Conference Schedule

The 2020 Autism Symposium to be Postponed
The Autism Symposium Committee greatly appreciates your support of the symposium and regrets to inform you that in the interest of public health and safety, the upcoming Autism Symposium is going to be rescheduled for a later date based on recommendations for increased precautions at this time from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has advised canceling or postponing all events that draw more than 100 people.

Our planning committee is made up of volunteers who are passionate about the symposium’s mission of bringing more awareness to the increasing need of services for neurodiverse students and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and to facilitate conversations on the most pertinent topics regarding these students and their families. Therefore, not seeing the symposium come to fruition at this time saddens us all, and we apologize for any inconvenience rescheduling may cause.

The new date and time for the symposium will be announced in the near future, and we hope you can join us then. Please follow our Autism Symposium Facebook page for updates and watch for emails with further information. We appreciate your support and understanding during this time and look forward to seeing you at the next Autism Symposium.

Warm Regards,

The Autism Symposium Committee

Join Us March 31st – April 1st, 2020

Registration begins at 3:00pm on March 31st

Asheville, North Carolina





Here is an overview of the 2020 Autism Symposium events.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

  • Networking Breakfast
    8:30-9:30 AM
  • Keynote Speaker Session I
    9:30-10:30 AM

    Social Thinking – Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP

  • Break
    10:30-10:45 AM
  • Keynote Speaker Session II
    10:45 AM- 12:00 PM

    Social Thinking – Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP

  • Networking Lunch
    12-1:15 PM
  • Collaborative Workshops I
    1:15-2:15 PM
  • Break With Refreshments
    2:15-2:30 PM
  • Collaborative Workshops II
    2:30-3:30 PM

  • Break
  • Collaborative Workshops III
    3:45-4:45 PM
  • Closing Remarks
    4:45-5 PM
  • Founders’ Dinner
    7:00 PM

    Founding Programs, Consultants, and Platinum Sponsors only

Keynote Speakers

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, a company dedicated to helping individuals from four through adulthood develop their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. Michelle coined the term “Social Thinking” in the mid-1990s and since that time has created numerous unique treatment frameworks and curricula that help educators, clinicians, professionals of all types, and parents/family members appreciate that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life, socially, academically, and professionally.

Michelle maintains a private practice, The Center for Social Thinking, in Santa Clara, California, where she works with clients who continue to teach and inspire her. She travels globally presenting courses on the Social Thinking Methodology, an evidence-based approach she created that she continues to evolve and expand on. Michelle helps to develop educational programs, consults with and trains families and schools, and is a guiding presence with a wide range of professionals, politicians, and businesses on the topic of social emotional competencies. She is a prolific writer and has written and/or co-authored more than 40 books and over 100 articles about the Social Thinking Methodology. 

Michelle receives accolades for her energetic and educational conference presentations, as well as her down-to-earth approach to teaching social competencies. The strength of Michelle’s work is her ability to break down abstract social concepts and teach them in practical, concrete ways to help people improve their social problem solving abilities and social responses.

Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP​

Pamela J. Crooke is the Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Research, Content, Clinical Services, and the Social Thinking Training & Speakers Collaborative.

Dr. Crooke has co-authored, with Michelle Garcia Winner, five award-winning books related to Social Thinking: Socially Curious and Curiously Social, You Are a Social Detective, Social Fortune or Social Fate, Social Town, and their book geared to adults, Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough. She and Winner collaborate on writing articles and blogs that appear on the Social Thinking website and in a wide array of publications.

Prior to joining the Social Thinking team, she coordinated the Autism interdisciplinary clinical services at the Tucson Alliance for Autism, served as a clinical and academic faculty member of three universities, and worked in the Arizona public schools for 15 years. Pam is a prolific speaker both in North America and abroad, giving workshops, presentations, and training staff on Social Thinking methodology. She has co-authored books for young children and teens including the Autism Society of America Literary Book of the Year in 2012. She is on the board and/or is a member of a wide range of organizations related to autism and speech/language and has been the recipient of several foundation and community grants. In 2011, she received the Outstanding Achievement Award with Co-recipient Michelle Garcia Winner from the California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CSHA).

Pamela Crooke, Keynote Speaker at The Autism Symposium

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Space is limited. Register today.