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Promising Pathways Autism Conference

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Registration Open for Free Conference Addressing Autism Spectrum Disorders April 12 at FGCU

Estero, FL, March 03, 2014 --( Today, one in 88 children is diagnosed with autism. A free conference addressing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Cohen Center. The 7th Annual Promising Pathways, the Road to Best Practice in Autism will focus on topics relevant to families, educators and health professionals.

The keynote speaker is Roy Richard Grinker, Ph.D. Professor Grinker received his B.A. in anthropology from Grinnell College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University. He has served on the faculties of Harvard University, Carleton College, and The George Washington University, and was a senior Asian Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C. from 1996-1998. When his daughter was diagnosed with autism in 1994, it occurred in only about 1 in every 10,000 children. In his book “Unstrange Minds – Remapping the World of Autism”, Grinker documents his quest across the globe to discover why autism is so much more common today.

Dr. Grinker explores autism from an anthropological perspective; asking questions such as, where did autism come from; who came up with the term and under what historical and cultural influences and how do different countries recognize and treat autism, and why do their approaches differ? He investigates evidence of autism before it was known as autism, and shows how even today its existence in various countries continues to be often unacknowledged and misunderstood, and the consequences of how different societies approach the diagnosis and existence of autism.

Conference breakout session topics include: Executive Functioning Strategies, Career Opportunities, Guardianship, Verbal Behavior, Navigating Air Travel, Music Therapy, Buddy Programs, Aquatic Playgroups, Tantrums/Meltdowns, Socialization, Social Referencing, Challenges and Benefits of Being an Adult on the Autism Spectrum and An Overview of Services and Eligibility under the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. A resource fair with vendors from a variety of autism-related businesses and service providers will also be available.

The conference is coordinated by a regional planning committee including parents of children with autism and interested community members, as well as representatives from the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Florida Gulf Coast University, Lee County School District, Collier County Public Schools and Family Care Council.

“Because of the need for current, research-based information, we are committed to educating all families, educators, healthcare workers, and community members interested in serving individuals with autism,” said Leigh Anna Nowak, conference co-chair. “In order to make our conference accessible to all, we have never charged for attendance and our prestigious speakers have typically waived their honoraria. Our generous sponsors help us bring this important information to the community.”

The presenting sponsor for the conference is Peace by Piece. Additional sponsors include Working with the Experts, PEPSA, Adonis Autism Assistance Foundation, De LaSalle Academy, Family Care Council, Easter Seals Florida, Honc Marine & Honc Destruction, Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF, Florida Gulf Coast University, David Lawrence Center, School District of Lee County, Costco, WINK News, The News-Press Media Group and Parent & Child magazine. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

The event is free and offers continuing education credits for some healthcare professionals. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. To register go to For more information email or call (239)745-3400.
Contact Information
Promising Pathways Autism Conference
Elly Hagen
(239) 745-3400

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