Autism Conference: Lighting The Way set for June 10-11

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Lighting The Way: Autism Spectrum Disorders in our Community will be held at Augustana College on June 10-11.

This year’s conference features Dr. Cathy Pratt, director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, and Dr. Stephen Shore, who was viewed as “too sick” to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization.

The Walk Now For Autism will be held Saturday, June 12, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on the Augustana campus and Kirkeby-Over Stadium. For more information, contact Jennifer Miller at 605.376.5959.

A preconference session is scheduled for June 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The theme is Positive Behavioral Supports.

The conference registration deadline is June 1. There are 35 breakout sessions covering education, medical, and adolescent and adult topics. Register online at

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. It is a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Today, one in 88 individuals is diagnosed with autism and it occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups. Autism presents challenges in communication skills and the ability to relate to others.

Educators, parents, social workers, counselors, therapists, adult service providers, and business and community members are encouraged to attend the two-day conference. Sessions will be held in Gilbert Science Center, located on the corner of 33rd Street and Summit Avenue on the Augustana campus.

About the Speakers:

Dr. Cathy PrattDr. Cathy Pratt serves as Chair of the Board for the national Autism Society and has been honored by the Autism Society of America with the Individual Achievement Award, the 2005 Princeton Fellowship Award, and various awards through NYFAC (New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc.), including recognition from the United States House of Representatives. In 2008, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education. She is a writer and national presenter on a variety of topics related to autism spectrum disorders. She is a board certified behavior analyst.

Dr. Stephen ShoreDiagnosed with “Atypical Development with strong autistic tendencies,” Dr. Stephen Shore was nonverbal until four, and with help from his parents, teachers, and others, completed his doctoral dissertation at Boston University focused on matching best practice to the needs of people on the autism spectrum. He recently accepted a professorship at Adelphi University teaching courses in special education and autism. In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Dr. Shore presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his books, Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome; Ask and Tell:Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum; and the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies. President emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, he serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, for the Board of Directors for Autism Society of America, Unlocking Autism, MAAP, the College Internship Program, and USAAA.

The conference at Augustana is co-sponsored by Augustana, Children’s Care Hospital and School, Independent Living Choices, Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities, Sioux Falls School District, South Dakota Parent Connection, Division for Developmental Disabilities, and Holiday inn Express.

Nancy Wright
Academic Affairs
Phone: 605.274.4113