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Have you got your ticket to our Autism in Women & Girls Forum for Friday 20th October?

Posted on 21 September 2017 under News

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The needs of autistic women and girls is a subject we’ve been hearing more and more about in recent years.

With good reason.

Autism has been growing over the past decade _ Amaze’s most recent polling showed that 52% of Australians have a personal connection with autism.

But 70% didn’t know that the number of autistic females is increasing.

This needs to change.

Understanding and acknowledgement of autistic women and girls _ the specific nature of autism in girls and their unique challenges _ needs more exposure.

It’s why we believe events such as our Autism in Women & Girls Forum are so important for Victoria’s autism community.

Autistic women to share lived experience

You will hear the clinical perspective on diagnosing autism in girls and how it differs to boys and some of the latest thinking about ratios of autism in males and females.

A major feature of the forum will be autistic women sharing their stories, talking about their childhood experiences, socially and at school, and their lives now.

Our speakers will discuss their challenges in getting an autism diagnosis, and their journey to acceptance and pride in their identity as autistic women.

There will be some practical tips about where to go for support and forming networks.

Speakers will also talk about being autistic mothers and offer insights into parenting autistic children.

The Autism in Women & Girls Forum’s key speaker will be Dr Janine Manjiviona (pictured above)

Janine, who specialises in Autism Spectrum Disorder, has a strong interest in the specific nature of autism in women and girls and the unique challenges they face.
Janine’s areas of interest include:
*Differences in how male and female children and adults with ASD present.
*Challenges of ASD diagnosis in girls and women.
*Building strengths in girls and women with ASD.

Jane works therapeutically with individuals (children and adults) and families, offering a range of services, including diagnostic assessments for all ages and treatment for related issues such as anxiety and depression.

She helps parents to cope and adjust to having a child with ASD and to deal with the ongoing challenges in managing their child’s behaviour.

Also speaking at the forum will be Gabrielle Hall.

Gabrielle, a registered nurse and naturopath, has spent many years working in healthcare and will speak at the forum about her life and her autism.

Gabrielle Hall: passionate self-advocate.

Four years ago, when her eldest child was diagnosed as autistic, Gabrielle realised she, too, was autistic.
Not less, but unique
The innate strengths and challenges that were once so confusing, could now be explained as neurodiversity.
Not less, but unique.
Her focus has since been on using her growing understanding and capacity to advocate for her autistic son and daughter’s well-being. Gabrielle also navigates her own life with this new, welcomed identity.
Gabrielle has shifted her commitment to health and wellbeing to her new autistic tribe.
She has a purpose and mission to create acceptance, empowerment and recognition for her diverse and courageous community.
She has a commitment to find daily unexpected blessings from this unexpected life, and shows that a life navigated from a unique perspective can be connected, meaningful and rewarding.
Forum speaker Elise Muller, a network leader and mentor for the I CAN Network, says:
“Autism is not something I suffer from. I suffer from the repercussions of other people’s lack of understanding of Autism and their ignorance.
Breaking down barriers

Elise Muller: mentor for the I CAN Nertwork

“I aspire to break down the barriers between schools and students on the spectrum.
“I’m all about embracing the strengths and difficulties of the Spectrum. Autism is my purpose, it doesn’t make up who I am, it is a part of me that I can decide to be important or not.
“Autism sets me apart from others and that is my strength. I used to feel like autism was my weakness because there were times when everything felt so hard.
But once I learnt to live with it, and make peace with it, it has given me so many opportunities.
“I am using my autism to succeed academically, socially, and also on the sporting field. I am working hard to stay optimistic and am currently winning against my battle with anxiety and depression.
“I am on top of my demons and have found purpose in my past. I now work for the I CAN Network as a Network Leader and mentor in six schools across Victoria.
At the I CAN Network, we accept everyone for who they are, we embrace all differences and create opportunities. I am now the mentor that I needed when I was in school.”
Event: Autism in Women & Girls Forum

Date: 20th October 2017, 9.30am – 3.30pm

Location: Level 9, 171 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000

Eventbrite link