10th Annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event At Washtenaw Community College - Morris Lawrence Building

This event was held on January 19, 2012 at Washtenaw Community College - Morris Lawrence Building

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Focusing on the 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads book selection "Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Mind Of An Autistic Savant" by Daniel Tammet, this extraordinary evening will feature nationally-known Autism Consultant Dr. Julie Donnelly and (via Skype) Dr. Darold Treffert, one of the world's leading experts on Autistic Savant Syndrome.

Dr. Darold Treffert will discuss Extraordinary Savant Syndrome highlighting recent developments in research on this remarkable condition. He will also discuss and show videos from his interactions with Daniel Tammet (the author of "Born On A Blue Day") and Kim Peek (the original Rain Man).

Dr. Treffert wrote the forward for the original U.K. version of "Born On A Blue Day" and served as the consultant for the Oscar-winning film Rain Main, starring Dustin Hoffman. He has appeared on numerous television and documentary programs including 60 Minutes, Oprah, Today Show, CNN and the Discovery Channel in the U.S. and in foreign documentaries in Japan, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Korea and many other countries. He met his first savant in 1962 after developing the child-adolescent unit at Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and has been engaged in research on savant syndrome since that time. He was a technical consultant to the movie Rain Man which made 'autistic savant' household words.

Dr. Julie A. Donnelly will focus on A Mother's Story: The Account Of Jean-Paul Bovee, her child who was born with classic autism in a time when the advice of medical professionals was to put the child in an institution. Julie was told that autism was "incurable by definition" and that his disability was her fault. Despite these opinions, she worked with her son in her home and, with the help of his step-father and three siblings, he progressed and attended school. His school years were difficult, but he continued to improve. People were surprised when he graduated from high school, but he went on to finish college with two master's degrees. He later married and currently has a two-year-old son to whom he is a devoted father.

Julie, his mother, became a teacher of children with autism, then an autism consultant. She is is currently Associate Director of the Missouri state autism agency for the Dept. of Education. She has helped to initiate an online Master's Degree in Autism Program for the University of Missouri-Columbia and teaches the autism classes in this program. Julie has taught and consulted in the public schools for over 30 years and publishes and presents nationally and internationally.

Doors will open at 6 pm to offer the opportunity to connect with community agencies and representatives who will be staffing information tables in the lobby. Many of these organizations will center on autism and local related services. There will also be time following the event to interact with these local organizations. Copies of the book will also be for sale

This is a key event for the 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program, which this year focuses on the theme of "Language: How We Communicate."

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