New Conference Date -- Friday, November 4th!
Don’t miss the South Carolina Autism Society’s Annual Conference, featuring Keynote Speaker John Elder Robison, Breakout Sessions, Bookstore, and more!
Keynote Speaker -- John Elder Robison
John Elder Robison grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome, and was undiagnosed until the age of 40. He nevertheless lived an incredible life. In his new book Switched On, he describes how a powerful brain therapy has allowed him to sense others’ feelings, and claim a newfound emotional intelligence. A leading voice on autism, he implores audiences to find strengths where others see weaknesses.
John Elder Robison is the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He is an active participant in the ongoing discussion of ethical and legal issues relating to autism therapy, services, and intervention. He is particularly interested in improving quality of life for those people living with autism today—both autistic people and family members. He’s been a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and he serves on other boards for the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and private organizations. He’s co-founder of a high school program for teens with developmental challenges in Springfield, MA.
In his younger days Robison worked as an engineer for KISS and Pink Floyd’s sound company, and worked on some of the original electronic games at Milton Bradley. Later on he founded J E Robison Service—a restorer of Land Rover, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes motorcars.
Robison’s books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, and Raising Cubby are the most widely read accounts of life with Asperger’s in the world. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages, and they are sold in 60+ countries. His newest book—Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening—was published in March 2016. Robison has also authored or contributed to over 100 autism-related articles. (Bio from The Lavin Agency)
Keynote Topic -- Hiring on the Spectrum: Neurodiversity at the Workplace
People with autism often have special skills, especially in the fields of math, engineering, and technology. In this talk, John Elder Robison shares his story of life on the autism spectrum and as the founder of the only program that teaches a trade to special education students in a real-world environment. He reveals why companies should take an active role in hiring the neurodiverse, and navigates the benefits and pitfalls for both employer and employee. We can harness people’s special skills, he says, by looking for gifts instead of limitations. There’s much to be gained—for your bottom line, for the autistic person you employ, and for society at large—when hiring someone on the spectrum.
The South Carolina Autism Society is the only statewide agency advocating for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families, while also providing assistance and resources. SCAS promotes, educates and raises awareness that one in every 68 births in the U.S. is a child with autism, and provides support for South Carolina-based research and development. Most importantly, SCAS works to ensure that the 70,000+ individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) living in South Carolina have opportunities to achieve a quality of life comparable to their peers.
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