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2024 Call for Personal Stories: PA Autism Training Conference

Submissions Due: Aug. 2, 2024

Share your story at the 2024 PA Autism Training Conference (PATC)! We’re looking for both written and video essays from autistic individuals to showcase at the statewide conference, held virtually November 5-7, 2024.

  • Objective: It is important to feature the experiences and voices of autistic individuals. Respond to one of the below prompts and let your voice be heard! Stories will be displayed virtually during the conference and beyond. If your story is accepted, you will receive a $100 honorarium via check after the conference.
  • Age Requirement: 14 and older.
  • Submissions: Email your story to info@paautism.org with the subject “PATC Personal Stories.” Include your name, mailing address, email, and phone number. You may use a pen name, however, we encourage the use of your real name to inspire others to speak up. A support person is welcome to assist with your submission.
  • Past Examples: Visit MyODP to view examples from last year’s conference. Scroll to the section titled “PATC 2023 Personal Stories.”
  • Please Note: The PATC team reserves the right to make minor edits to submissions. However, you will be able to review and provide final approval. A limited number of stories will be accepted, so apply soon! For any questions, please email info@paautism.org.

Story Options

  • Written Essay: 250 to 1,500 words. You also have the option to have your essay turned into an Animated Video.
  • Video Story: 1 to 5 minute recording.
  • Video Interview: If you would like to be interviewed on camera by a member of the PATC team, email info@paautism.org.

Prompts

Please choose one of the prompts below to share your story:

  • What assumptions do people make about you? Share examples of how these assumptions affected you.
  • What are some of your personal goals? Why are they important to you? How can the people in your life best support you in achieving these goals?
  • How do you define neurodiversity? What are some ways you celebrate your neurodivergent identity? What is something you want people to understand about being neurodivergent?
  • Describe an instance when you felt you had to “mask” or hide your autistic traits. How did it make you feel? Additionally, describe a moment when you felt you could be your authentic self.
  • Write about a recent change in your life. How did you handle it? What strategies helped you cope, and what lessons did you learn from the experience?

Flyer: 2024 PATC Call for Personal Stories