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  Friday, December 19, 2014  Home > Autism > WWDSS > Where in the world is Dr. Stephen Shore?....Paducah Kentucky!
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Where in the world is Dr. Stephen Shore?....Paducah Kentucky!

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Kathleen Tehrani

Where_in_the_world_in_Dr._Stephen_Shore-cartoon'Where in the world is Dr. Stephen Shore?' Well...Dr. Stephen Shore is apt to be anywhere in the world….at any given time. The following biographical excerpt from his website outlines why this is:

Diagnosed with "Atypical Development with strong autistic tendencies" Dr. Shore was viewed as "too sick" to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much help from his parents, teachers, and others, Stephen completed his doctoral dissertation at Boston University focused on matching best practice to the needs of people on the autism spectrum. Click here to see an abstract of the dissertation. Recently, Dr. Shore has accepted a professorship at Adelphi Universityteaching courses in special education and autism.

In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his books Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger SyndromeAsk and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, and the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies.

President emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, Dr. Shore serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, for the Board of Directors for Autism Society of America, Unlocking AutismMAAP, the College Internship Program, andUSAAA.”

It has been my pleasure to share ideas and concepts with Dr. Shore on several occasions. We recently agreed upon doing a series of article posts relating some highlights of his various journeys as he spreads the message of autism awareness. Last weekend I discovered that Stephen had journeyed to…..Paducah, Kentucky.

I found the following statement from Stephen’s presentation in Paducah particularly poignant:

“The future for children with autism is the same as it is for everyone. It is unlimited.”

Kathleen: So Stephen, where have you visited this week?

Stephen: Last weekend I was in Paducah, Kentucky.

Kathleen: Oh, Kentucky. That’s my home state! And what was the focus of the trip Stephen?

Stephen: Well, in Paducah I talked to a parent group. Personal experiences with autism

Kathleen: I take it you made a presentation to a group of parents with affected family members? What organization was the parent group affiliated with? And how was the connection made?

Stephen: Parents of affected family members. Some teachers too. It was a joint project between Easter Seals of western Kentucky and FEAT(Families for effective treatment of autism).

Kathleen: Very good. What were some, "take away" moments for you from this particular presentation? What were some of your highlights?

Stephen: The highlights were some good discussions with the three aspies who also attended the session. They asked so many questions I didn't finish the presentation! However, it was more important to address their questions

Kathleen: Oh definitely. They had questions about YOU and your work...or more in regard to life as an aspie?

Stephen: Both. They were good questions relating to life, college, friends, work, disclosure, etc.

Kathleen: Wonderful. I see here that the presentation focus was, “The future is unlimited for autistic children with the support and encouragement of parents.” That’s a wonderful premise!

Stephen: Definitely!

Kathleen: Can you give me a few of your talking points from the presentation? The above statement was the first and primary one I'm sure?

Stephen: Yes it was. Other important areas covered included recognizing and accommodating for sensory issues. I also talked about academic accommodations.

Kathleen: Oh, very important.

Stephen: And... of course... what it is like to have autism.

Kathleen: What were a few of the ways you mentioned to recognize and accommodate for sensory?

Stephen: Challenging behavior such as jumping out of one's seat and playing with the light switch. That could possibly be due to a sensitivity to florescent lights. Possible accommodations include a baseball cap, change the lighting, unscrewing the florescent light over the child's head.

Kathleen: Yes...and it requires being a bit of a detective doesn't it?

Stephen: Yes it does.

Kathleen: And you mentioned academic accommodations as well?

Stephen: Yes. Some students may need additional time, or a quiet room to take a test. Others may be able to take the same test as others but only half at a time. Others may need to be taught how to type because the physical act of penmanship is just too hard.

Kathleen: So basically we're talking about making personal adaptations and allowing each child's learning style to shine through?

Stephen: Definitely, yes.

Kathleen: The final statement I see from your presentation was, “We can reframe autism and show that autistic people have a variety of skills and special interests that can help society.” What a great note to end on. I love how you always focus on the special skill sets rather than the perceived disability!

Thank you Stephen for sharing some of the details from your trip to Paducah Kentucky!

Stephen: You’re welcome Kathleen. Great talking with you!

I’ll be updating as Stephen makes the rounds at various autism spectrum conferences, presentations and related functions. To catch our conversations, watch for the next, “Where in the world is Dr. Stephen Shore!”


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