Sunny and CJ are already back from the ASA conf. We left right after our presentation yesterday afternoon, a full day early. Three days at a conference is our max, due to self-regulation capacities (for both of us) though we are working toward extending this capacity – in full faith of future travel opportunities, in order to share our passion and innovations toward the goal of Equal Access to the Fine Arts and creating a Platform for Self-Advocacy through Community Music Therapy, for those on the autism spectrum.
It was totally worth getting to Pittsburgh a day early for the pre-conference workshop – with Dena Gassner, Stephen Shore and Gayle Fitzpatrick – where we got to connect with other autistic self advocates in a smaller group, as opposed to having 3 days in a row of over-stimmy crowds and schedules.
Kind of a bummer though that we missed presentations today from many of our friends, and including the fact that our session time yesterday was parallel with our good friends from Autism Women’s Network.
We are very pleased though about successfully presenting our work in developing the construct of Sensory Friendly Concerts and advocating for the Neurodiversity Movement – completely “off script.” Straight from our hearts. This has been our fifth presentation together, and we are getting this down… : )
In our session yesterday, Sunny shared some of her personal story for the first time, which moved some in the audience (including ourselves) to tears.
There are so many awesome new people we got to meet the past few days, as well as “old friends” from social media that we got meet in person for the first time. No time to mention everyone, but we do want to take a moment to shout-out Asperkids, the brainchild of Jennifer O’Toole. CJ is still chuckling about the fact that Asperkid and Musical Autist are most definitely “brainchild-siblings.”
Here is a keepsake photo, taken right after our presentation.
From left to right: Sarah Rifkind, Brigid Sinclair Rankowski, Sunny Cefaratti, Dena Gassner, Gayle Fitzpatrick, David Hamrick, Jennifer O’Toole, Stephen Shore.