Autism Society to Kick Off Nation’s Longest-running Autism Conference in Pittsburgh

By Autism Society

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Doreen Allen
Autism Society
301-657-0881 ext. 9015
media@autism-society.org

Autism Society to Kick Off Nation’s Longest-running Autism Conference in PittsburghIndividuals with autism attend for free

(Bethesda, MD) April 10, 2013 — The Autism Society, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization, has chosen Pittsburgh as the host city of its 44th annual conference on autism spectrum disorders.

Now in its 44th year, the Autism Society National Conference and Exposition is the nation’s largest educational opportunity for families and professionals. For the first time in conference history, individuals with autism attend for free and families can attend at a reduced rate.  The Autism Society is proud to offer its National Conference and Exposition as a platform to highlight entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities.

This year’s conference comes to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh from July 10 to 13. Registration is now open at our conference website.

“The Autism Society National Conference and Exposition is the largest national conference bringing together the expertise and experiences of individuals with autism, family members and professionals. Attendees take home the tools to be leaders in their communities, and to more effectively advocate and obtain support for individuals with autism,” said Scott Badesch, Autism Society President and CEO.  “We look forward to bringing our 44th annual conference to Pittsburgh, a region with a strong grassroots network of autism advocates and a number of family-friendly entertainment opportunities for those who attend.”

The conference will consist of one day of pre-conference workshops and three subsequent days of breakout sessions that will focus on wide-ranging issues affecting individuals with autism and their families from birth through adulthood.

In addition to the sessions, the 44th Autism Society National Conference and Exposition offers an exposition hall of businesses and service providers relevant to the disability community, as well as annual awards presented to individuals and organizations to honor their extraordinary accomplishments and contributions to our cause. Educators, behavioral analysts and other specialists can also earn continuing education credits in their respective fields.

According to Daniel Torisky, President of the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Secretary of the Autism Society of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is a particularly appropriate site for this conference. “Our city and region has become one of the most autism friendly in the country”, he said. “The Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Autism Society affiliates in the tri-state area are proud to host this event.”

“Furthermore, this conference also will call attention to the spectacular accomplishments of Pennsylvania’s pioneering autism program and service initiatives.” He cited the State Bureau of Autism Services, the adult autism waiver, mandated autism insurance coverage, regional autism service, education and research centers, a statewide parent-driven resource information system, and the state autism census and needs assessment.

Visit www.autism-society.org/conference to register and learn more about specific sessions and professional development opportunities. Early bird registration ends on May 15.

ABOUT AUTISM:

Autism incidence in the United States has risen from 1 in 110 in 2008 to 1 in 88 in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability, but the national response has been insufficient in addressing disparities in equal access to appropriate education, employment, independent living and diagnostic and treatment services.  The challenges of accessing care, support and education faced by families are often complex and lifelong, creating significant financial and other hardships.

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

ABOUT THE AUTISM SOCIETY:

Founded in 1965, the Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education and research. The Society maintains a strong nationwide network of affiliates to provide support and grassroots advocacy at local, state and federal levels.