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Autism Community Shares Resources at Autism Conference

NEW YORK, July 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Major breakthroughs in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research and policy were featured at ICare4Autism's annual international autism conference which commenced on Monday, June 30th at Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. Top national and international experts on ASDs discussed medical advances, evidenced-based practices and innovative initiatives in music, movement and technology. The 3-day conference featured Dr. Joshua Weinstein, founder and CEO of ICare4Autism who welcomed hundreds of guests from all over the country and globe, representing autistics, parents, teachers, therapists, behavior analysts, practitioners and researchers. Dr. Weinstein spoke about neuro-diversity and opportunities for autistics in the workplace, and promotion of self advocacy. The ICare4Autism International Autism Conference was dedicated to the Global Autism Workforce Initiative, featuring keynote speaker Randy Lewis, former Senior VP of Walgreens' logistics division, and guest speaker Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. There was a moving musical performance by an inspirational and the talented Christopher Duffley, a blind and autistic 13-year-old who sang "Lean on me" who wowed the audience with his tremendous voice and poise.

ICare4Autism's workforce initiative focuses on promoting innovative programs that integrate autistic individuals into work. Programs that specialize in strengthening the persons' skills needed to succeed at work and easing the transition out of school into employment opportunities that are a good fit for both the employees and employers alike. Monday's conference program discussed the current plans for the Autism Workforce Initiative, as well as what still needs to be done in order to increase awareness about the benefits of having more autistic adults join the workforce worldwide. Dr. Weinstein emphasized the importance of creating new opportunities at this current time, as over 50,000 autistics graduate high school every year. The number of autistic graduates continues to grow, creating a huge need for employment opportunities that will make a difference in their future and our community. He emphasized that many companies are starting to realize how critical it is to implement programs that employ autistics, and are beginning to see that their individual qualities can create a great competitive edge.

Tuesday, July 1st, marked the second day of the conference, focusing on recent scientific advances, drug development efforts, and other medical breakthroughs. Dr. Eric Hollander, chairman of the advisory committee for ICare4Autism, outlined ICare4Autism's mission and goal of collaboration with like minded organizations worldwide and offering help and hope to underserved areas of the world. He indicated that ICare4Autism has programs in over 20 countries, including Pakistan, Ghana, Singapore, and many more. He also presented some of his scientific research, focusing on the effects of oxytocin on chronic and impulsive behaviors.

Other presentations included BCBA workshops in applied behavior analysis. Dr. Gregory Hanley led a very interesting workshop that analyzed functional assessment of problem behavior. He stated that we all should respect why an individual engages in specific actions, and we need to do an open-ended analysis, as opposed to a close-ended, indirect assessment.

At the conference awards dinner Harley Lippman the CEO of Genesis10 was honored with the ... and Jason Maier, Director of the New York office of Stan Johnson Company was give the... award. The conference concluding today was an incredible success, bringing together hundreds of professionals from various aspects of work in autism and families, united in the goal of creating better opportunities for those on the spectrum.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=26800

CONTACT: krobinson@skhov.orgSource: ICare4Autism