On Friday 2nd May representatives from Ceartas’ A-Spire group attended Autistic Intelligence Spring Conference in Clydebank.
A-Spire members heard from some fascinating speakers such as Dr Michelle Garnet, clinical psychologist and founder of the Minds & Hearts Clinic in Australia, regarded by many as the leading ASC facility in the world. Michelle discussed her work at the clinic and how they are using leading research to make positive changes and improve understanding and acceptance for people on the spectrum.
Representatives from A-Spire were also lucky enough to hear from Proffessor Tony Atwood, who many regard as our leading expert on Asperger’s Syndrome. As well as being an inspiring speaker and autism encyclopedia, Professor Attwood gave a detailed discussion of how the condition presents in females. For example, Tony explained that girl’s superior ability to mask their social anxieties can often lead to missed diagnosis, dispelling the common belief that Aperger’s Syndrome is a condition disproportionately present in males.
Finally, Dr Wendy Lawson who herself is on the autism spectrum, gave a fascinating talk on the developments being made in the realms of education and how frameworks are being adjusted to realise the potential of students with autism.
The conference concluded with an insightful and uplifting Q & A session. With so many parents present the opportunity was seized to get practical support and advice from the expertise of the speakers. Concerns around the emotional impact of difficult transitional periods was a theme that recurred throughout the session and the speakers were able to offer practical advice on coping strategies for this critical time for those on the spectrum.
Both staff and members from A-Spire left the conference feeling thoroughly inspired and we can’t wait to share with the rest of the group everything we’ve learnt.