Presented by Paul Griffin (3 hrs)
Paul Griffin is a 28 year old man with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In spite of grim predictions that indicated he would never read or qualify for a high school diploma, this UCSB grad drives, lives independently and holds a job. His late diagnosis at age 12 meant there was little targeted therapy or intervention in his early years in spite of symptoms and behaviors now recognized as characteristic of ASD. Paul tells the story of his early life and the search for answers and help. He describes his educational programs, treatments and extracurricular activities pre- and post-diagnosis. His detailed accounts of a lifetime of interventions and supports take you from childhood up to and through college. He reflects on what he calls his “Three Pillars of Success” and sends a message of hope. Paul challenges everyone to see the potential in ASD individuals saying “The only thing that will hold back someone like me is having people tell them what they can’t do instead of seeing what they can do! They told me success was impossible and I proved them wrong!” This rare insight coming directly from a person with ASD is full of both content and inspiration. There is a historical review of the interventions Paul received, which most appropriately tie back to the recently published National Standards for Autism -Phase 2, making this an extremely timely presentation. Paul’s articulate and candid answers in the Q and A sessions have been especially appreciated by audiences.