ASA: Amazing Sessions!

Two weeks ago, the Autism Society of America held its annual conference in Dallas, TX, and I was fortunate enough to be there—my first ASA conference!  What an amazing experience, with many different sessions occurring simultaneously.  I have to say that it was quite a thrill to be standing in line next to Carol Gray, to have Michelle Garcia Winner sign my book, to ride a shuttle bus with Stephen Shore, or to get coffee behind Cathy Pratt.  I admit it; I was star struck by these famous names in the autism world.  It’s also exciting to know that many of these luminaries either have already spoken at the annual conference of the Autism Society of North Carolina, or will in the future.  In 2011, for example, Stephen Shore and Brenda Smith Myles will both be presenting at ASNC’s Annual Conference, which will be in Charlotte (details to be posted on our website soon—save these dates now, March 18-19, 2011!). 

I was impressed that the ASA had representatives from President Obama’s administration there and by what they had to say.  It was reassuring for me to know that one of Obama’s advisors has a child with autism, for example (Mike Sherman); to see that the Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy is legally blind (Kareem Dale); and to know that the head of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (Sharon Lewis) has a daughter with a developmental disability.  I do not apologize for bringing politics into this: President Obama is the first presidential candidate in recent memory to have highlighted disabilities in his campaign and to have a written policy on autism. 

There were so many great sessions that I learned from—too many to write about today.  More later on what I learned…In the meantime, take a look at our bookstore, which has books authored by many of the above-mentioned autism experts.