“Autism Through the Ages” is Focus of Autism Society of North Carolina’s 2016 Conference

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March 11-12 event in Charlotte to feature acclaimed speakers focusing on best practices, sleep and feeding issues, transitioning to adulthood, securing dependents’ futures, and other topics of interest to the autism community.

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...An individual with autism will be an adult much longer than they are a child. This conference provides information that will be helpful for self-advocates, parents and other caregivers, and professionals.

The Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) will hold its 2016 annual conference March 11-12 in Charlotte, NC. This year’s theme is “Autism Through the Ages.”

The two-day event will feature acclaimed speakers, including Dr. Peter Girolami of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Dr. Geri Dawson from the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. Speakers will focus on sleep and feeding issues, Early Start Denver Model treatment, transitioning to adulthood, securing dependents’ futures, social skills training, keeping loved ones safe, and creating accepting communities.

Dr. Aleck Myers, ASNC Clinical Services Director and chairman of the conference planning committee, said, “We recognize that an individual with autism will be an adult much longer than they are a child. This conference provides information that will be helpful for self-advocates, parents and other caregivers, and professionals so that they are better equipped to plan for and provide what is needed.”

Self-advocates, families affected by autism, and professionals in the autism field will also have the opportunity to network, learn more about available resources, meet with a variety of businesses that support the autism community, and earn continuing education credits.

To register or for more information, please visit the ASNC website at http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference. Through Feb. 10, participants will receive early-bird rates for registration. A special room rate at the conference site, the Hilton University Place, is available through Feb. 16.

Conference schedule:

Dr. Girolami will kick off the conference on Friday, March 11, with “Sleep and Feeding Issues in Kids and Adults with Autism: Creating Successful Outcomes,” providing practical action steps to address these challenges.

Also on Friday, Dr. Dawson will return to the conference for a second year with “Early Start Denver Model: The Science and Theory Behind the Treatment.” Dr. Dawson co-created Early Start, an evidence-based practice that can be used by all caregivers and professionals. Dr. Davlantis will expand on Dr. Dawson’s talk by discussing “Clinical Applications and Practical Strategies for Implementation.”

On Saturday, March 12, Dr. Laura Klinger from the TEACCH Autism Program will present “Making the Transition from High School to Adulthood a Positive Experience.” Dr. Klinger has published research on this topic, and with more than 14,000 students with ASD in NC public schools, achieving successful transitions is an increasingly important issue.

Also Saturday, conference attendees will have the opportunity to choose from concurrent presentations. Topics will include:

  • Making the Transition from High School to Adulthood a Positive Experience
  • Your Dependent with Special Needs: Making Their Future More Secure
  • Social Skills Programming: Practical Strategies
  • Creating Accepting Communities: What One Person Can Do
  • Staying Safe: What You Need to Know

The final session of the day is a keynote titled “What Matters Most: Transition Planning and Meaningful Preparation for Life” by self-advocate Tom Iland, a Certified Public Accountant from California. Iland will inspire attendees as he explains how he has overcome challenges and achieved many life goals.

Sponsors of the annual conference include MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning and the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Charlotte AHEC is the educational partner. For specific information about continuing education unit credits or for more information on the conference schedule and exhibitors, please visit http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference.


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. As many as 1 in 58 children may be diagnosed with ASD in North Carolina, according to a prevalence study by the CDC study of 8-year-old schoolchildren.
  • The Autism Society of North Carolina has worked for more than 45 years to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services.
  • For more information, call 1-800-442-2762 or visit http://www.autismsociety-nc.org.

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