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Autism Society of America 2019 National Conference & Expo

Hyatt Regency Bethesda, Bethesda, Maryland
Jul 09 - Jul 11, 2019

Overview

About the Autism Society:

The Autism Society of America has been improving the lives of all affected by autism for over 50 years and envisions a world where individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued. We provide advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community at national, state and local levels through our strong nationwide network of Affiliates.

The Autism Society also hosts the most comprehensive national conference on autism, on average attended by a thousand people each year. Our Information and Referral team, our program staff and our strong affiliate presence in states and communities throughout the country serve thousands of families each year who are searching for help in their journey with autism.

Each year, people with autism, families and professionals volunteer thousands of hours to help the Autism Society achieve its mission of improving the lives of all those affected by autism. To each and every one of you, thank you.

Autism Society of America invites you to a two-day conference with presentations and breakout discussions covering a wide range of topics related to Autism.

This year we have four theme tracks which encompass inclusion, community, innovation and much more!  

Our speakers will represent a variety of areas as it relates to the autism lifespan.

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.

There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities.

Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.

Get Involved:

There are many ways to get involved in the autism community. The Autism Society encourages its members and supporters to keep current on and active in ongoing advocacy issues regarding autism, stay abreast of the latest in autism-related news and issues through our online newsletter, Autism Matters, and make an effort to attend autism events and conferences in your area.

The benefits of being involved in the autism community are many—not the least of which is educating yourself about the most appropriate treatments and resources available to help your loved one on the spectrum.

Causes:

There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism compared to in neurotypical children. Researchers do not know the exact cause of autism but are investigating a number of theories, including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems.

In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities, further supporting the theory that the disorder has a genetic basis. While no one gene has been identified as causing autism, researchers are searching for irregular segments of genetic code that children with autism may have inherited. It also appears that some children are born with a susceptibility to autism, but researchers have not yet identified a single “trigger” that causes autism to develop.

Source: Event Website

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