Shore to speak at autism conference

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If it weren't for the support of his parents and teachers, a child who was diagnosed with "atypical development and strong autistic tendencies" would have been institutionalized rather than sent to a regular school.

Nonverbal until age 4, that child was Stephen Shore, who grew up to become a professor of special education at Adelphi University in New York.

He understands autism from an insider's experience, and he is now dedicated to helping those on the outside understand how to meet the needs of the autism community.

Shore will speak from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11 at Lake City High School during the Panhandle Autism Society Fall Conference.

He will discuss developing and understanding the hidden curriculum for learners with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome. He also will speak about his autobiography and the three A's of autism: awareness, acceptance and appreciation.

Appreciation “is where we see those of us on the autism spectrum valued for who we are, for the contribution we can make to society," Shore said in an Adelphi University TED Talk.

Panhandle Autism Society President Jennifer Cork said Shore had given presentations internationally and in 48 states. This is his first visit to Idaho.

"It’s a really big deal he's coming to Coeur d'Alene," Cork said last week.

"We had Temple Grandin last year. She’s in her 70s, he's in his 50s, so she's been around a little longer, but their stories are similar. He'll talk about his own struggles. The first place he worked didn't understand quite how to accommodate for him and his needs."

Cork said Shore wasn't just an expert speaking on a topic: "He has personal expertise, and he has a great quote, it's one of my favorites: 'If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.' There are similarities, but it's such a huge umbrella term that includes a lot of different people," Cork continued. "(Shore) is married, he has children, he's a professor. This representation doesn't mean what he can't do. It defines what he can do."

Tickets to the Panhandle Autism Society Fall Conference can be found at pas.ticketleap.com/drstephenshore. The cost is $30 each.

Info: panhandleautismsociety.com

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