Saturday October 25, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EDT
Add to Calendar 


Joseph B. Martin Conference Center 
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115

Driving Directions 

Click here for more information on the Joseph B. Nartin Conference Center.


Asperger's Association of New England 

Asperger Syndrome Connections 2014
AANE's Annual Conference for those interested in AS/ASD and related profiles


Practical Perspectives, Positive Lives
October 25, 2014


Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD
Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
Michael Forbes Wilcox

We are pleased to welcome back Simon Baron-Cohen, Winnie Dunn, and Michael Forbes Wilcox, who will speak to us about current research in the field of autism, proven approaches to managing sensory processing in everyday life, and the joys (as well as sorrows) of living as an adult with Asperger Syndrome.

Conference Schedule

8:30 – 9:00 AM               Check-in & Coffee; Book Store & Exhibitors open
9:00 – 10:15 AM             Simon Baron-Cohen
                                       Why Is Autism More Common in Males?
10:15 – 10:30 AM           Break
10:30 – 11:45                 Winnie Dunn
                                       Focus on Strengths: Imagine the Possibilities
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM      Lunch (box lunch provided)
1:00 – 2:15 PM               Winnie Dunn
                                       Sensory Processing Patterns and Impact on Everyday Life
2:15 – 2:30 PM               Break
2:30 – 3:30 PM               Winnie Dunn
                                        Impact of Strengths-Based Contextual Interventions
3:30 – 4:30 PM               Michael Forbes Wilcox
                                       Growing Old Disgracefully: Adventures of an Activist Aspergian
4:30 – 5:00 PM               Conference ends; pick up CE credits/certificates (in person only)

Keynote Speakers

Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD
Why Is Autism More Common in Males?
A review of research into prenatal sex steroid hormones in autism.

Connections 2014 SpeakerSimon Baron-Cohen is director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Cambridge University. He is author of Zero Degrees of Empathy and The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain as well as editor-in-chief of the online open access journal Molecular Autism. His current research is testing the “extreme male brain” theory of autism at the neural, endocrine, and genetic levels. Simon has been awarded prizes from the American Psychological Association, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), and the British Psychological Society (BPS) for his research into autism. Disclosure: Financial—Simon receives a fee for speaking at this conference. Nonfinancial—No existing nonfinancial relationships.

Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
Focus on Strengths: Imagine the Possibilities
This session will explore the principles of strengths-based approaches and the evidence supporting this method. It will examine ways to implement strengths-based approaches in everyday practices.

Sensory Processing Patterns and Impact on Everyday Life
Sensory processing is an underlying factor in the human experience. Research indicates that people have particular sensory processing patterns, which are related to their choices in everyday life. This session will review the patterns and examine how they affect routines of a person’s life.

Impact of Strengths-Based Contextual Interventions
This session will review the methods and findings from an intervention study that employed strengths-based and authentic environment interventions with families that have a child with autism. It will examine the implications of these findings for future practice when serving individuals and their families.

Connections 2014 Speaker Winnie Dunn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Kansas. She is an internationally known expert for her studies about sensory processing in everyday life. Widely published, she is notably the author/coauthor of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which capture people’s responses to sensory events in everyday life; the Sensory Profile 2 has just come out with a new standardization and validity testing for children birth to 15 years. She has received the top academic honors in her field as well
as awards for innovative and engaging teaching. Her book Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses, received the Seal of Excellence from the Children of the New Earth magazine for parents, professionals, and other caregivers. Disclosure: Financial—As a book author, Winnie receives royalties from her publisher. She also receives a fee for speaking at this conference. Nonfinancial—No existing nonfinancial relationships

Michael Forbes Wilcox
Growing Old Disgracefully: Adventures of an Activist Aspergerian
Growing up autistic: To grow up being autistic in an alien world means never fitting in. Taking on typical expectations is a surefire formula for feelings of failure. Not being able to do everything is okay; there isn’t time anyway. Not seeing boundaries is liberating; anything is possible. Not seeing boundaries is dangerous; neurotypicals have rules. Expect to be different. It is a blessing and a curse. Endless joy and endless sorrow will be your companions forever.

Michael Forbes Wilcox was born in 1946 and raised in western Massachusetts, before the concept of “special education” came about. Although he did well in school and made friends easily, his transitionto adulthood was difficult. He eventually married and completed college and went on to a very successful career as a world-renowned quantitative investment specialist. This success belies the difficulty he had with executive functions; he overcame many of his own limitations through self-created accommodations. In 2005, he read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and suspected that he might have autism. In 2007, at the age of 61, he received a clinical diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Today he serves on many boards and committees involved with disability advocacy. Disclosure: Financial—Michael receives a fee for speaking at this conference. Nonfinancial—No existing nonfinancial relationships.

Conference Learning Objectives
  1. Participants will learn about the extreme male brain theory  in autism.
  2. Participants will be able to construct plans in everyday life based on sensory patterns.
  3. Participants will be able to recognize the core characteristics of coaching interventions.

General Conference Information

Conference Location: Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 
(large glass building directly across the street from Boston Latin School)

Directions & Parking: Log on to www.theconfcenter.hms.harvard.edu/directions/ for driving directions. Free parking is conveniently located at the venue’s garage.

Public transportation: The Conference Center is accessible via the D and E Line subways
and the #47, CT2, and 8A buses. For more information, log on to www.mbta.com or www.theconfcenter.hms.harvard.edu/directions/.

Registration Fees:

AANE member/person:           $100/nonprofessional           $100/professional
Nonmember/person*:              $150/nonprofessional           $150/professional
Additional person (at the
same address):                        $75/nonprofessional              $100/professional

Registration fees include morning coffee, box lunch, and parking at the venue. There is no discount if you cannot attend the entire day’s program or if you bring your own lunch.
*Note: Nonmember fees include a new one-year AANE membership/renewal. If you are unsure of your membership status, please call AANE at (617) 393-3824, ext. 10 to check; you will not be registered for the conference if the correct fees are not enclosed.

Continuing Education Fee, if requesting credits: $20 per person. (See below).

Refund Policy: Refunds, minus a $25 refund processing fee per person, are available until
October 15, 2014. No refunds/credits after October 15th or for no-shows. If you register under the nonmember rate, which includes a new one-year AANE membership or renewal, and you cancel your conference registration, your membership/renewal will also be canceled unless you pay the applicable membership fee.

Box Lunch: Select your lunch on the registration form. Sorry, but we cannot accommodate additional dietary restrictions. There is no discount if you bring your own lunch.

Financial Assistance: If you are a parent or an adult with AS/related condition who needs financial assistance to attend this conference, funding may be available through your state’s Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). In MA, call (617) 770-7676, ext. 115. Residents in other states should check www.nacdd.org for financial aid. Apply for funding as soon as possible as funds are limited. You must pay your conference registration fee up front to AANE. If approved, the Council will reimburse you. If you are unable to access money through the DDC, please call AANE at (617) 393-3824, ext. 10, to discuss financial aid options.

Book Store & Exhibitors will be open the entire day. Please visit during morning check-in, lunch, and break times.

Sensory Sensitivities: Due to sensory sensitivities among those in our ASD community, please refrain from wearing perfume/scented products at the conference.

Dogs: Only leashed service dogs permitted.

Lodging: A limited number of rooms are available nearby at The Inn at Longwood Medical,
342 Longwood Avenue, Boston, on Friday (Oct. 24) and Saturday (Oct. 25) for $199 (+tax) per room,
per night, (617) 731-4700 or (800) 468-2378, or book online at www.innatlongwood.com (use Group
Booking Code AANE2014). You must book directly with the hotel no later than September 24th.

Sponsorship, Exhibitor & Advertising Opportunities: If you have a service or product that you would like to advertise at this conference, please visit www.aane.orgUpcoming Events, for more information or get the vendor registration form hereThe deadline is October 10th.

Weather or Public Emergency on October 25: Call (617) 393-3824, ext. 10, for a recorded message regarding the status of the conference.

Continuing Education Credits

The CE fee is $20 per person. If you do not pay the CE fee when you register, the fee is increased to $25 and must be paid at conference check in. 
You must attend the full day’s program, check out in person at the end of the day, and complete all requirements specified by the applicable professional organization.
Credits/certificates will not be distributed before the end of the day or if you need to leave early for any reason. Please plan travel time, child care, etc., accordingly so you can attend the full day’s program. No partial credits are given. Credits/certificates cannot be picked up for another individual.
Credits are not available after the conference ends, including if you forget to pick them up at the end of
the day.
Grievances: Call AANE after the conference to resolve concerns (617-393-3824 ext 30).

Psychologists (APA): Child & Family Psychological Services, Inc., is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Child & Family Psychological Services Inc. (www.CFPSYCH.org) maintains responsibility for the program and its content. Credits: 5.5

ASHA logo Speech Language Pathologists (ASHA): This course is offered for 0.55 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

Mental Health Counselors (MaMHCA/MMCEP): 5.5 Continuing Education Hours

Social Workers (NASW): 5.5 Category I Continuing Education Hours

Nurses: This program meets the requirements for nurses for 6.9 contact hours, as specified by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing-244 CMR 5.04

A general Certificate of Attendance is available to anyone who attends the full program each day. No fee.