Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Autism Presentation Offered

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Fauquier Health will host John A. Toscano, M.S.W., M.B.A., president and CEO of Commonwealth Autism Service. The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. on April 1 in the hospital’s Sycamore room. Mr. Toscano will speak on “The State of the State of Autism.” The event is free, but registration is required; call 540-316-3588. Babysitting will be provided by Mary's Family, a local respite group.

Prior to working for Commonwealth Autism Service, John Toscano spent three years working internationally to improve autism services in Malaysia and in England. He started his experience in autism in 1981 and developed a large residential and day service for adults in New York.

Along with his work in autism, Mr. Toscano also was a full-time faculty member in social work for 18 years at Siena College and the University of New York at Albany. He has traveled extensively, observing and consulting with autism services both in the U.S. and across Europe, and has spoken at numerous local, state, national and international conferences.

His particular areas of interest include: paradigms of care and the rights of people with autism; bridging the gap between agency ethos and practice; program design and implementation; and bio-medical interventions in autism.

Mr. Toscano was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Virginia Olmstead Task Force and the Oversight Advisory Committee (2002-2005) and to the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (2004 – current). He earned his MSW degree from Adelphi University in 1975, and his MBA degree from Sunderland University, England in 2000.

He is also grandfather to a child with autism.

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