Meet Temple Grandin
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Book Signing and Q&A with Dr. Temple Grandin
It is never too late to expand the mind of a person with Autism.
Dr. Temple Grandin

Featured by:


Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center



Educating All Kinds of Minds

Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned autism spokesperson, scientist, and inventor, has served as an inspiration and role model to hundreds of thousands of families and persons with autism. In this unique presentation, Temple eloquently and candidly describes the challenges she has faced and offers glimpses into her own childhood, with ideas on how others dealing with autism can meet these obstacles and improve the quality of their lives. Backed by her personal experience and evidence-based research, Temple shares her valuable insights on all types of thinkers, why they are important, and ways in which young people can continue to think about and understand what it means to be innovative.

By attending, participants can:

  • Create a learning environment to accommodate those who think differently
  • Distinguish between voluntary behaviors and involuntary behaviors
  • Identify ways of intervention for those newly diagnosed
  • Review methods to assist the older child and Adult to form social relationships

(NOTE: Bibliography for Dr. Grandin’s presentation is available upon request at:

Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures


Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration

Paula Aquilla, DO, BSc, OT is an occupational therapist. She has worked with adults and children in clinical, educational, home, and community-based settings. She founded the Yes I Can! Integrated Nursery School, Yes I Can! Summer Camp, and the I Love My Baby Program in Toronto. Paula was also the founding executive director of Giant Steps in Toronto, an innovative program of intensive therapies, academics, and support services for children with autism spectrum disorder. Paula is the coauthor of Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration and the author of Sensory Strategies to Improve Communication, Social Skills, and the new Sensory Detective book.

By attending, participants can:

  • Recognize and identify sensory processing challenges in children
  • Define and describe the “inside out perspective”
  • List the benefits of a sensory diet
  • Create and implement a custom sensory diet
  • Recognize behavioral signs of sensory overload and/or autonomic nervous system overload;
  • Utilize visual supports

(NOTE: Bibliography for Paula’s presentation is available upon request at:

Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures


The Yoda Guy Shares His Path to Success

Renowned worldwide as “That Yoda Guy” for his involvement in the creation of Yoda for the classic Star Wars films, Nick started out as a “misfit” kid from the projects, successfully overcoming his learning disabilities to become a celebrated creative force in more fields than anyone could have imagined. He prevailed over life’s challenges and lived an extraordinary life, rubbing shoulders with hundreds of famed individuals along the way, all just because he dared to believe he could.

By attending, participants get advice on:

  • A new perspective on being “normal”
  • Believing in your impossible dream
  • Facing life’s challenges
  • Embracing your journey
  • Accepting that being different is okay
  • Living outside the box


Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures


Visual Strategies for Social Skills

Rebecca Moyes, a former teacher in both public and private schools for nine years, is the mother of two children. Her oldest is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Rebecca is currently an autism consultant/trainer for several school districts in Pennsylvania. Rebecca has published six books. The most recent book, Building Sensory Friendly Classrooms to Support Challenging Behavior, discusses the importance of data-driven strategies, and then helps teachers implement them. Rebecca will provide practical strategies to teach students to become in tune to their emotions and develop skills to be more independent with controlling their impulses.

By attending, participants can:

  • Describe several executive functions that may impact social behavior
  • Design visual strategies that assist a student with transition difficulties
  • Describe an intervention to help a defiant student avoid melt-down behavior
  • List several ways to teach a student self-regulation skills
  • Design a reinforcer system to improve motivation and task completion

(NOTE: Bibliography for Rebecca’s presentation is available upon request at:

Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures



Dr. Jed Baker, Ph.D., author of the best-selling The Social Skills Picture Book series, will be focusing on the subject of managing anxiety and frustration in children, teens, and caregivers.

Dr. Baker’s high-profile appearances on numerous television shows include ABC World News, Nightline, Fox News, The CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel. He will focus on the subjects of preventing negative behaviors that are also detailed in his books No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior; No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators & Scams; and Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens.

By attending, participants can:

  1. Propose how best to think about challenging behaviors to ensure better outcomes.
  2. Explore methods to discover triggers for fear and frustration.
  3. Assess effective prevention plans to prevent debilitating anxiety and frustration.
  4. Review practical treatment of anxiety: modify triggers, understand alarm system, motivate participation, think like a scientist, create fear ladders, exercise, meditation, and biological interventions.

Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures


Anita Lesko

“When Life Hands You Lemons Make Lemonade”

Anita Lesko was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age fifty. Despite all the challenges and obstacles, Anita forged ahead to obtain exciting goals.

A 1988 graduate of Columbia University in New York City with a master of science degree in nurse anesthesia, Anita has nearly three decades as a certified nurse anesthesiologist, specializing in anesthesia for neurosurgery.

After seeing Top Gun in 1995, Anita spent the next seven years working towards her dream of flying in a fighter jet. She became an internationally published military aviation photojournalist and got a flight in an F-15. She also spent time with the world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Having been honored by the United Nations as a guest speaker for National Autism Day in 2017, Anita is an advocate for people with Asperger’s Syndrome. She started a support group for people of all ages with Asperger’s and their families and friends, which meets monthly. She is the Founder of the Flying High with Autism Foundation, as well as founder and CEO of Born With Asperger’s—an educational and helpful site not only for people with Asperger’s, but their families, employers, fellow employees, educators, neighbors, and anyone who might know someone with Asperger’s.

Her books include: Asperger’s Syndrome: When Life Hands you Lemons, Make Lemonade, The Blue Angel, co-author of Been There, Don’t Try That, Try This! The Aspie Mentor Guide to Life on Earth, a featured chapter in Dr. Temple Grandin’s book Different . . . Not Less, and Lesko’s latest book, The Complete Guide to Autism and Healthcare: Advice for Medical Professionals and Those on the Autism Spectrum.

  • Discuss the importance of not focusing on a label
  • Explain the importance of getting out and DOING STUFF
  • Determine methods to overcome obstacles and reaching goals

Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures


Dr. Jim Ball

Early Intervention and Autism

Dr. Jim Ball, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, has been in the autism field for over twenty years providing educational, residential, and employment services to children and adults affected by autism. As President/CEO of JB Autism Consulting,he provides private consultation to organizations, schools, and families regarding staff training, parent training, home support services, classroom design/support, and behavior management/ assessment.

By attending, participants can:

  • Identify seven effective strategies for the perfect EI program
  • Develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
  • List the must-have components of an EI program
  • Integrate social skills instruction into a curriculum
  • And more

Financial and Non-Financial Disclosures


Completion requirements:  Sessions must be attended in full. No partial sessions will be considered for credit.  Resources/References for sessions will be provided upon request.  Target audience: intermediate, professional



Future Horizons is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Future Horizons maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



This course is offered for up to 0.45 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)



Future Horizons is an American Occupational Therapy Association
(AOTA) approved provider of continuing education. This conference is offered for 0.45 AOTA CEUs, Intermediate level, professional. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

Future Horizons is dedicated to making its courses, events and meetings accessible to all. We strive to provide access – to the fullest extent possible – to our conferences based on an awareness of participants’ needs. If you require assistance due to a disability, please provide Future Horizons with the information and we will engage in a process to work with each individual to determine appropriate accommodations.  Please click the below button to send your request for special accommodations or visit our contact us page.


November 21, 2019
Syracuse, NY

Autism Conference Schedule:

7:00am Registration & Continental Breakfast
7:50 Announcements
8:00 – 8:45 Dr. Temple Grandin – Creating A Learning Environment for Those Who Think Differently
8:45 – 9:30 Dr. Temple Grandin – Methods to Assist the Older Child and Adult with Social Relationships
9:30 Break
10:00 – 10:45 Nick Maley – The Yoda Guy Shares His Path to Success


10:45 – 11:30 Nick Maley – The Yoda Guy Shares His Path to Success


11:30 – 12:30 Lunch on your own
12:30 – 1:15 Paula Aquilla, DO, BSc, OT – Sensory Processing Challenges in Children
1:15 – 2:00 Paula Aquilla, DO, BSc, OT – Sensory Diet
2:00 Break
2:30 – 3:15 Paula Aquilla, DO, BSc, OT – Behavioral Signs of Sensory Overload and/or Autonomic Nervous System Overload
3:15 – 4:00 Paula Aquilla, DO, BSc, OT – Visual Supports
4:00 Conference Ends

About the Venue:

The Oncenter

Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center
Ballroom, Lower Level
800 South State Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

Map and Directions


Registration is Simple!

  • Buy Online:  Scroll down for registration details
  • Call in Registration:  General booking please call this number for registration: +1 (800) 489-0727
  • Print/Fax/Mail Registration:  Unable to register online? Download our registration form to print and fax, or mail in with your payment.
  • All Speaker Presentation materials are complimentary and will be sent via digital file one week before event.

Group discounts available for 5+ attendees
Discount Applied at Checkout

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Autism Conference with Temple Grandin in Syracuse, NY – November 21, 2019


Pre-register before noon CST on Wednesday, November 20th to take advantage of the discounted pricing.



Registration Still Available

The online registration window has passed however tickets for the conference are still available.

Attendees will need to register on-site.


  • Professional
    Group Discount Rate $108
    • Educators & Practitioners
  • Family
    Group Discount Rate $96
    • Parents & Family Members
  • Student with ID
    Group Discount Rate $56
    • College Student
  • Person with ASD
    Group Discount Rate $40
    • Person with ASD


  • Professional
  • Family
  • Student with ID
  • Person with ASD


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