Being Different and Thriving: Neurodiversity Strategies

Led by John Elder Robison

Monday, November 12, 2018

9:00 am to 4:40 pm

Autism and other neurological differences have long gone unrecognized.  Recognition brought services, but also stigma and low expectations for affected individuals.

Neurodiversity gives us a way of re-framing the conversation around autism, and helps people see their place in the world as a tribe or subset of humanity.  Seen in this light the supports needed by individuals can be understood in context and more effectively designed and implemented.

New York Times bestselling author John Elder Robison was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 40.  The diagnosis transformed the way he saw himself and the world around him.  In this workshop, he will explore the emerging paradigm of neurodiversity, which he teaches at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

Based on his ongoing work in teaching and developing policy for the autistic community and individuals as well as his personal experiences, Mr. Robison will explore the emerging field of neurodiversity, how it can be applied, and how it can be positively harnessed from the perspective of both the neurotypical environment and the autistic individual.

In the morning you will learn about John’s journey as well as his overview of the concepts and applications of neurodiversity.  The afternoon will feature conversations with neurodivergent young people designed to help mental health professionals, educators, and caregivers further develop their understanding of neurodiversity.  Along with feedback and insights from John, you will learn about what works and what doesn’t when assisting and counselling neurodivergent individuals and communities.

Neurodivergent individuals are increasingly recognized as able and wanting to play a greater role in society.  Increasingly, they are participating in a wide range of occupations and are helping to advance technology, medical research, and shape public policy.  This workshop will plot a path from high school to higher education and onward into the workforce from a neurodiverse perspective.

This workshop is appropriate for educators, clinicians, and autistic individuals and their families.  Scholarships available for autistic individuals who wish to attend.

You will learn —

  • What neurodiversity is as an idea and an emergent movement
  • How neurodiversity principles differ from Learning Disability accommodation/special ed
  • How to develop neurodiversity culture in high school
  • How neurodiversity impacts the transition into higher education and the workforce
  • About Autism at Work programs
  • About the motto “nothing about us, without us” and neurodiversity guidance of research/policy making

John Robison talks about receiving a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 40 on The Today Show:

Credit: The Today Show with John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison  
John’s story and experiences
9:00 am—10:15 am
Morning break
10:15 am - 10:30 am
Presentation
10:30am -- 11:50pm

What neurodiversity looks like, how it is different from Special Ed; strategies on how to cultivate a culture of neurodiversity in neurotypical environments; how neurodiversity can impact research, policy and the development of supports for the autistic community and individuals

Q and A about the morning presentation
11:50am - 12:15pm
Lunch (on your own)
12:15am -- 1:30pm
Break out sessions in small groups
1:30pm - 2:45pm

General self-reflection discussion topics based on John’s presentation and developed by Autism Ontario

Afternoon break
2:45pm -- 3:00pm
Q and A/feedback from break out sessions
3:00pm - 3:30pm
Q and A with John
3:30pm-4:30pm
Closing Remarks
4:30pm - 4:40pm

Event Detail

November 12, 2018 9:00 am
November 12, 2018 4:40 pm