Presented by Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and KU’s Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (K-CART)
Ron Suskind’s book – Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism – examines his family’s 20-year struggle with youngest son Owen’s autism. Having lost his speech at age 3, Owen seized upon a particular interest in the form of animated Disney movies, which helped him make sense of himself and the world.
By memorizing these iconic movies and parroting their dialogue, he learned how to communicate and express himself, prompting his family members to create elaborate stage sets in the Suskind home to re-enact these films and “speak Disney” along with him.
This deeply personal but universally resonant presentation is an adventure story of the human heart in which Ron shares stories of Owen’s unique transformation from quiet solitude to animated communication.
Suskind’s book is the basis for a film, Life, Animated, by Academy Award®-winning director Roger Ross Williams.
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In addition to Suskind’s keynote presentation, several dozen sessions and workshops will be presented during the conference to address the needs of families, rehabilitation professionals, service providers and educators.
Program subjects include:
All sessions, conducted by nationally known researchers, KU researchers and faculty, and regional experts from several different fields, will provide practical, informative counsel that will encourage and enlighten anyone working with or caring for toddlers, school-age children, teenagers or adults with ASD.
Among the dozens of sessions offered, topics include:
Facilitators are professionals who have worked toward finding evidence-based solutions or are experienced practitioners, employers, parents or program directors from government and consumer organizations.