Skip to main content
Click to toggle navigation menu.


Els for Autism Foundation hosts conferences annually, fulfilling our mission to transform the lives of people with autism and those who care for them through lifetime services and collaborative partnerships.

2023 Conference

The Autism Innovations and Global Impact Conference: RE-creating RECREATION as a Supplemental Intervention for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder –  March 23 & 24, 2023

Sponsored by Hazel and Marvin R. Shanken

The conference focused on demonstrating how RECREATION can be used as a platform for other therapeutic interventions. Leaders in recreation programs and services, dedicated to improving the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum, were featured.

Tools and best practices for organizations, providers, and practitioners interested in initiating or expanding recreation services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders were provided.

2021 Conference

Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference: Building a Neurodiverse Workforce – March 12 & 13, 2021

Sponsored by Shanken Family Foundation

The virtual conference, Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference: Building a Neurodiverse Workforce, featured renowned leaders from industry, government, and academia who share a vision to transform the labor market for individuals on the autism spectrum. Conference attendees received information and tools on:

  • best practices for businesses interested in hiring employees with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • initiating a neurodiverse workforce program
  • expanding an existing program

2019 Conference

Autism at Work Summit East/Fall Hosted by Els for Autism® – October 10 – 12, 2019

Sponsored by the Olitsky Family Foundation, DXC Technology, EY, JPMorgan Chase & Company, and SAP

Launched in 2016, the Autism at Work Summit supports SAP’s vision to provide for a more neurodiverse workplace. The objective is to continue to create a collaboration platform between private and public sectors, academic/educational institutions, civil societies, and philanthropists. At the 2019 Autism at Work Summit, participants engaged with leaders across multiple sectors who work to actively advance career opportunities for job candidates on the autism spectrum.

2017 Conference

Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference: The State of the Science – April 28 & 29, 2017

Sponsored by Shanken Family Foundation

Participants heard from renowned leaders in the field of autism spectrum disorder including:

Dr. Andy Shih, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Autism Speaks

Dr. Roy Richard Grinker, Professor and Chair Departement of Anthropology, The George Washington University

Dr. Adriana Di Martino, Associate Professor and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Research Director, Autism Spectrum Disorder Research & Clinical Program, The Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Petrus de Vries, Director of the Center for Autism Research in Africa & the Adolescent Health Research Unit at the University of Cape Town & Sue Struengmann Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Honorable Mike Lake, Member of Parliament Edmonton-Wetaskiwin, Canada

Dr. Catherine Lord, Director, Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, New York Presbyterian Hospital; Professor of Psychology Department of Psychology, Weil Cornell Medicine

Dr. Ami Klin, Director, Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Professor & Chief, Division of Autism and Related Disorders Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, Emory University

Dr. Roberto Tuchman, Director of Neurology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital & Miami Children’s Health System; Clinical Professor of Neuroscience, Psychiatry & Behavioral Health FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine