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Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who attended and tuned into YAI's 2024 Autism Conference.

If you joined us, please fill out the 2024 YAI Autism Conference Feedback Survey

If you require an attendance certificate please complete the feedback survey and one will be emailed to you. Stay tuned for a video of the conference coming soon! 

Beyond Barriers: Advancing Autism Advocacy in Schools

This event took place on Thursday, April 11, 2024

All people who registered will be emailed a recording of the conference once it is ready.


Call 212.273.6182

Supported in part by the NYC Council Autism Initiative
In-person space kindly donated by McGraw Hill


9:30 AM 




9:45 AM Panel 

Navigating The Special Education System: It’s a Journey 

Description: Many adults with autism and their parents and caregivers have taken a journey through the special education system. Through this experience they often gain knowledge and information that may help others. Panel members will share their experience with special education, the IEP process, and offer tips for students with autism and parents about knowing their rights and navigating special education and the transition process.  

Moderator: Katherine Hoy, LMSW, Director of Advocacy Services, AHRC New York City 

Panelists: Nicholas LaCentra, President, YAI Long Island Self Advocacy Group, Tamara Farrell, Autism Parent Advocate, and Susana Montes, Parent Advocate.



10:45 AM 15 Minute Break 



11:00 AM Presentation 

Misunderstood - Shifting From a Punitive Mindset 

Description: Misunderstood kids are more likely to be restrained, secluded, suspended, expelled, and subjected to corporal punishment. While many acknowledge that behavior is communication, children are often punished in the name of behavior. In this session, we will discuss how a trauma-informed and neuroscience-aligned lens on behavior can reduce and eliminate punitive practices.  

Speaker: Guy Stephens, Founder & Executive Director, Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint 


12:15 PM 

Virtual Conference Concludes 



12:15 PM – 1:30 PM  

In person attendees will have lunch and the opportunity to network. 



If you joined us, please fill out the 2024 YAI Autism Conference Feedback Survey

YAI respects that people choose to identify differently when it comes to their diagnosis. For our conference materials we have chosen to say, "people with autism" in order to provide consistent language throughout YAI. Some presenters may use identity-first language instead.