Theme of 2021 Summit:
Your Neurodiversity Identity for You and Your Community

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. We are holding our second virtual Stanford Neurodiversity Summit from November 7 to 9, 2021. The theme of this year's summit is "Your Neurodiversity Identity for You and Your Community". This virtual summit is a unique conference bringing together neurodiverse / neurodivergent individuals, employers, service agencies, educators and students, parents, and professionals from all areas of the field. 

We are planning the conference with Universal Design in mind, to maximize accessibility and inclusion; we want neurodiverse individuals to participate. Please see Summit at a Glance below to start learning about the summit. You are also invited to explore Accessibility Guidelines to learn about how our group increases accessibility of the conference.

To ensure that you can enjoy the scheduled activities in the summit, I encourage you to register today. Registration is free and open until the tickets are sold out. All sessions will be recorded and made available to the public approximately a month after the conference. We look forward to seeing you at the summit in November.

Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD

The Stanford Neurodiversity Summit: What We Stand For

The Stanford Neurodiversity Summit is a forum for exchange of ideas about neurodiversity among all people.  It is a venue where we listen to each other, especially when our views are not the same. This active listening is not just about respect, but an act to grow together as a community.

At this forum, we will share visions, innovations, and inspirations about how neurodiversity can make our society better. Here is where neurodiverse/neurodivergent people, their family members and friends, educators, clinicians, researchers, and all other stakeholders and professionals learn from each other. Neurodiverse individuals will share their unique life and professional journeys, and some will share their significant contributions to the community. Other professionals and stakeholders will illustrate how their work enhances the lives of neurodiverse individuals.

The Stanford Neurodiversity Summit encourages respectful inquiry and invites attendees to submit questions to speakers before and during the summit. We have set up interactive sessions between speakers and attendees and will collect views of the community about what research and community-based services should be prioritized and how they can be designed better. With your contributions, our collective efforts will build a sanctuary for all who promote and safeguard neurodiversity.

Program at a Glance (All in Pacific Time)

November 5, 2021 (FRIDAY), - Pre-Summit Listening Session

12-1pm PST;

Why: To share perspectives regarding the future planning, priorities, and foci of Stanford Neurodiversity Summits.

Who: All members of our neurodiverse community, with a particular emphasis on those who self-identify as neurodiverse, neurodivergent, or as being on the autism spectrum.

Please join Dr. Lawrence Fung and members of the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit Steering Committee for a listening session on Friday November 5th from noon-1pm Pacific Standard Time. This year’s Neurodiversity Summit is themed “Your Neurodiversity Identity for You and Your Community.” In keeping with those themes, and our group’s long term commitment to centering the perspectives of neurodiverse / neurodivergent individuals in all that we do, we wish to offer this as an open forum to hear from members of our communities about what they would like to see from these summits moving forward. We treasure the open and free exchange of ideas, and we know that truly embracing neurodiversity in our work means engaging with differing, and sometimes difficult, perspectives. We look forward to incorporating practical and actionable ideas and suggestions from these sessions into our Neurodiversity Summit model, and to thinking together about how these events can best serve the needs of all members of our neurodiverse community.

NOVEMBER 7, 2021 (SUNDAY) - Program Details and Speaker Information.

8:40 - 8:50 AM: Opening Remarks.  Laura Roberts, MD, MA, Chair, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Stanford University

8:50 - 9:00 AM: Introduction to Stanford Neurodiversity Summit 2021.  Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Stanford University

9:00 - 9:45 AM: Introduction to the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Stanford University

9:45 - 10:30 AM:  Keynote Presentation - "Developing Different Kinds of Minds."  Speaker: Temple Grandin, PhD,* Colorado State University 

10:30 - 11:15 AM: Keynote Presentation - "Autistic and Proud: How My Autistic Body Mind Makes a Better Legislator." Speaker: Rep. Jessica Benham,* State of Pennsylvania (36th District) 

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM:  Neurodiversity Career Panel (High Technology). Panelists: Shawanna Rouse*, Meta; Jim Hogan,* Google

12:15 – 12:30 PM:  Inspiration Corner.  Speaker: David Egan

12:30 - 1:00 PM:  Lunch Break

1:00 - 2:00 PM: Neurodiversity Career Panel (Occupational Therapy). Panelists: Bill Wong, OTD,* Stanbridge University;  An Nguyen, OTD,* Cedar Sinai Medical Center / George Washington University;  Zipporah Brown, OTR/L, OTD, Brownz Wellness Collective; Romina Lynn Reyes,* West Coast University

2:00 - 3:00 PM:  Employer Panel 1. Panelists: Lorne Needle, Google; Diane Delaney, IBM; Stephen DeStefani, Wells Fargo

3:00 - 4:00 PM:  Mental Health Panel 1 - “Neurodiversity and Gender identity.” Panelists: Finn Gratton*, Lilly Schultz*

4:00 - 4:30 PM:  Break

4:30 – 5:30 PM:  College Panel 1 - “Listening to the voices of people with lived experience”. Panelists: Patrick Dwyer,* UC Davis; Esperanza Padilla,* UC Berkeley; Alexander Michael Vasquez,* Sonoma State University; April Ball, Stanford University

5:30 – 6:30 PM:  K-12 Panel 1 – “Neurodivergent Student Panel.” Panelists: Ryan Neale*, Cameron Aaron,* Cynthia Wen,* Martika Theis*

6:30 – 7:30 PM:  Entrepreneurship panel. Panelists: Geoff Weber, Heirloom Cloud; Vikram Rangraj,* Rize Education; Betsy Furler,* For All Abilities.

7:30 – 8:30 PM:  Neurodiversity Career Panel (Cybersecurity: Genius Armoury). Panelists: Raza Nowrozy, Paul Watters, Victoria Pike, Adam Easterbrook, Tom Finnigan, Ibrahim Hakeem, Andrew Eddy

NOVEMBER 8, 2021 (MONDAY) - Program Details and Speaker Information

8:30 - 8:40 AM:  Opening Remarks.  Lloyd Minor, MD, Dean, School of Medicine, Stanford University

8:40 - 9:00 AM: Neurodiversity at Work Program at Stanford.  Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Stanford University

9:00 - 9:45 AM: Keynote Presentation: "Stories of Belonging." Speaker: Rhonda Moore, PhD,* National Institutes of Health 

9:45 - 10:30 AM:  Keynote Presentation - “The Forest and the Trees: Autism and Variable Memory.” Speaker: Anand Prahlad, PhD,* University of Missouri

10:30 - 11:15 AM: Keynote Presentation - “Students as Change Partners: Student Self-determination and Autonomy.” Speaker: Yong Zhao, PhD, University of Kansas 

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM:  Neurodiversity Career Panel (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences). Panelists: Russell Lehmann*, Hannah Ehrenberg*, Ava Rigelhaupt* 

12:15 – 12:30 PM:  Inspiration Corner.  Speaker: Ryan Lowry

12:30 - 1 PM:  Lunch Break

1 - 1:45 PM: "PCORI Mission and Vision on Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Focused on Autism." Kelly Dunham, MPP and Caitlin McCormick, JD, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

1:45 - 2:30 PM: Keynote panel. "Inclusion Intelligence: embrace the challenge of hiring disabled team members and discover a workplace transformation." Speakers: Jeff Moore, PhD,* Anderson University; Randy Lewis, NOGWOG Disability Initiative

2:30 - 3:15 PM:  Employer Panel 2. Panelists: Javier Fernandez-Alcudia, PhD, Stanford University; Rhianna Axon, Charlie Acres Farm

3:15 - 4:15 PM:  “Autism and Suicide:  Identifying Unique Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Crisis Supports for the Autism Community.” Brenna Maddox, PhD, University of North Carolina; Lisa Morgan, Lisa Morgan Consulting LLC

4 - 4:30 PM:  Break

4:30 – 5:30 PM:  College Panel 2. Panelists: Kristein Gillespie Lynch, PhD; Wes Wade*; Nicola Martin, PhD

5:30 – 6:30 PM:  K-12 Panel 2 - “How Strength-Based Pedagogy Engages and Nurtures Neurodiverse Students’ Development: Current Research and a Personal Journey.”.Panelists: Sally Reis, PhD, University of Connecticut;  Sara Renzulli, PhD*, University of Connecticut

6:30 – 8:30 PM:  "Making It Work." Action For Autism. Moderator: Merry Barua, Action For Autism. Panelists: Rakshita Shekhar; Drishaan Grover; Usaid Shaikh, Craftworldwide Division of McCann Worldgroup; Anirban Roy, Nestle India Ltd.; Preeti Siwach, Action For Autism; Ambika Atri, Craftworldwide Division of McCann Worldgroup

NOVEMBER 9, 2021 (TUESDAY) - Program Details and Speaker Information

9:00 - 9:45 AM: Neurodiverse Student Support Program at Stanford.  Christy Matta, Stanford University

9:45 - 11:15 AM:  Identifying as neurodivergent in diverse communities: Experiences, opportunities and challenges. Moderator: Fiona McNicholas, MD, University College Dublin; Panelists: Cliódhna O’Connor, PhD, University College Dublin, Amanda Kirby, PhD, University of South Wales, Juwayriyah Tayyar, University College Dublin, Charlotte Valeur, Institute Of Neurodiversity, Javier Peris, NeurodiverSí project

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM:  Technology Panel. Panelists: Byran Dai, Daivergent; Jamil Karriem, Hiki; Denise Garcia, Floreo

12:15 – 12:45 PM:  Neurodiversity 101 for Practitioners.  Speaker: Scott Gibson

12:45 - 1 PM:  Lunch Break

1 - 2 PM: Neurodiversity Career Panel (Entrepreneurship). Panelists: Joseph Cassidy, Innovation DuPage; Shawn Fry, Potentia

2 - 3 PM:  Employer Panel 3. Eric Cusick, DPR Construction; Wayne McRae, CAI; Chelsea Asaro, Rangam

3 - 4 PM:  Mental Health Panel 3 - “Innovative Community Support Models and Novel Interventions.” Panelists: Helen Rottier, University of Illinois at Chicago; Leslie Harrison, Parent; Michael Duggan, EdD, Autismerica and College of DuPage

4 - 4:30 PM:  Break

4:30 – 5:30 PM:  College Panel 3 - Nancy Forsythe, University of Maryland, College Park; Ricardo Flores, UC Berkeley; Emiliano Ayala, California State University-San Marcos

5:30 – 6:30 PM:  K-12 Panel 3 - "Fostering Identity in K12 Neurodivergent Students: Top Tips from the Field." Panelists: Claire Hughes, PhD,* College of Coastal Georgia; Juniette Kang'a, Parent Coach and Navigator;  Carrie Mitran, PhD,* NCSU and NeurodiverseTalk

6:30 – 7:30 PM:  Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA) and Stanford Neurodiversity Project - Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for High Schoolers (SNP-REACH). Moderators: Isabella He, Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD. Panelists: Christine Ahn, Rayyan Ali, Aditi Balakrishna, Katie Chung, Audrey Edwards, Meghana Gunturi, Tianna Huang, Joshua Kao, Zeynep Karatas, Katelyn Liu, Benjamin Loong, Chloé Lukac, Sophia Marogi, Isha Moorjani, Rahul Mulpuri, Arushi Munjal, Dhruv Patel, Hassan Samiullah, Saesha Sharda, Rishi Upadhyay, Adrian Vahamaki, Alicia Zhi

7:30 – 8:30 PM:  Concluding Session. Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Stanford University

Lloyd Minor, MD, Dean, School of Medicine, Stanford University

Temple Grandin, PhD, Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University

Jessica Benham, 

Pennsylvania State Representative (36th District)

Rhonda Moore, PhD, Proogram Director, Global Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health

Randy Lewis, NOGWOG Disability Initiative

Laura Roberts, MD, MA, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University

Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Director, Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Anand Prahlad, PhD, Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Missouri

Yong Zhao, PhD, Foundation Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas

Jeffrey Moore, PhD, Professor of Mangement, Anderson University

Supporters of the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit 2021

Autism Angels Group



Wells Fargo Bank

Organizing committee members:

  • Lawrence Fung
  • Christy Matta
  • Mark Gavartin
  • Ladan Mohammed
  • Kyle McKinley
  • Max Kasun
  • Marci Schwartz
  • Isabella He
  • Helen Zhu
  • Ayush Agarwal
  • Jessamy Tang
  • Aparna Kommineni 
  • Callie Turk
  • Cathy Farmer
  • Chris Wiebe
  • Cindi Savelli
  • Cole Hasserjian
  • Doug Meeker
  • Greg Yates
  • Jennifer King
  • Katherine Sanders
  • Maureen Dunne
  • Moreniké Giwa Onaiwu
  • Robin Schader
  • Steffany Dignum
  • Yael Valek