​​If you can't be a part of the conference, you can still show your support

by joining us for the new release of the PBS Documentary, 

My Voice: One Man's Journey thru the Silence of Autism

on Saturday, April 22, at 2:00 PM at Optimal Rhythms, Inc.

(8122 Robin Hill Rd, Newburgh, IN 47630).  

It promises to be a powerful way to celebrate World Autism Acceptance Month. Tickets for the screening are available for a suggested donation ($5).  

Call 812-490-9401 to RSVP.

You are invited to the 2017 Rethinking Autism Conference! Join us April 20-21, at the St. Mary's Medical Center Manor Auditorium  in Evansville, IN.

Hear from individuals on the spectrum about how their lives have been changed when those around them learned to rethink autism.

Conference hosted by:


Day I
8:00 AM    Registration / Exhibitor Area Open
8:30 AM    Welcome / Announcements / Introductions
9:00 AM    Keynote Session by Matt Hayes, Self-Advocate
                       Look at me NOW – My Journey Toward Independence
11:00 AM  “Parent Talk” by René Hayes and Film Trailer
11:30 AM  Exhibitor Fair / Lunch (Included)
12:30 PM   Rhythm-Based Sensory & Tactile Support Training
1:00 PM     Afternoon Session by Tracy Thresher, Self-Advocate
                       (with Casey DePriest, Founder of Optimal Rhythms, Inc.)
                       The Missing Piece: Understand my Movement Differences
3:00 PM    Break / Snack
3:15 PM    Education Panel Discussion
                       (Self-advocates share their education stories)
4:15 PM    Q / A and Announcements
4:30 PM    End of Day 1

Day II
8:00 AM    Registration / Exhibitor Area Open
8:30 AM    Welcome / Announcements / Introductions
9:00 AM    Keynote Session by Christine King, COTA/L
                        Dyspraxia – What if my body doesn’t listen to my brain?
10:00 AM  Rethinking Autism in Clinical Work and the Classroom - Panel
11:00 AM  Exhibitor Area Open / Lunch (Included)
11:30 AM  Film Screening Premier
                        My Voice: One Man’s Journey to Overcome the Silence of Autism
Watch the inspiring true story of Matt Hayes, as he navigates life and finds his place in the world as a defender of human rights for non-communicative autistic people. This young autistic man fights to help others, like him, who were born without the ability to communicate.
12:30 PM  Roundtable Discussion about the Film
1:30 PM    Break / Exhibitor Area Open
2:00 PM    Sensory Motor Training – A Hands-On Experience
4:15 PM    Wrap-Up / Conference Evaluations
4:30 PM    Conference Ends

Explore important laws, autism research, and treatment  models that are informing clinical and educational practices around the country. 


Your registration fee includes:

  • Two days of conference programming with internationally recognized speakers

  • Continuing Education Credits (Professional Registration Only)

  • Door Prize Drawings

  • Free Parking and Hotel Shuttle

  • Vendors/Exhibitors

  • Lunch and Snack on each day

  • World Premiere screening of My Voice: One Man's Journey thru the Silence of Autism

  • Group Discount Code for Conference Hotel offering a $89/night hotel rate (Includes free hot breakfast)

There are a limited number of need-based scholarships that will be awarded to students and family members (one per family limit) for those who are interested in attending but cannot afford the fee. Scholarships are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please contact Optimal Rhythms, Inc. via email (admin@optimalrhythms.org) for information.

The Rethinking Autism Conference is designed to bring together hundreds of voices as a passionate network to inspire hope and ignite change.

Come explore compelling research that challenges our original understanding of autism spectrum disorder and uncovers the evidence behind  innovative and neurologically-based sensory supports and accommodations that are increasing functioning  through improved regulation, reliable communication, and lasting behavioral outcomes for individuals on the spectrum.

Conference participants will engage in multi-modal learning experiences related to the hidden motor struggles of  complex communication challenges for many individuals with autism. Attendees will explore strategies that are proving to successfully promote improved sensorimotor regulation, reliable communication, educational access and independence for individuals once believed to have intellectual disabilities.

Hear from Matthew Hayes, Autistic Self-Advocate and the inspiration behind the new PBS Documentary, My Voice; Tracy Thresher, Autistic Self-Advocate and star of the film, Wretches & Jabberers; Casey DePriest, Neurologic Music Therapist and Founder of Optimal Rhythms / ACCESS Academy; Christine King, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Coordinator at Project CHILLD in Massachusetts; and others.  

Why Attend?

​​If you are unable to attend the conference or the movie screening, but you believe services are needed for those affected by autism, you can still support the work of 
Optimal Rhythms, Inc. / ACCESS Academy, by making your tax deductible gift 

in celebration of Autism ACCEPTANCE Month.  

Hear from self-advocates, clinicians, educators, and special education law experts who are rethinking limits placed on  the lives and educational opportunities of individuals on the spectrum.

APRIL 20-21

Evansville, Indiana

​​     Supporting Access 

     to Opportunity


     Sensory-Motor and      

     Communication Support


Join Us


ReThinking Autism