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Conventions & Conferences - 2003 - 02 (February) - DDD in Kauai

2003 Kauai Conference - 8th Biennial Conference

Kauai, Hawaii
February, 2003

Taylor Crowe on "Growing Up With Autism"

Jack Hourcade
Publications Chair

Attendees at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Division on Developmental Disabilities were able to hear about autism "From the Inside," as Taylor Crowe, a young man and self-advocate with autism, talked about his school experiences. A full room of educators and others heard Mr. Crowe recall how his condition, and especially the responses to him by others, caused him significant difficulties throughout his school career.

Specific points he made included:
* how his literal interpretation of things said to him by others caused him to fear for years a teacher who had told him, "If you don't finish that worksheet, you are NEVER going home!"
* how sarcasm from teachers and others was hurtful
* how having a "Circle of Friends" composed of typical peers was helpful in learning appropriate behaviors
* how being encouraged and supported to be independent are critical to individuals with autism.

As part of the presentation Mr. Crowe presented his video "Growing Up With Autism," which incorporates video footage shot throughout his preschool years. This dramatic presentation clearly showed the onset of the characteristics associated with autism during Mr. Crowe's early childhood, and helped show the tremendous progress Mr. Crowe has made since that time. (That video is available from CEC Publications at as product #s5576.)

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