2022 Milestones National Autism Conference
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Home About Us Blog Top 2020 Conference Sessions for Self-Advocates

Top 2020 Conference Sessions for Self-Advocates

Posted on 06/19/20 in Milestones Conference by Milestones

Top 2020 Conference Sessions for Self-Advocates

Milestones Autism Resources is proud to offer a number of conference sessions this year specifically for self-advocates, with many of them being presented by individuals on the spectrum.

We went through the full 2020 schedule and handpicked some of the best sessions for self-advocates. Take a look below!

You can register to view these sessions here.

A-04: Straight from the Source: I'm a Parent on the Spectrum
Panelists: Ron Gerry Sandison, Spectrum Inclusion & Havenwyck Hospital; Kerri Conder; Richard Schaen
Parenting is has its ups and downs. Parenting on the Spectrum- that is a whole other story. Listen to self-advocates discuss what it has been like to parent while being diagnosed on the autism spectrum. This panel presentation will give you new insights, personal stories, their challenges and their great successes.

A-11: Let Me Be Perfectly Queer Part 1 & 2: A Double-Rainbow Advocacy Framework for Self-Advocates, Family, and Professionals
Speaker: Nathan Morgan, MSSA, LSW, Milestones Autism Resources
This session will provide practical strategies and guidance to self-advocates who are navigating the unique struggles of being LGBTQ+ and on the autism spectrum. The role of allies (e.g. family members and professionals) will be discussed, as well as strategies to provide education, guidance, and support to their loved ones.

Keynote: Diversity in Neurodiversity: The Future of Autism Advocacy
Speaker: Lamar Hardwick, DMin
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law giving persons with disabilities greater access to the pursuit of inclusion in public life. Based heavily on the civil rights movement, the disability rights movement helped to point the world toward a broader definition of inclusion. With the largest minority group in the world being persons with disabilities, the continued need for a variety of voices in necessary especially within the autism community. In this presentation, Lamar Hardwick, D.Min., will examine the need and the benefits for more diversity within the neurodiverse community, as well how to adopt and adapt strategies from the civil rights and disability rights movements to further autism advocacy.

B-04: My Journey with Autism and Employment
Speaker: Ron Gerry Sandison, Spectrum Inclusion & Havenwyck Hospital
Currently in the U.S., 70% of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed or underemployed and only 3% are gainfully employed. Individuals with autism will learn to obtain and maintain employment. Ron teaches practical ways to transform specials interests into employment opportunities, confidence to socialize with coworkers, understand the workplace culture and norms, and to refine skills for furthering careers. The audience will also learn the four hindrances to ASD's employment and how to overcome them. Ron shares his own personal struggles with employment and how he was able to obtain gainful employment and the knowledge he acquired from interviewing over fifty young adults on the spectrum and professionals in the autism community.

D-04: Love, Marriage, and Fatherhood: Perspectives from the Spectrum
Speaker: Lamar Hardwick, DMin
This session will explore the concept of romantic relationships, marriage, and parenting for persons on the autism spectrum. In this session, Dr. Lamar Hardwick will use personal experience and educational insight to identify tools that can help increase the success of marital and parenting for persons on the autism spectrum.

E-03: Decision 2020: Civic Engagement for People with Disabilities
Speaker: Mike Brickner, ACLU of Delaware
Election 2020 is almost here, but are candidates talking about the issues that impact people with disabilities? Are candidates, civic engagement groups, and the government adequately communicating with voters with disabilities? In this hands-on session, participants will work in small groups to discuss these issues and brainstorm effective inclusion techniques. Ideas generated during this session will be presented to nonpartisan voter engagement groups to help them effectively work with people with disabilities. Finally, participants will hear a short presentation on advocacy tips they can use to get active and make their voices heard.

E-04: Embedding Sensory Strategies Within Your Daily Life
Speaker: Mary Lynn Mack, MOT, OTR/L, Summit Educational Service Center
This session will provide evidence-based strategies for regulating a person’s sensory system to engage in everyday activities and interact within their environment. The eight sensory systems will be reviewed including (1) visual, (2) interoception, (3), auditory, (4) vestibular, (5) tactile, (6) gustatory, (7) olfactory, and (8) proprioception. Balance of these sensory systems to function within the external environment will be addressed. Resources and examples of sensory input activities in each category will be shared. The relationship between sensory processing and self-regulation will also be discussed. Interactive sensory activities will be embedded throughout the presentation to provide real life experiences while learning and discussing each system.

F-06: Autistic Culture
Speakers: Molly D. Dann-Pipinias, Milestones Autism Resources; Olivia James, BA, Autism Society of Minnesota
This presentation is about autistic culture. The presenters want to explore how to create an autistic community that is proud of its neurodiversity. They will be discussing things that are important to them as autistics. While this session would be geared to individuals on the spectrum, the presenters welcome anyone who wants to learn about what their world is like.

G-03: Creating a Self-Care Plan to Fight Burnout
Speaker: Olivia James, BA, Autism Society of Minnesota
We often think of self-care as something we do simply on bad days, however effective self-care is consistent, planned, and integrated into every part of your life. In this session, we'll discuss how you can take self-care tools and organize them into your everyday life, while planning for unexpected challenges and difficult days. You'll walk out with a template for a "Self-Care Kit" that you can fill in to create your own self-care plan, including everyday activities, ongoing projects, and emergency plans.

H-03: Straight from the Source: Secrets to Success in College
Panelists: Grace Blatt, Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Sanjana Shah, Summit Academy
This session will provide insight into the tried and true secrets to success in college for individuals on the autism spectrum. Panelists who have completed bachelors programs and are either working or continuing on for more education will share what they learned along the way. Barriers that panelists faced will be discussed as well as the solutions they developed. What skills and planning prior to college that were critical will be shared with tips about what to look for when picking the right post-secondary educational setting will be reviewed. Panelists will share their personal strategies for success in college and how it prepared them for work life as adults.

You can access all these sessions and more by registering for the conference here.

To view a full list of this year's conference sessions before registering, click here.

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