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Saturday, April 7, 2018,  9:00 AM to 3:30 PM  

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Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Bowles Conference Center
2014 Washington St.
Newton, MA 02462 

Driving Directions 

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Stephanie Birkdale
Asperger/Autism Network

I Am Who I Am: Asperger Syndrome and Building Self-Esteem 

Hosted by AANE in partnership with NESCA and MGH/Aspire

Saturday, April 7, 2018 
9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH)
Bowles Conference Center's Shipley Auditorium
2014 Washington Street ~ Newton, MA

According to Dr. Tony Attwood and Autism Hangout founder Craig Evans, poor self-esteem is one of the most common and debilitating problems experienced by people with Asperger/autism profiles. This interactive conference, keynoting Sarah Hendrickx and Nomi Kaim, and featuring a diverse group of presenters on the autism spectrum, will be a chance for professionals, adults, spouses, parents and other family members to examine this topic in depth. We invite you to participate in this important discussion which aims to uncover strategies and tools for those on the spectrum to improve their feelings of self-worth.

Conference Schedule
 8:30 AM–9:00 AM Check-in and Registration
 9:00 AM–9:10 AM Welcome
 9:10 AM–9:30 AM First Person Stories
 9:30 AM–10:00 AM Survey Presentation and Audience Participation
10:00 AM–10:45 AM

What is Self-Esteem, and Why Does It Matter? Presenter: Nomi Kaim

10:45 AM–11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM–12:30 PM

Good Enough: Self-Esteem and Asperger Syndrome.   Presenter: Sarah Hendrickx

12:30 PM– 1:30 PM Lunch
  1:30 PM– 3:00 PM First Person Stories, Panel, and Audience Discussion
  3:00 PM– 3:30 PM End

Keynote Speakers:

Sarah Hendrickx, M.A.

Sarah was diagnosed autistic with Asperger syndrome at the age of 43 - after she had written several books on the subject. Autism in women is so invisible that Sarah did not recognize it in herself! Sarah has been a keynote autism speaker at national autism conferences in the UK and was a superb speaker at last year’s AANE spring conference on women. She has an unusually blunt and humorous speaking style which is more informal and 'says it like it is' more than many professionals. This year her talk will focus on the intersection of Asperger syndrome and self-esteem. We are very pleased to welcome Sarah back to Boston. 

Nomi Kaim

Nomi Kaim was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2003 at the age of 20 and has been an active member of AANE ever since, volunteering as a writer and editor in her role of “Special Projects Administrator”. Her interests include psychology, sociology, mental health, and trying very hard to practice what she preaches. Nomi enjoys presenting on Asperger’s in a range of professional settings. Her writing is featured in various books and educational texts, and her classic article “Asperger’s and Depression: Inside a Common Paradox” is regularly included in AANE trainings.  


Thanks to a generous grant from the conference's primary sponsor, the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation, AANE is able to offer half-price tickets, $50 each, to all attendees.

Registration Fees*


Additional Attendee
(at the same address)


There will not be C.E. credits or CEUs, but we will have certificates of completion available with total contact hours.   N/A

*Please register in advance. Please note registration will fill quickly; there will NOT be an opportunity for same day registration as this conference is expected to sell out.

General Conference Information

Conference Location:
Newton-Wellesley Hospital (in the Bowles Conference Center)
2014 Washington St., Newton, MA 02462

The least expensive parking is located at Woodland Station T stop. 

Parking Rate at Woodland Station:
$6.00/ first 14 hours 
$13.00 after 14 hours 
Click here for more information from the MBTA Woodland Station website.

Directions to Newton-Wellesley Hospital:
Newton-Wellesley Hospital is located at 2014 Washington Street, Newton, Massachusetts, near the intersection of Routes 16 & 128 (I-95), one mile south of the Mass. Pike (I-90).

  • Via MBTA Green Line (D Train)
    Take Green Riverside line (D Train), outbound, to Woodland stop. Walk out to Washington Street and turn left. Hospital is two short blocks on the left
  • Driving from West of Route 128 (I-95)
    Take Mass. Pike to Route 128 (I-95). Proceed South on 128 (I-95) for less than one mile. Take exit 21/21A to Route 16 East. Proceed on Route 16 East 1/4-mile to the Parking Garage at the second hospital entrance on the right (2000 Washington Street). 
  • Driving from Boston
    Take Mass. Pike to Exit 16 (West Newton). Follow Route 16 West for 1-1/4 miles to Parking Garage Entrance on left (2000 Washington Street).
  • Driving from North or South Route 128 (I-95)
    Take Exit 21/21A to Route 16 East. Proceed on Route 16 East 1/4 mile to the Parking Garage at the second hospital entrance on the right (2000 Washington Street).  

Getting to the Bowles Conference Center and Shipley Auditorium
The Bowles Conference Center and Shipley Auditorium are located on the second floor of the Hospital next to the Cafeteria. We will have a registration table set up outside of the conference center. Please give yourself enough time to check in.

Walking from the Woodland T Stop and NWH East Patient/Visitor Entrance, enter the Hospital grounds at the set of lights on Washington Street towards the East Entrance. Follow the signs to the Main Lobby of the Hospital through the White Building. From the Main Lobby, take the West elevators to the second floor. Turn left and follow the signs to the Bowles Conference Center located after the Cafeteria.

Registration Refund Policy: Refunds, minus a $10 processing fee per person, are available until March 30, 2018. No refunds/credits after March 30, 2018, or for no-shows. 

Lunch: Select your lunch on the registration page. 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 an Asperger/autism profile who needs financial assistance to attend this conference, please email or call (617) 393-3824, ext. 10, to discuss financial assistance.

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

Dogs: Only leashed service dogs permitted.

Weather or Public Emergency on April 7: In case of a public emergency, an announcement regarding the status of the conference will be made by 6:00 a.m. on April 7, 2018 (call 617-393-3824 x 30).

Accommodations: If you require an ADA and/or a communication access accommodation, please contact Brian at 617-393-3824 ext. 30 or Requests must be received by March 7, 2018. For those who make requests after this date every effort will be made to provide a reasonable accommodation, however we might not be able to do so given the time constrains.

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