On the first day of Autism 2006, the Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the main event was a presentation by Tony Attwood. As the audience trickled into the 1,330-seat John Bassett Theatre, the image on the giant screen at stage centre was a tranquil expanse of ocean. A man in a suit crossed the stage to organize something on the lectern. Three women in front of me began murmuring. It was Attwood. Another woman went up to the stage and called to him. Smiling, he moved forward to greet her and then folded himself down to the stage floor, his head resting in one upturned palm as they chatted. The murmur intensified, coming from all directions. “He’s even lying down for her,” a woman whispered. Another took out her digital camera. “We’ve got to get our picture with him.” If Asperger’s syndrome has a patron saint, it is Tony Attwood. Born and educated in England, he now heads the Macgregor Specialist Centre in Brisbane, Australia; is an adjunct associate professor at Griffith University in Queensland; and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on AS. To many, Attwood literally wrote the book: The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome encompasses twenty-five-plus years of clinical experience and research. Having worked with more than 2,000 people (of all ages) with AS, he is a mentor to a generation of occupational therapists and a guru for parents. Continue Article

Source: The Walrus Magazine | Thanks to Valerie Morrow