Autreat 1996: Celebrating Autistic Culture
Abuse Recognition and Prevention
The Americans With Disabilities Act
Avoiding Unfortunate Situations (autism and law enforcement personnel)
Deaf Culture and the Deaf Community
Frieda N. Heckman and Mattie Letham
Orientation to Self-Advocacy for Parents and Professionals
Jane Johnston and Jim Sinclair
The Self-Advocacy Movement: What Is It and How Can People With Autism Be Involved?
Sally Johnston, Michael Kennedy, and Bonnie Shoultz
Autreat 1997: To Survive – And Thrive!
Alternatives to Violence
Coping with Sensory Problems of Autism: Creative "Stimming"
The Gateway for Families: Fellowship is its Own Reward
Cara Crosby and Sylvia Wolfe
How to Get From Here to There: Basics of Advocacy, Supports and How to Access Them
Mary Handley and Beth Wallbridge
Introduction to Assistive Technology
A Portable Tool Kit for Communication Survival
Self-Awareness as a Survival Skill
Autreat 1999 - Telling Our Stories
The Autism Community as a Neurological Diaspora: Some Cultural Parallels and Some Practical Responses
Phil SchwarzThis workshop will examine the notion that the autism community is a diaspora. We will consider some definitions of the terms "autism community" and "diaspora", and look at some characteristics of more conventional (that is, more widely recognized) types of diaspora (ethnic, religious, linguistic, racial), and at some constructive community- and cultural-survival responses to diaspora conditions that various diaspora communities have developed. We will examine whether there are useful parallels between these and the autism community. If this workshop is successful beyond its facilitator's wildest dreams, we'll emerge with some goals and agenda items for the autism community that will strengthen us as a community.
Jumping Hurdles: Strategies for obtaining and maintaining employment
Dr. Marjorie F. Olney, Ph.D.Autistic people and those with related disabilities often have a difficult time getting and keeping jobs. A variety of approaches have been suggested such as specialized assistance with job seeking, vocational counseling, and supported employment. In this workshop we will (a) review the employment literature, discuss promising practices, and apply principles and practices to various situations. Participants will learn how to: (1) Identify vocational strengths and needs for themselves; (2) Translate strengths into saleable skills; (3) Find out what employers want and expect; (4) Get the appropriate accomodations and supports; (4) Play to one's strengths; and (5) Communicate effectively with employers and coworkers.
Humour and Its Autistic Variants
Susan T. Solursh, M.S.Sc.This will be a discussion of the ways in which we all share humour in the world (autistic and non-autistic alike) and of the unique ways in which persons with autism observe and understand jokes of various sorts and humorous situations. During the discussion we will look at the cognitive abilities necessary for the understanding of different types of humour and how this may present difficulties for persons with autism e.g., with sarcasm. We will also discuss how current societal perspectives on humour may lead to professional and familial ignorance regarding the ability of many autistic persons to enjoy humour. Finally, we will look at the personal and social health values of humour. Prior to Autreat, individuals planning to attend this workshop will be asked to bring something silly, or a picture or description of something silly, that they enjoy.
Introduction to Euthanasia: A Disability Rights Perspective
Cal MontgomeryThis discussion will cover some of the issues raised by the euthanasia movement and discuss how they are relevant to the disability rights movement in general and the autism community in particular.
How To...: Task Analysis for Fun and More Fun
Cal MontgomeryHave you ever tried to deal with the kind of people who populate the world? If you have, you know it takes some skills.
"The Role of Changeling Lore in Autistic Culture"
Kim DuffThe definition of Changeling lore, and how this lore applies to autistics and parents. Changeling lore is a means of self-identification for AC's. Changeling lore is a blameless explanation for parents.
Demystifying the Politics of Transition: From Compliance to Empowerment
Bud CooneyThis session will examine the insider perspective which currently dominates transition planning and processes. An overview of parent and young adult rights according to IDEA will be presented as well as suggestions for empowering young adults and parents for a more purposeful transition.
Autism and Relationships: Are We Having Fun Yet?
Dave Spicer and Dove.
We will discuss the theory and practice of
relationships involving a person on the autistic
spectrum. Using examples from our marriage, we'll
address issues of communication, trust, acceptance,
support, humor, and so on.
The Professional as Non-Expert:
Collaboration and "Challenging Behaviors"
Autreat 2000: Living Life the Autly Way
BACK TO BASICS: The Fundamental Principles
Cal Montgomery, writer, speaker, and activist focusing on disability issues
In 1975, a group of British disabled people came together to discuss the "fundamental principles" of disability, and how those principles should guide activism. In the past 25 years, a great deal of interesting activism and research has been done based on social-model principles. We will discuss the fundamental principles to see whether - and if so, how - they apply to our lives. A reading list for further study will be provided.
HOW TO PLAY WITH DOLLS: For Kids and Adults
Jim Sinclair, disability educator and consultant, coordinator of Autism Network International
For purposes of this workshop, a "doll" may be any inanimate object that we play with by imagining it to have aspects of personhood. This includes the traditional toy-human type of doll, as well as toy animals, and any other toys or objects that our imaginations transform into living entities. In this intergenerational workshop, we will share and explore different ways autistic people can use doll play for fun and for learning, and ways that parents, educators, and therapists can use doll play to help autistic people in developing skills and understanding. You'll also get to meet some of Jim's Hercules and Xena action figures! Participants are invited to bring their own favorite dolls and doll stories.
Music: What Is It, What Does It Mean To Us, and How Can We Use It?
Katja Gottschewski, musician and music therapist, Bodø, Norway
In this workshop, we will explore different aspects of music. We will look at differences and similarities in how we as individuals or as AC's and NT's define and experience music. It will be discussed how we can communicate through music. How is music different from language? Can music be a bridge between AC's and NT's? Other functions of music will also be discussed.
"On Paper I'm Free": The Role of Written Words in the Lives of ACs
Sola Shelly, writer and poet, recently-recognized as a Cousin
This workshop will discuss the nature of written words as an AC friendly medium. The various functions of written words in the lives of AC people, for self-preservation, interpersonal connections, and community building will be explored and illustrated. The format will be of a structured, moderated group discussion.
Dave Spicer, consultant to TEACCH and the Autism Society of North Carolina, ASNC Board Member
Being autistic in ways that work, finding effective ways of dealing with everyday autistic life. By pooling our wisdom and experience, we will build a "knowledge base" which will then be made available in printed form. Version 1.0 will appear after the first session; it will be revised and reissued after the second.
Guiding Behavior Responsibly (Your Child's, and/or Your Own)
Jim Sinclair, disability educator and consultant, coordinator of AutismNetwork International
Disability advocates are frequently confronted with the need to balance concerns about legitimate needs to teach and enforce standards of acceptable behavior, against the reality that techniques of behavior "management" are routinely used on developmentally disabled people that would be considered unacceptable if applied to nondisabled learners. In this workshop we will discuss both ethical principles and practical approaches for developing responsible self-management in autistic people. Though addressed primarily to parents and others who are in supervisory and teaching positions with autistic people, some of the concepts presented may also be helpful to independent autistic people (or those working toward independence) in thinking about how to balance their autistic sensibilities with the demands of the neurotypical world.
Sisyphus Condemned: The Use of Power
Cal Montgomery, writer, speaker, and activist focusing on disability issues
Who decides? and How? are two fundamental questions about power. What is power? Who has it? Who wants it? What does it mean to have power? How is power used? And what does this mean for autistic people and those who live and work with autistic people? We will discuss power - focusing specifically on the ways in which power and powerlessness become issues in the lives of disabled people - and its use and abuse
There Must Be A Better Way: Guardianship and its Alternatives
Mayer Shevin, private consultant, and associate of Syracuse University's Facilitated Communication Institute
Many parents and families seek guardianship for their children with disabilities, as a way of protecting those people from exploitation, and as a way of providing supports which that person might sometimes need in certain aspects of decision-making. However, guardianship typically involves a finding of incompetence, and leads to a life-long loss of autonomy and basic civil rights. This presentation will identify some of the alternatives which exist to guardianship, and will include an open discussion on peoples' experiences which point toward non-oppressive and non-coercive support of decision-making.
Transforming Public Perceptions of Autism: A Question, Not An Answer
Laura A. Tisoncik ("muskie" on IRC), webmaster of http://www.autistics.org
This workshop examines the way autism is portrayed in the media and by professionals, how these portrayals affect the lives of autistics, looks at how other groups have transformed the way they are seen by society, and searches for ways we can transform current perceptions of autism. Participants are invited to bring examples of how autism is portrayed (good and bad), and plenty of ideas.
Using Sensory Integration Strategies to Cope in a Neurotypical World
Sue Golubock, MEd, OTR/L, Loudon County Public Schools, Virginia
Understanding how the AC brain processes input; how a parent or autistic can develop a "sensory diet" to help ease stress, decrease defensiveness, improve motor planning, and aid in organization; when to consider and what you might expect from a sensory integration trained therapist or other therapies.
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Building Independence: Update on Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication (AT/AAC)Barbara S. Delsack, MSPA/CCC-SLP
This presentation will be an update on assistive technology and augmentative communication devices, applications and strategies that promote independence and vocational success. It will also include discussion on ways to influence the further development of AT/AAC tools that meet individual needs.
Barbara Stern Delsack, MSPA/CCC/SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Specialist with Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland, on the InterACT Team. Mrs. Delsack has worked in the area of Autism for the past 23 years. In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor at Montgomery College and at The George Washington University. Mrs. Delsack serves on the Board of Directors Autism National Committee (AUTCOM).
Hearing Voices: Attributions and EchoesJim Sinclair
Recognition of autistic differences has given rise to many legends, theories, explanations, and characterizations -- some by neurotypicals about autistics, some by autistics about ourselves. The stores we're told, and the stories we tell ourselves, are different for different people under different circumstances and in different generations. This workshop will explore some of these attributions and their lasting impact on autistic people's self-perceptions and self-presentations.
Jim Sinclair was an autistic child during the late Bettelheim and early behavior-modification eras, an autistic young adult during the repressed-memories-of-sexual-abuse era, and an autistic graduate student during the megavitamin, gluten/casein/yeast, and heavy-metal-poisoning eras. Jim is now an autistic counselor, as well as being coordinator of Autism Network International.
Autistic ParentingMelody Latimer
Autistic adults face many challenges when becoming Autistic parents. Many new and veteran parents offer the same sets of worries and concerns, such as sensory overload, marriage disputes and perceived inadequacies. Autistic adults many times become fearful of what may or may not happen, leading them to never pursue parenthood. In this session, attendees will discuss managing sensory issues, alternate ways of showing affection, combating harmful stereotypes and how to give children adequate opportunities for developmental growth. As well, there is hope that by attending, Autistic adults can gain the confidence, if they want, to pursue parenthood.
Melody Latimer is an Autistic parents with two Autistic boys. She also runs a website for Autistic parents. Melody has been a panelist for the Autism Society of America's "Speaking for Ourselves" presentation and speaks regularly to parents of Autistic children about Neurodiverse approaches to parenting. She is a member of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and runs the Dallas-Ft. Worth chapter. She is currently the chair of the ASAN Newsletter committee.
Applied Behavior Analysis: History and IssuesAlexander Cheezem
Many controversies relating to autism center around applied behavior analysis (ABA) and its assorted applications towards autistics of all ages. Unfortunately, many relevant advocacy efforts are undermined by fundamental misconceptions and misunderstandings about ABA. This presentation will cover the fundamentals of ABA, the history of ABA as applied to autism, and a wide variety of common misconceptions about and misunderstandings of ABA both within and without the field of autism. In addition, I will be covering a variety of issues relating to ABA which can form potential targets for advocacy and reform efforts.
Alexander Cheezem is a graduate student in Nova Southeastern University's Masters in General Psychology program. He has approximately three years of clinical experience with autistic children of all ages. He has completed the full coursework required for board certification as a behavior analyst and intends to sit the certification examination upon graduation.
Accomodations in SchoolsCrystal Abbott
Once Auties reach teens or adulthood, they are expected to take active roles in their own accommodations in middle school, high school, and college. Because each Autie is unique in their talents and needs, no "set" of accommodations can suit any individual and school officials lack the knowledge of how to accommodate each student. This presentation is meant to empower each Autie with ideas and choices about accommodations to make their education more fulfilling and less of a struggle.
Crystal Abbott graduated from Wesleyan University last year. Xe was diagnosed in middle school, but was given the opportunity to sculpt xyr own accommodations in college. Xe was the first diagnosed Autie at Wesleyan and largely had to make stuff up. Xe now has a bachelor's degree in anthropology.
Self-Determination: Best For Us, Better For The CommunityMarc Rosen and Ivan
Self-determination is the term most commonly used to describe community-based living arrangements with supports. In this presentation, Marc and Ivan will provide a crash course on how it works, why it works better than any other option offered thus far, and the politics surrounding it. They'll also provide information on how to best make use of self-determination, and suggestions on how to advocate for stronger self-determination options in one's own community(ies).
Marc Rosen is the coeditor of "Perspectives: Poetry Concerning Autism and Other Disabilities", former Long Island Autism Examiner for Examiner.com, a member of the National Youth Leadership Network's Governing Board, and one of the founders of The Bards Initiative (a regional poetry organization). He currently works as an advocate and consultant in the fields of autism, education, and disability while pursuing a Master's in Social Work, and finds being autistic to be an advantage in helping his clients. He will be coediting "Perspectives 2", a sequel to the internationally-praised "Perspectives Anthology", in the fall, and expects to release his first full-length book of original poetry before the end of 2011.
Ivan is 27 years old, one of three members living in one body. Studies mathematics in college. Interest in autistic advocacy comes from being on the spectrum along with his in-body siblings.
Driving with AutismLinda McCumber, MS, OTR/L, CDI, CDRS
Driving with Autism: How a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) and Occupational Therapist can assist in the process of determining the potential for individuals on the spectrum to become safe, licensed drivers.
Linda McCumber is an Occupational Therapist, Certified Driving Instructor in New York and a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist. She is currently employed by the Sunnyview Driver Rehabilitation Program in Schenectady, NY. Ms McCumber specializes in driver training services for individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities. She has extensive experience providing driver training for individuals on the autistic spectrum.
Adults Who Are Self-Diagnosed or Late-Diagnosed: A Presentation and Discussion
Paula C. Durbin-Westby, staff member, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
This workshop will be an interactive presentation about, for, and with adults on the spectrum. Topics we will cover include the needs and perspectives of adults on the spectrum, including people who are Autistic Cousins, self-diagnosed, diagnosed later than childhood, misdiagnosed etc. However, there is no age limit. Some people may consider themselves to have a “late diagnosis” at age 15 or 20, for example. We will discuss learning about our autism, making sense of experiences, disclosure, accessing supports, services, and healthcare, and other topics people might want to discuss.
Situated Functioning: Facilities, Difficulties, and Problems of LivingMatthew Moore, Doctoral Candidate, History of Consciousness Department, UC Santa Cruz
Individuals on the spectrum are routinely described in terms of their level of "functioning," often modified as either social or intellectual functioning, with the result that the entirety of their dis/ability and personhood gets summed up as either high- or low-functioning. In practice, functioning labels work in conjunction with the concepts of intelligence and retardation to rank individuals and assign relative worth. I offer "situated functioning" " with the terms "facilities" and "difficulties" as alternatives for intelligence and retardation " as a more nuanced approach that better accounts for complexity, contingency, and emergent potential. I reposition individuals as functioning in relational, variable, and complexly articulated situations " where every body engages with changeable, spatially and temporally specific, environments. Drawing from the work of autistic authors, I argue that thinking with situated functioning and facilities/difficulties calls for recognition of collaborative encounters, assistive technologies, and augmentive creativity.
Matthew is a graduate student in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is working on a dissertation that focuses on the autistic rights movement, the power of diagnostic categories, and the politics of dis/ability. He thinks of himself as autistic cousin, although some ANI members suspect he's firmly on the spectrum. He's cool with that, too.
"Ask an NT" PanelJim Sinclair
Mainstream autism conferences often have panels of autistic people to answer questions about the experience of autism. This is our chance to ask a panel of neurotypical people all those things we've wondered about NTs and why they do the things they do.
Complete 2011 brochure
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