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Autism Across the Lifespan is the theme for the fifth annual Autism Matters Conference planned for Friday, March 20, 2020, in Orange Beach.

Published Jan 10th, 2020

By Casandra Andrews
candrews@health.southalabama.edu

Autism Across the Lifespan is the theme for the fifth annual Autism Matters Conference planned for Friday, March 20, 2020, in Orange Beach. The keynote speaker will be best-selling author and autism activist Kerry Magro, EdD, who was non-verbal at age 2 and diagnosed with autism two years later.

Magro will discuss how he navigated the education experience as someone on the autism spectrum and how his experiences, both good and bad, can help other students with disabilities from early childhood to the transition into adulthood. The goal of the conference is to bring up-to-date information, education and practical strategies related to the field of autism to an audience of professionals, caregivers and self-advocates.

“The Autism Society of Alabama and the USA Regional Autism Network strive to improve and enhance services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder of all abilities across the lifespan,” said Amy Mitchell, MS, CCC SLP, director of the USA Regional Autism Network. “Our annual Autism Matters conference is one way the two agencies work together toward that goal. It is our desire to host an event that provides information and encouragement to people with autism, their families and the professionals who serve them.”

Topics to be addressed include supporting the literacy skills of preschool and

school age children with autism spectrum disorder by offering strategies for home, school, and

integrating technology. Clinical psychologists Elizabeth Fair and Bridget Hannahan also will present on social skills development from preschool to young adulthood.

Other presenters include Dustin Chandler, president and co-founder of Interaction Advisory Group; Dana Handmacher, Autism Family Navigator for the USA Regional Autism NetworkUSA speech and language pathologist Victoria Henbest and occupational therapist Amber Miller-Walker.

The program begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Orange Beach Event Center, 4671 Wharf Parkway West,

Orange Beach, Ala. The one-day conference is presented by the Autism Society of Alabama and the University of South Alabama Regional Autism Network. For more details, visit autismsocietyal.wixsite.com/2020autismmatters.

Alabama's Regional Autism Network (AL-RAN) serves those across the state who have questions, concerns or resource needs regarding themselves, a family member, a friend, client, patient or student with diagnosed or suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The University of South Alabama Regional Autism Network can be reached at (251) 410-4533.

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