We are hiring!
Click here to view our open positions.

The Autism Experience: Brain, Body, and Behavior

Educational Conferences

The Autism Experience: Brain, Body, and Behavior

March 10-11, 2023

Hilton Charlotte University Place

The 2023 conference, The Autism Experience: Brain, Body, and Behavior, reflects our commitment to sharing information and knowledge that helps individuals with autism/autistic adults, families, and other caregivers, and a wide range of professionals. With a program that provides personal perspectives, knowledge from experts in the field, and topics that span the lifespan and spectrum, attendees will learn practical ideas and strategies for use at home, at school, at work, and in the community.

To learn more about our speakers, click the section below or read more here.

To view the schedule click this link.


Register Now

Speakers include:

  • James Bedford, M.D. – Medical Issues and Autism
    • Bedford is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who after training at the University of North Carolina and the University of California–Davis MIND Institute returned to Chapel Hill to join the faculty of UNC Department of Psychiatry. As Co-Director of the Program on Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry, he specializes in high-quality psychiatric assessment and treatment of people with developmental disabilities and other neuropsychiatric concerns. He is a Consulting Psychiatrist at Murdoch Developmental Center and practices general adult psychiatry at the UNC Crisis Stabilization Unit. Current research projects include an examination of depression treatment in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and a review of Emergency Department visit durations and outcomes for youth with I/DD.  
  • Peter Gerhardt Ed.D. & Shanna Bahry, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA/LBA – Behavior and Autism
    • Gerhardt is the Executive Director of the EPIC School in Paramus, NJ.  Dr. Gerhardt has over 40 years of experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt serves as Co-Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research and is on numerous professional advisory boards including the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty in the Institute for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College. Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education. 
    • Bahry is the Founder/Executive Director, Meaningful HOPE as well as Adjunct Professor, Institute for Applied Behavioral Science at Endicott College and has been working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities for over 15 years. Dr. Bahry received her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College, under the advisement of Dr. Peter Gerhardt. Her areas of interest include adaptive behavior programming leading to optimal outcomes in adulthood. She has authored several book chapters, designed several ongoing research projects and position papers, and presented at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally.
  • Kim Carpenter, Ph.D. & Jill Howard, Ph.D. – Autism and Anxiety
    • Carpenter is Assistant Professor and Researcher with the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, Duke University School of Medicine. Her specialty is understanding complex brain-behavior relationships in young children with autism and associated disorders. She currently leads an innovative research program exploring the shared and unique impacts that co-occurring anxiety and ADHD have on brain and behavioral biomarkers in young autistic children. She was the first to demonstrate that sensory over-responsivity, a symptom that has been described as part of a number of disorders including autism, anxiety, and ADHD, is a specific and unidirectional risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders in young children. She was also the first to demonstrate that specific anxiety disorders are associated with phenotypically meaningful differences in brain connectivity using MRI. Dr. Carpenter has also collaborated with experts in early childhood mental health, computer science, and engineering to develop novel technologies that utilize multi-modal methods via computer vision and machine learning to develop, refine, and test novel screening tools for early identification and treatment monitoring in young children with autism and related disorders. 
    • Howard is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Services at the Duke University School of Medicine. Her research includes measuring communication ability of individuals with rare neurodevelopmental disorders, inequities in the receipt of the NC Medicaid Waiver among individuals with I/DD or autism. 
  • Lisa Morgan, M.Ed., CAS & Brenna Maddox, Ph.D. – Mental Well-being and Suicide Prevention
    • Morgan is the founder and co-chair of the Autism and Suicide committee of the American Association of Suicidology, an author, researcher, and private practitioner. She is a Board-certified Autism Specialist and has authored several books including: Living with PTSD on the Autism Spectrum – A shared journey toward understanding and Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and numerous articles related to mental health and suicide. She develops and presents workshops and training and offers mentoring through her business, Lisa Morgan Consulting, LLC. Lisa is an autistic adult and resides in Kittery, Maine.  
    • Maddox is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC), in the Department of Psychiatry. As the implementation scientist for the UNC TEACCH Autism Program, her work focuses on improving community services for people on the autism spectrum across the lifespan. She is particularly interested in engaging autistic individuals and other stakeholders in community-partnered research, preventing suicide and self-harm in people on the autism spectrum, and training and supporting community mental health clinicians to work with this population. Her research has been supported by the NIMH, PCORI, the Organization for Autism Research, the Foundation of Hope, and the FAR Fund. Dr. Maddox is also a clinical psychologist, a deputy editor for the journal Autism in Adulthood, and a co-chair of the American Association of Suicidology’s Autism and Suicide Committee.
  • Jenna Flynn, MSW, LCSW, NADD-DDS – Using a Team Approach to Care
    • Flynn is the Integrated Care Professional for the Autism Society of North Carolina and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Jenna has worked for almost 9 years in the NC Managed Care Organization (MCO) system and maintains a robust knowledge and understanding of the service system for those with I/DD, ASD, TBI, and mental health diagnoses. Jenna most recently worked at the TEACCH Autism Program where she provided psychotherapy utilizing CBT, DBT, ESDM, and Structured TEACCHing evidence-based practices for clients across the lifespan. She also worked for ASNC as a Direct Care Professional in the community and at the Creative Living Day Program. 
  • Autistic Adults Panel – Personal Perspectives and Insights


To view the agenda click here.

Conference registration has closed. Please email us to be added to the wait list.

We do accept purchase orders from school systems and other government agencies and payment terms are net 30. Email David Laxton at dlaxton@autismsociety-nc.org with questions.

Innovations waiver funding:

  • Medicaid Innovations waiver recipients and their natural support system (family, caregivers, etc.) are eligible for funding assistance via the waiver to attend the conference. Natural Supports Education Funds is available to all primary caregivers of individuals who receive Innovation Waiver services.
  • This service will pay for enrollment fees and materials, up to $1,000 for the individual’s Plan Year, to enable the primary caregiver to attend educational events such as the conference.  This funding can pay for the registration cost of the conference, but will not pay for transportation costs to go to/from the conference, any lodging costs, or meals that are not provided by the conference host (dinner).

If you have a loved one who has waiver funding and want to request/use Natural Supports Education, 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. Download the conference registration form and send it to your MCO and ask them to send the form and authorization paperwork or payment to ASNC. However, some MCOs require families to pay for their registrations and will reimburse the family. If you or your care coordinator have questions, please call 919-865-5063 or email us for help.

Rossi Fund Scholarships:

Updated 1/17/2023 – Funding for the 2023 ASNC conference has been exhausted. The Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement (Rossi Fund) empowers people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their family members with opportunities to participate in decisions that often impact them personally. Via the Rossi Fund, individuals with I/DD and their family members can receive reimbursement for expenses for seminars and conferences, such as the ASNC conference.

To learn more about other funding opportunities click here.

Discounted Hotel Rooms:

The Hilton Charlotte University Place will again offer special rates for the conference: $125 per night for a King or Two Double Beds Deluxe Room, March 9-12, 2023. Click here by February 16 (subject to availability) to book at the discount rate.

The conference provides a unique opportunity for businesses, service providers, and others with a connection to the autism community to interact with 300-500 attendees over the two days.

Exhibit hall hours are Friday 7:30 AM – 5 PM and Saturday, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM.

To receive an exhibitor/sponsor prospectus or to learn more, please contact David Laxton at dlaxton@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5063. Custom sponsorship packages are available.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Lunch Sponsor


Coffee Sponsor

Wi Fi Sponsor