Autism Speaks hosts international autism advocacy conference

On April 27-28, 2021, Autism Speaks hosted autism advocates and stakeholders from 46 countries to discuss their efforts to promote greater autism awareness, acceptance and understanding and improve the lives of families affected by autism throughout the world. 

Participants at the Autism Speaks Advocacy Leadership Network 4th biennial conference included families, professionals and government representatives from autism advocacy organizations worldwide. 

“Given the global upheaval of the past year due to the pandemic, we were grateful for the opportunity to come together with our international partners to share how individual communities have responded to support autistic people,” said Andy Shih, Ph.D., senior vice president of public health and inclusion at Autism Speaks. 

Over the two day conference, participants heard updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF about the Caregiver Skills Training (CST) program, which trains parents and caregivers in communities with few or no autism care resources, and other policy updates around developmental delays and disabilities. 

Presenters also included autistics discussing their priorities and experience in different countries as well as families who have participated in the CST program. Discussions also addressed how the global COVID-19 response and recovery activities affected individuals, families and professionals the autism community. 

Below are select videos of presentations from both days of the conference. You may also view the slides presented on Day 1 and Day 2

Day 1

Welcome and Introductions

Caregiver Skills Training Program Updates

Caregivers Panel Discussion  

Break with Dr. Stephen Shore 

Caregiver Skills Training Telehealth adaptations 

Q&A and Closing Remarks 

Day 2


World Report on Developmental Delay, Disorders and Disabilities  

Self-Advocates Panel Discussion  

Jazz Piano with Matt Savage 

Family Needs Assessment Survey for WHO/UNICEF World Report  

Nigerian Autism Screening Questionnaire Panel Discussion