Northern California Autism Symposium
Printer-friendly version

There continues to be an increase in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Current CDC reports place the rate of children diagnosed with ASD in the US at 1:59, with occurrences across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Though there continues to be new theories about what causes ASD, there is still no scientifically proven cause or cure. As a growing population of adults with ASD continue to share their experiences, there is a growing trend of ASD acceptance and culture. The aim of this symposium is to bring a breadth of speakers and trainers from both inside and outside the North State to present on interventions, services and supports available for individuals with ASD and their families.Register Today!

Plenary Session Speaker

Photo of Alex PlankAlex Plank

Alex Plank is the 33 year old autistic person behind, the incredibly popular site for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. Both Alex and Wrong Planet have been featured by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Good Morning America. Wrong Planet has more than 100,000 registered members and its discussion forums contain millions of messages.

Alex graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Film and Video Studies. Alex's areas of interest and expertise include public speaking, the Internet, writing, directing, and filmmaking. Alex lives in Beverly Hills, California, and is also a consultant and actor on FX's hit series The Bridge.

Keynote Speaker

Jack Robison

Jack Robison, Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Northern California Sutism SymposiumJack Robison always knew he was different but he wasn’t diagnosed with autism until he’d been raided by the ATF over a small misunderstanding about his special interest in explosives. A few years later that story became the basis for the book Raising Cubby, but Jack's interests shifted from organic chemistry to software engineering. In 2011 reporter Amy Harmon made his romantic life front page news in The New York Times with her story and ebook Navigating Love and Autism.

Today Jack is thriving as a software developer, cryptocurrency wizard, and cofounder of the censorship-resistant distributed media platform LBRY. He speaks on autism, neurodiversity, and the intersection of neurological diversity, creativity, and technology. He lives in western Massachusetts with his girlfriend Shannon and Pigeon the Dog.

Concurrent & General Sessions

CAPTAIN trainers will present on evidence-based practices, presenters from the UC Davis MIND Institute will speak on their current research, and on day two, autistic adult speakers will share research and best practices for families and others on the spectrum. Topics include:

• Employment for Autistic Adults in a Neurodiverse Workplace • Practicing Self-Determination in a Virtual Reality Social Skills Simulator • Social Narratives • Strengthening Parent-Teacher Relationships • Functional Communication Training • Fostering Acceptance and Self-care • Peer-Mentor Programs • Physical Activity and Autism • Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) • North State Trajectory: A Comprehensive Strength-Based Program to Transition Youth on the Autism Spectrum • Financial Planning For Families with Special Needs Children • Preparing Students with Autism for Post-secondary Transition • Morse Communication to Lessen Stress in Youth and Adults with ASD • The Future of Autistic Employment • and more!

Conference Schedule

See Sessions Descriptions page for concurrent session details.
Download a campus map.

Friday, Sept. 20

7:30amCheck In & Coffee, Colusa Hall
8:15–9amIf You Build It, They Will (Actually!) Come, Dr. Jospehine Blagrave
9:15–10:45amConcurrent Sessions
11am–12:30pmConcurrent Sessions
Lunch on Your Own
1:45–3:15pmConcurrent Sessions
3:30–4:30pmPlenary Session Featuring Alex Plank

Saturday, Sept. 21

8–8:30amCheck In & Coffee, Colusa Hall
8:30–10amKeynote Address: Jack Robison
10:15–11:45amConcurrent Sessions
Lunch & A Movie or Lunch on Your Own
1:15–2:45pmConcurrent Sessions
3–4:30pmConcurrent Sessions

 Professional Development

Sessions for professionals on evidence-based practices will be delivered by CAPTAIN trainers. CAPTAIN, the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, is a multiagency network developed to support the understanding and use of Evidence Based Practices for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder across the state. CAPTAIN is dedicated to providing statewide access to trainings and resources in Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) that are culturally sensitive, family centered, cost effective, and competency based.

Fees & Registration

Register Today!The fee for the two-day event is $195.
The fee to attend a single day is $125.

Register up to 3 people at a time online if you wish to pay by credit card.

If you are a Far Northern Regional Center client, please obtain pre-approval from your Service Coordinator and then complete your registration using our FNRC online form.

Group Discount: A 15% discount on two-day registrations is available for groups of 11 or more. All members of the group must register at the same time with a single payment. Discount available on 2-day registrations only.

For group discounts, or to pay by check or purchase order, use our group registration form or call 530-898-6105.