Profectum Foundation’s Neurodiversity in Autism & Mental Health Conference

Profectum Foundation invites parents and professionals to attend its fifth International Conference, March 31 and April 1, at the Huntington Library in San Marino. “Honoring Individual Differences: The Gateway to Supporting Neurodiversity in Autism & Mental Health Treatment,” is a conference that will present a paradigm shift from a disability perspective to approaches that value neurodiversity and individual differences.

The Villa Esperanza team, including (from left) Ariel Hegedus; Casey Gregg, vice president; Gwendolyn Eberhard, speech director; Kelly White, CEO; and Michelle Cox, director of development, were among those who attended last year’s Profectum Foundation conference.

The conference will be thought provoking and inspirational. The Honoring Individual Differences conference will showcase neurodiverse individuals, groundbreaking scientists and authors who are on the cutting edge of Autism and mental health treatment. Professionals, parents and caregivers will see how the children they work with and care for can benefit from a new understanding of Autism & Mental Health treatment that supports children and families across the lifespan. Presenters include:
• New York Times best-selling author Steve Silberman of NeuroTribes, will talk about the legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity.
• International neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Porges will discuss the importance of relationships as a means of self-regulation and improving an individual’s sense of safety and security needed to advance development.
• Dr. Anne Donnellan will explain how understanding sensory and motor differences is changing autism treatment.
• Acclaimed Profectum clinicians will demonstrate through “real life” clinical cases how to move from “one size fits all” solutions toward individualized care.
• Individuals with autism will be a highlight of the Profectum conference as they share their stories of challenge, discovery and understanding, courage and amazing abilities.
Conference attendees will be able to enjoy the newest Profectum initiative: Celebrating Creativity in Autism. Participants will learn what can happen when individuals with autism have access to resources they need to live healthier, more secure and meaningful lives in order to open the door to creativity and innovation. To celebrate this, Profectum will highlight the work of autistic artists, including Anie Knipping, and writers and creators, in the setting of the Huntington gardens.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, autism affects about 1 in every 88 American children. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges.
Distinguished presenters include local experts Dr. Ricki Robinson, MPH; Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.; Connie Lillas, Ph.D., MFT, RN; Amy Johnson, MA, CCC-SLP, CNDT; and Dr. Joyce Show. Additional speakers include Anne Donnellan, Ph.D.; Stephen Porges, Ph.D.; Steve Silberman; Serena Wieder, Ph.D.; Monica Osgood; Cindy Harrison, MSc Reg, CASLPO; Michele Parkins, MS, OTR; Natalie Kitts, MS, OTR; Joshua Kitts; Chantal Sicile-Kira; Jeremy Sicile-Kira; and Peter Tran.
The conference program is filled with practical tools, insights and information for professionals, parents and caregivers of those with autism and other special needs. To register, visit profectum.org.

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