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UNC Autism Fathers Virtual Conference

January 23, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The 2021 UNC Autism Fathers Conference is a 3-hour virtual event for fathers who have children with autism spectrum disorder, featuring keynote speaker Joe Mantegna. Joe currently stars in the hit CBS drama Criminal Minds as FBI Special Agent David Rossi and will share his experience as the father of a young adult with ASD.

The conference is an outgrowth of one father’s journey – award-winning broadcaster Dwayne Ballen – and the University’s efforts to expand some of his insights and experiences to a wider audience of fathers with children with ASD. As Ballen eloquently shared in his memoir, Journey with Julian,

“Our family has been on this journey, through the world of autism, for nearly sixteen years. It’s been unpredictable, enlightening, and challenging. The highs have been soaring and the lows almost unbearable. Through it all, what has fortified us are unwavering love and support for Julian, the inspiration we draw from his resilience and strength, and a fierce belief in his gifts and abilities.”

We hope this event will provide an opportunity to acknowledge the unique parenting challenges faced by fathers who have children with autism, provide information and access to resources, and help fathers and their families function better.

Made possible by the UNC Autism Research Center, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, UNC TEACCH Autism Program, UNC School of Social Work, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Department of Allied Health Sciences, UNC Neuroscience Center, and the Autism Society of North Carolina.


January 23, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm




UNC Autism Research Center
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