2007 Presentations

This page about Autscape 2007 is of historical interest only. Go to the home page for current information.

These are the presentations Autscape had in 2007. Only presenters who have explicitly agreed to be listed here are shown. If you presented at Autscape in 2007 and would like your name included please contact us using our general enquiries address.

Major Presentations

  1. Making Conversation - a Structured Approach to Other-focused Communication
  2. Best Practices of the Empowerment Committee of The Finnish Association for Autism and Asperger's Syndrome
  3. Autism and Loneliness (Baukje van Kesteren)
  4. Sharing Our Worlds: AC/AC relationships (Kalen)
  5. Accessing Formal Supports (Kalen & Yo)
  6. Autism and emotions: Some thoughts about feelings (Jim Sinclair)

Practical Workshops

  1. Recycling Art Workshop (Suzi Superglue)

Major Presentations

Making Conversation - a Structured Approach to Other-focused Communication

Description: This presentation will suggest some tools and structures for autistic people dealing with conversations, where you put your conversation partner in focus and offer the opportunity for the other person to share their world. The idea is that transparency, structure and visual aids can improve communication skills and facilitate mutual understanding. The presentation will use Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides and also concrete tools from something called the "cat-kit", which is a binder with various visual communication tools and inspiration from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). It will also discuss the relevance for autistic people as well as for other people communicating with autistic people.

Best Practices of the Empowerment Committee of The Finnish Association for Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

Description: The goal of the Empowerment Committee is to promote the rights and respect for persons on the autistic spectrum by creating networks of mutual information and assistance between ASD groups and individuals. It also develops practices which enable and enhance the collaboration of adults on the autistic spectrum, the parents of autistic children and autism professionals. This was found to be necessary because up to this point Finnish autism organisations have been dominated by caretakers of autistic children without the consideration or perspective of authentic experiences of autistic persons themselves. This presentation will introduce: Our accomplishments, such as organising our own annual seminar, and receiving funding; our current challenges; and our access-oriented meeting and seminar practices. The presentation will include discussions and brainstorming on how to apply and develop these practices to suit your own needs, in your own community. Come and bring your valuable perspective to the mix! You may participate in the exercises either by speech, or by text. You may participate in a small group, or solo, according to your preferences. Your thoughts will benefit future empowerment activities.

Autism and Loneliness

Presenter: Baukje van Kesteren
Download handout: autism-and-loneliness.doc (MS Word format, 27KB)
Full presentation: complete text at Baukje's website

Description: At 52, after many years of psychiatric problems which were never resolved, I received the ASD (Asperger Syndrome) diagnosis. Finally knowing what was the matter with me, and intrigued by the 'Autism' phenomenon, I decided to write a book on autism and loneliness. This book was published in August 2005 under the title A Hole where your Heart is. Loneliness in Autistic People. (In Dutch: 'Een gat waar je hart zit. Eenzaamheid bij mensen met autisme'.) In the book, some twenty people with ASD tell about their experiences with loneliness, answering questions like: Do you feel lonely, and if so, when and under what circumstances? What do you see as the cause of your feelings of loneliness? Where and how do you find help, relief or comfort? What are your expectations for the future? I also interviewed several professional service providers such as a psychologist/orthopedagogue and a speech therapist/psycholinguist, and I visited several institutions, e.g. a place where autistic people live and work, and where they can stay for the rest of their lives if necessary and desirable. The primary theme of the lecture consists of the experiences with loneliness of the autistic people mentioned above.

Baukje's homepage is at http://www.delachendepanda.nl.

Sharing Our Worlds: AC/AC relationships

Presenter: Kalen

Description: This presentation will discuss autistic/autistic close relationships - both romantic and platonic - and the benefits and pitfalls of these. Many autistic people who have not had successful relationships with NTs believe that if only they had an autistic partner, their relationship would be problem free. Experience tells me otherwise, but even from the failures, much can be learned. I also have experience of relationships with other autistics working out beautifully, in part because of our shared neuro-type. The presentation will include topics such as choosing appropriate relationship partners, sharing space, communication, skill and sensitivity (incompatibilities and other issues to do with getting along with another person - in particular another autistic person. This will have relevance not only to those in or seeking romantic relationships, but to friendships with autistic people as well. It may also have relevance for NTs in relationships with autistic people. While a fair bit has been written and discussed about NT women married to AS men, relationships in which both parties are autistic is quite neglected. We have little to guide us other than our own and others' experience.

Accessing Formal Supports

Presenters: Yo & Kalen
Download handouts: accessing-formal-supports-questionnaire.doc (MS Word format, 48KB), accessing-formal-supports-resources.doc (MS Word format, 56KB)

Description: This presentation explores ways of expressing your needs in a way that increases your chances of getting useful support from various bureaucratic systems without losing your autonomy. Autistic people often fall through the gaps between mental health and learning disabilities services. High functioning autistic in particular can find it nearly impossible to get their needs recognised at all. The presentation will discuss access to formal support system such as financial benefits, home support, educational support, employment support and health care. We will explore the reasons one may want to try to access formal support, what kinds of services may be available, deciding which services are appropriate, how various systems work and expressing your needs to suit the orientation of the system in question. The presentation will include exercises to help participants apply the concepts to their own lives and needs. While there will be a UK orientation to the specific services discussed, many of the concepts will be applicable to other countries.

Autism and emotions: Some thoughts about feelings
Webcast by Jim Sinclair

Description: Will help autistic people, and NTs who are involved with autistic people, to develop understanding of common "disconnects" between their own experience and those of people with different emotional processing styles, and a conceptual framework for understanding and communicating about their own emotional styles.

Autistic people typically differ from NT people in the expression of emotions, and often in the experience of emotions as well. This is a very common source of misunderstanding and frustrated communication between ACs and NTs. This presentation will explain what emotions are, physiologically, functionally, and experientially. I will then briefly explain how emotions usually work in NTs, so AC audience members can find out what people are expecting of them. Then I will review a number of different AC "emotional styles," and invite audience comments and discussion about the various ways that different AC people experience and express emotion. If there is interest, I will spend some time specifically addressing issues about emotional expression in counseling or therapy.

Practical Workshops

Recycling Art Workshop presented

Presenter: Suzi Superglue

Description: I will offer an art workshop based on the idea of recycling. Art, with emphasis on jewellery, is my medium to create an ongoing process between creator, user and spectator – art as a way of telling the unique stories of our lives. During the workshop, I will offer basic techniques of drawing, collage-making and an introduction to jewellery-making for beginners. The workshop will be an open space, where participants can express themselves freely experimenting, inventing or just being there and observing. Participants are invited to bring along their favourite items such as books, music, etc., for inspiration. Parallel to the workshop, there will be an exhibition of my jewellery. At the end of the workshop, participants are welcome to add their own art pieces from the workshop to the exhibition.