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August 28, 2017

Autism spectrum disorder added to Outside the Box Annual Conference
Special Books by Special Kids CEO Chris Ulmer to give keynote address

Newark DE, August 28, 2017—On Friday, October 6, a unique 2-and-a-half day event will kick off in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Hosted by the Delaware Statewide Programs Association (DSPA), this annual conference provides an opportunity to learn about the important issues and best practices relevant to children who have complex disabilities. New this year, Autism Delaware and the Delaware Network for Excellence in Autism will also be participating. Presenters will relay the national perspective on best and promising practices. Families and school professionals, who provide services to children with disabilities, are invited. To ensure that families can attend as well as professionals, accommodations will include childcare, Spanish translators, nursing services, dietary considerations, and assistive technology.

The first day of the conference is scheduled for professional development for Delaware school districts and will be dedicated to professional training. On Saturday, October 7, families and professionals are both invited to participate in sessions designed to foster partnership and collective experiences. The keynote speaker, Chris Ulmer, is founder and chief executive officer of Special Books by Special Kids, Inc. (SBSK). “I have made it my life’s work,” says Ulmer, “to show how understanding, positivity, and acceptance can make a better world for all. I am thrilled to represent SBSK and to share my experiences.”

Sunday, October 8, is reserved for families only. All attending families will have a say in DSPA activities for the upcoming year. Families are reminded that refunds of the cost to attend an autism conference are available as Autism Delaware stipends. For more information, submit a request to

For more information and tickets to the Outside the Box Annual Conference, visit

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that includes impairment in social interaction and social communication. Individuals with ASD also exhibit repetitive patterns of behavior or interest that limit everyday functioning. An intellectual or language impairment is also possible. All these symptoms will first appear in early childhood.

According to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), any individual with a well-established DSM-4 diagnosis should be given the diagnosis of “autism spectrum disorder.” In the DSM-4, the diagnoses included classic autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD–NOS). ASD is categorized by severity on a scale of one to three.

In the Delaware public school system, 152 students received an educational classification of autism in 1991, but for the 2016–17 school year, 1,899 students had this classification. This number omits the adults or children who are not currently being served by the school’s special-education system.

Autism Delaware is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit made up of individuals with ASD, their family members, the professionals who serve them, and friends of people with ASD. The agency’s mission is to help people and families affected by ASD. With offices in Newark, Dover, and Lewes, Autism Delaware serves the entire state.
Autism Delaware’s programs and services are supported by state contracts and generous donations from individuals and corporations across Delaware. Fundraising events, such as the Blue Jean Ball and the Fall Auction Gala, help provide the income needed to make critical programs a reality. For more information on how to help, visit

Carla Koss, Communications Coordinator
(302) 224-6020
Copyright 2016 New Castle County Chamber of Commerce