HCN News & Notes

Autism Connections to Hold 32nd Annual Autism Conference on April 27

NORTHAMPTON — Autism Connections, an autism center serving families and individuals in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, will host its 32nd annual Autism Conference on Thursday, April 27. The day-long educational conference is back in person at Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, as well as virtually, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This event will be available online through Socio/Webex Events to ensure accessibility to all who can benefit. The conference brings together people with autism, parents, caregivers, educators, self-advocates, professionals, organizations, and service providers to build awareness and knowledge, be inspired, and make meaningful connections.

The schedule includes keynote speakers Jennifer O’Toole, an author and autism expert on Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum U.S., and Andrew Arboe, founder of Driving with Autism, which specializes in helping autistic drivers and their families pursue driving as a transportation option.

Morning and afternoon breakout sessions led by regional experts will focus on topics such as early diagnosis, college, transitioning to adult services, sexuality, and job seeking.

New for in-person attendees this year is a sensory room for all participants called In the Clouds. This quiet space, with dim lighting away from the commotion of the conference, offers sensory gadgets, noise-canceling headphones, beanbag chairs, exercise balls, and more.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit autismconnectionsma.org/en/conference.