March 7, 2020

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Registration is closed as we have reached capacity. There is no waitlist. Thank you!

Lighting the way to hope

Pine Tree Society and Spurwink are pleased to present the 12th annual Southern Maine Autism Conference! The conference, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in South Portland, is designed for parents and family members of children with autism spectrum disorders, as well as their educators and other service providers. In addition to our keynote, we offer a number of breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics. Our attendees will leave with practical tools and strategies that can be implemented immediately in the home, school and community. Maybe more importantly, we work hard to create an environment of networking and support. You will meet others who understand – and hopefully you will stay connected beyond the end of the day.

Keynote Address:

Outside The Comfort Zone | Dr. Kyler Shumway and Dr. Daniel Wendler

Drs. Shumway and Wendler team up to teach, inspire, and entertain those of us who feel stuck in The Comfort Zone – a place where risks aren’t taken, adventures are discouraged, and growth rarely happens. Be inspired by stories of embracing discomfort and soaring to new heights. Learn to challenge yourself, try new things, and expand your horizons. Infinite possibilities for discovery and excitement can be found when you learn to step…Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Kyler Shumway, PsyD – You might assume that Dr. Kyler Shumway, was one “the cool kids.”  After all, he’s an author, former Division 1 athlete, and Doctor of Clinical Psychology.  But in reality, Kyler was a target. Bullied for his weight, his second-hand farm boy clothes, and his social awkwardness, Kyler was made to believe that he did not belong.  As rejection, humiliation, and isolation became “normal” for him, he began to change. Kyler became the bully. After a painful journey of reconciliation and healing, he swore to make things different – because he knows he is not alone.  Today, Kyler is on a mission. He believes that, together, we can bring an end to the problem of bullying and loneliness by breaking the chain of suffering, daring to be different, and creating a world where everyone belongs. Learn more at

Daniel Wendler, PsyD – Dr. Daniel Wendler is a best-selling author, nationally recognized keynote speaker, and proud autistic self-advocate. Daniel taught himself social skills as a way of overcoming the social challenges of his Asperger’s diagnosis, and founded to help others achieve social success, too. He went on to write two books (Improve Your Social Skills and Level Up Your Social Life), speak at TEDx (twice), and complete a doctorate in clinical psychology. Today, he uses his autistic insight and psychological training to help create a world where everyone can find a place to belong. Daniel is based in Austin, Texas, where he works as a therapist at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy. Connect with him and pick up a copy of his books at

Southern Maine Autism Conference

12th Annual Southern Maine Autism Conference

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Questions?  Contact Abby Gordon by email or phone at (207) 386-5963.

We are pleased to continue to offer the conference at no charge to the participants.  There is an option to purchase a Letter of Attendance for a $40 non-refundable fee for anyone who needs one for continuing education purposes (5.25 contact hours). These can be purchased by credit card through online registration, or by cash or check at check-in the day of. Letters of Attendance will be available in the lobby after 3:30 PM the day of the conference. 

Breakout Sessions:

Session 1: 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM

The Loneliness Epidemic: Autism, Friendship, and Adulthood presented by Kyler Shumway, PsyD & Daniel Wendler, PsyD

Demystifying Self-Regulation Strategies presented by Kira Personette, MOT, OTR/L & Jill Watrous, COTA/L, Spurwink

Assistive Technology for Independent Living and Transition presented by John Brandt, MS.Ed and Ryan Gallant, MOT, OTR/L

Time for school! Assessing and Managing School Nonattendance presented by Gretchen L. Jefferson, Ph.D. NCSP BCBA-D

Session 2: 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM

Improv Your Social Skills presented by Daniel Wendler, PsyD & Kyler Shumway, PsyD

Self-regulation Techniques to Reduce the Occurrence of Meltdowns presented by Brigid Rankowski, M.S.

When It Feels Like More Than Autism presented by Shannon Coray

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words presented by Sheri Sastre and Eric Campbell

Session 3: 2:45 PM to 4:00 PM

Literacy & Autism presented by Linda Bonnar, MA, CCC-SLP, ATP

Summer Camp 101 presented by Dawn Willard-Robinson, Pine Tree Camp Director

The Other Side of the Spoon presented by Gretchen L. Jefferson, Ph.D. NCSP BCBA-D

Am I included? Creative Career Paths for Individuals with Disabilities presented by Brigid Rankowski, M.S.

Lunch options:

During the one hour lunch break, participants may choose to bring their own lunch, visit the hotel restaurant where a variety of menu options and grab-and-go options will be available, or visit one of the restaurants located near the hotel.

Exhibitor Opportunities

Exhibitors have reached capacity.

If you have any questions regarding exhibiting, please e-mail Stevie Bonnevie.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Is your company or organization interested in supporting this important event? Learn more here.

If you have any questions regarding sponsorships, please email Emily Silevinac.

Room Reservations at the DoubleTree by Hilton

If you wish to reserve a room at the conference venue, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, call (207) 775-6161. 

Made possible by: