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NestCon, a Conference on Autism and Inclusive Education, at NYU Steinhardt, Feb. 20th - 22nd


NestCon will bring the autism community together for a 3-day conference on how to support diverse learning styles.

This month, the ASD NEST Support Project at NYU Steinhardt’s Metro Center will host NestCon, a conference for people who are interested in learning how to create inclusive school environments for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

The conference is a unique opportunity for teachers and administrators, clinicians and therapists, parents and family members, and autism self-advocates to connect with experts in the field and learn about the latest research and innovation in working with children with autism.

ASD Students

Highlights of the conference include a Friday morning keynote address, “Developing Effective Self-Advocacy Strategies for Autistic Individuals,” by Dr. Stephen Shore. 

An autistic self-advocate, Shore was diagnosed at four-years-old with “atypical development and strong autistic tendencies," and deemed too sick for outpatient treatment. Despite the medical community’s recommendation, Shore was not institutionalized, and today is a full-time professor at Adelphi University and an adjunct professor at NYU Steinhardt. 

Dr. Paula Kluth is Saturday morning’s keynote speaker. 

Kluth, a consultant, teacher, author, autism advocate will present, Behavior Problems: Supporting Students and Addressing Challenges.” The author 30 Days to the Co-taught ClassroomDon’t We Already Do Inclusion?, and You’re Going to Love This Kid!, Kluth is also the director of a documentary film titled, We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism. 

During the three-day conference, speakers and panelists will explore a range of topics including empowering and supporting autistic girls, turning classrooms into therapeutic environments, and sensory issues and self-regulation in the classroom.

The ASD Nest Support Project was created in 2004 by Dorothy Siegel, a former senior researcher at NYU Steinhardt. Siegel was inspired to start the program while reading Thinking in Pictures, Temple Gradin’s memoir about autism. 

ASD Nest’s first classroom was in Public School 32 in Brooklyn. 

This school year, the program will expand its reach to more than 50 schools across all 5 boroughs in NYC, supporting the needs of more than 1,500 autistic students.