All Autism Society of NC offices and programs are closed to comply with state directives regarding COVID-19. See our COVID-19 page for updates and resources. To reach staff, who are working remotely, please email or call 800-442-2762.

2019 Annual Conference – Autism: Strategies for a Lifetime

Educational Conferences

2019 Annual Conference
Autism: Strategies for a Lifetime

March 22-23, 2019

Hilton University Place hotel in Charlotte

The Autism Society of North Carolina’s annual conference is a two-day event featuring nationally and internationally recognized speakers and topics of interest to all members of the autism community.

The 2019 theme, Autism: Strategies for a Lifetime, reflects our understanding that needs change for individuals on the autism spectrum throughout their lifetimes. Autism self-advocates, families, and professionals will come together to learn practical strategies that can be used in their homes, at school, at work, and in the community.

To view the schedule, click here.

To review the learning objectives, click here.

Register Now

Friday, March 22

Dr. Patrick Friman “Anxiety and Sleep: Addressing Life’s Challenges Dr. Friman is Director of Clinical Services at Boys Town and Vice President of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services and Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine.

Dr. David Mandell “Best Practices in the Real World” Dr. Mandell will explain how to implement evidence-based practices and get buy-in at school, in the community, and at home, as well as what to do when interventions don’t work. Dr. Mandell is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Mental Health Policy at Penn and Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Saturday, March 23

Dr. John Spiro “From Genes to Biology: What We Know and Why It Matters Dr. Spiro is the Deputy Scientific Director of SFARI at the Simons Foundation. He will update attendees about the importance of recent discoveries in genetics and ongoing research efforts.

Morning concurrent workshops:

Adulthood: Resources and Opportunities: What resources and supports are available for adults and those transitioning to adulthood? How should families and individuals prepare for and navigate waivers, vocational rehabilitation, employment, and supported living? Learn more and get answers to your questions from our panel.

“Let’s Play! Getting Kids with Autism Engaged:” Interactive play is an important skill, and the ASNC Clinical team will provide practical strategies for parents, teachers, and caregivers to teach play skills and shared attention to young learners with autism. Attendees will leave with techniques that can be used at home, school, and beyond.

Afternoon concurrent workshops are:

Gut Issues in Autism: Stomach and digestive issues not only affect health but can also contribute to behavioral challenges. Learn what to be concerned about and how to better communicate with health-care providers about this important topic.

“Relationships and Resilience: The Importance of Self-Care:” Managing stress is hard. But if it is not managed, it can cause health issues and affect relationships with families, co-workers, and friends. Learn strategies that will enable you to take time for yourself and help your loved one.


Closing Keynote: The final keynote session will be a panel discussion on assistive technology with autism self-advocates and parents. They will share the high- and low-tech solutions that are all around us and can improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and families.

Past conferences have sold out, so we encourage you to register early! The conference app will enable attendees to receive handouts in advance and connect with attendees and exhibitors. After registering, you will receive an email with the download link. Conference fees include:

  • Access to all sessions, based on the day(s) selected
  • Handouts (digital with the app)
  • Continental breakfast, refreshments, and lunch
  • Exhibit hall access

Registration fees are tiered this year. Early-bird rates provide significant savings and are in effect through February 28. Parent fees are $140 for a single day or $250 for both days. Autism self-advocate rates are $90 for a single day or $150 for two days. Professionals pay $165 for a single day or $275 for the full conference. Click here to register.

Purchase orders are accepted from school systems; click here to download a PDF of the registration form. Email David Laxton at with questions.

Continuing education units (CEUs) will be offered for a separate fee of $35 for a single day or $50 for both days. We are working to provide credit for as many professions as possible.

Innovations waiver: Medicaid Innovations waiver recipients and their natural supports system (family, caregivers, etc.) are eligible for funding assistance to attend the conference via the waiver. To receive this funding, contact your care coordinator at your managed care organization (MCO) and let them know that you wish to use Natural Supports Education funds for your conference expenses. Some MCOs require families to pay their registrations and then will reimburse the family; some MCOs complete the conference registration form and send it with payment to ASNC. If you or your care coordinator have questions, please call 919-865-5063 or email us for help.

Discounted Hotel Rooms: The Hilton Charlotte University Place will again offer special rates for the conference: $100 per night for a King or Two Double Beds Deluxe room, March 21-23, 2019. Click here by February 28 to book at the discount rate.

The conference will provide a unique opportunity for businesses, service providers, and others with a connection to the autism community to interact with nearly 900 attendees over the two days. To receive an exhibitor/sponsor prospectus or to learn more, please contact David Laxton at or 919-865-5063. Custom sponsorship packages are available.