Cessnock-based support group Strive For Autism will present a special seminar at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre next month.
Autism - Exploring the Possibilities will be held on Tuesday, September 10, with guest speakers Tim and Judy Sharp and Dr Lee Sturgeon.
Tim Sharp is a young man on the spectrum who is an internationally-recognised artist and animator; he is the creator of colourful superhero, Laser Beak Man.
Tim and his mother Judy travel the world sharing their story and the pathways that led to Tim finding his passion, while raising awareness of autism.
Their talk will provide real-life examples of the difficulties faced by those on the autism spectrum and the importance of using individual strengths, tailored strategies to achieve life goals and exploring the possibilities.
Strive For Autism ambassador, Dr Lee Sturgeon, has specialised in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders for more than 25 years.
Dr Sturgeon's extensive experience in working with people on the spectrum has led him to develop some keen insights into the challenges these individuals may face in navigating and interacting with the world.
His presentation will focus on understanding what autism is and identifying the main issues associated with it. He will also capitalise on the strengths that are often found associated with autism.
Strive for Autism president Maxine Baird said the event will cater to a variety of people, with the guest speakers providing unique personal and professional perspectives into the world of autism.
It is a registered professional development event for teachers, and would also be of interest to GPs, nurses, parents, carers and community members.
Strive won the community event of the year award at Cessnock's Australia Day awards for its 2016 seminar, Autism - Developing The Individual.
That seminar was a sell-out event at the performing arts centre, and Ms Baird hopes the 2019 event will do the same.
Strive is also holding an art competition in the lead-up to the event. Primary school students are invited to create a piece of art that tells a funny joke, with the top three entries to receive Riot Art and Craft gift vouchers for their school or homeschool group.
Entries can be submitted to Baird Real Estate in Cessnock or the Sensory Clinic in Maitland by September 2.
The winning entries will be on display at the seminar, with guest speakers Tim and Judy Sharp to select the winners.
The seminar will run from 6pm to 9pm, and will also feature entertainment by Sophie Kerslake.
Tickets are $25 and can be bought at the CPAC box office, by calling 4993 4266 or online at cessnockperformingartscentre.com.au.
Call Maxine on 0419 913 033 for more information.