AASCEND 10th Conference October 20!

NO Job Club August 4.  Paul Nussbaum’s Aug 4 check-in from PCT HERE.

AASCEND, with SFSU’s Autism Spectrum Studies Program, hosts its 10th conference on adult autism October 20 at SF StateJoin us for a day of exploring the adult autistic world, with artists and presenters on and off the spectrum!

Tickets & details HERE.

spotlightIn the Spotlight: Autism and the Media
October 20, 2018
9:00-4:30 (registration begins at 8:15)
Seven Hills Conference Center, 800 Font Blvd
San Francisco State University
SF, CA 94132

The influence of media has exploded, changing the world of autism. Autistic roles now feature prominently in movies, television and online, shaping and even distorting public perception of autism. At the same time, media literacy and media skills have become essential tools allowing autistic people to gain employment, find friends, and express themselves. The In the Spotlight conference exposes how media affect autistic life and employment, and gives practical guidance on effective social media use, creating digital content, autism-friendly acting techniques, latest research and much more!

Charlene Tilton In the Spotlight features Charlene Tilton, star of stage and screen and longtime President of Actors for Autism. Charlene is famous not only for her portrayal of Lucy Ewing on the influential television show Dallas, but also for her contributions to the autism community. Although Charlene’s life was often glamorous on screen, she had to learn to fend for herself at an early age. After her Dallas role brought her fame, Charlene was moved by personal tragedy to connect with Actors for Autism and soon became their president. At AFA Charlene witnessed the power of acting and improvisation in developing language, social skills, and self-confidence in both children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Thomas Iland ..and also Thomas Iland, diagnosed with autism when he was 13 years old. Tom worked hard to achieve his goals: learning to drive, living on his own, graduating from college, obtaining full-time employment and having a girlfriend. Now a Distinguished Toastmaster and member of the National Speakers Association, Tom is a best-selling author with wide experience in the media, having appeared on such TV shows as Beauty and the Geek, Bert the Conqueror, Ghost Whisperer, The Morning Blend, The Price Is Right, and Wheel of Fortune. Tom currently lives in Santa Clarita, California, with his dog, Bridget.

Plenary Sessions:

Hollywood Sign with Panel SilhouetteHollywood’s Autism Fantasies: Michael Bernick, former head of the California State Labor Department, moderates a panel of theater professionals and academics on and off the spectrum, exploring how Hollywood’s portrayal of autism affects autistic life and employment.

Plato's AcademyNew Research and the Future of Autism Scholarship, presented by autism professionals and graduate students, many on the autism spectrum. Hear what current research reveals about adult autism, plus developments enriching the lives of autistic adults. Learn about academic careers and training available to autistics and to all interested in the future of autism.

Breakout sessions: Improv for Interaction; Creating Digital Content on the Spectrum; Acting Techniques for Social Ease; Using Social Media for Success; Autistic Creative Intelligence in the Arts; Online Dating and Friendship on the Spectrum, and Media Addiction

Ticket price includes lunch and refreshments, and there will be live entertainment by artists on the autism spectrum. Conference registration begins at 8:15am, October 20. Please arrive early. Some program changes are possible. Follow AASCEND on the web and Facebook!

While this conference primarily addresses the needs of what have been termed Asperger’s or High Functioning Adults on the autism spectrum, AASCEND expresses solidarity with all who are living anywhere on the autism spectrum, their families and allies. Out of respect for attendees with sensory sensitivities please do not wear perfumes, colognes or overly scented products to the conference. Thanks!

AASCEND gratefully acknowledges the Joseph Padula Trust for its support of the In the Spotlight conference.                                                                     

Tickets and more details HERE.

Rehearsing Social Skills — Role-Playing in Social Situations

[ On July 20 Paul Nussbaum checked in from his epic attempt to demonstrate autistic ability on the Pacific Crest Trail. Click the Expedition-Autism button to the right (or here) for updates on Paul’s progress. ==> ] 

On July 21 AASCEND hosts a return visit from Mike Vaughn, with a follow-up on his popular Personal & Social Relationships: Goals, Boundaries and Connections presentation. (Click here to see what we came up with in the first session.) At this fun and interactive workshop participants will have an opportunity to examine and practice social interactions in a safe and friendly venue. We will explore the nature of different relationships; what are the expectations, boundaries, and social rules of these relationships? How can we build an honest, and healthy connection with others? How can we be supportive of others in our relationships? How can we self-advocate and also be flexible in relationships?

Mike has been the Social Skills Coordinator at College Internship Program, Berkeley, for five years. He teaches social skills, interpersonal & relationship skills, public speaking, filmmaking, communications, and soft skills in the workplace. CIP is a comprehensive program preparing adults (18-26) who have learning differences, including ASD, for success in college, employment, and life skills. They also have summer programs for teens.

Bring your questions and your imagination. And as always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat July 21, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.