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Photo: Paul Morse     Drawings: Andrew Bixler

Success on the Spectrum


Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (PDT)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
General   more info Ended $85.00 $0.00
Student   more info Ended $35.00 $0.00
Spectrum $85-$10   more info Ended
General with CEUs   more info Ended $110.00 $0.00
Give Scholarship   more info Ended
General Donation   more info Ended

Share Success on the Spectrum

Event Details


Autism occurs with amazing variety, and thriving into adulthood on the autism spectrum demands a rich mix of strategies and supports. The very definition of success must be broadened to embrace the full range of autistic experience. The Success on the Spectrum conference brings together proven, creative and innovative approaches to successful autistic adulthood. Many of the presenters are on the autism spectrum themselves and so provide first-hand experience. The conference offers a grab-bag of practical tools that can be mixed and tailored for use by people on the autism spectrum, by their family members, and by professionals who help them.

While autism awareness is growing at a rapid pace, adults on the autism spectrum still face many fundamental challenges. These challenges include economic survival, housing, satisfying social interaction, and finding a life of purpose and meaning in a non-autistic world. A growing number of autistic adults and their families are seeking professional help for answers to these basic questions:

• What can success look like for adults on the autism spectrum?

• What strategies and supports help autistic adults lead successful lives?

This conference specifically addresses the needs of Asperger’s and High Functioning Autistic adults. Through presentations by adults on the autism spectrum and professionals in the field, an autism film presentation led by the filmmaker and breakout sessions, the goal of the conference is to offer options for living, provide role models for success, and inform individuals, families and professionals about living with autism.

Keynote address: Ari Ne'eman of the National Council on Disability speaks

Film preview: Too Sane for this World.  Autistic Adults discuss varieties of success in their lives.  

Not your neurotypical job track: Alternatives to traditional employment

Addressing the problem of bullying

Post-secondary education and job transition strategies

Successful relationship: Romance, friendship and spectrum adults with children  

Networking opportunities and resource vendors. 

CEUs offered: This conference meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Details below.

Ticket price includes lunch and refreshments. Conference registration begins at 8:30am, October 15.   Some program changes are possible. Follow AASCEND on the web and facebook

Out of respect for attendees with sensory sensitivities please do not wear perfumes, colognes or overly scented products to the conference. Thanks!


Ari Ne'emanKeynote speaker Ari Ne'eman is 23 years old. He has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome and a degree in political science from the University of Maryland. In 2006, he cofounded the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). In December 2009, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Council on Disability (NCD) and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate six months later. Mr. Ne’eman will provide a national perspective on the challenges facing autistic adults today, exploring national initiatives that respond to those challenges and discussing how autistics can lead successful lives.

Temple Grandin & William DavenportWilliam Davenport, pictured here with Temple Grandin during filming of Too Sane for This World, is an independent filmmaker and former executive director of the Autism Social Connection. Credentialed in special education and with advanced degrees in filmmaking and education, William has taught at UC Berkeley and SF State University, as well as at various non-public schools where he has worked extensively with children and teens on the autism spectrum. 

Zev & JustinBest friends Zev and Justin (Zev Glassenberg, left, and Justin Kanew, right) were contestants on CBS television's The Amazing Race. Zev has Asperger’s; Justin is NT. First appearing on season 15 (fall 2009), they were very popular with fans and did very well until being eliminated when Justin lost his passport. They returned to the show this season and came in first on 4 separate legs until ultimately being eliminated in the next to the last leg. On the show, 12- 14 teams of two (friends, couples, siblings, or parent/child) race around the world performing challenges along the way that are culturally relevant to wherever they are. Over the course of each season, teams are eliminated week by week by finishing last on individual legs of the race. The team that finishes the final leg in first place wins $1,000,000.

Katie BrownKatie Brown directs Accessibility Services at California State University East Bay (CSUEB), where she developed and coordinated the College Link Program for students on the autism spectrum. This program provides academic, social, and residential "coaching" support on campus. Dr. Brown, a Licensed Educational Psychologist, also worked on CSUEB's Project IMPACT, which teaches college students with disabilities how to manage their strengths and challenges.  Co-author of publications in the area of disabilities, she is presently writing a book chapter on the use of coaching to increase social and executive function skills for individuals with learning disabilities in educational settings. 

Clarissa KripkeClarissa Kripke, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California at San Francisco, where she is Director ef the Developmental Primary Care in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is Associate Editor of American Family Physician and chair of the Chancellors Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. Her main area of professional interest is primary care for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. Dr. Kripke has been an active participant in SF Arc's Health Care Reform Initiative for people with developmental disabilities and is pioneering new ways of helping people on the autism spectrum communicate clearly with health care providers.

Liz McDonoughLiz McDonough is a licensed MFT, registered Drama Therapist and current Clinical Director at the Autistry, where she provides intensive therapy to children and teens on the autism spectrum. She has taught at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Alliant university and has presented on Drama Therapy at both national conferences and local organizations. Recently Liz has begun to take her experience and passion for work with children and teens in an exciting new direction, structured and improvisational theater with adults on the autism spectrum. This approach shows promise to free spectrum adults to learn from otherwise inaccessible forms of social relationship and creative expression.

Landon BryceLandon Bryce is self-diagnosed with autism and lives in San Jose. He was a classroom teacher for twenty years and currently works as a tutor to students with Asperger’s and autism. His pioneering and wildly popular website for the Aspergers and Autism Community,  thAutcast, daily reports on autism in the news and comments on representations of people on the spectrum in popular culture. His corresponding Facebook page has over 4,000 fans.


(And more!)

Refund policy

Full refunds for registration, exhibitor and continuing education credit fees for cancellations received by email to info@aascend.net until 11:59:59 pm, October 12, 2011. No refunds or cancellations on or after 12:00:00 am, October 13, 2011.


-------------------- Continuing Education Credit Details -------------------

This conference meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, and Licensed Educational Psychologists as required by the California Board of Behavior Sciences. To receive continuing education credit, participants are required to attend the entire conference and complete a conference evaluation form.

Registration with CE credit = $110. Register for CE credit in the Ticket Information section online (above) at http://aascend.eventbrite.com 

CE Provider #PCE 5044. Email questions to ceu@aascend.net

Learning Objectives

When professionals have completed the Success on the Spectrum conference presentations, they will be able to:

  • Identify the wide variety of social, sensory and cognitive characteristics and combinations of characteristics of adults with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. 
  • Recognize three gifts and challenges of AS and HFA adults. 
  • Explain how the social, sensory and cognitive characteristics of AS and HFA adults affect their ability
    to be successful in a non-autistic world. 
  •  Identify three benefits and challenges in autistic-nonautistic interpersonal relationships. 
  • Explain three strategies for success in autistic-nonautistic interpersonal relationships. 
  • Identify social, employment and housing societal supports that can be needed by adults with AS and HFA. 
  • Identify two strategies for responding to bullying. 
  • Access additional community, state and national resources for AS adults and their families. 
  • Identify three unmet societal needs for adults with AS and HFA. 
  • Define “success” for adults on the autism spectrum in a wider way.


Have questions about Success on the Spectrum? Contact AASCEND

When & Where

Seven Hills Conference Center
(behind Ward Hall) SF State University
800 Font Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94132

Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (PDT)

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