Award Winning Author Ron Suskind to speak at Autism Conference

09 April 2018

One of America’s most treasured journalists, best-selling author Ron Suskind of Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, tells the story of his youngest son, Owen, who after being diagnosed with autism, found a way to re-engage with the world around him.

Award Winning Author Ron Suskind to speak at Autism Conference


On Monday 14th May we will be hosting a conference on autism. Spectrum - A summit on the past, present and future of autism in Ireland will take place at Croke Park Conference Centre in Dublin and has been organised by a unique partnership between ourselves, Cork Autism Association and Irish Society for Autism.  Working together our three organisations aim to create a day to celebrate how far the movement for the inclusion of people with autism has come, reflect on current success and barriers to development and look to the future with optimism and determination.

The conference aims to attract decision makers, public representatives, commissioners, regulators, campaigners, human rights activists, service delivery organisations, health and social care professionals and people with autism and their families and carers. This will be an autism friendly event with sensory/quiet room, visual note taker, no background distractions and relaxed, conversational tone. 


9.30: Registration and breakfast

10.00: Opening remarks

Professor Peter McBride, Inspire

10.15: Opening Remarks Finian McGrath TD Minister of State

10.30:  Game changers - the social history of autism in Ireland

Ken Kerr, Senior Psychologist, HSE Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan

Professor Owen Barr, Professor of Nursing and Intellectual Disabilities, Ulster University

Mary Walsh, Board Member and Parental representative, CAA

11.15:  Table conversation and Question and Answer Session.

11.30:   Autism Now: Panel discussion on the key issues facing autism services in Ireland today.

Marcella McBride, HSE

Dr Mary-Ann O'Donovan, Trinity College Dublin

Ms Niamh Biddulph, graduating student at Trinity College Dublin

Cormac Coyle, Director of Services, Inspire

Dr Damien Hughes , Consultant in learning disability, Muckamore Abbey Hospital, Belfast

12.30: LUNCH

1.30: Big ideas for the future of autism

Hosted by Brian Healy, CAA

Four people will take 10 minutes each to share their ideas for the future

No one left behind: Building an inclusive movement for inclusion, Ursula Galvin (CAA)

Dr. Geraldine Leader, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, NUIG and Director of Research, Doctrid Research Institute

Women and Autism - Deirdre Lynch

My hopes for the future:  Joanne Weller, Trinity College Dublin Student


2.30: Refreshment Break

3.00: Keynote address: Life, Animated: A Tale of Autism & Hidden Potential

Ron Suskind.

3.45: Question and Answer session with Ron

4.25: Closing Remarks,

Peter McBride Inspire.

4.30: Close.


The Early Bird special for our Autism Conference has closed,  but you still have time to register.  You can book your place by emailing and receive an invoice or directly on our Eventbrite page.  Your conference fee includes:

  • Free Parking

  • Free WIFI

  • Complimentary refreshments throughout the day

  • Complimentary breakfast and lunch

  • Complimentary meeting spaces available throughout the day


We also have a limited number of free places for those attending with autism and/or carers. You can contact Sandra Butterly at or by calling Sandra on 00353 42 9385736 to find out more about these places.  

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