Two Aroostook County Parents Organize Inaugural Autism Conference

From their founding of the Aroostook Autism Support Group in 2014, parents Maeghan Sheehan and Lisa Brewer have strived to build community and provide support to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Their commitment to families and their community resulted in the inaugural Aroostook County Autism Conference at the University of Maine at Presque Isle on October 7, 2016. (Above photo shows Larry Bissonnette, morning keynote, taking photographs of conference participants.)

After months of planning and generous support from community sponsors, over 130 family members and professionals attended keynotes and breakout sessions with nationally known presenters and disability rights advocates, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette of Wretches & Jabberers; and pediatric neurologist, Dr. Margaret Bauman, founder and director of The Autism Research Foundation (TARF). Other presenters included Atlee Reilly, Esq., and Lydia Paquette, Esq., of Disability Rights Maine; Paul Johnson, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine at Presque Isle; Dr. Silvia Merida-Copland, The Aroostook Medical Center; and Dr. Ajay Rana, Eastern Maine Medical Center. The conference concluded with a panel discussion with individuals on the autism spectrum from Aroostook County.

Atlee Reilly, Esq. of DRM and a conference participant.Harvey Lavoy and Tracy Thresher using facilitated communication.