Good Evening from Brisbane!
The first day of APAC 2015 was today and it was great!
I began the morning by getting my conference materials including my name badge, conference program book and conference satchel. Not a bag, mind you, but a satchel! You know you’ve made it when your name is in the conference program.
The women who took my picture in front of the welcome sign ended up talking with me for a good 30 minutes before the opening keynote. She has a teenaged son on the spectrum and we had some great conversation to begin the day. We ended up sitting together during the opening keynote.
That was followed up by probably my favorite session of the day when I got to see Dr. Tony Attwood talk about Aspies and relationships. After his lecture, during the Q&A period, I asked a question about disclosing ASD to your date or new girlfriend when you begin a relationship. His advice was to wait until the relationship has started up a bit and then find a trusted friend or family member to discuss the best possible disclosure time with. He also said the disclosure time depends on the situation and how things are going with the person that I’d be dating. I’ve always struggled with disclosure and dating, so to get advice from one of the best Asperger’s experts in the world was very nice.
When I ran into him later in the afternoon to get a photo together, he referred to me as “relationship question guy” and told me I’d be just fine in the relationship quest. Getting a photo with Tony Attwood was pretty special!
After the Tony Attwood presentation this morning, I ended up having lunch with a conference attendee from Wisconsin, who now lives here in Australia and has a young son on the autism spectrum. It was neat to meet someone from the Midwest here in Brisbane. It just goes to show you how small the world really is.
My lunch and my brief afternoon encounter with Tony Attwood, was followed by a short tea time with Specialisterne Founder/USA CEO Thorkil Sonne. Meeting the founder of the company you work for is an exciting experience and I was honored to meet a man who is doing great things for the world when it comes to employing people on the autism spectrum.
As the day comes to a close and the sun has set on Brisbane, I am looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow at APAC.
Good Night from Brisbane Mates!