Autism Event to be Held in Berks County

Registration Now Open for Symposium and Fair about Autism

Reading, PA, January 28, 2009 --( Easter Seals, the Autism Society of Berks County and the United Way of Berks County have collaborated to sponsor a significant new educational event on autism to be held on March 14, 2009 in Reading. The Autism in Berks County Symposium and Resource Fair offers a keynote presentation that brings a fresh and insightful perspective about living with autism, paired with an extensive resource fair where families, individuals living with autism, and service providers can learn more about local supports and services for people with autism. Online registration is open from now until March 5, 2009 at

The March 14 event will be held at the Schmidt Training and Technology Center at Reading Area Community College. The Resource Fair will begin at 8:30am followed by the program at 9:30am. The cost is $20 per person, which includes all event activities, free parking and a continental breakfast.

The Autism in Berks County Symposium and Resource Fair is an innovative event which plans to reach out to the community as a whole. Because there are so many individuals living with autism in Berks, the symposium will address the entire community including care givers, employers, educators and healthcare professionals. A similar, very successful event has been held in the Poconos the past five years.

The keynote speaker at this year’s Berks County event is Stephen Shore, Ed.D. Dr. Shore is a leading educator on autism who was diagnosed as a child with strong autistic tendencies. Dr. Shore was nonverbal until age four but with the strong support of his family and teachers, he completed his doctoral dissertation. Dr. Shore is currently the author of multiple books about autism and a professor at Adelphi University.

“We are delighted that Dr. Shore will be speaking and look forward to hearing his insights about autism,” said Easter Seals President and CEO, Nancy Teichman.

The Autism Society of Berks County explains that “autism is a complex developmental disability that affects an individual in the areas of social interaction and communication. Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects each individual differently and to varying degrees of severity.” Autism affects “as many as one in every 150 children,” according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Learn more and register for the event at

Easter Seals, the Autism Society of Berks County and the United Way of Berks County provide essential community resources for individuals with autism and their families. All three organizations work in eastern Pennsylvania to provide education, awareness, resources and support to individuals living with disabilities and maintain a vision of having a community full of healthy, thriving children and families.

About Easter Seals

Easter Seals brings help, hope and answers to adults and children with physical disabilities and developmental delays through in-home and center-based occupational, speech and physical therapy. For more than 85 years, Easter Seals has offered assessment, treatment, family support and community education, assisted children and adults living with disabilities -- and the families who love them -- to lead healthy, productive lives.

Easter Seals Eastern Pennsylvania annually provides services to more than 3,000 adults and children in a seven-county region that encompasses Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike and Schuylkill Counties.

Easter Seals implements programs and services through three regional offices located in Bethlehem, East Stroudsburg, and Reading with all operations coordinated through the administrative office located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Nationally, Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities, and other special needs.

About Autism Society of Berks County

The Autism Society of Berks County is a registered chapter of the Autism Society of America. The society was founded in June of 2000 and is an all-volunteer organization. The Autism Society is made up of parents and family members of individuals affected by an autism spectrum disorder, as well as professionals working in the field. The mission of the Autism Society of Berks County is to provide information and support for individuals within the autism spectrum, their families, and professionals through community awareness, education, and research related to autism.

About United Way of Berks County

United Way of Berks County’s business is community impact, not just fundraising. The work of the United Way goes beyond the historic role as collector and distributor of charitable contributions. United Way is about making the community a better place for all of us to live and work. United Way is striving toward a vision of having a county full of thriving children and families’ healthy and self-sufficient people, and vibrant neighborhoods and communities.

Easter Seals
Amanda Dickson