Urban Autism Summit Set for June 25

Local organizations helping families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are holding an Urban Autism Summit June 25, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, 1240 N. 10th St.

“This collaboration brings together families, adults on the spectrum, urban community groups, professionals and university students to dialogue about strategies to increase awareness and access to timely diagnosis and intervention for diverse individuals with autism spectrum disorders,” said Elizabeth Drame, associate professor and chair of the School of Education’s Department of Exceptional Education. Drame also coordinates the  university’s Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate program.

Children in urban and underserved communities are often diagnosed with autism late in childhood, if at all. Their parents can experience difficulty in accessing resources that are beneficial to children with ASD, according to Drame.

The summit will serve as an update on work accomplished since the first Urban Autism Summit in 2009. Families and young adults with ASD will share their views on what actions are still needed five years later.

Fee for the conference is $15. Participants may register at

Sessions at the summit will focus on:

  • -Outreach and awareness training through faith communities.
  • -Strategies for encouraging collaboration with educators in inclusive school settings.
  • -Challenges and triumphs experienced by families with diverse backgrounds during diagnosis and early intervention.
  • Successes and challenges with transition to post-secondary education, leisure, health care and housing for adults on the autism spectrum.

The conference is co-sponsored by: the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin; Community of Practice on ASD and other Developmental Disabilities; Easter Seals; Marquette University; Milwaukee Center for Independence; UWM College of Health Sciences – Department of Occupational Science and Technology; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education – Department of Exceptional Education; WI LEND Program; and Women’s Giving Circle.

For more information, contact urbanautismsummit@gmail.com.