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Autism Conference at Cal Lutheran Thousand Oaks

March 19, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

California Lutheran will present a conference highlighting alternative communication strategies for people with autism on March 19.

“Spectrum of Opportunity: Autism, Inclusion and Communication Conference” will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lundring Events Center on the Thousand Oaks campus. It will feature nationally known speakers, including people with autism who have learned to communicate by using keyboards and letter boards.

Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, the stars of the documentary “Wretches & Jabberers,” will give the keynote address. The two men will discuss their experiences in learning to communicate and advocating for others with autism.

The other featured presenters who type are Ido Kedar, author of “Ido in Autismland: Climbing Out of Autism’s Silent Prison”; California State University, Channel Islands, student Samuel Capozzi; and Canoga Park High School student Dillan Barmache.

Sharon Kedar, a geophysicist and Ido’s father, will present “Navigating the Maze of Autism Services and Research.” He will outline the challenges to supporting people with autism and address misconceptions about scientific findings.

Parents Duval Capozzi of Thousand Oaks, Tami Barmache of Woodland Hills and Barbara Johnson of the San Fernando Valley will discuss the lessons they have learned from having children with autism.

Educators will share their experiences working with students who type. The panel will feature Kimberly Kitchen from Rancho Rosal Elementary School in Camarillo and Adrienne Johnston, Eric Dettenmaier and Amber Tesh from Canoga Park High School. Speech pathologists Darlene Hanson and Katie Anawalt will use video clips to demonstrate ways to build skills for supported and independent typing.

Gerardine Wurzburg, the Academy Award-winning director and producer of “Wretches & Jabberers,” will give closing remarks.

The conference is free for employees of school districts and $55 for others. Participants must register online at www.CalLutheran.edu/autism2016 by March 7. A light breakfast and buffet lunch will be served.

Cal Lutheran’s Graduate School of Education Center for Innovative Learning, Center for Equality and Justice, Athletics Department, Artists and Speakers Committee and Community Leaders Association are sponsoring the event with assistance from the Autism Society of Ventura County. Contact Edlyn Peña at 805-493-3021 or [email protected], or Jacquelyn Greenhill at 805-493-3492 or [email protected] for more information. 


March 19, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Cal Lutheran University
60 W. Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, 91362
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