By Shannon Carr
Communications & Social Media Specialist
More than 200 people converged at Morgan Autism Center’s 13th Annual Conference, Sept. 20, at the Campbell Heritage Theatre to gain insight from professionals on a continual journey alongside parents and families of those with autism.
“When you get the diagnosis of autism, you set out on a journey,” Dr. Barry Prizant, an adjunct professor at Brown University and director of the private practice Childhood Communication Services, said during his keynote presentation.
“We all play these different roles and these roles are magnified when you have a child with special needs,” Barry continued.
During his talk, he shared videos and stories from those he has worked with during his more than 40 years experience as a scholar, researcher and international consultant for individuals with autism, and emotional and behavioral disabilities and their families.
Other speakers included:
• Nick Homer of Miceli Financial Partners, who spoke about the financial impact on families of those with special needs.
• Dr. Grace Gengoux presented “From first words to first friends: Pivotal Response Treatment strategies for parents and professionals.”
• Dr. Gayle Windham, Dr. Joachim Hallmayer and Jill Escher shared their expertise during the panel “The latest in autism research: Genetics, epigenetics and the environment.”
• Kris McCann, Jan Stokley, Mark Gilfix and Anna Wang shared their expertise during the panel “Housing for adults with autism and developmental disabilities.”
• Dr. Ruth O’Hara presented “Sleep in children with ASD: A treatment opportunity.”
“Morgan Autism’s 13th Annual Conference was a great community gathering,” Executive Director Brad Boardman said. “The variety of topics discussed provided valuable information to parents, teachers, SLPs (Speech Language Pathologists), medical professionals and other service providers. In particular, we were pleased that subject matter covered childhood through adulthood.”
Morgan Autism Center would like to thank the many conference supporters, led by Presenting Sponsor Star One Credit Union. Others included Silver Sponsor Valley Medical Center Foundation and Bronze Sponsors Friends of Children with Special Needs, Gilbert Family Trust, Kiwanis Club Foundation of Menlo Park and Ratermann Manufacturing, Inc.
Thank you for putting together ANOTHER wonderful conference! We look forward to participating every year. Here’s to 2015! ~ Catherine McCoy, San Andreas Regional Center