Autism Society of GLB/SGV 2013 Winter Conference: Adulthood on the Spectrum: Preparing for it – Living it

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Date(s) - Jan 12 2013 until 13 Jan 2013
8:00 AM - 4:15 PM

The Grand Event Center

Category(ies) No Categories

****Pre-registered (by 1/1/2013): $90/person, After 1/1/2013: $120/person. At the Door: $150/person****

Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch both days.

You can register online or by mail. To register by mail:

Make checks payable to GLB/SGV Autism Winter 2013 and return with registration to:

GLB/SGV Autism Winter 2013, P.O. Box 15247, Long Beach, CA 90815-0247

Registration information needed:

Name (Please print clearly) ____________________________________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ___________________________________ Phone: ( ) ____________________________

E-mail Address _________________________________________________

Person with Autism or Family Member: ______ Professional (Please provide discipline): ________________________

 For more information:

Rita Rubin:  (562) 943-3335, or

Regina Moreno: (562) 237-1520, or visit

Spanish Interpretation Available, contact:  Eva Moreno (562) 756-8616

Regional Center Vendor #PH0252


(Day 1) Saturday, January 12, 2013

8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. Registration, Continental Breakfast, Book Sales, Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. The Transition to Adulthood: A Mother Son Journey. Jeremy Sicile-Kira, Student, author; Chantal Sicile-Kira, author, founder

10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. The Art of the Conversation: Step by Step Strategies for Connection Brian R. King LCSW, author.

12:15 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. Lunch (included in registration cost) Book sales

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. Aspergers in the Workplace Michael John Carley, Executive Director, GRASP, ASTEP, author, person with Asperger’s syndrome.

2:45 P.M. – 4:15 P.M. Thinking Outside the Big Box Store: Creative Options for Employment. Becky Tschirgi, M.A., Founder of Innovative Consulting Solutions and the President of SoCal APSE.

(Day 2) Sunday, January 13, 2013

8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. Registration, Continental Breakfast, Book Sales

9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. The Neurodiversity Movement: How Self-Advocacy Can Help Secure Your Rights and Dreams Steven Kapp, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Ph.D. student, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. 30 Years of Marriage Living Day to Day with autism. Chris Rials-Seitz, mime, and Johnny Seitz, author, mime and person with Autism.

12:15 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. Lunch (included in registration cost) Book sales

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. Sensuality is More Than Sex.. Mary Meinel-Newport and Jerry Newport, B.A., authors with Asperger’s Syndrome.

2:45 P.M. – 4:15 P.M. Living with Autism in the Adult World. Ken Brewer, Jordan Kamnitzer, Heidi Lissaur, Roman Castro, and Sue Rubin, adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Speakers Information:

Jeremy and Chantal Sicile Kira

Jeremy ( is a part time student, advocate, writer, presenter and enjoys traveling. He is co-author with Chantal of A Full Life with Autism: From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieving  Independence (Macmillan, 2012). In 2010, Jeremy gave a commencement speech at his high school gradua­tion using voice output technology(Search “Jeremy Sicile-Kira” on youtube.). Jeremy is a Youth Leader for the Autistic Global Initiative, and the Autism Research Institute’s Youth Representative to the United Nations. In 2007 he was highlighted in MTV’s documentary series True Life in the episode, “I Have Autism”, which won a Voice Award. . Chantal ( is an award-winning author and speaker on autism, as well as the founder of which provides practical information to parents and educators. The author of four other books, Sicile-Kira writes for The HuffingtonPost and

Brian R. King

As a cancer survivor, adult with A.D.D., the father of 3 sons on the autism spectrum as well as someone who lives on the spectrum myself, I’ve learned something very critical — that success in life has nothing to do with circumstances but everything to do with strategies. I’ve learned that Fear and Excitement are the same feeling, the difference being whether you decide the feeling means that “I can’t” or that “I’m ready!” I’ve become a master of turning Problems into Possibilities and Obstacles into opportunities and I’ve learned to teach my clients to do the same thing using what I refer to as “The Effective Factor” — A laser focused ability to make small shifts that create massive results in every area of your life.

Michael John Carley

Michael John Carley received his M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1989. He serves as Executive Diretor of both ASTEP and GRASP. He has appeared in the media widely, most notably in the New York Times, Wasington Post, the London Times, Newsweek OnAir, ABCNews, BBC News, Huffington Post, and on radio with Fresh Air, and The Infinite Mind. His first book, Asperger’s From the Inside Out (Penguin/Perigee), was released in April, 2008, and he has recently completed his second book, The Last Memoir of Asperger’s Syndrome. Until 2001, Mr. Carley was the United Nations Representative of Veterans for Peace, Inc. In that time, he was known primarily for his work in Bosnia, and in Iraq as the Project Director of the internationally acclaimed Iraq Water Project. Along with his (then) 4-year old son, he was diagnosed with AS in November of 2000.

Becky Tschirgi

Becky Tschirgi is a highly dedicated and creative leader and consultant with over 30 years experience. She is the sole-proprietor of Innovative Consulting Solutions and the President of SoCal APSE.. Ms. Tschirgi has always been an advocate for employment as demonstrated by her having started the first supported employment program in California early in her career. In the past 10 years she has developed and provides employment and management related training for rehabilitation organizations and Department of Rehabilitation staffs through TACE (SDSU Interwork Institute) throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. Becky currently consults with All Kids Inc. and various non-profit organizations that provide inclusive services and supports for people with disabilities. She holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has presented at various conferences.

Steven Kapp

Steven Kapp is an autism researcher and autistic self-advocate. A PhD student in educational psychology at UCLA, Steven’s research interests include supporting adaptive skills, quality of life, and self-advocacy for people on the autism spectrum. A graduate student researcher and youth intern at the Tarjan Center, a developmental disability center Steven works on the CECY project to change the
system to compettive, integrated employment. Co-Director of the LA/UCLA Chapter of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Steven has participated in various task forces and advisory groups, conferences, and events related to policy, academic, clinical, and educational aspects of autism and other disabilities.

Johnny Seitz

Johnny is an autistic adult who grew up as a head banging autistic child. Johnny is face-blind and mind-blind, has sensory challenges and a bit of OCD. Johnny is a high-functioning adult with autism. He has led a rich, diverse life, all the while developing a unique and applicable character analysis system, stemming from autism. With approprate interventions, as a child, he was able to meet the challenges of face-blindness and mind-blindness by devising his“Bio-Typing” character analysis system. Johnny currently lives in Los Angeles, is a professional Life-Coach as an ACE Certified Trainer. He is a choreographer, ballet dancer, and a mime, author and presenter at national and international autism conferences. Johnny is an educator with teaching credentials including NYU, Princeton and Harvard.

Chris Rials-Seitz M.A.

Chris is Johnny’s scriptor and has been his liaison to the neurotypical world for 30 years. Chris also works in Stroke Recovery, and Autism Behavioral Support. She is called the Autism Whisperer, having worked with famlies impacted by Autism for over 15 years, and of course being married to an Autistic adult. Chris has also worked with families/teens at risk, substance abuse and recovery challenges and is a presenter at national and international Autism conferences. As an educator, she has taught psychology at East LA College and is a private Autism Behavior Consultant in Los Angeles. Chris is an artist, experiences life as living art, is a published author and photographer, is a filmmaker, worked as a producer for Viacom/Nickelodeon, and is one of the original establishing members of the Decade of Indigenous People at the United Nations in New York.

Mary Meinel Newport

Mary Meinel-Newport has an extremely varied background with talents in many disparate areas: she was a teenage gospel singer on LA’s “Church in the Home”, is a concert piano tuner/tech to the stars, holds a Gemology degree from GIA and has worked in the wholesale gem business on New York. She is also a music composer and performer, artist, published author, cosmetologist, inspiration for the film Mozart and the Whale, appeared as an Alien on Star Trek TNG,DS9, Voyager, and is an entrepreneur selling Luxury Vacation Memberships.

Jerry Newport

Jerry Newport, sixty four, grew up with Asperger syndrome in New York. Because of his savant skill with numbers, he flew “under the autism radar” until he graduated in 1970 with a degree in math from the University of Michigan and no clue about life. It was not until 1989 that Jerry saw Rain Man. Eventually diagnosed, Jerry became active with ASA and helped found AGUA, an adult support group. AGUA also introduced Jerry to his future wife, Mary Meinel. They have written several books on autism subjects and also inspired a movie, Mozart and The Whale based on their initial contact and challenge of a relationship. Jerry lives in Tucson, AZ with Mary and their happy flock of seven birds. In 2010, Jerry won the title, “Most Verstile Calculator” at the Mental Math World Cup in Germany.

Ken Brewer

Ken was diagnosed with high functioning autism at the age of 41 in 1993. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and has worked as a Data Processor for a major banking institution, Loss Prevention Contract employee for a major super­market chain, Fine Art Digital Printer and Security officer for a major hospital. Ken is an Autism Advocate, involved with Adult Gathering United and Autistic, Autism Global Initiative and Autism Conferences. He is an Artist displaying artwork at Autism conferences and mainstream art galleries.

Jordan Kamnitzer

Jordan Kamnitzer,51, was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. He attended non-public schools for students with developmental disabilities and received an AA degree in Music from West L.A. College. He worked as a page for libraries for four years, then with the help of Jewish Vocational Services, he obtained a job with Social Studies Schools Services, where he has been for the past 24 years. He receives medical and dental benefits and will have a pension. He and his girlfriend Toni have been together for 20 years. West L.A. Regional Center provides services from Life Steps Foundation twice a week. He has been in supported living since he was 26. His hobbies include Disability Rights.

Heidi Lissaur

Heidi Lissaur grew up in Los Angeles. She was married in 1975 and has 2 adult children. She was diagnosed with high functioning Autism in her 40’s and has been involved with AGUA Classic (a support group for adults on the autism spectrum) since about 1996. She has worked as a computer programmer and a piano teacher.

Roman Castro

I was born prematurely on January 27th, 1988. At 18 months I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and at 3 with Autism. I’ve spent my entire life attending Physical and Occupational Therapy. I was educated at of a number of segregated school sites, which eventually led to me being mainstreamed. After High school I applied to and was accepted into Cal State LA. However after a few semesters I noticed many flaws in the way people with disabilities were being treated in the college system. Struggles with the Department of Rehabilitation and other difficulties have left me with a negative impression of the Educational System. All of these experiences have helped me become a Self-Teacher. I do not rely on traditional methods of gaining knowledge.

Sue Rubin

At 4, Sue was diagnosed with autism and mental retardation. She attended Special Day Classes until age 13 when she tested at the 2½ year level. Sue remains echolalic, obsessive/compulsive, and self-abusive/aggressive. Yet, given a means of communication, she was a Whittier HS honors graduate (3.98 GPA and 1370 SATs) and is a Whittier College senior (3.59 GPA) on an academic scholarship; carried the 1996 Olympic Torch in LA; has received several outstand­ing individual with autism awards; has presented at over 100 conferences and other forums; was the subject of 2 PBS Life and Times programs; has 2 articles published in the LA Times, and several others in disabilities publications; has written chapters in 2 books; was the subject and writer of the 2004 Academy Award-nominated Autism is a World, and was an elected to TASH’s.National Board of Directors. Sue is a dedicated advocate for people with disabilities, and works as a facilitated communication consultant. She lives off-campus, with support, and enjoys an active social and cultural life.





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