For the second year in a row, the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Annual Conference was sold out. Over 800 people attended the two-day event, which took place February 8-9 in Charlotte. The conference is the largest annual autism gathering in the state.
On February 8, Dr. Peter Gerhardt, Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, presented Bridges to Adulthood: Planning for Lives of Competence and Inclusion. This presentation provided an overview of the issues related to adulthood on the autism spectrum, including components of effective intervention, challenges to implementation, and potential solutions.
On February 9, participants learned from teaching and behavioral experts on best practices, gained insights about raising girls on the spectrum, and shared the lighter side of autism through humor.
“The Autism Society of North Carolina provides a unique opportunity for individuals living with autism, parents, family members, and professionals to come together to share information and learn from each other,” said David Laxton, Director of Communications. “We are very happy to have another record crowd this year and it shows that there is an ongoing desire and need within the autism community for networking, support, and continuing education about solutions to some of the issues facing our community.”
The conference theme, Autism Grows Up, addressed the need to plan for the challenges that individuals with autism face as they transition to adolescence and adulthood. Parents of children on the autism spectrum learned about what they can do so that their child is able pursue higher education, obtain gainful employment, or live independently. Professionals learned specific strategies to address transition issues and better support the growing number of children and adults they serve.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. Recent studies estimate that up to 1 of every 70 children born in North Carolina will be affected by ASD.
For over forty years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has led efforts 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.
Additional information is available by calling 1-800-442-2762 or by visiting www.autismsociety-nc.org.