Hundreds head to autism conference at I-X Center - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Hundreds head to autism conference at I-X Center

13th Annual Milestones Autism Spectrum Conference (Source: WOIO) 13th Annual Milestones Autism Spectrum Conference (Source: WOIO)
The I-X Center in Cleveland is host to one of the largest autism conferences in the country Thursday and Friday.
 
At the 13th Annual Milestones Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference, one thousand parents, professionals and educators are coming together to share their resources and support.

There are also some adults on the autism spectrum who are sharing their stories with conference-goers. 

33-year-old Aaron Schatzman is a graduate of Ohio State University "in the STEM program, science, technology, engineering, mathematics with a degree in environmental ecology and evolution was my major," he said.

Schatzman is charming and outgoing. You may not know that every day he has to overcome the challenges that go along with dealing with Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

He was diagnosed at the age of 14 when there was not much awareness about the autism spectrum.

"Difficulty with studies, with behavior - he's a bad kid and things like that. Having to overcome those hurdles took a while," describes Schatzman.

Research, information, and awareness have come a long way since Schatzman was diagnosed, but the parents, professionals and adults with autism at the conference are doing their part to keep the momentum going.

"I just want to give that ray of hope or that ray of insight or any advice that I can give to make the path for these families that much easier," said Schatzman.

The conference continues Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Click here for more information about the conference and other autism resources.

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