Saturday, March 7 is a particularly special day in Maine. It’s the day families from around the state come together for the Southern Maine Autism Conference. This conference began 12 years ago as a way to connect parents with educators, service providers and resources. It is offered at no cost and, for the 12th year in a row, is at full capacity with more than 500 people expected.
Pine Tree Society and Spurwink work in partnership to bring leading experts to Maine to share the most up-to-date information available with parents and family members of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.
According to the 2019 Maine Kids Count report, 2,824 children in Maine (9.5%) have autism, which, based on statistics provided by the Maine Department of Education, is almost triple the number of students who were diagnosed with autism when the Southern Maine Autism Conference first began.
“The need for this conference is significant,” said Pine Tree Society’s president and CEO, Noel Sullivan. “It may be just one day, but, for twelve years, this conference has been a meeting place where families gain knowledge, find much needed resources and form friendships and networks that last long after the conference ends.”
This conference also begins the annual worldwide spring focus on Autism Awareness Month, which occurs each year in April.
This year’s nationally recognized keynote speakers are back by popular demand. “Outside Your Comfort Zone” will be co-led by Kyler Shumway, PsyD and Daniel Wendler, PsyD.
WHAT: 12th Annual Southern Maine Autism Conference presented by Pine Tree Society and Spurwink
WHEN: Saturday, March 7 8:00am – 4:00pm
WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 363 Maine Mall Rd., South Portland
FMI: Abby Gordon — firstname.lastname@example.org — 207-386-5963