AUTREAT 2003: Transforming Our World 

June 29-July 2, 2003

(4 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Wednesday)

Brantingham, New York


What is Autreat?
Continuing Education Units
A special note about social interactions
Registration fees
Registration form
Transportation to the camp
Child care


What is Autreat?

Autreat is a retreat-style conference run by autistic people, for autistic people and our friends.

Autreat focuses on positive living with autism, NOT on causes, cures, or ways to make us more normal.

How Autreat is different from typical autism conferences

Typical autism conferences are about autistic people, but are primarily for the benefit of researchers, service providers, or families. Autreat is an opportunity for autistic people and those with related developmental differences, our friends, and supporters to come together, discover and explore autistic connections, and develop advocacy skills, all in an autistic-friendly environment. Family members and professionals are welcome to attend, but the structure and content of this event will be determined by the interests and sensibilities of autistic people. 

Things you will not find at Autreat: 

  • Crowded, noisy hotel or conference center 
  • Exhausting, intensive schedule 
  • Inescapable sensory bombardment 
  • Pressure to interact if you don't want to 
  • Focus on "celebrities" 
  • Focus on causes, cures, or ways to make us more normal 

Things you will find at Autreat: 

  • Open, outdoor camp setting with plenty of room to get away and be alone or with friends
  • Smoke-free, perfume-free environment 
  • Opportunity to explore autistic social contacts, if desired 
  • Respect for the choice to be left alone, if preferred 
  • Focus on positive aspects of autism 
  • Child care for autistic and non-autistic children ages 4 and up
  • Three days of continuous immersion in an autistic-friendly environment 

The Facility

Autreat is held at an outdoor retreat center. Lodging is in cabins, which are shared with other attendees. Cabins have lights and electricity. Wheelchair-accessible cabins and bathhouses are available. Recreational opportunities include swimming, ball courts, hiking, campfires, and, for an extra fee, canoeing and a ropes course.

If you are new to Autreat

Autreat is designed to be Ďautistic space.í This is sometimes confusing or uncomfortable for non-autistic people attending. If youíre new to ANI and unfamiliar with Autreat protocol, please carefully review  the information in this brochure and on the ANI web site, and contact ANI if you have questions. If you arenít sure youíre ready for three days of total immersion, you might consider registering for days only and commuting from a local motel.

(Return to top




Autreat features a lineup of workshops on a variety of subjects of interest to the Autistic community, including both advocacy-related topics and practical daily living concerns. Check this web site for workshop information after April 15, 2003.


You may earn a certificate by attending a group of seven workshops chosen to reflect a certain theme. Check our web site after April 15, 2003, to see what  certificates will be offered this year.

You do not need to be in a certificate track--this is purely optional. 
You are free to attend any workshops you want, as many or as few as you want, or not to attend any workshops at all.


Instructors: Susan Golubock and Jim Sinclair.

For teens (minimum age 14) and adults interested in working with or providing care for autistic children. Includes workshop sessions and supervised practice. People in this course will spend part of each day meeting together in special training sessions, and part of each day attending
general Autreat workshops. People signing up for this course are assumed
to already have training and experience in general child care. The Autreat
course will cover special issues in caring for autistic children. If you want to sign up for the Autreat child care course, please senddocumentation of your training and experience in child care.


(Return to top)

Continuing Education Units

Autreat has been approved for Continuing Education Units through the Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University.

(Return to top


A special note about social interactions

For some ANI members, meeting other autistic people and having a chance to socialize with others like ourselves is an exciting and wonderful experience. Others are not interested in social contacts and may come to this event just for the workshops. Some of us are interested in socializing some, but need to be able to take time out from interacting. Autreat is meant to provide opportunity, but not pressure, for social interactions.

If you are coming to meet other autistic people, please understand that some people will also want to meet you, but some will not be into meeting people, and their own choice must also be respected.

If you want to come but do not want to meet or talk to people, you are still welcome to attend. You will be given a color-coded badge which you can use to indicate if you want to be approached only by people you already know, or don't want to be approached at all by anyone.

If you are a parent, a teacher, or other service provider, and are bringing an autistic child or student or client because you hope the person will make social connections with others, please adopt the same position of providing opportunity, but not pressure.

 (Return to top


If you need personal asistance

ANI is not able to provide personal assistance for people who need help caring for themselves or participating in this program.  If you need help with self-care, communication, orientation, or behavior management, please make your own arrangements to have someone with you to assist you.

(Return to top)


Child care and activities for kids

The rate for children and teens includes a supervised activity program for all children under 18. Staff:child ratio is approximately 1:6. If your child needs more support than this, please bring an aide for your child, or contact ANI about hiring extra staff for an additional fee.

(Return to top)



In the past, people have successfully applied for funding from sources such as local autism societies, family support agencies, state commissions on developmental disabilities, Arc chapters, and public schools.

Read A Short Course on Autreat Funding by Jim Sinclair, for more information.

Airplane tickets

Mercy Medical Airlift, www.mercymedical.org, may be able to provide air
transportation for financially needy autistic people and families under
the following provisions:

1) Anybody living within approximately 1000 miles of the conference site -
we can usually arrange their transportation in general aviation aircraft -
at no cost to them.  Folks must be ambulatory outpatients.  Escorts may
travel with the patient.

2) With regard to airlines - ie, folks living more than 1000 miles away -
all we can do at the present time is get highly discounted tickets - not
unlike what folks can buy 30 days in advance on the Internet - but we can
get them up to the last minute: ie, waiving all restrictions.  Wheelchairs
can be accommodated.

To request assistance through this program, call Gene, 888-675-1405, and
tell him you need help traveling to Autreat.

(Return to top


Transportation to the camp

Transportation to the camp from the Syracuse airport, bus and train station, and motels may be available using a rented van, if there are enough people interested.  Cost of the van rental will be shared among  the riders.  If you would like to ride in the van, you should arrange to arrive in Syracuse no later than 1 p.m. on Sunday, and to leave Syracuse no earlier than Wednesday evening. 
Contact (email address)
Or call:  315-476-2462 
Or fax:   315-425-1978

ANIReturn to the ANI home page.
The ANI web site was last modified Monday 24 March 2003. Comments, questions, and suggestions concerning this site should be addressed to the webmaster at ANI. Regrettably, due to the webmaster's heavy workload, personal replies may not always be possible.