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Feb
13

Autism conference keynote speakers announced

2015conflogowebThe 20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference will be held April 29-May 2, 2015 at the DoubleTree Hilton by Minneapolis Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis. Here, speakers, educators, therapists, psychologists, employers, paraprofessionals, caregivers, parents and individuals on the autism spectrum have a platform to exchange knowledge and ideas with one another - all with the goal of enhancing the lives of those touched by autism. Keynote speakers will include:

James Coplan, M.D. is an internationally recognized clinician, author, and public speaker in the fields of early child development, early language development and autistic spectrum disorders. 

Patrick Schwarz, Ph.D. is a dynamic and engaging professor, author, motivational speaker and leader in inclusive education, special education, general education, educational leadership, and human services. Dr. Schwarz is co-author of four books: From Disability to Possibility, You’re Welcome, Just Give Him the Whale and Pedro’s Whale. His new book is From Possibility to Success.

John Miller is the author of Decoding Dating, A Guide to the Unwritten Social Rules of Dating for Men with Asperger Syndrome, a book that offers individuals with autism practical guidance on the more baffling aspects of dating.

Kari Dunn Buron, MS is an Autism Education Specialist who taught in the K-12 public school system, working with students on the autism spectrum for more than 30 years. Dunn Buron has authored many books and is the co-author of The Incredible 5-Point Scale.

2015conflogowebThe 20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, presented by the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), will be held April 29 – May 2, 2015 at the DoubleTree Hilton by Minneapolis Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis, Minn. (1500 Park Place Blvd). Here, speakers, educators, therapists, psychologists, employers, paraprofessionals, caregivers, parents and individuals on the autism spectrum have a platform to exchange knowledge and ideas with one another - all with the goal of enhancing the lives of those touched by autism.

Held annually during Autism Awareness Month, this four-day conference is produced by AuSM, the local organization serving individuals and families living with autism. The mission of AuSM is to enhance the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders through education support, collaboration and advocacy. Autism is the fastest growing disability in Minnesota with diagnosis rates reported as one in 68 (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The goal of AuSM’s annual conference is to advance the public’s knowledge of ASD by offering daily keynote speakers and experts, topical breakout sessions, exhibitor booths with a variety of services and products, and the AuSM Bookstore. 

This year’s keynote speakers include: 

James Coplan, M.D. is an internationally recognized clinician, author, and public speaker in the fields of early child development, early language development and autistic spectrum disorders. Dr. Coplan heads his own practice, Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics of the Main Line, PC and authored the book, Making Sense of Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Create the brightest future for your child with the best treatment options (Bantam-Dell, 2010). 

Dr. Coplan is the Keynote Speaker on Wednesday, April 29 from 7-9 p.m. 

Patrick Schwarz, Ph.D. is a dynamic and engaging professor, author, motivational speaker and leader in inclusive education, special education, general education, educational leadership, and human services. He is a professor at National-Louis University, Chicago. Dr. Schwarz authored four books with Paula Kluth: From Disability to Possibility, You’re Welcome, Just Give Him the Whale and Pedro’s Whale. His new book is From Possibility to Success.

Dr. Schwarz is the Keynote Speaker on Thursday, April 30 from 9-10:30 a.m.

John Miller is the author of Decoding Dating, A Guide to the Unwritten Social Rules of Dating for Men with Asperger Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder), a book that offers individuals with autism practical guidance on the more baffling aspects of dating and advice on how to take the step from dating to a relationship.

Miller is the Keynote Speaker on Thursday, April 30 from 7-9 p.m.

Kari Dunn Buron, MS is an Autism Education Specialist who taught in the K-12 public school system, working with students on the autism spectrum for more than 30 years. A national and international speaker, Dunn Buron has authored many books and is the co-author of The Incredible 5-Point Scale (Revised Edition). 

Dunn Buron is the Keynote Speaker on Friday, May 1 from 9-10:30 a.m.

Also featured will be tracks for educators and therapy professionals and breakout presentations by autism experts. The final day of the conference will focus on autism transition, employment and life skills.

Licensed therapy professionals may submit documentation from participation in the 20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference to their licensing boards for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) consideration.

In celebration of the conference’s 20th anniversary, AuSM will host an inaugural gala during the conference on Friday, May 1 from 6-10 p.m. The gala, “Celebrate AuSM Inspirations, will bring the community together for fantastic food, drinks, games, prizes, a silent auction and a celebration of those serving as true inspirations to individuals affected by autism. 

Registration fees are $105 per day for AuSM members and $135 per day for non-members. Evening presentations on Wednesday and Thursday are an additional fee of $40 for AuSM members and $50 for non-members. Individual gala tickets are $75 each and $750 for a table of 10.

As the population diagnosed with ASD ages, the Autism Society of Minnesota is committed to serving these individuals in all stages of development. With adult support groups and therapy, family advocacy programs, social skills classes, camps, summer programming, targeted training offerings, and an extensive resource directory, AuSM strives to fulfill the needs of those living with autism throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. 

Click here for more information about the 20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference.