For this year’s GRASP event, we collaborated with the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region and the Nassau/Suffolk Autism Society of America to host prominent members of the Autistic/Autism Community to speak about their work and how it relates to the quality of life for Autistics and individuals with Autism. We were honored to host Autism speaker & Anti-bullying advocate Jesse Saperstein, New Frontiers in Learning’s Daniel Koffler & Samantha Feinman, Autism self-advocate Michelle Vics, Curemark’s CEO/Founder Dr. Joan Fallon, & Dr. Stephen Shore.
Autistics and individuals on the Autism Spectrum, parents, professionals, and advocacy organizations, came together and identified areas that are key to an enriched and improved quality of life:
- Involving Autistics and individuals on the Autism Spectrum in key areas that impact their lives, by including their point of view, wants, needs, through multiple means of communication.
- Early identification and correct diagnosis for treatment and support.
- The importance of teaching and practicing self-determination and self-advocacy skills from a young age.
- Employment and meaningful community involvement.
- Inclusion in education.
- Safe, accessible housing (location, building design, cost, etc).
This list is only a small representation of what was discussed. We are continuing to collaborate by writing a paper of our findings, in the hope that this information will be used to affect change, educate, and enrich & improve the lives of Autistic adults, teens, individuals on the Autism Spectrum, and their family members.