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Presenter Bios and Abstracts

Keynote Address

Dr. Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

Dr. Grandin is one of the most accomplished and well-known adults on the autism spectrum in the world. Her fascinating life has been featured in the movie, “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes. Dr. Grandin has also been featured on many major television programs, such as the BBC special, “The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow,” ABC’s “Primetime Live,” “The Today Show,” “Larry King Live,” “48 Hours,“ and “20/20.” Dr. Grandin currently works as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also speaks around the world on both autism and cattle handing. Dr. Grandin’s current bestselling book on autism is The Way I see It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s. She also authored Unwriten Rules of Social  Relationships, Animals Make Us Human, Animals in Translation, Thinking In Pictures, and Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Autism Yukon is pleased to bring her to Whitehorse to inspire Yukoners.

This year, Dr. Grandin has been named to the National Women’s Hall of fame in the U.S., as a woman whose “achievements have changed the course of American history,” according to Betty M. Bayer, the Hall’s co-president and professor of women’s studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Undaunted, We Pressed On: Navigating the Spectrum With a Sense of Humour – Most of the Time

Michael McCreary – AspieComic

Twenty year old Michael McCreary was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of five. In an act of self-preservation, combined with the desire for constant attention and the inability to stop talking, he began stand-up comedy. In the past 5 years he has performed over 150 shows and keynote addresses across the country appearing in universities, comedy clubs and theatres.

He has been featured on CBC’s The National and he has been interviewed by Shad on CBC Radio’s Q. He did his first TEDx Talk in May of 2016 to go along with appearances at conferences in Boston, Seattle and Chicago. He contributed a chapter to the recently published book “Autism: The Gift That Needs To Be Opened”. His submission appears alongside entries from Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Stephen Scherer and Senator Jim Munson, among others. He is continuing his “comedy education” studying at the Second City Training Centre in Toronto. For relaxation he plays alto sax in the Orangeville Jazz Society’s Little Big Band.

In the fall of 2014 he did a cross Canada tour hitting every province. He interviewed families and organizations looking for the positive ways people are dealing with life on the spectrum. He filmed it all, and his documentary is now in the editing stage. Michael McCreary gives you permission to laugh at the lighter side of Autism Spectrum Disorder with his act: “Does This Make My Asperger’s Look Big?” Check him out at: www.aspiecomic.com

Doug McCreary

Doug graduated from McMaster University with degrees in English literature and physical education, so he has spent the past thirty-six years as a financial advisor.

He and his wife Susan, live in Hockley Valley, an hour northwest of Toronto—or thirty minutes if you are writing a real estate ad. Doug and Susan have three children: two on the autism spectrum and one who is currently studying to be a counsellor to help young people with all manner of differences and challenges.

Describing his children, Doug says, “If the autism spectrum was linear—I don’t believe it is—but if it was, Matthew and Michael would represent both ends: one can’t talk, and the other one never stops; one lives independently; one requires constant attending. So we live the whole range of the spectrum every day in our house, with everything that implies. And we still have to find a way to make time to support our neurotypical son. It certainly isn’t boring.”

Panelists

Laurie Mawlam, Executive Director, Autism Canada and parent of a child on the autism spectrum

Lucie Stephens, Program Director, Autism Canada and parent of a child on the autism spectrum

Rosanne Bloom-Pereira, More Than Words: The Hanen Program ® for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Joy Vall, Occupational Therapy and Autism

Karen Rach, Speech and Language Pathologist, Social Thinking ® / Social Communication and Autism: how an SLP can help.

Justien Wood, parent, Son-Rise Parent program

Sue Stokes Nash, parent, Reference and Regulate program and Integrated Listening therapy

Doug McCreary (see above)