SAN DIEGO–Hundreds of guests will come together October 8 to 9 to attend the third annual Love and Autism event, a conference to inspire and bring awareness to the fact that every individual, even those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, deserves to be loved and have high-quality relationships in life.
Held at Liberty Station Conference Center in San Diego, the two-day conference will feature world-renowned professional speakers in the autism field and role models in the autism community.
Influential speakers this year include: Steve Silberman, a New York Times best-selling author and winner of the prestigious Samuel Johnson prize award; David Finch, author of the acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, “The Journal of Best Practices” and contributor to top national outlets; Barry M. Prizant, author of “Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism” and world-renowned consultant to young children with autism spectrum disorders; Alex Plank, the man behind WrongPlanet.net, a popular community for individuals with neurological differences; Michael Tolleson, a savant artist who will complete a live painting; and Caren Zucker and John Donovan, who are both ABC correspondents that have teamed up to write “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism” among other speakers.
“Love and Autism is more than a conference, it’s an experience,” said Jenny Palmiotto, founder of the Love & Autism conference and CEO of The Family Guidance & Therapy Center of Southern California. “One of the primary human goals in life is love and a shared sense of belonging. Love and Autism was created to be the vehicle that helps people understand the diverse experiences with those on the autism spectrum as well as understand how to foster and strengthen the connections between families and the community.”
This year’s event will host the San Diego premier of “Normal People Scare Me Too,” a documentary made by and for people on the autism spectrum. A photo exhibit titled “This is Autism” by photographer, Kristina Bant Jenkins will also occur. The exhibit will display positive representations of people on the spectrum living lives filled with love. There will be exciting performances by local and national musicians that identify on the autism spectrum, including Chou Chou Scantlin, an international singer-actress who will use her talents to put on a memorable one-woman show.
“At the conference, our phenomenal lineup of speakers will discuss how they have lived an accomplished life and receive love every single day, despite the obstacles some of them might face living with autism,” said Dr. Palmiotto. “After guests participate in the discussions and connect with others, I hope that attendees, including individuals that are on the spectrum and those who want to learn how to improve their relationships with loved ones, leave the conference feeling inspired knowing that having autism does not distinguish the kind of lives people will have.”
New to this year’s Love and Autism is the “I Heart My Autistic Life” event, which allows self-advocates the opportunity to set up booths and showcase their work/talent. In addition, the conference will include book ‘sign and social’s’ where attendees can meet and mingle with this year’s keynote speakers. There will also be over 15 breakout sessions to provide guests with small group practical guidance regarding love and relationships for all ages and stages of development.
The conference, held at Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road, will encompass an autism-friendly environment and give guests the opportunity to speak to each speaker privately and/or choose to enjoy lunch on either day at the event with select speakers, which is included in the cost.
For more information about the Love and Autism conference or to register for the event, visit www.loveandautism.com.