakout Session - Launching with Love & Dignity

    When Teri found herself exploring living arrangements for her autistic daughter, she was met with discouragement and even disgust when the word ‚Äúgroup home‚ÄĚ was used. She has forged a new path for her daughter and countless others through her political activism, advocacy and heart made of gold.

Klara Placek

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Klara received her Master’s degree from Alliant International University and is completing her PsyD in their Couple and Family Therapy program.

Klara believes that learning to reach towards our loved ones, rather than away from them, can improve many other aspects of our lives, such as resiliency, self-esteem and intimacy. Thus, Klara’s goal in therapy is to help families, couples, and individuals improve their relationships and ability to connect to others.

Klara is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy and works from an attachment perspective to promote compassion and understanding in relationships, in order to change negative patterns of interaction. In addition, Klara models empathy, authenticity and transparency to create a safe environment, with no judgment, where clients can feel, heard, validated and comfortable.

Klara has experience working with mental health diagnoses, such as Depression and other Affective Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders, Substance abuse and Trauma. Klara seeks to help clients process difficult emotions and understand their behaviors, as well as, develop more beneficial and safer coping strategies.

Klara is currently working with children with autism and is being trained in Relationship Development Intervention (RDI). RDI is a treatment model designed to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism by promoting dynamic thinking, flexibility, emotional development and social relationships.

Julie Hattaway

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Julie Hattaway is a marriage and family therapist intern specializing in individual, couple, and family therapy. Julie earned her master’s degree from Alliant International University and is currently completing her PsyD in their Couple and Family Therapy program.

Julie maintains a curious attitude to create an environment where clients feel safe and free of judgement. Julie creates a comfortable therapeutic environment through her use of compassion and humor. Julie believes that all individuals, couples and families are unique and tailors treatment to each client’s issues in a way that is adaptable and promotes growth. Julie operates from a strength based approach that encourages the use of existing tools and resources to identify solutions and create change.

Julie is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy and utilizes an attachment framework to create emotional closeness and eliminate negative interaction patterns

Julie has experience working with couples looking to improve their communication, increase connection and intimacy, reduce conflict, and who are adapting to various life stages such as dating, preparing for marriage, growing families, divorce, and launching.

Julie is currently working with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is being trained in Relationship Development Intervention (RDI). Using an RDI lens, Julie guides clients to develop a strong sense of competence and trust in themselves while expanding their interactions with the world around them.

 Breakout Session - Strengthening Couple Relationships: Deconstructing the Dance

    Develop your very own relationship map to help you navigate distance, emotional triggers, and conflict in our intimate partnerships. May attend with or without your partner.

Amber Hasbun

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Amber is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in providing counseling to individuals, couples, and families. She is particularly passionate about helping individual and families cope with and overcome a traumatic event/s and the negative emotional responses associated with traumas. She enjoys collaborating with clients to overcome depression, anxiety, feelings of decreased self-worth, low self-esteem, and those who feel marginalized or devalued within their relationship, family, or their larger social system.

Amber is kind, warm, compassionate and empathetic. She believes change starts when clients feel accepted and safe; therefore works to ensure these are present in the client-therapist relationship. Through the use of Contextual, Attachment, and Narrative Therapy approaches, Amber helps clients achieve a higher state of emotional and mental well-being.

Amber received her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2011 from Alliant International University and is pursuing a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD.) in Marriage and Family Therapy, also from Alliant. Amber also works at the Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC) at the Navy Medical Center in Balboa in the development and implementation of a program designed to increase quality of care for active duty service members.

 Breakout Session - Boundaries about our Bodies: Teaching Safety through the Life Span

    Discover the skills necessary to keep your child safe, how to approach difficult topics, and help your child to take more responsibility of their safety.

 Breakout Session - Practicing Self-love Now and at Home

    The struggle is real! Practice ways to meet your struggle with kindness, understanding, and how to build moments of self-compassion in everyday life.

Rupert Issacson

Founder of Movement Method and Owner of the Horse Boy Foundation

Rupert is the creative force behind Horse Boy, Rowan is his mentor, teacher and muse. Together all aspects of Horse Boy begin with them and from there the wider team helps to develop each aspect of the Horse Boy Programs. Rupert has also been mentored by Dr. Temple Grandin and other adult autists. What makes Rupert unique among autism practitioners is that from the get go he thought and still seeks direct mentorship from the population he serves.

Rupert Isaacson was born in 1967 in London to a South African mother and Zimbabwean father, and grew up half in London, half on a remote horse farm in the British countryside and also with Africa looming large in his life. Coming from a family of pioneers and adventurers ‚Äď Russian Jews who went to Africa on his father‚Äôs side, British, Dutch and mixed race settlers on his mother‚Äôs side ‚Äď Rupert‚Äôs grandparents were journalists, war correspondents, cattle ranchers and artists. His father is an architect and his mother a sculptor. So making your own destiny is something he grew up with. A journalist for the British and American press from the early 1990s (Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, Esquire, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller ‚Äď among others), he has also published several guidebooks to Africa and India, and is he author of three non-fictional memoirs: The Healing Land (a New York Times Notable Book), which tells the story of his family in Africa, and of his own time spent living with the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert; The Horse Boy (a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller), which tells the story of his journey across Mongolia on horseback with his autistic son Rowan; and The Long Ride Home, which tells of the three subsequent healing journeys he and his son made to Africa, Australia and the Navajo Reservation, as well as his discovery of how horses can help autism and special needs in general.

Rupert also runs the Horse Boy Foundation, from his New Trails ranch near Austin, Texas, which offers services to autism families, and helps direct several satellite centers offering similar services in North America and Europe. In partnership with Iliane Lorenz he also teaches Horse Boy Method, Movement Method (an kinetic learning program designed for homeschool and mainstream aimed at autism, ADD and ADHD), and other kinetic learning techniques, along with Stress Free Dressage, a way of introducing riders to the higher levels of equitation without being screamed at(!).

A succesful documentary filmmaker ‚Äď The Horse Boy and Endangerous - and write and conceiver of reality TV shows (The Quest - which aired on ABC in 2014 - was his original concept and he helped produce the show), and in addition his mainstream Hollywood projects include The Horse Boy feature film and The Goth Lords.

A career in human rights runs parallel to all this. In 2004 he founded the Indigenous Land Rights Fund, which helps hunting and gathering tribes gain legal title to their ancestral land and which helped the Bushmen of Botswana win the largest land claim in African history in 2006 - as a result of which he is now banned from Botswana (!).

Finally there is his first love - horses both cross country riding, and classical dressage (he works closely with the Valenca Family in Portugal and studies with Christian Bachinger of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna as well as Christoph Hess of the German FN). A small time breeder of Lusitano horses, Rupert relaxes by reading historical novels, planting trees and drinking beer, especially IPAs. He quite likes wine too. And food.

 Breakout Session - Movement and Nature for Better Connection

    Author, human-rights activist, and loving father to his autistic teenager, Rupert will demonstrate why every one of us benefits from movement and nature. Expect to get moving.

Alex Plank

Founder of WrongPlanet

Alex Plank is the guy behind WrongPlanet.net, the incredibly popular site for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. Both Alex and Wrong Planet have been featured by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Good Morning America. Wrong Planet has more than 90,000 registered members and its discussion forums contain millions of messages.

Alex graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Film and Video Studies. His areas of interest and expertise include public speaking, the Internet, writing, directing, and filmmaking. He lives in Beverly Hills, California. Alex is also a consultant and actor on FX’s hit series The Bridge.

 Breakout Session - 100 tips from 100 Dates

    Autistic people are often given unhelpful dating advice by well-meaning neurotypical people. Alex Plank has figured dating out. His advice actually works.

Seth Schwartz

Special Education Attorney

 Breakout Session - Demystifying Special Education Law: Advocating for Inclusion, Accommodations, and Modifications in Relation to the IEP

    Could your child love school? Sometimes that path towards joyful education starts with understanding your child’s rights. Seth Swchartz will give you a comprehensive guide to creating necessary educational change through the IEP process

Melissa Geiger

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist who enjoys working with children, teens, and their families who have become off track and out of sync with one another, themselves, or just need a little extra help getting back to where they want to be.

My background is working with youth 5-24 years of age with emotional disturbances including (but not limited to): major depression, anxiety, attachment issues,  ADHD, extensive trauma, adoption, foster, school issues, suicidality, and aggression. I have worked with youth and adults who are part of the LGBTQ community. My office is a safe place where all are accepted and treated with compassion. Some of the treatment modalities I like to integrate during sessions include play therapy, art therapy, theraplay, attachment based techniques, and solution focused. I also have experience working with parents who are finding themselves overwhelmed, burnt out, and struggling to make positive connections with their children.

I am not in this field to tell people what to do, pass judgment or give advice. My goal as your therapist is to listen to you, get to know you as a person, identify strengths, build self- awareness and create a safe environment where positive change happens, hope flourishes, and relationships thrive.

Brian Bovino

Director of Developmental Services at FGTC

Brian Bovino earned his B.A at the University of Massachusetts with a double major in Economics and Finance. He graduated with his Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Brian is also a Certified Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Consultant.

Brian began his work with families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2004. Prior to starting at the Family Guidance and Therapy Center, Brian specialized in educating parents on how build consistency in parenting practices. He also worked with parents to improve their confidence and helped them explore new learning opportunities available in everyday activities. Brian is passionate about helping parents become an active part in their child’s learning and development. He believes that through everyday routines and leisure activities, each moment is a potential learning opportunity and can be made enjoyable. Since working at Family Guidance and Therapy Center, Brian has worked with families on ways to create more meaningful relationships.

Brian has worked in a multitude of settings including public, private, and charter schools, as well as providing direct care services in home, clinics, and community based settings. Brian has worked with many different populations including individuals in the Special Olympics, juvenile probation, short-term residential facilities, and the healthcare field. Brian lives in San Diego with his wife, daughter and golden retriever.

 Breakout Session - Compassionate Parenting: Gently Teaching Life's Lessons

    Learn practical strategies to limit setting and develop a heart-centered and effective way to approach discipline in your home.

Samantha Alexander

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

¬†Breakout Session - Parenting from a Position of Intuition & Heart: Why RDI¬ģ Works

    In this introductory session, caregivers will learn about RDI, a humanistic, relational and family-focused intervention. You will leave with practical tips and new ways of thinking. Presented with Meghan Murphy.

2017

John Elder Robison, Maripat Robison and Jack Robison

 Session -  Neurodiversity in the Family

Nick Walker

Nick Walker is an autistic author, educator, speaker, transdisciplinarly scholar, parent, and aikido teacher. He is one of the founding editors of Autonomous Press, an independent publishing house owned and operated entirely by neurodivergent workers. He holds a 6th degree black belt in aikido, and is founder and senior instructor of the Aikido Shusekai dojo in Berkeley, California. Nick is a faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at California Institute of Integral Studies and the undergraduate Psychology program at Sofia University. He is widely recognized as one of the leading thinkers in the emergent field of neurodiversity, and he is a sought-after speaker and consultant on the topics of autism, cognitive liberty, creativity, and transformative learning. Books in which Nick’s writings appear include The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children, The Spoon Knife Anthology, and Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber. He has been featured in the documentary films Orphans of Delirium, Dreambody/Earthbody, and Spectrum: A Story of the Mind. Many of his essays on neurodiversity and related matters can be found on his blog, Neurocosmopolitanism. He is also the co-author of a science-fiction webcomic called Weird Luck

 Session - Changing the Ways We Talk About Autism

  • Different individuals and communities have different ways of talking about autism
  • What impact do our various ways of talking about autism ultimately have on the lives of autistic people and their loved ones?
  • What sort of changes might we make in the ways we talk about autism, in order to promote better long-term outcomes?

 Breakout Session - Autistic Partners in Love & Relationships

  • When one member of a couple is autistic and one isn‚Äôt, it can add a whole new layer of complexity to the already complicated dance of intimacy.
  • Explore¬†how good communication, loving connection, and mutual empathy can be cultivated between two people whose minds are vastly different from one another.

Amy Sequenzia

Amy Sequenzia is a non-speaking Autistic, multiply disabled activist and writer. Amy writes about disability rights, civil rights and human rights. She also writes poetry.

Amy has presented in several conferences in the US and abroad, and her work is featured in books about being Autistic and Disabled. Amy is deeply involved with the Neurodiversity Movement and has been outspoken about the rights and worthy of disabled people.

Her first published work was as a contributor for the anthology ‚ÄúLoud Hands, Autistic People Speaking‚ÄĚ
In 2015 Amy co-edited an anthology of essays written by people who type, write or point to letters to communicate (Typed Words, Loud Voices ‚Äď Autonomous Press, publisher), and her work appeared on a book edited by Michelle Sutton, a resource for parents of Autistic children (Real Experts ‚Äď Autonomous Press, publisher) Amy‚Äôs writings have also appeared in other publications by Autonomous Press: The Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber, Barking Sycamores: Year Two. She collaborated in a book to be published by Oxford University Press to be released later in 2017: ‚ÄúSpeaking of Music‚ÄĚ by Michael Bakan.

Amy serves on the Board of Directors of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN).

She blogs regularly for Ollibean.com and the Autism Women’s Network. All her online published work can be found on her blog nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com

 Session -  Non-Speaking Autistic, Speaking About Being Proudly Autistic

 Breakout Session - Synesthesia, Music, Poetry

Asperger's Are Us

 Session - Asperger's Are Us, Live!

  • Asperger's Are Us will entertain with an original absurdist comedy sketch
  • Live Q&A with the cast, moderated by Alex Plank (creator of Wrong Planet)

Kristine Mastronardi and Jake Mastronardi

Kristine Mastronardi, Founder of MindGuiding, RDI Certified Consultant. Kristine left her job as a computer programmer on Wall St. and began her autism education when her oldest son Jake was diagnosed with autism. Kristine pursued her Masters in Special Education, was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis, worked in the school system and created a website www.joeschedule.com to create visual activity schedules. Kristine found RDI, Relationship Development Intervention, when Jake was nine years old and saw the profound effect it had on him. She became a Certified RDI Consultant in 2012 and founded MindGuiding where she teaches parents to become guides to their own children. Kristine is currently part of the Dynamic Intelligence Workgroup and works closely with Dr. Gutstein, founder of RDI. Kristine runs Online Parent Groups and teaches parents how to guide their children to learn from their experiences so they can handle challenge and set goals in their every day life utilizing the Dynamic Intelligence Curriculum developed by Dr. Gutstein.

Session - Becoming: Our Story of Autism and RDI, Relationship Development Intervention

  • Hear the journey of discovery led down a path towards Relationship Development Intervention (RDI¬ģ).
  • Learn how RDI¬ģ gives confidence back to parent¬†as the primary guide for their children.
  • Listen to Kristine's story of struggle, dreams, accomplishment and the hope for the future she now shares with her son.

Laura Nadine

 Session - Rising Like the Phoenix

  • Autistic single mother of two teens takes you on a musical journey of life on the spectrum,¬†sharing the struggles and the victories as she navigated autism with her violin.
  • Laura ends her presentation with a film of her creation highlighting the beauty and strength of autism.

Tom Iland

Tom Iland was diagnosed with autism at 13, and has worked hard to achieve many of his goals: full-time employment, driving, living in his own apartment and having a girlfriend. Tom is a graduate of California State University Northridge and a Certified Public Accountant and is currently co-authoring a book, sharing practical suggestions based on experience to help parents, educators and other self-advocates navigate transition and adulthood. He enjoys public speaking and offer unique insights with heart and humor in my engaging presentations.

Session - ‚ÄúKnow Yourself. Love Yourself. Be Yourself‚ÄĚ

  • This inspiring presentation for parents, educators, other professionals and self-advocates focuses on these key concepts to support self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-advocacy skills.
  • Tom will explain why he created this mantra, how it applies to everyday life and how you can apply it to become your best self.

David Finch

 Session - Information TBA

Dena Gassner

Session - Redefining Marriage and Bourbon: How to Make it Work when Clash of the Conditions Exists

Breakout Session - Resilience, The Autistic Way

Amy Gravino

Amy Gravino, M.A., is a Certified Autism Specialist and the president of A.S.C.O.T. Coaching. Amy offers autism consulting, mentoring, and college coaching services for individuals on the autism spectrum. Amy is a professional national speaker who has given two TED talks and presented to numerous audiences on a variety of topics, including autism and sexuality; preventing and ending bullying; issues related to girls and autism; growing up on the spectrum; and autism and transitioning to secondary education. She also currently serves on the Board of the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, the Self-Advocate Advisory Board for the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, and co-facilitates the Morris County chapter support group meetings for ASPEN-NJ. Amy's writing has been published in a variety of outlets, including the textbook Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education, the Reader‚Äôs Digest book The Best Life Stories, ‚ÄúAutism Spectrum Quarterly‚ÄĚ magazine, the official blog of Autism Speaks, and more. She is also the author of The Naughty Autie, a memoir of her experiences with dating, relationships, and sexuality from the firsthand perspective of a woman on the autism spectrum.¬†For more information or to contact Amy, please visit www.AmyGravino.com.

Session - Sexuality and the Spectrum: Lessons on Sex, Dating, and Love, Autism Style

  • Firsthand perspective from an autistic woman about her experiences with dating and sexuality on the spectrum .
  • She will discuss strategies to assist people on the spectrum (and their families and caregivers) in discussing sexuality, navigating relationships, avoiding victimization, and fostering empowerment.
  • Bonus discussion:¬†The potential for teaching dating skills to autistic individuals.

Kassiane Asasumasu (Sibley)

Session - Love Will Tear You Apart, and Love can Put You Back Together

Elaine Hall

 Session - Love is Autism, Autism is Love

  • Contrary to popular myth, individuals with autism are capable of deep emotional expression!
  • She will show video clips of students from her award winning program, The Miracle Project: Helping her students¬†find their voice, discovering their passion, accepting and loving their own 'quirks.'
  • The presentation will examine how to build a foundation of Self Love, Self acceptance and Self Appreciation.

The Miracle Project

Coby Bird, Tristen Bonnaci Miller, Domonique Brown

The Miracle Project uses a groundbreaking methodology to provide individuals with autism and other disabilities the tools to build communication, social skills, community, and greater self-esteem through inclusive theater and expressive arts programs. The Miracle Project was founded in 2004 by Love & Autism speaker Elaine Hall and describes itself as "An Artistic Expression of Autistic Empowerment".

 Session: A Musical Performance

Kyler Shumway

Kyler Shumway, MA, is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at George Fox University. Kyler is a sought-after speaker and neuroscientist with a mission of translating mental health research into something digestible for kids and families. Kyler's research is diverse, ranging from social skills and brain development to Dungeons and Dragons and empathy. He has a passion for helping youth succeed and feel connected, with a background as a school counselor and collegiate track coach. In his free time, he enjoys lifting weights with his best bud Daniel Wendler, cooking food with his wife Mary, and playing Overwatch. He is excited to attend the Love and Autism Conference this fall -- it's his first time! Connect with him at KylerShumway.com

Session - Go here for more information

Daniel Wendler

For more information on Daniel Wendler's teen track for the 2017 Love & Autism conference, go here.

Session - You Belong--By and For Young Adults on the Autism spectrum

Rupert Issacson

Rupert is the creative force behind Horse Boy, Rowan is his mentor, teacher and muse. Together all aspects of Horse Boy begin with them and from there the wider team helps to develop each aspect of the Horse Boy Programs. Rupert has also been mentored by Dr. Temple Grandin and other adult autists. What makes Rupert unique among autism practitioners is that from the get go he thought and still seeks direct mentorship from the population he serves.

Rupert Isaacson was born in 1967 in London to a South African mother and Zimbabwean father, and grew up half in London, half on a remote horse farm in the British countryside and also with Africa looming large in his life. Coming from a family of pioneers and adventurers ‚Äď Russian Jews who went to Africa on his father‚Äôs side, British, Dutch and mixed race settlers on his mother‚Äôs side ‚Äď Rupert‚Äôs grandparents were journalists, war correspondents, cattle ranchers and artists. His father is an architect and his mother a sculptor.
So making your own destiny is something he grew up with. A journalist for the British and American press from the early 1990s (Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, Esquire, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller ‚Äď among others), he has also published several guidebooks to Africa and India, and is he author of three non-fictional memoirs: The Healing Land (a New York Times Notable Book), which tells the story of his family in Africa, and of his own time spent living with the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert; The Horse Boy (a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller), which tells the story of his journey across Mongolia on horseback with his autistic son Rowan; and The Long Ride Home, which tells of the three subsequent healing journeys he and his son made to Africa, Australia and the Navajo Reservation, as well as his discovery of how horses can help autism and special needs in general.

Rupert also runs the Horse Boy Foundation, from his New Trails ranch near Austin, Texas, which offers services to autism families, and helps direct several satellite centers offering similar services in North America and Europe. In partnership with Iliane Lorenz he also teaches Horse Boy Method, Movement Method (an kinetic learning program designed for homeschool and mainstream aimed at autism, ADD and ADHD), and other kinetic learning techniques, along with Stress Free Dressage, a way of introducing riders to the higher levels of equitation without being screamed at(!).

A succesful documentary filmmaker ‚Äď The Horse Boy and Endangerous - and write and conceiver of reality TV shows (The Quest - which aired on ABC in 2014 - was his original concept and he helped produce the show), and in addition his mainstream Hollywood projects include The Horse Boy feature film and The Goth Lords.

A career in human rights runs parallel to all this. In 2004 he founded the Indigenous Land Rights Fund, which helps hunting and gathering tribes gain legal title to their ancestral land and which helped the Bushmen of Botswana win the largest land claim in African history in 2006 - as a result of which he is now banned from Botswana (!).

Finally there is his first love - horses both cross country riding, and classical dressage (he works closely with the Valenca Family in Portugal and studies with Christian Bachinger of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna as well as Christoph Hess of the German FN). A small time breeder of Lusitano horses, Rupert relaxes by reading historical novels, planting trees and drinking beer, especially IPAs. He quite likes wine too. And food.

Session - The Gifts of Autism: Why the therapists got it backwards, and why we need to fall in love with Autism

Alex Plank

Alex Plank is the guy behind WrongPlanet.net, the incredibly popular site for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. Both Alex and Wrong Planet have been featured by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Good Morning America. Wrong Planet has more than 90,000 registered members and its discussion forums contain millions of messages.

Alex graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Film and Video Studies. His areas of interest and expertise include public speaking, the Internet, writing, directing, and filmmaking. He lives in Beverly Hills, California. Alex is also a consultant and actor on FX’s hit series The Bridge.

   Session - Happy Hour

  • Conference Unwind with Alex Plank including Q & A

Breakout Session Speakers

Manuela Jaramillo

Manuela was born in Colombia in 1977. She studied Physics and Philosophy in the U.S where she came with a scholarship as a competitive waterskier. In the process of studying and skiing she found Yoga and it has been her life path ever since. She is the mother of two children, one of whom is in the autism spectrum. They were both born in India where she and her husband lived for 7 years at an ashram. She guides people in their yoga practice since the year 2000 in the U.S, India and Colombia. She now lives in Colombia where she still skies competitively, writes about her life adventures, bakes and cooks for her family, educates herself and her children and where she strives to make of life a constant meditation.

Session - Yoga with Manuela

  • Connect inward, find peace and stillness within and allow your body to rest and relax while at the same learning the simple techniques that will allow you to go to that place in your daily life.

Jenny Palmiotto

Jenny Palmiotto is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified RDI program consultant. She uses well-researched treatment methods including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Behavioral and Brief Models. She has extensive training and a decade of experience treating individuals on the autism spectrum.

She specializes in serving persons with invisible social deficits. She also has advanced training in working with couples that are longing to reconnect with on another. She is currently a 4th year doctoral student at Alliant International University. She received her masters from University of San Diego.

Session - Love is Autism, Autism is Love

Kasey Conners

Kasey specializes working with children and pre-adolescents. She focuses on helping through transitions in early life, by supporting young people in finding their voice and sense of self. Through being authentic, empathetic, and transparent, Kasey provides a safe space for her clients to discuss obstacles they face which may inhibit positive growth.

Kasey is a creative and nature inspired individual who believes in the power of making art and being in-tune with nature as guides to healthier functioning. By engaging and guiding her clients through the process of creating art and being in tune with nature, Kasey focuses on the importance of perspective taking and having tangible creations to aid in discussion of depression, communication issues, self-awareness, and relationship problems. Kasey received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy specializing in Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont California.

Session - Processing the Journey: A Creative Exploration Between Past and Present

A'verria Martin

Dr. A’verria Martin received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2008 from Alliant International University and her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Loma Linda University in 2012. During her doctoral studies, she specialized in Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) which focuses on the integration between biopsychosocial and family systems approaches.

Dr. Martin has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and specializes in working with couples from this attachment-based model‚ÄĒhelping partners reprocess the emotional response that maintains marital distress, shaping new key interactions and bonding events, and overcoming therapeutic impasses. Additionally, Dr. Martin works to enhance relational equality by deeply considering the impact of socio-cultural issues on couple relationships using Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy. Dr. Martin also works with individuals from an attachment perspective, while developing richer narratives through a Narrative Therapy approach. In addition, she, more recently has started training in the Relationship Development Intervention a family-based, behavioral treatment designed to address autism‚Äôs core symptoms. Based on these theoretical frameworks, it is the goal of therapy to support individuals, couples, and families to openly process feelings, develop secure attachments, harmonize beliefs and ideas, and organize and share responsibilities to enrich their future development.

Session - Information TBA

Breanna Klebanoff

Breanna is a Couples and Family Therapist Registered Intern passionate about working with individuals, couples and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She has been working with families to remediate autism since 2010.  After witnessing the significant impact that familial relations had on treatment she received her masters in Couples and Family Therapy from Alliant University.

Breanna’s undergraduate degree in philosophy, along with empathy and authentic curiosity help her to reach into the experience of a person affected by ASD.  When working with individuals and families, Breanna obtains an understanding of a client’s emotional and sensory experiences. Together they examine the client’s environment, motivators and relationships together while collaborating in developing self-advocacy skills. This allows Breanna to incorporate the client’s motivation and salient relationships into treatment in a meaningful and lasting way. Treatment is also complemented with creative and individualized interventions or coping techniques. Breanna is influenced by Narrative Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy.

When working with couples, Breanna has found success in utilizing her training in Emotionally Focused Therapy. In doing so, she illustrates her clients’ negative pattern of interactions, inclusive of each partner’s behaviors, perceptions, secondary emotions, primary emotions and unmet needs. This initial identification is the first step in the examination of many of the issues which commonly include but are not limited to: the challenges associated with having a child or spouse with ASD, feeling alone, having a negative perception of one’s self, feeling misunderstood, unheard, overwhelmed or depressed. Breanna helps couples discover that love and care are often just lost in translation, and that each partner can become well versed in understanding one another in a meaningful and loving way.

Session - Psyche and Soul: An Opportunity for Self Care

Amber Hasbun

Amber is a marriage and family therapist registered intern who specializes in providing counseling to individuals, couples, and families.  She is particularly passionate about helping individual and families cope with and overcome a traumatic event/s and the negative emotional responses associated with traumas.  She enjoys collaborating with clients to overcome depression, anxiety, feelings of decreased self-worth, low self-esteem, and those who feel marginalized or devalued within their relationship, family, or their larger social system.

Amber is kind, warm, compassionate and empathetic.  She believes change starts when clients feel accepted and safe; therefore works to ensure these are present in the client-therapist relationship.  Through the use of Contextual, Attachment, and Narrative Therapy approaches, Amber helps clients achieve a higher state of emotional and mental well-being.

Amber received her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2011 from Alliant International University and is pursuing a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD.) in Marriage and Family Therapy, also from Alliant.  Amber also works at the Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC) at the Navy Medical Center in Balboa in the development and implementation of a program designed to increase quality of care for active duty service members.

Session - Information TBA

Meghan Murphy

I have spent my career working in the field of autism and other various developmental disabilities. Over the past many years, I have witnessed the value of strengthening the family unit as a whole, as a vital piece of a child's success and growth. Therefore, as a certified RDI consultant and Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, my approach has consisted of providing a safe, comfortable environment in which I can support each member of the family in their relationships with each other, as well as with themselves.

I specialize in working with children, adolescents and adults with autism and co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression. I also have a particular interest in working with couples or individuals who are impacted by a diagnosis.

I firmly believe in the importance of collaborating with my client and am constantly learning and growing from each experience a client shares with me. I ensure that I view each client as an individual and support them to find the right level of challenge necessary to experience growth.

Session - Breaking the Emotional Iceberg

Cindy Facteau

Cindy has over two decades of experience working in the nonprofit sector in multiple capacities. She's helped both individuals and families (most of whom lived at or below the poverty line) with navigating the system and obtaining appropriate educational assistance and disability resources. Her experience ranges from those living with an array of mental health diagnoses to assisting caregivers in finding creative ways to reach out and engage with their loved ones diagnosed with developmental delays.

Cindy served on the board of directors of the Autism Society San Diego from 2009-2016, serving as president of the organization after spending a year as president-elect. She went on to begin the San Diego chapter of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and served as president until the local chapter programs were discontinued by ASAN's National organization. Cindy has been writing grants for years and has extensive experience with both active and passive fundraising.

Cindy is an autistic mother of two autistic sons, ages 20 and 10. Cindy has been married to a Neurotypical 13-year Marine Corps veteran since 2002 and during her tenure on Camp Pendleton she served on the Commanding General’s Advisory Committee for the Exceptional Family Member Program. She has worked with military personnel to connect Camp Pendleton with the San Diego Sheriff's Department's Take Me Home program - a registry that uses facial recognition technology and surveys of caregivers who register their loved ones to locate missing individuals with limited communication skills, reuniting them safely with their loved ones. She also brought sensory friendly movies to the Camp Pendleton base theater, where they are still played on a quarterly basis for individuals with sensory issues. Cindy also helped collaborate on a program that helps military members with disabled dependents make a smooth transition from the military life back into the civilian world.

She has had her writing published in several mediums, including Exceptional Parent Magazine, where she explains some of the issues unique to the military community. Most recently, her poetry was published in an anthology called All The Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism, which was a collaborative effort amongst dozens of autistic individuals.

Cindy is currently the Chief Operations Officer for Yes I Can - Unity Through Music & Education, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Santa Clarita, CA. that provides social vocational services to autistic teens & young adults to develop skills that will assist them in obtaining work within the music/recording industry at competitive wages.

 Session - Play, Dance, & Meditate: A Guided Tour of the Movement and Calming Rooms

  • An interactive tour of both the Movement and Calming Rooms provided at Love & Autism 2017
  • Participants will be provided a hands-on demonstration of items available for use in both rooms
  • Cindy will lead a discussion on the importance of both authentic autistic movement and the need for quiet spaces to avoid sensory overload

¬†Session - Acceptance is Painless: How & Why Society‚Äôs Expectations of ‚ÄúNormal‚ÄĚ are Dangerous

  • A group discussion about the oftentimes impossible expectations placed by mainstream society upon autistic individuals to conform and the harm ‚Äúpretending to be neurotypical‚ÄĚ can cause
  • Session will include a brief introduction period followed by a time for participants to share their experiences
  • Exploring ways we can create opportunities for acceptance through community education and facilitating societal accommodations for people with different neurotypes

Hannah La Frenz

Session - Information TBA

Katherine Frerich

Session - I've Been There, Done That & Still Doing It

Aisha Pope

Aisha Pope is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Positive Discipline Trainer in private practice in La Mesa, CA where her focus is on family therapy related to adoptions, foster care, and parenting children with special needs. Aisha has provided therapeutic services in a variety of settings including outpatient, inpatient, residential treatment facilities, homes, and Skype. She also works as a clinical supervisor to therapy interns providing individual, group, and family counseling to youth and their families struggling with a variety of behavioral health challenges. She has taught parent training courses to foster parents entering into specialized foster care with severely at risk youth, teaches Positive Discipline Parenting Classes, and is certified to train others to teach Positive Discipline. Aisha is the author of My Brother ‚Äď Autism ‚Äď And Me, a children‚Äôs book about autism, all through the eyes of a sibling. In the book, readers meet a little boy who sometimes struggles to make sense of his brother‚Äôs unusual behavior. He understands that because of autism, his brother does some things differently, but when he sees how much attention that gets him from parents and teachers, he sometimes feels left out. While Aisha has been trained in a variety of evidence based therapeutic models, she gains her most valuable training ‚Äúon the job‚ÄĚ as mom to Jayden, an amazing 11 year old who has autism, and Maya, a precocious 4 year old who keeps her on her toes.

Session - Parenting with Positive Discipline 

Joshua Feder

Dr. Joshua Feder is an Associate Clinical Professor at University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor at Fielding Graduate University, Faculty with The Interdisciplinary Network on Development and Learning (ICDL) and with Profectum, and a Senior Associate Member of the International Network on Peace Building with Young Children. Dr. Feder develops programs, conducts research and works with clinicians, caregivers and children to promote regulation, social communication, and learning. Dr. Feder advocates nationally and internationally on issues related to peace building, informed consent, and Evidence Based Practices, and he serves as Medical Director at SymPlay, developing interactive technology and distance learning systems to support relationship-based interventions. Many of Dr. Feder’s lectures can be found at circlestretch.com.

Session - Safety and Trust

Keri Bowers

Session - Information TBA

Samantha Alexander

Session - Because I Said So: Respectful Discipline

2016

Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New Yorker, the MIT Technology Review, Nature, Salon, Shambhala Sun, and many other publications.¬† He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (Avery 2015), which Oliver Sacks called a ‚Äúsweeping and penetrating history‚Ķpresented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.‚Ä̬† The book became a widely-praised bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom, and won the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, a California Book Award, and a Books for a Better Life award.¬† It was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2015 by the The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and many other publications.¬† In 2016, Silberman gave the keynote speech at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day.¬† He has given talks on the history of autism at Yale, MIT, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Imperial College London, and many other major institutions.

David and Kristen Finch

David Finch is a humorist, public speaker, and author of the acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, The Journal of Best Practices. Married in 2003 and diagnosed five years later with Asperger syndrome, David has committed himself to relentless self-improvement, sometimes to a comical extent. David has written for The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Slate, and he writes a relationship blog for Psychology Today. But his greatest accomplishment by far has been learning how to thrive as a family man.

Session - ‚ÄúThe Happiness Myth: Showing Up In a Meaningful Way‚ÄĚ

  • It turns out that marriage really isn't about making each other happy.
  • In this session, you will learn just three of the many ways you can improve your relationship without wasting efforts: practicing self-love, ownership, and over-the-top celebration.

Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

ASD is too often defined by a checklist of deficits. This perspective has led to disrespectful treatments that often focus on ridding a person of ‚Äúautistic‚ÄĚ symptoms. In this presentation a paradigm-shifting position will be offered. Instead of classifying meaningful and purposeful behavior as pathological, we will examine it as part of human development and human behavior‚ÄĒ a range of strategies to communicate and to cope with a world that at times, feels confusing, overwhelming and frightening. The experience of autistic people with autism is addressed in a manner that provides greater insight into behavioral patterns leading to more respectful strength-based and developmentally appropriate approaches. Specific educational implications will be presented that challenges approaches¬†that focus on "fixing" autistic people.

Session - Autism: A Uniquely Human Experience

Michael Tolleson: An Autist Savant Artist

To create his prolific works of art, with no formal instruction in art, Michael relies on his Asperger’s-mind. During his short-painting-career (less than 5 years) he has painted more than seven hundred gallery-worthy paintings. Regardless of its size, paintings are usually completed in less than an hour. As a result, Michael is reluctant to take credit for his work, believing his autism is actually the artist within him. Until his mid-fifties, Michael was unaware of his autism. In 2015, at the age of fifty-eight, he was formally diagnosed.

Since 2012, the year Michael established his first artist social media page, Michael’s paintings and writings have been featured in three books: Dr. Tony Atwood’s Been There, Done That, Try This, A European artist-collective/compilation titled, Sachet Mixte and A collection of women based artworks with inspirations, The Strength Of Women.
In October 2014, Michael received a global first place in visual arts at the ‚ÄúANCA Naturally Autistic 2014 Awards‚ÄĚ in Scotland. In April 2015, Michael appeared and painted live at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles during the ‚ÄúTemple Grandin and Friends‚Äô‚ÄĚ event, demonstrating, as a savant, the gifts autism brings through him. He does this often at autism benefits and conferences. As an author, advocate, and artist, Michael and has been featured on: NBC affiliate KING 5 Morning Show (New Day Northwest) in 2013, The Seattle Cable Channel 2013, KCPQ Fox Q13 Seattle 2014, KING 5‚Äôs Evening Newscast in Seattle 2015, Huntington, West Virginia‚Äôs NBC affiliate WSAZ newscast 2016. He has also been interviewed for countless newspaper articles and radio shows.

Michael and his autistic and artist husband maintain and operate The Michael Tolleson Savant Art Center, a 1600 square-foot facility that houses art studios, offices and art mentoring classrooms for autistic youth. It is located in the Seattle, Washington metro area.

Session -¬†The New ‚ÄúNormal‚ÄĚ

  • A new vision of what ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ looks like
  • Establishing conversations and communications based on a revised ‚ÄúNormal‚ÄĚ
  • A relationship based in reality rather that socialized behaviors

Caren Zucker

Caren Zucker is a journalist and television producer who has reported on a broad range of subjects both domestically and internationally. As a producer for ABC’s World News and Nightline, working alongside Peter Jennings, Charlie Gibson, and Diane Sawyer, she covered economic summits, presidential campaigns, social trends, and the Olympic Games. Emmy-nominated, she was honored for her part in ABC’s coverage of 9/11 with two of television’s most prestigious prizes, the Peabody and the Alfred L. DuPont awards. Her oldest son Mickey’s autism diagnosis inspired a new direction in her reporting: to bring a better understand­ing of autism’s realities. Zucker and her husband, the NBC Sports execu­tive John McGuinness, have three children and reside in New Jersey.

John Donvan

John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News, and host and mod­erator of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates, which are heard on public radio and by podcast. During his journalism career, in addition to anchoring such broadcasts as ABC’s Nightline, John served as chief White House correspondent, and held multiyear postings in London, Moscow, Jerusalem, and Amman, Jordan. He is the winner of three Emmys and the Overseas Press Club Award. He became interested in autism’s impact on families upon meeting his wife, the physician and medical school professor Ranit Mishori, who grew up in Israel with a brother profoundly affected by autism. John also performs as a live storyteller with the group Story District. He has two children and lives in Washington, DC.

Alex Plank

Alex Plank is the 28 year old guy behind WrongPlanet.net, the incredibly popular site for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. Both Alex and Wrong Planet have been featured by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Good Morning America. Wrong Planet has more than 90,000 registered members and its discussion forums contain millions of messages.

Alex graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Film and Video Studies. His areas of interest and expertise include public speaking, the Internet, writing, directing, and filmmaking. He lives in Beverly Hills, California. Alex is also a consultant and actor on FX's hit series The Bridge.

Daniel Wendler

Daniel Wendler is a social skills expert ‚Äď which is pretty surprising for a guy with Asperger‚Äôs syndrome.

As a child, Daniel suffered from bullying, social isolation and depression. But after being diagnosed with Asperger’s in high school, Daniel started studying social skills the way one might study a foreign language. His study paid off, and Daniel began to make friends and experience the power of community.

Today, Daniel works as a social skills author to share what he‚Äôs learned with others. He‚Äôs written the books ‚ÄúImprove Your Social Skills‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúLevel Up Your Social Life‚ÄĚ, as well as the website ImproveYourSocialSkills.com. He has also advocated for autism awareness through presentations at TEDx University of Arizona, the Marbridge Foundation, and the Matthew Reardon Foundation Conference for Autism.

Daniel holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology from George Fox University.

Session - Platonic Love: Autism and The Power of Friendship

  • Gain a deeper appreciation for the value of frienship
  • Learn practical tools for making and forming friendships
  • Explore the ways that friendship prepares individuals for romantic relationships.

Chou Chou Scantlin

Autistic self advocate Chou Chou (pronounced ‚ÄúShoo Shoo‚ÄĚ) Scantlin is a singer, actress, costumer, and producer of Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra. She and her husband, Doc, perform internationally with their twenty three member 1920s-1940s Big Band Show and live a lifestyle true to the period.¬† She is a fourth generation performer, trained by Philip Meister at the National Shakespeare Conservatory and uses her talents to connect and communicate her strong message of love. Embracing her differences and relentlessly committed to creating¬† infectious positivity, her colorful journey through an ‚Äú incident-prone‚ÄĚ life is shared through her one-woman show, ‚ÄúBlissfully Being‚ÄĚ. Based in Washington DC, she is known for her humorous, heartfelt, ‚ÄúBombshell Blonde‚ÄĚ style, and has received many accolades, awards, and credits, none more valued by her than credit awarded by her son, a retired Navy SEAL, who proudly calls her‚ÄĚ the strongest person he knows‚ÄĚ.

Session - ‚ÄúBlissfully Being: Life as an Atypical Valentine‚ÄĚ

  • What can be learned from a baby-voiced, piano-crawling, non-academic, show biz chantoozie who finds it hard to live life as most people do?
  • Can different thinkers stay different thinking and lead full and happy lives?
  • What is the one skill that can be learned, in less than two minutes, that can make anyone happier, healthier, and more successful in life, and get away with it most of the time?

Kirsten Lindsmith

Kirsten Lindsmith is an author, artist, consultant, and autism advocate. After receiving an ASD diagnosis at the age of 19, she began co-hosting the online television show Autism Talk TV, and speaking about her experience as a young woman on the spectrum. Kirsten has written columns for WrongPlanet.net and AutismAfter16.com, and she was profiled in The New York Times in a feature titled Navigating Love and Autism. She is a member of the board of advisors for the Yale Child Study Center’s Initiative for Girls and Women with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She currently works in partnership with the home care agency Melody of Autism in the greater NYC area, and as a consultant for parents, professionals, and individuals on the spectrum. Kirsten maintains a blog at KirstenLindsmith.wordpress.com where she writes articles about ASD-related topics.

Session - Two Worlds, One Family: Navigating Neurodiversity in AS/NT and AS/AS Relationships

  • How and why autistic and non-autistic (‚Äúallistics‚ÄĚ) differences mimic social cultures. How does autism affect social relationships?
  • How does allism affect social relationships?
  • How to navigate ‚Äúcultural differences‚ÄĚ in AS and NT social dynamics. Learn to build a life together, emotionally and practically. Causes and solutions for common relationship issues in both AS/AS and AS/NT pairings. Fundamental rules that can be applied to both romantic and non-romantic relationships (e.g., cohabiting with roommates, bonding with coworkers).

Breakout Session Speakers

Hela Kammoun Bali, MNRI

The sense of touch can be a catalyst for healthy development and can bring healing to the sensory system of children on the Autism Spectrum. Hela Kammoun Bali, MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration) Core Specialist takes us on a journey helping her own twice exceptional child and other kids using the MNRI method of reflex integration which is a set of programs focused on the restoration and maturation of primary movements, reflexes, coordination systems, skills for optimal performance of natural mechanisms, developmental processes, brain functioning, and sensory-motor integratio

Session - "Bringing Peace to the Sensory System using the MNRI method‚ÄĚ

  • How parent(s) of children on the autism spectrum can help their kids reconnect with the world and with their bodies using the concepts of "Reflex Integration" to facilitate sensorimotor rehabilitation, emotional recovery from traumatic stress, as well as learning.

Chantal Sicile-Kira

Chantal Sicile-Kira is the award-winning author of five books, advocate and leader in the field of autism, with over 25 years of experience as a parent and a professional. Chantal is known for her practical advice on autism as an International ¬†speaker ¬†and for her keynote ‚Äď Love Sex God & Autism. Chantal‚Äôs areas of expertise include the affects of autism on the family, adolescence, and transition to adulthood. Her books include: ¬†Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised edition, Penguin 2014); A Full Life with Autism (Macmillan 2012); What is Autism? (Turner 2012); and ¬†Autism Life Skills (Penguin 2008). Chantal has served on various non-profit and advisory boards.

Chantal’s first practical experience with autism was teaching functional living skills to severely developmentally disabled adolescents in preparation for their de-institutionalization. Years later, Chantal raised her own autistic and non-verbal son, Jeremy, in France, the UK, and the US. Jeremy graduated from high school with a full academic diploma and gave a commencement speech using voice output software. He is an artist and has a studio in downtown San Diego. For more information visit www.autismcollege.com

Session - A Full Life with Autism: How to Prepare for Real Life

  • What needs to be taught before a child ages out or graduates from school services so they can live, work, or go to college - based on their abilities, strengths and interests
  • How to create Circles of Support.

Nydia Celina Viloria, Esq., LL.M.T., LL.M.C.

Celina Viloria is a parent of a child with autism and a certified RPM provider.  Previously working as a special education attorney advocating for the rights of differently abled individuals, Celina is now able to take her advocacy one step further by directly working with individuals with communication challenges and supporting them in their journey to achieve the learning, communication and self advocacy through RPM.

At age 2 Celina's son was diagnosed with Autism, at age 10 he remains pre-verbal, unable to orally express his thoughts or feelings.  After looking into the traditional alternatives for communication, a family unlocks  their child’s voice through an innovative approach.  In 2013 Celina Viloria and her family traveled to Austin, TX to meet with Soma Mukhopadhyay the developer of the Rapid Prompting Method.  Little did they know that would be the trip that would change their life and finally allow them to know their child’s thoughts.   Through RPM Celina’s  7 year old son learned to spell on a letterboard to communicate his thoughts, feelings and dreams.

Join us to learn about a family’s journey from silence to communication and the approach that allowed them to gain access to their son’s thoughts.   Finally, learn how the IDEA and ADA come together to protect the mode of communication of individuals using a letterboard.

Session - Journey to communication through RPM.

Laura Sylvester

Laura Sylvester is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Good Dog! Autism Companions. She is also mother of a 15 year-old boy with autism and, along with her family, the owner of an autism companion dog named Orbit.Along with day to day operations of Good Dog! Laura teaches autism service dog courses at Bergin University of Canine Studies and lectures to parents and communities about the laws and benefits pertaining to autism service dog companionship.

Session - Our family's journey:  A story of acceptance and the unconditional love of a service dog

  • How the dogs teach us and our kids through the unconditional love they provide
  • How we teach families how to handle their dogs:¬†1. No living being likes to be pulled or pushed or forced to do things, 2. How love and motivation get results faster and more reliable, 3. That if you make the dog ¬†do things over and over with no purpose they will eventually stop listening and refuse to do things for you

Hannah Smith LaFrenz

Families and individuals are often forced to alter their religious or spiritual practices when Autism enters the frame. There are certain challenges that may occur with this unique neurology which interfere or conflict with the expectations of the faith community, causing tension, frustration, and even fractured relationships and fellowship. How are families and individuals finding ways to continue in their faith practice? What has caused them to stop or leave? Let us really open this up and LEARN from each other.

Spirituality is a vital part of every human‚Äôs life whether they believe it or call it that or not. Finding ways to talk about this ‚Äėmystical‚Äô or ‚Äėinvisible‚Äô part of the human experience is one of the ways we can feel LOVE. In fact, I would say that the flavors of LOVE experienced through spiritual exploration is a profound LOVE that can‚Äôt really be described outside that construct.

As an Autistic woman raising an Autistic child married to an Autistic spouse, Hannah Smith LaFrenz will share her lived experiences exploring Neurodivergent personal power through spiritual expression. Hannah is a cancer survivor, artist, activist, collaborator and passionate advocate for health, natural wellness, food safety and (most important of all) self-advocacy for EVERYONE regardless of perceived ability.

‚ÄúWe must listen to and attend to those disguised as poor thinkers - most carefully- for they often have such important messages for us to hear.‚ÄĚ

Session - Autistic Spirit:Connecting through Communities of Faith

Dr. Ned T. Sahin

Dr. Sahin is a neuroscientist and neurotechnology entrepreneur. He holds degrees in neuroscience from Williams College (BA), MIT (Master’s), and Harvard (PhD), and completed post-doctoral fellowships at UCSD Medical School and the Salk Institute in San Diego. His academic work has been published in journals such as Science and Nature Neuroscience, and he has been invited and presented his research in dozens of cities across twelve countries.
He also worked at Bell Labs and in startups and mid-sized companies, in Boston, San Diego, London and Dublin; and has been the Principal Investigator for five government contracts for wearable brain monitoring systems to assess and modulate cognitive states. Dr. Sahin founded Brain Power, LLC to bring neuroscience ideas and technological innovations to people who can directly benefit from them.
Dr. Sahin is a hands-on leader of the growing Brain Power team, actively participating in coding software, as well as designing and producing hardware add-ons for Google Glass ‚ÄĒ to unlock the power of this nascent wearable platform to use it as a neuro-assistive device that in turn can unlock the power of your brain.

Session - What is the Brain-Power System?

  • How our tools empower children and adults all along the spectrum to teach themselves practical life skills, and assess their progress numerically.

Jennifer Palmiotto, Psy. D. LMFT, Certified RDI Consultant

Jenny will facilitate a panel discussion where participants can ask questions of our panelists. Each panelist brings a unique perspectives of what it means to live and love on the autism spectrum. Panelists range from 10-55 years of age. Each panelist may share about their relationships; with diverse experiences amongst them from married to dating and enjoying childhood friendships. Panelists include Michael Tolleson, a savant artist who owns an art gallery with his partner. Tolleson was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when he was 50 years old. He has taken this gift and its challenges to bring more love and light into this world. Lindsey Nebeker, 38, a three time Love & Autism speaker has been featured in PBS's breakouthit "Autism In Love" with her now husband David Hamrick. Alex Plank, creator of Wrong Planet has just celebrated his thirtieth birthday. While maintaining his autism advocacy, he also enjoys his singledom in Beverly Hills. Kirsten Lindsmith, 26 lives in New York. She is in a long-term relationship with another fun-loving aspie. David Rivera is a teenager who has strong family ties and a satisfying social life. Alfonso Camacho, 10 years old, is the youngest panelist. Yet don't let age fool you, the wisdom that he has gathered in his ten years will "wow" you. Each panelist is ready to let you in to their experiences. In Love & Autism spirit, each will be raw, honest, real. This is your opportunity to ask anything.

A’verria Martin, Ph. D. LMFT, RDI Consultant in Training

Dr. A’verria Martin received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2008 from Alliant International University and her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Loma Linda University in 2012. During her doctoral studies, she specialized in Medical Family Therapy which focuses on the integration between biopsychosocial and family systems approaches.

Dr. Martin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA LIC #83363) and a Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Consultant in Training. Dr. Martin has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and specializes in working with couples from this attachment-based model‚ÄĒhelping partners reprocess the emotional response that maintains marital distress, shaping new key interactions and bonding events, and overcoming therapeutic impasses. Additionally, Dr. Martin works directly with parents and children diagnosed with autism using RDI, a family-based model, to address autism‚Äôs core deficits and develop deeper, more meaningful relationships. Based on these theoretical frameworks, it is the goal of therapy to support individuals, couples, and families to openly process feelings, develop secure attachments, harmonize beliefs and ideas, and organize and share responsibilities to enrich future development.

Session - Creating and sustaining connection with your partner while raising a child on the spectrum

  • Gain an understanding of the literature regarding the impact of raising a child with autism on the couple relationship.
  • Learn about the attachment view of love relationships as it applies to parents of children with autism.
  • Consider the integration of mindfulness training on systemic change.
  • Leave with concrete ideas of how to create and sustain connection with your partner.¬†

Amber Hasbun, MFT Intern, Certified RDI Consultant

Jennifer Palmiotto, Psy. D. LMFT, Certified RDI Consultant

We’ve all heard these said either to ourselves or someone close to you.  Many are common for people on the spectrum, yet knowing enough to get the help you or a loved one needs can make all the difference. The fancy clinical term for when two issues overlap is co-morbidity. But in everyday language, these things like persistent anxiety or low moods coupled with spectrum issues can create challenges. In our clinical practice, we've noticed that its often these overlapping conditions that make it hard for young children to go to school, difficult for the teen to find the energy to create social opportunities, or as for any of us to muster the courage to clock in. Generally, mental health issues also affect relationships. At Love & Autism, we want everyone to live the life of their dreams, find happiness in everyday moments, and love our loved ones better. This breakout session will focus on mental wellness and look at practical strategies to calm those distressing symptoms. In this discussion, we will share our years of wisdom moving past the most common mental health issues.

Session - Autism & Anxiety? Depression? ADHD? Learning Disabilities?

  • What each of these diagnoses mean?
  • How you can recognize when they are present?
  • How to intervene and where can you find support?
  • Practice strategies to create the wellness that you deserve

Kasey Connors, MFT Intern, RDI Consultant in Training

Kasey specializes working with children and pre-adolescents. She focuses on helping through transitions in early life, by supporting young people in finding their voice and sense of self. Through being authentic, empathetic, and transparent, Kasey provides a safe space for her clients to discuss obstacles they face which may inhibit positive growth.

Kasey is a creative and nature inspired individual who believes in the power of making art and being in-tune with nature as guides to healthier functioning. By engaging and guiding her clients through the process of creating art and being in tune with nature, Kasey focuses on the importance of perspective taking and having tangible creations to aid in discussion of depression, communication issues, self-awareness, and relationship problems. Kasey received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy specializing in Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont California.

Session - Expressions of Self Love

Brian Bovino, BCBA, Certified RDI Consultant in Training

Brian Bovino attended the University of Massachusetts, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Finance.  He recently graduated with his Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and is currently a Consultant in Training for the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) program.

Brian has been working with children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder since 2004.  He specializes in educating parents to build consistency and confidence and explore new learning opportunities that are available in everyday activities.  Brian is passionate about helping parents become an active part in their child’s learning and development.  He believes that through everyday routines and leisure activities, each moment is a potential learning opportunity and can be made enjoyable.

Brian has worked in public, private, and charter schools as well as clinics, in home and community based settings.  Brian has a diversified background working with many different populations including the Special Olympics, Juvenile probation, short-term residential facilities, and the healthcare field.  Brian lives in San Diego with his wife, daughter and golden retriever.

Session - Limit Setting with Love and Respect

  • Hearing your child's voice while cultivating growth and maintaining limits.
  • Setting limits as a team
  • Picking your battles: when to say "No."
  • Getting your child off the IPad and engaging with you.

2015

Stephen Shore, Ed. D.

Diagnosed with "Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies" and "too sick" for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization.

Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism.

In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his books Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Ask and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies, and the newly released DVD Living along the Autism Spectrum: What it means to have Autism or Asperger Syndrome.

President emeritus of the Asperger's Association of New England and former board member of the Autism Society, Dr. Shore serves on the boards of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, the Autism Services Association, and other autism related organizations.

Session - Relationships and Sexuality for People with Autism: We do…

  • Learn easy to implement practical solutions for supporting those on the autism spectrum in achieving their goals for leading fulfilling and meaningful relationships of all kinds
  • Understand that the diversity of needs, wants, and desires for relationships in people on the autism spectrum are as diverse as the general population.

Anita Lesko, BSN, RN, MS, CRNA

Anita went the first fifty years of her life not knowing she had Asperger’s. She had never even heard the word until one night at work when a co-worker told Anita that her son had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Lisa handed Anita some papers with information about it. Anita’s eyes widened as she read on….the pieces of the puzzle of her life suddenly fell into place to create a full picture. Anita always knew she was different and never fit in but never knew why. She struggled with making and maintaining relationships, keeping eye contact, attending any kind of social events, all kind of sensory issues and more. Anita thought she was the only person on earth with these problems. It also created many difficulties on the job, even threats of being fired for being so different. Anita went the first fifty years of her life not knowing she had Asperger’s. She had never even heard the word until one night at work when a co-worker told Anita that her son had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Lisa handed Anita some papers with information about it. Anita’s eyes widened as she read on….the pieces of the puzzle of her life suddenly fell into place to create a full picture. Anita always knew she was different and never fit in but never knew why. She struggled with making and maintaining relationships, keeping eye contact, attending any kind of social events, all kind of sensory issues and more. Anita thought she was the only person on earth with these problems. It also created many difficulties on the job, even threats of being fired for being so different.

Abraham Nielsen

Abraham’s dad, Stanley, noticed that something wasn’t quite right with Abraham as he was reaching his second birthday. Insisting that he be taken for evaluation, Abraham was diagnosed with Autism at age two in Seville, Spain where he was born. He was talking by age three, as captured on home videos. The doctors had provided multiple suggestions for mapping out a plan of action for early intervention to help Abraham maximize his potential. Unfortunately, his mother would not listen to anyone, instead believing his condition could be cured through the use of herbs. She instead took him to herbal medicine people to get the herbs she believed would get rid of his condition. Abraham thus never received any of the traditional methods of early intervention that autistic children typically receive. Abraham’s dad, Stanley, noticed that something wasn’t quite right with Abraham as he was reaching his second birthday. Insisting that he be taken for evaluation, Abraham was diagnosed with Autism at age two in Seville, Spain where he was born. He was talking by age three, as captured on home videos. The doctors had provided multiple suggestions for mapping out a plan of action for early intervention to help Abraham maximize his potential. Unfortunately, his mother would not listen to anyone, instead believing his condition could be cured through the use of herbs. She instead took him to herbal medicine people to get the herbs she believed would get rid of his condition. Abraham thus never received any of the traditional methods of early intervention that autistic children typically receive.

Session - Autistic Love...The Journey of an Epic Romance

    • An autistic person learns / understands the difference between love for parents and love for a partner
    • Individuals will learn the importance of becoming friends first and building a romantic relationship: acceptance, trust, respect, communication, consideration
    • Individuals will learn how to manage a romantic relationship: How to be team players! How to be spontaneous!
    • Individuals will learn the importance of learning skills of daily life: cooking, laundry, banking, making phone calls, household chores, grocery shopping, personal hygiene, etc.
    • Parents need to encourage independence, not dependence and encourage autistic children to build their own life

Alex Plank

Alex Plank is the 28 year old guy behind WrongPlanet.net, the incredibly popular site for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. Both Alex and Wrong Planet have been featured by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Good Morning America. Wrong Planet has more than 90,000 registered members and its discussion forums contain millions of messages.

Alex graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Film and Video Studies. His areas of interest and expertise include public speaking, the Internet, writing, directing, and filmmaking. He lives in Beverly Hills, California. Alex is also a consultant and actor on FX's hit series The Bridge.

Session - Positive Outlook on the Love and Autism and Work on "The Bridge."

David Finch

David Finch, New York Times best-selling author of The Journal of Best Practices, presents a unique seminar for couples in baffling relationships. This session is loaded with personal insight and relevant, actionable strategies for making relationships thrive.

Session - "So...Are We Supposed to Hug Now?" -- Best Practices for Neurologically Mixed Relationships

    • Gain a nuanced understanding of the unique challenges facing couples in NT/AS relationships
    • Learn fundamental strategies for thriving in NT/AS relationships
    • Discover how the differences in your neurological wiring can serve the relationship

Peter Mundy, Ph. D.

Peter Mundy, Ph.D., is the Lisa Capps Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Educational Research at the UC Davis MIND Institute, Department of Psychiatry and School of Education. He received graduate training as developmental psychologist at the University of Miami (1976-1981) and post-doctoral training at UCLA as child clinical psychologist (1981-1986). He has been working on understanding the nature of autism and developmental disabilities for the past 34 years.

Session - The Human Nature of Autism, Joint Attention and Social-Relatedness

    • Attendees will better understand how autism may be most accurately thought of as involving difference in social-learning, as well as social interaction abilities.
    • Attendees will gain knowledge about how social motivation and social-relatedness is associated with learning in human nature and in autism spectrum development.
    • Attendees will better appreciate the nature of the social-learning abilities and difficulties of school aged as well as preschool children with autism spectrum development.

Anthony Ianni

Anthony Ianni, of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the country.

At the age of 4, Anthony was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), a disorder on the autism spectrum. Doctors told Anthony’s parents that he would barely graduate from high school, would never graduate from college, would never have a shot at being an athlete, and as an adult, he would likely live in a group institution. Anthony’s family was devastated but pledged they would help Anthony be successful, no matter what.

And he is. In spite of the bullies, the adversity and the many personal challenges, Anthony worked hard and never gave up. Not only did he earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Michigan State University, he is the first-known athlete with autism to play Division 1 college basketball.

Session - Dreams, Goals and Aspirations

  • Living Your Dreams and how big a support system is in life

Lindsey Nebeker

Lindsey Nebeker is a pianist/composer, international speaker, and disability rights advocate currently based in the Washington D.C. metro area. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to the United States at age 11. She was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and began to develop speech at age 4. She holds a B.A. Degree in Music Technology from the College of Santa Fe and is a Partners in Policymaking graduate. Besides her own autism diagnosis, she also has a brother on the autism spectrum. She is an outspoken advocate for the sexual rights of people with disabilities and focuses her presentations and writings on the importance of unconditional love. Lindsey has appeared in Glamour, NPR, Good Morning America, and the full feature documentary Autism in Love (2015 Tribeca Film Festival official selection) along with her significant other, Dave.

Session - We Are No Longer Silent: A Heart-to-Heart Conversation on Autism and Sexual Abuse

  • We will review and compare the current studies conducted on autism, developmental disabilities and sexual abuse, while shedding light into the reality of how love can intertwine with the psychological response to sexual abuse.
  • We will learn 8 unique obstacles that individuals on the autism spectrum face when it comes to sexual abuse and sexual assault.
  • We will learn strategies to take action in expanding the conversation and to reduce the incidents of sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual violence for individuals on the autism spectrum. And we will begin a conversation how love interconnects with our actions towards positive change and personal empowerment.

David Hamrick

David Hamrick is a 35-year-old man with high-functioning autism. He has a Master’s of Science degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University. He is currently a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, and has been an employee of the NWS since 2006. In addition to his academic pursuits, Mr. Hamrick is also active in the autism community. He has been an active board member of The Autism Program of Virginia, and has served as an officer of a Virginia autism society chapter in Newport News. Since 1999, he has been a frequent presenter at autism conferences throughout Virginia and neighboring states about how autism has personally influenced him.

Session - Weathering Autism in Relationships

  • To explain how people with autism envision romantic relationships.
  • To distinguish differences between flirting and non-romantic friendliness
  • To offer dating advice for people on the autism spectrum.

A’verria Martin, Ph. D. LMFT, RDI Consultant in Training

Dr. A’verria Martin received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2008 from Alliant International University and her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Loma Linda University in 2012. During her doctoral studies, she specialized in Medical Family Therapy which focuses on the integration between biopsychosocial and family systems approaches.

Dr. Martin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA LIC #83363) and a Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Consultant in Training. Dr. Martin has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and specializes in working with couples from this attachment-based model‚ÄĒhelping partners reprocess the emotional response that maintains marital distress, shaping new key interactions and bonding events, and overcoming therapeutic impasses. Additionally, Dr. Martin works directly with parents and children diagnosed with autism using RDI, a family-based model, to address autism‚Äôs core deficits and develop deeper, more meaningful relationships. Based on these theoretical frameworks, it is the goal of therapy to support individuals, couples, and families to openly process feelings, develop secure attachments, harmonize beliefs and ideas, and organize and share responsibilities to enrich future development.

Session - Creating and sustaining connection with your partner while raising a child on the spectrum

  • Gain an understanding of the literature regarding the impact of raising a child with autism on the couple relationship.
  • Learn about the attachment view of love relationships as it applies to parents of children with autism.
  • Consider the integration of mindfulness training on systemic change.
  • Leave with concrete ideas of how to create and sustain connection with your partner.¬†

Amber Hasbun, MFT Intern, Certified RDI Consultant

Jennifer Palmiotto, Psy. D. LMFT, Certified RDI Consultant

We’ve all heard these said either to ourselves or someone close to you.  Many are common for people on the spectrum, yet knowing enough to get the help you or a loved one needs can make all the difference. The fancy clinical term for when two issues overlap is co-morbidity. But in everyday language, these things like persistent anxiety or low moods coupled with spectrum issues can create challenges. In our clinical practice, we've noticed that its often these overlapping conditions that make it hard for young children to go to school, difficult for the teen to find the energy to create social opportunities, or as for any of us to muster the courage to clock in. Generally, mental health issues also affect relationships. At Love & Autism, we want everyone to live the life of their dreams, find happiness in everyday moments, and love our loved ones better. This breakout session will focus on mental wellness and look at practical strategies to calm those distressing symptoms. In this discussion, we will share our years of wisdom moving past the most common mental health issues.

Session - Autism & Anxiety? Depression? ADHD? Learning Disabilities?

  • What each of these diagnoses mean?
  • How you can recognize when they are present?
  • How to intervene and where can you find support?
  • Practice strategies to create the wellness that you deserve

2014

Dan Siegel, MD

Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical
memory and narrative.

Dr. Siegel is currently clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person lectures that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He serves as the Medical Director of the LifeSpan Learning Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Blue School in New York City, which has built its curriculum around Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight approach.

Meet Daniel Siegel, MD on Autism and Relationships......

Session - Mindsight, Neuroplasticity, and Autism: How understanding the social brain can help us support the development of individuals along the Spectrum.

  • Identify the basic social circuitry of the brain involved in mindsight, metallization, and theory of mind.
  • List four ways that experience shapes neural development, structure and function.
  • Describe the major neurological findings associated with individuals with Autism.

Kathy Darrow‚Äč, ‚ÄčParent, Certified RDI Consultant

Kathy Darrow is an autism spectrum specialist that specializing in the RDI(TM) Program. Kathy was introduced to autism in 2001, when her son was diagnosed just before his third birthday. She began her work with her son in 2005. She maintains a professional certification in Relationship Development Intervention¬ģ and has been a Certified since 2010.
Kathy is extremely passionate about her work and has presented at autism conferences in Chicago and New Jersey, along with being the guest speaker at area colleges, speaking on the topics of Relationship Development Intervention, RDI and school, Before and After case studies on RDI and Advocacy, She is the writer of the blog, What is RDI and Autism Remediation for our children. After the success of her own children, Kathy’s passion is to support the families she works with to effectively address the core obstacles of autism.

Session - A Mother's Love: Reflecting Back to Move Forward

  • Learning to recognize how your thinking effects your decision making as a parent.
  • How to position yourself to make effective decisions when it comes to your child with Autism.
  • Parent to parent- insights on reconstructing the road ahead.

Joshua Feder, MD

Dr. Joshua Feder is Director of Research in the Graduate School of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, is on the faculty of Profectum, is a Voluntary Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, and Medical Director at SymPlay LLC Family Games for Autism. Dr. Feder has an active clinical practice in child and family psychiatry seeing people of all ages, infant through adult. Dr. Feder focuses about half of his practice helping people with autism spectrum and related challenges, while teaching, conducting research, advocating for evidence based practice, developing technology to support relationship-based interventions, and applying developmental principles related to resilience and regulation to peace building efforts in conflict zones.Love & Potions - Dr. Feder presents on psychopharmacology for relatedness. Read more here...

Session - Mindsight, Neuroplasticity, and Autism: How understanding the social brain can help us support the development of individuals along the Spectrum.

  • Relationships and Desire
  • Usual things that help us connect
  • Medications that can help too

Jessica Hobson, PhD

Jessica Hobson is an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology and Early Childhood Studies Departments at Sonoma State University, and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. She is a clinical psychologist, with a PhD in Child Clinical Psychology. Her research and clinical interests include joint attention, symbolic play, and parent-child interaction, with a focus on autism and early typical development. She has been an RDI Consultant since 2001 / 2006 ‚Äď current, and is involved in a program of studies on quality of parent-child interaction and therapeutic change for families taking part in Relationship Development Intervention.I like you and you like me back- Affective Contact and Why it Matters. Read more here...

Session - Affective Contact, Why Does It Matter?

  • To learn about the relevance of intersubjectivity and joint engagement, for the cognitive difficulties experienced by children with autism.
  • To learn about the role of guided participation in early child development, and why this is compromised for children with autism.
  • To learn about a therapeutic approach for fostering joint engagement and guided participation in children with autism.

Peter Hobson, Ph. D.

Peter Hobson is Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University College, London, and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic, London. He is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and has a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. His research interests converge upon the significance of interpersonal relations for understanding the course of human development, both typical and atypical, and include programmatic studies of autism and mother-infant relations. He has written two books on early development and autism. The first, Autism and the Development of Mind (Erlbaum, 1993), is rather dense, but the second, The Cradle of Thought (MacMillan, 2003 and in the US, Oxford University Press, 2004) was written for a wider readership. Peter is now semi-retired and living in California.

Session - Autism and The Dimensions of Love

  • To have deeper appreciation of the nature and developmental value of personal relations.
  • To further develop one‚Äôs respect for the relational challenges and potential opportunities for children with autism and their caregivers.
  • To ask: What‚Äôs love got to do with it?

Paul Louden

Paul Louden is a 31 year old diagnosed with autism at the age of 23. He is co-host of the Understanding Autism radio show and speaks regularly about the difference between awareness and understanding when it comes to the topic of autism. He has been sharing his experiences and the lessons he has learned living with the disorder to audiences both on the radio and in person for four years.

Session - Love in Shared Culture: How Autism Changes Messaging

  • Learn how to identify weaknesses in how we present love through common culture such as TV and other media.
  • Learn about modeling and sharing the strengths of your own relationships.

Sarah McConnell, MA, LMFT, LPC

Sarah McConnell, MA, LMFT, LPC is a certified EFT Therapist in private practice with The Couple Zone in Houston. Sarah was part
of a research study using EFT with the parents of children on the autism spectrum and has presented with the research team at the TAMFT (Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy) and AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy) conferences. Sarah has studied extensively at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland completing the Gestalt Training Program and the Advanced Program in Working with Physical Process. Sarah formerly worked in the Oil and Gas industry for 27 years and maintains a consulting practice helping clients via coaching, team alignment and strategy development. Sarah also volunteers at Bo's Place, a bereavement center in Houston as an adult grief group facilitator.

Finding Each Other Again: Sarah McConnell speaks on emotionally focused couples therapy with parents of children on the autism specturm...

Session - Finding Each Other Again: Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy with Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum

  • Participants will develop an understanding of research that shows improvement in marital satisfaction in couples with a child on the autism spectrum.
  • Participants will learn about Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy showing how to relieve distancing and conflict in relationships.
  • Participants will practice an exercise that enables reflection on relationships to demonstrate some of the kind of work that EFT involves.

Lindsey Nebeker

Lindsey Nebeker is a pianist/composer, international speaker, and autism self-advocate currently based in the Washington D.C. metro area. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to the United States at age 11. She holds a B.A. Degree in Music Technology from the College of Santa Fe and is a Partners in Policy making graduate. Besides her own autism diagnosis, she also has a brother on the autism spectrum. She is an outspoken advocate for the sexual rights of people with disabilities and focuses her presentations and writings on the importance of unconditional love. Lindsey has appeared in Glamour, NPR, Good Morning America, and the full feature documentary Autism in Love along with her significant other, Dave Hamrick.

David Hamrick

David Hamrick is a 34-year-old man with high-functioning autism. He is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Washington, DC area, making short-term weather forecasts for the continental United States as a member of the Weather Prediction Center. In addition to meteorology, Mr. Hamrick is also active in the autism community. He was an active board member of Commonwealth Autism Service, served as an officer of a local autism society chapter, and a frequent presenter at autism conferences throughout Virginia and nationwide about how autism has personally influenced him.

Session - Weathering Autism, Dating & the Art of Unconditional Love

  • The participant will be enlightened with the knowledge of how people with autism envision relationships -- romantic or
    otherwise -- and the unconventional ways how these individuals may express love and empathy.
  • The participant will receive dating and long-term relationship strategies for people on the autism spectrum, including
    distinguishing the differences between flirting and non-romantic friendliness.
  • The participant will be encouraged -- and may even be challenged -- to explore into the importance of unconditional love: finding love within ourselves, love towards others, and (for some of us) love within romantic relationships.

Sponsored By:

 

 

 

Why this price point?
Our conference offers an honorarium and travel accommodations for all main stage speakers! All Love & Autism performers are also compensated for their time. We also value our Love & Autism volunteers, sponsors, and members. Without our community support, we would not be able to host an event like this. With 80%of our speaker identifying as on the spectrum, this is our commitment to fair wages for people with disabilities.

© 2014-2018 Love & Autism. All rights reserved. 619-600-0683. Terms of Use

Website: Alford Creative

Why this price point?
Our conference offers an honorarium and travel accommodations for all main stage speakers! All Love & Autism performers are also compensated for their time. We also value our Love & Autism volunteers, sponsors, and members. Without our community support, we would not be able to host an event like this. With 80%of our speaker identifying as on the spectrum, this is our commitment to fair wages for people with disabilities.

Sponsored By:

 

 

 

© 2014-2018 Love & Autism. All rights reserved. 619-600-0683. Terms of Use.

Website: Alford Creative

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