Autism Connections Holds 30th Annual Autism Conference

Autism Connections, the western Massachusetts Autism Center serving families and individuals in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, hosts its 30th Annual Autism Conference on April 29, 2021. The day-long VIRTUAL educational conference brings together more than 400 parents, caregivers, educators, people with autism, self-advocates, professionals, organizations, and service providers to build awareness and knowledge, be inspired, and make meaningful connections.

“The conference is virtual this year, but the engagement that people associate with the annual conference will be the same,” said Karen Serra, Director of Autism Connections. “We know how busy people’s days are right now,” Serra said. “We are thrilled to be able to offer all attendees access to recordings of the conference until December.” 

Morning and afternoon breakout sessions led by experts focus on topics as they relate to autism, including: 

  • Boundaries and Relationships
  • I Used to Be Bullied for Having Autism – Here’s When it Stopped
  • Combating Diagnostic Disparities in African Americans
  • Individualized College Support for Students in Need of Transition Services
  • and many more!

Educator, writer, and global advocate Morénike Giwa Onaiwu is the morning keynote speaker and will also present a breakout session titled “Forged by Fire: The Intersection of Race, Disability, and Gender.” 

Stacey Gordon, an American puppeteer who is best known for portraying Julia, a four-year-old female Muppet with autism on Sesame Street, is the afternoon keynote speaker. Stacey, who is the mom of a child with autism, will also present a breakout session on “Puppeteering for Parents and Professionals” on connecting with children through puppets. 

This year’s event is made possible in part thanks to the generosity of Presenting Sponsor Radcliffe is the Reason and Arthur Too! Fight for Autism

For more information about Autism Connections or the 30th Annual Autism Conference, visit or email In addition to the upcoming conference, Whole Children, which provides recreational, social, and enrichment programs for children and teens of all abilities, is now offering virtual spring classes! Classes are offered for children from 8-18+, with a wide assortment of classes available. This 2021 spring session of classes includes performance for stage and screen, a weekly zoom hangout, and Whole Children’s Jurassic World. The program is offered Monday through Saturday, starting on April 5 – June 12, 2021, with the ability to take an unlimited amount of courses for only $175. Participants will experience 6 days of fun and games at Whole Children! To register visit, or call 413-585-8010.

Submitted by Alissa Serra, Pathlight.

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