AHA Spring Conference
Issues in Independent Living for Adolescents and Adults on the Autism Spectrum
Keynotes: John Elder Robison & Liane Holliday Willey
Saturday, April 2, 2016
8:15am – 4:00pm
World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD)
Ruth S. Harley University Center
Garden City, New York
A Sellout Every Year!
John Elder Robison & Liane Holliday Willey
Panels, Breakouts, Agency Walkway, Bookstore
An exciting day with speakers, presentations, panels and breakouts relevant to professionals, family members and individuals with ASD.
A star-studded list of presenters:
Emily Brooks, Mike Buffa, Kate Cody, Audra Dehan, Dena Gassner, Valerie Gaus, Lynda Geller, Alison Gilbert, Bill Heslin, Bruce Kanin, Jonathan Kaplan, Jim Karpe, Matt Lerner, Becca Lory, Kate Palmer, John Elder Robison, Matt Roth, Lindsay Ryan, Rebecca Sachs, Stephen Shore, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, Liane Holliday Willey
Registration, Breakfast, Resource Walkway, Bookstore
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY, Emily Brooks
SWITCHED ON: UNDERSTANDING FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS
John Elder Robison
After all the time processing his individual differences in his previous books, Look Me in the Eye and Be Different, John Elder Robison examines the ways he now relates emotionally and socially to others and in society. He will discuss what it is for him to understand other’s feelings and emotions (theory of mind). As stated in his latest book, Switched On, “For the first time in my life, I learned what it was like to truly know other people’s feelings. It was as if I was experiencing the world in black and white all my life, and suddenly I could see – and particularly other people – in brilliant, beautiful color.”
VOICES FROM THE SPECTRUM: ADVOCACY THROUGH THE AGES
Moderators: Kate Cody, Psy.D., and Kate Palmer, M.A., CCP, CAS
Presenters: Emily Brooks, Dena Gassner, M.S.W.
Liane Holliday Willey, Ed.D.
Becca Lory, John Elder Robison
Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
Individuals on the spectrum experience a range of advocacy needs throughout the lifespan. Panel presenters will discuss their personal experiences of advocacy needs at various stages in their lives.
Lunch, Resource Walkway, Book Signings
INSIGHTS ON AGING WITH ASPERGER’S
Professor Liane Holliday Willey
A strong advocate of autism education and awareness since she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2000, Dr. Holliday Willey brings a unique view of ASD to her work. She has the perspectives of a professor of psycholinguistics, a member of a family with many people also on the spectrum and of a well-respected speaker and author who has had the privilege of collaborating with some of the most gifted people in the field of autism. She has lived, studied and presented the effects of ASD on adolescents, families, personal safety and females. Now 56, she’s adding ASD and aging to her areas of interest. Dr. Holliday Willey hopes her work and presentations will encourage caregivers to better understand, appreciate and support our older autistic population.
Choice of One of Five Breakout Sessions
THE RISKY ROAD TO ADULT SEXUALITY
Lynda Geller, PhD
Individuals on the spectrum may develop in spectacularly uneven ways. The psychosocial underpinnings of sexuality are particularly vulnerable to this unevenness. This presentation will focus on the social problems that may result from these differences in psychosexual development. Compromised theory of mind (ToM), social isolation, poor self-esteem, lack of sexual knowledge and experience, perseveration and executive function differences may combine to produce a circumstance for young adults that is fraught with danger. Sexual harassment charges, child pornography arrest and sexually based swindling of naïve young adults will be discussed, among other risks that may be encountered traversing the road to adult sexuality.
FATHERHOOD AND THE AUTISM SPECTRUM
Presenter and facilitator: Matthew D. Lerner, Ph.D.
Panelists: Mike Buffa, J.D.
John Elder Robison
The strengths, challenges and opportunities associated with parenting a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are increasingly recognized in research, clinical settings and among communities of families and individuals. The majority of this recognition has until recently focused on mothers. There has been increased awareness and participation of dads in the lives of their children, resulting in representation in the media, a growth of dads’ groups around the country and the emergence of new research focused specifically on fathers. This panel will highlight the new research in this area, then discuss important aspects of fatherhood that may manifest uniquely when parenting a child with ASD, including division of parenting responsibilities, the ways in which a father develops a connection with his child and the struggles for autonomy in adolescence, which may play out in significantly different ways among dads of children with ASD.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADULTS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM
Presenter and facilitator: Valerie Gaus, Ph.D.
Panelists: Alison Gilbert, Ph.D.
Rebecca Sachs, Ph.D.
Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D.
Adults on the spectrum can and do live mentally healthy lives, and most professionals in this community do not consider autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a mental illness in and of itself. However, people with ASD are not immune to the mental health problems that any adult can face across the lifespan. In some cases, the characteristics of ASD can make people more vulnerable to the development of mental health problems such as anxiety or mood disorders. When this happens, high quality and evidence-based mental health services need to be accessible to people on the spectrum. This panel of mental health professionals will talk about when and where these services can be offered in the same way they would be to any other patient with an anxiety or mood disorder, and when the interventions need to be tailored to the unique needs of people on the spectrum.
UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS, DATING, SEXUALITY AND YOURSELF
Moderator and presenter: Kate Palmer, M.A., CCP, CAS
Panelists: Emily Brooks
Matthew Roth, Ph.D.
Lindsay Ryan, AC, QMHP
Society may believe that people on the autism spectrum are not interested in dating or relationships. This stereotype couldn’t be farther from reality. In this presentation, Kate Palmer, GRASP’s president/CEO, Lindsay Ryan, GRASP’s vice president of operations, Emily Brooks, GRASP board member, and Matthew Roth, Ph.D., will be discussing relationships, dating, intimacy, sexuality, gender identity, communication within relationships, appropriate relationship boundaries and relationships in the context of social media.
PLANNING FOR YOUR FAMILY’S FUTURE: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS NO PLAN
Moderator and presenter: Kate Palmer, M.A., CCP, CAS
Presenter and facilitator: Audra Dehan, J.D.
Panelists: Bruce Kanin
Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Stacey Kanin Roth, SLP
Parents and caregivers often understand the importance of estate planning for their children on the autism spectrum but find themselves unable to begin the steps required for this process. This workshop will explain the main considerations of estate planning while addressing the emotional and logistical obstacles that may be deterring parents and caregivers from seeking out assistance. Practical strategies for managing these obstacles will also be addressed.
Membership & Fees
Registration includes meals and materials
Members in AHA and Not for Profit Agencies
Non-Members (includes 1 year membership)
Students, Individuals on the autism spectrum and Adelphi Faculty
(students & faculty must send a copy of current ID)
CE hours for SW, CEU’s for ASHA and Autism Certification information on the brochure.
Receiving the AHA eNews does not mean that you are members of AHA. The AHA eNews is a free service to our members and the ASD community.
If you prefer to mail in your registration please send a separate copy for each registrant with the registration page only and include a check or credit card information to:
PO Box 916
Bethpage, NY 11714-0916
Receipts are sent automatically with online registration. If you require a receipt when mailing in your registration you must send a stamped self-addressed envelop.
AHA offers a limited number of partial need-based scholarships. In 2016 we were given a grant by Autism Speaks Long Island Chapter to provide full scholarships to 33 individuals on the autism spectrum for the spring conference. If applying for a partial or full scholarship you must fill out the registration form and the scholarship form.