Hundreds of guests will come together on the weekend of Sept. 26-27 to attend the second annual Love & Autism conference at Liberty Station Conference Center in Point Loma. The two day conference will feature world renowned professional speakers in the autism field and role models in the autism community, as well as the first all-autism wedding – uniting Anita Lesko and Abraham Talmage Nielsen in marriage.
“My goal is to start the social movement to break down the misconceptions that people on the spectrum do not want and need relationships. Autism is always there and love is always there, it’s nothing that an individual needs to overcome,” said Dr. Jenny Palmiotto, founder of the Love & Autism conference and CEO of The Family Guidance & Therapy Center of Southern California. “I’m so thrilled to be able to host Anita and Abraham’s wedding at our conference – it’s creating an opportunity for people to humanize autism as they experience firsthand love and autism coming together.”
The first all-autism wedding will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Love & Autism conference –the bride and the groom, as well as the entire wedding party are identified as being on the autism spectrum. Special guests taking part in the wedding are best-selling author Dr. Temple Grandin, who will give a special video message to the bride and groom; global autism ambassador and the wedding officiant, Dr. Stephen Shore; creator of Wrong Planet, wedding DJ and groomsman, Alex Plank; savant artist, Michael Tolleson who will complete a live painting for the backdrop of the wedding and classical harpist, Kat Highet will play the music for the ceremony.
In addition to being a part of the wedding party, Shore, newlyweds Anita and Abraham, and Plank will also speak at the conference. Some other speakers include acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of “The Journal of Best Practices,” David Finch; subjects of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival official selection documentary, “Autism in Love,” Lindsey Nebeker and Dave Hamrick; and founder of the Love & Autism conference, Palmiotto.
“This event is for everyone – individuals that are on the spectrum, those who want to learn how to improve their relationships with loved ones, people with friends on the spectrum, parents of children with autism and more,” said Palmiotto. “I want it to also serve as a chance for everyone to mingle with adults on the spectrum, especially parents of children with autism so they can see that their kids can have love and accomplish things just like our speakers and guests have done.”
The conference will encompass an autism friendly environment and give guest the opportunity to speak to each speaker privately and/or choose to enjoy lunch on either day at the event with select speakers for an additional cost.
Individuals can donate to help raise funds for Anita and Abraham’s wedding at www.crowdrise.com/firstallautismwedding. For more information about the Love & Autism conference or to register for the event, visit www.loveandautism.com.