We are so excited to share with you::
Above All Else will be one of the featured speakers at this conference!
“AUTISM: It’s More Than Just a Statistic!”By: Brandi Shinn, BSE Elementary/Special Education;MSE Educational Leadership/ Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate, Above All Else Inc., Greenbrier, AR
“Across the Spectrum”
Autism/Asperger Conference and Expo
Thursday & Friday, March 13-14, 2014
Brought to you by Autism Avenue
Sponsored by Algonot.com
ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER FOR THIS AMAZING CONFERENCE!
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Who Should Attend?
Special and Regular Education Teachers, Administrators, Paraprofessionals, Parents,
Family Members, Caregivers, Counselors, Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologists,
Professors and Students, Occupational Therapists,
Physical Therapists, Community Therapists,
Social Workers, Medical Professionals, Special Needs Ministry Staff, Self-Advocates, Child Care Providers and ANYONE Interested in Learning More!
Continuing Education Credits Available
Continuing Education Credit for up to 10.5 Direct Contact Hours Available
Exclusive Conference Sponsor
Break Sponsor – Social Skills Today
Conference Manual Sponsor –
Tote Bag Sponsor – Children’s Therapy Works
Badge Holder Sponsor – Music Therapy Services of Greater Atlanta
Conference Manual Advertising Opportunities
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Keynote Presenter –
Dr. Glenis Benson
Glenis Benson obtained her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she minored in Communication Disorders. Glenis has supported persons with ASDs for 35 years. She has been Senior Advisor to the Middle East for the United Nations, Director of the Autism Program for USD, and she currently teaches at both UW-Madison and UW-Oshkosh. Glenis presents nationally and internationally. Her published works include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and a DVD. She consults to school districts, agencies and families. She is a founding board member of Camp AweSum, a non-profit organization that operates both youth and family camps for persons with ASDs. Glenis’ private practice is based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Keynote Presenter –
Alexis Wineman’s journey started long before being crowned Miss Montana 2012, and ultimately the “America’s Choice” contestant in the 2012 Miss America competition. Prior to the Miss America 2012 competition, Alexis rarely wore high heels and makeup. The competition for her was an opportunity to challenge herself and prove wrong her naysayers who never thought the shy, quiet girl in a hoodie could actually compete on one of the biggest stages in America. That opportunity turned out to be so much more, Alexis was also representing a community, a community of 1 in 88 children in the United States who are diagnosed with autism.
Her unique personal story as the first Miss America contestant diagnosed with autism and the third contestant with a disability since the competition’s inception in 1921 made headlines around the world. She was named by Diane Sawyer as the “Person of the Week” on World News Tonight, and was profiled in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s series “Human Factors: Overcoming Obstacles” on CNN. She also made appearances on Fox and Friends, Good Morning America, 20/20, The Jeff Probst Show and was interviewed online for the Today Show, E!New, People, Time, USA Today, and the Huffington Post. Glamour magazine featured Alexis in its April 2013 issue as the “Most Popular Girl in America”. Alexis was recently recognized as a titleholder who has had a significant impact on pageantry.
At the age of 11, Alexis was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified), an autism spectrum disorder. She was in middle school when officially diagnosed but felt different from an early age. As she got older, she struggled with some of the aspects that come with an autism diagnosis, like a speech impediment, communication challenges, sensitivity to sounds and other sensory sensitivities. Part of her struggle was the bullying that resulted because of her differences. Fortunately, her family was and continues to be a source of strength and inspiration for her.
Her twin and two other siblings helped Alexis get involved more with school life—she joined cheerleading, drama and cross country. Her confidence in herself began to grow, which helped her improve her speech and cope with other challenges. Alexis still faces some of the same challenges but strongly believes that anyone, with autism or without, should never stop trying to improve themselves.
Alexis remains grateful for the Miss America experience. Through it, she found her voice and has become a sought after speaker who is dedicated to building acceptance and awareness about autism and encouraging others to reach and aim high, because anything is possible.
Alexis’ hometown is Cut Bank, Montana, she is currently a freshman at Huntingdon College, in Montgomery, AL. Alexis was the lead in a recent school play and enjoys art, drama, video games, comedy and is a WWE fan. Her talent at Miss America was performance of a comedic monologue; she gets great joy in making people laugh. Alexis wants more people to understand that autism does not define her, she defines her autism.
Special Presentation by – Megan Bomgaars
Energetic, involved, friendly, healthy, cheerful. Many times these words are used to describe students in today’s classrooms. Megan Bomgaars is no exception. Although she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at a young age, Megan was just as involved as her other classmates while in school, participating in cheerleading, striving for good grades, and making friends. Her accomplishments include being the first cheerleader with Down Syndrome in her state of Colorado, winning a sportsmanship award at a national cheerleading competition in Washington, D.C., modeling in a Global Down Syndrome Foundation fashion show, working for the Mile High Down Syndrome Association, and participating in the Bridge Program in Highland Ranch, where she is training to become a public speaker.
“Don’t limit me” is Megan’s emphatic cry to educators everywhere. She recently created a YouTube video with the goal of creating teacher awareness about setting high expectations for students – regardless of their abilities. Megan wants teachers to see that she is a person with goals, dreams, and skills, just like everyone else. She wants educators to know that they should raise the bar for their students, teaching them to be independent and fostering life skills they will need once they leave the classroom.
Check-in and On-site Registration Open
(Friday Registration will open at 7:00am)
7:30am-3:30pm (Fri.) –
Exhibit Area and
Opening Performance and Announcements
Breakout Cycle I
Lunch – On Your Own
Breakout Cycle II
Breakout Cycle III
(Click here) for full conference schedule