Berkshire Autistic Society hosts Conference with Global Asperger’s and Autism Expert

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Berkshire Autistic Society will be marking the start of its 25th anniversary year by hosting a high profile conference in Reading with Professor Tony Attwood, the world’s leading expert on Asperger’s syndrome. Professor Attwood will be flying in from Australia for the two day event, which will take place at Reading Town Hall on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 January. Tickets are available direct from the Society. Professor Attwood has specialised in autism spectrum disorders for over 35 years and is the author of Asperger’s Syndrome – A Guide for Parents and Professionals, which has sold over 350,000 copies and has been translated into over 25 languages. He has worked with over 8,000 individuals of all ages with Asperger’s syndrome or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. As well as running a clinic, Professor Attwood presents workshops and runs training courses for parents, professionals and individuals with Asperger’s syndrome all over the world and is a prolific author of scientific papers and books on the subject. Asperger’s Syndrome is a Developmental Disorder that falls within the autistic spectrum. It is a life-long condition, which affects about 1 in 200 people*, more commonly in men than women. Those with Asperger’s Syndrome are usually of average or above average intelligence and have difficulties with Social Interaction, Social Communication and Flexibility of Thinking or Imagination. In addition, there may be sensory, motor and organisational difficulties. The condition was first identified over 70 years ago by Hans Asperger, a Viennese paediatrician. Berkshire Autistic Society (BAS) was set up in 1990 by parents of children with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and challenging behaviours, and has supported thousands of affected individuals and families across Berkshire. Hayley Edwards, Executive Director at BAS, explains ‘We are delighted to be hosting Professor Attwood at our conference in January. Research carried out by the Society last year showed that parents and professionals in the area would like training and support to enable them to best meet the needs of those with Asperger’s. This event will strengthen understanding of the issues that children and young people with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism have – and provide training in strategies to support them so they can achieve their potential. We urge local schools, educational institutions, agencies, parents, carers and professionals to make the most of this unique opportunity to hear Professor Attwood.’

Tony Attwood photo

The conference on day one will explore strategies to improve social understanding and friendship skills, as well as understanding cognitive differences. Asperger’s children and young people have a different way of thinking and learning, so need a different approach to reach their potential. Day two will cover adolescent issues for teenagers with Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to treat depression in children, teenagers and adults with Asperger’s. The two-day event runs from 9.30 am to 5pm. Places are £180 for both days for Parents and £280 for Professionals and may be booked online at http://www.autismberkshire.org.uk/professor-tony-attwood-conference-2015.aspx or by calling Berkshire Autistic Society (BAS) on 0118 9594 594. There are discounts available for members of BAS or other voluntary organisations, and also concessions for unwaged or individuals on a low income. The cost includes handouts, tea or coffee on arrival, morning and afternoon break and lunch. *Source: Aspergers Foundation WWW.ASPERGERFOUNDATION.ORG.UK