Understanding Autism

August 9, 2017


This guest post is by Trish Kane of Pathfinders for Autism, co-presenter of Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders Through the Lifespan, part of the MARFY – Excellence in Service track at this year’s conference. Learn more and register here: bit.ly/MANOAC17.

1 in 55 children in Maryland are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Undoubtedly, you are interacting with someone with Autism whether in your home, your neighborhood, your school, or your workplace.

Understanding ASD is an important way to improve your interactions with someone on the spectrum. My presentation, co-presented with Neal Lichter, Research Center Coordinator, Pathfinders for Autism, at Maryland Nonprofits’ annual conference will provide a practical and experiential opportunity for you to learn strategies and tips when working with someone on the spectrum. 

Learn about Eric and Max. Eric and Max have Autism. Eric and Max are very different. 

Why does Eric wear headphones? 

Max likes to script – what is scripting? 

Sometimes Eric has self-injurious behaviors – why? What can we do to help him?

Why does it take Eric and Max so long to answer a question? What is the 20-second rule?

Hear about Eric and Max and their Autism journey – the fun and the not so fun!

I am Trish Kane, Director of Programs, at Pathfinders for Autism and Eric’s mom. My colleague, Neal Lichter, Resource Center Coordinator, at Pathfinders for Autism is Max’s dad. Neal and I will share our personal experiences with Autism, as well as, incorporate those experiences shared by other parents and caregivers who call into our Resource Center.

Weaving in our personal experiences with Eric and Max, we will focus on four areas of impact – communication and language processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, challenges with social interaction and behavior. 

We will discuss individuals with ASD in the workplace and possible accommodations.  You will hear about our Data Management Specialist, Quinn, and learn about the accommodations that Quinn appreciates so that he can be successful at his job. 

Pathfinders for Autism is a Maryland based, parent sponsored, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with autism and their families. We accomplish this mission through our Resource Center and provider database, sponsored training activities, and free fun events. Everything we offer is free. Visit our website to learn more: pathfindersforautism.org


About the Author

Trish Kane joined Pathfinders for Autism in September of 2010. She oversees the Resource Center and is directly responsible for coordinating the training programs and fun events.Trish identifies partners, topics and speakers for the PFA annual training series throughout Maryland and organizes family fun events to bring enjoyment and social opportunities for families. She is the parent of an adult son with autism.