To view pictures from the June 9-10 event, please click here!


Friday’s symposium and dialogue event will be focused on creating shared understanding across stakeholder groups. There will be a series of panel discussions followed by small group discussion and brainstorming. Right now, some of the most marginalized voices and perspectives are still missing from our panels. If you’re a POC or non-speaking/AAC user and you want to share your perspective, please reach out to Miriam ( 

  • (12:30) Check-in
  • (1:00) Welcomes (Miriam Zisook, Matthew Goodwin, Ken Dandurand, Richard O’Bryant, Susan Parish)
  • Meet your team
  • What is Neurodiversity–Justin Robbins
  • Introduce Dania Jekel, panel moderator and panel synthesis activity
  • Panel Discussion 1 on Anxiety and Emotional Regulation.
    • Karen Quigley will share her research about interoceptivity (how people sense changes in internal bodily states) and how they make meaning of those sensations in order to understand and regulate their emotions.
    • Matthew Goodwin will share his work using physiological sensing to understand the underlying reasons for Stereotopy behavior (colloquially known as stimming) He will share why he believes it is so important to understand the adaptive reasons for behavior. He will also share some of his ideas for technology to support emotion regulation.
    • Michael Wilcox will speak about his own experience with anxiety and the relationship between Asperger’s and anxiety.
  • Panel Discussion 2 on Interpersonal Relationships and Communication
    • Justin Robbins will speak about how to focus on adaptation, not assimilation, when engaging in interpersonal relationships
    • Dot Lucci will speak about the relationship between behavior and communication, and how neurotypicals should interpret challenging or aggressive behaviors through a broader lens of communication and how social thinking strengths and challenges influences social behavior.
    • Rick Palumbo Rick will discuss the implications of his work on interpersonal physiology–often referred to as physiological synchrony
  • Panel Discussion 3 on Advocacy and the Transition to Adulthood
    • Kelsey Oates will talk about her experience as a young professional who has Asperger’s. She’ll share her ideas on how to help more people in her community have access to work they can succeed at.
    • Jeff Howe will share his perspective as the parent of a nonverbal and behaviorally challenging son, about how our healthcare, education and financial systems work (and don’t work) for families like his. He will particularly focus on the needs he sees as children age out of the public education system.
    • Joshua Drew will share some of the programs Microsoft has developed for hiring and supporting Neurodiverse employees, and supporting Neurodiverse entrepreneurs.
  • Synthesis activity in teams
  • (5:00) Bye! Goodnight!


Saturday will be a design challenge event where teams of 5-7 people representing all the stakeholder groups will work together to conceptualize and demonstrate ideas for technology and interventions to support relationships and emotional health. On Saturday there will also be a time for demos of emerging technologies that can serve as inspiration and resources. The CHATTER team and a group of team leaders will help facilitate the design process as teams work through the stages of design as a team.


  • 8:30—Breakfast and check-in
  • 9:00—Defining the Mission
  • 10:00—Tech demo + snack (tech demo includes research from groups like the CBS Lab and companies like Empatica, Symtrend, PodiumTeachTown, and more announced soon)
  • 11:30—Brainstorming

Lunch served, eat with your team or take a break


  • 1:15—Picking an idea
  • 1:30—Refining the designs + hacktime
  • 2:30—Preparing to pitch
  • 3:30—Team pitches
  • 4:00—Reviewers deliberate + Celebration begins
  • 4:30—Feedback from reviewers + Celebration continues

Chatter is designed to be accessible to everyone, so please tell us what you need, especially if it isn’t on the list below. Here’s some things you can expect:

  • There will be quiet getaway spaces set up throughout the venue so participants can step out and take a break.
  • We will have a variety of options at every meal and snack to accommodate dietary restrictions and sensitive palettes, and will share our menu here in advance. Snacks will always be available.
  • We will make all design challenge materials available in advance.
  • We will provide a social story about the event here, as well as an opportunity to join the course participants when they visit the venue on May 21 at 5:30 (let Miriam know if you’d like to attend) 
  • The space is ADA compliant for physical accessibility, and we will be happy to respond to any questions and requests.
  • We welcome folks who need to to bring an attendant or caregiver (we’d love if you tell us in advance if they’d like to participate) but aren’t likely to be able to provide skilled assistants.
  • We will set up a buddy system for participants who want someone to help them feel more comfortable, and we will also open with time to get to know your team so folks can have a small group within the larger crowd to connect with from the start.
  • Check out our menu in advance here.
  • Download the full program here.

Apply to participate here