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Autism Speaks National Conference Family Events


Treating the Whole Person with Autism: Providing Comprehensive Care for Children and Adolescents with ASD

Friday, August 3 – Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Hilton Columbus at Easton
Columbus, OH

Family Events

Our conference is proud to offer a family friendly environment for attendees. Exciting off-site activities have been arranged for Friday and Saturday during the day. Complimentary transportation from the host hotel to these activities will be available for attendees who purchase tickets prior to the conference. Additional tickets will be available for purchase at the host hotel and transportation will be provided as space permits.

Center of Science and Industry (Friday)

Ranked the number one science center in the country for families by Parents Magazine, COSI features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout its discovery-based and themed exhibition areas, including Ocean, Space, Gadgets, Life, little kidspace®, Progress and the outdoor Big Science Park. It creatively combines science facts and learning through play, providing experiences for all age levels. COSI also hosts world-class traveling exhibitions throughout the year. At COSI you will find endless opportunities to explore real science and discover real possibilities for yourself and the world around you.

Additional Information can be found at cosi.org.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Saturday) 

Voted the favorite zoo of America by USA Travel Guide, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts more than 2.5 million visitors each year, and has received national recognition for its success in breeding cheetahs and lowland gorillas. Located along the banks of the Scioto River, the zoo is a picturesque setting of naturalistic wildlife habitats – including an endangered manatees exhibit, gardens, picnic areas, recreational facilities and a golf course. The newest exhibit, Polar Frontier, is home to two polar bears, two Alaskan brown bears and Arctic foxes. The zoo also operates the 22.7-acre water park Zoombezi Bay, which features 17 water slides, a wave pool, an action river and lazy river, a kiddie play pool and private cabanas.

Additional information can be found at www.columbuszoo.org.

*valid for ages 2-12 years old
+valid for ages 2-9 or seniors over 60

Children's Room

A dedicated room will be available for children accompanied by their parents to visit during the conference. Please feel free to stop in, take a breather, and rejuvenate your bodies for the rest of your day's activities!

Friday - The Learning Spectrum is hosting a sensory safe room complete with quiet music, dimmed lights, and activities such as iPads, sensory art activities, alternative seating options such as beanbag chairs, and other sensory friendly activities to help kids who might become overstimulated by all of the transitions that come with a busy vacation.

Saturday - Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders will host a break room to provide a calm room full of fun activities for children with ASD. Staff from the CASD will offer a variety of activities targeted to the individual needs of children, from calming activities to provide a break from the stimulation of the conference center, to diversions to provide some fun!

NCH CASD staff will also provide drop-in sibling support activities for siblings of children with ASD on Saturday, in the morning from 9-11a, and in the afternoon, from 1-3 pm. These activities are meant to give siblings an opportunity to share feelings and meet others who have similar joys and concerns. These activities will be organized with a start at each hour, and are best enjoyed with participation for the full hour.

Contact Us:

For questions about the conference, email us at atn@autismspeaks.org.
For information regarding continuing education credit, please contact Cory D’Ambrosio at Cory.DAmbrosio@nationwidechildrens.org.

Click here to go back to the main conference webpage.