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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Creating a Future for Adults with Autism Conference

Sep 01, 2015 10:30AM ● By Lee Walker

Jeffrey Smith, keynote speaker at the 2015 Adonis Autism conference

The vision for a community of parents living together within an affordable cohousing environment in order to provide support and caring for each other and their children that live with disabilities is one that Debby Kays and other members of local nonprofit Adonis Autism, Inc., have been investing their time and energy into for more than four years. Kays, secretary and vice president for the group, along with her husband, Terry, draw their inspiration, devotion and ideas for how to turn the vision into reality from their son Walter, who lives with autism.

In continuing the group’s efforts to bring their vision to fruition and to educate parents and children on new possibilities, this year’s conference, A Path to Health and Employment for Young People in Transition to Adulthood, held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. September 12, in Naples, promises fresh perspectives. “We have an impressive lineup of speakers who will not only explore the perspectives on the brain/body connection, but also the role that proper digestion and a gluten-free, organic/non-GMO diet plays in exacerbating or reducing autism symptoms, as well as how there can be autonomy and independence in the future of young adults with developmental disabilities,” says Kays.

Keynote speaker Jeffrey Smith, founder of Institute for Responsible Technology, returns to Naples to address the physiological changes in autistic children and correlate what is likely happening in their body when they consume GMO foods that contain glysophate residue, the active ingredient in the Monsanto pesticide Roundup.

Among the points that Smith will discuss are physiological changes in gut bacteria that result in a permeable gut, mineral deficiencies, disabled metabolic pathways and digestive disorders that have been linked to glysophate residue on GMO crops sprayed with Roundup. “We will explore the connection between glysophate toxicity and autism studied by Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Stephanie focuses her research largely on the relationship between nutrition and health and has developed a computational model for this connection,” notes Smith.

Smith will also offer inspiring stories of dramatic results that he has heard from parents of autistic children that have changed their child’s diet or that of their entire family. Smith, who receives thousands of stories by email, letters and phone calls, has chosen several for his upcoming film, Secret Ingredients. “I’ve listened to remarkable stories of dramatic recoveries, such as one from a family featured in the film. Their doctor informed them that their son would never be able to speak, live alone or be without medication for the remainder of his life. He is now in a mainstream school, earning straight A’s and is no longer diagnosed as autistic,” says Smith, who will show the group a short clip from Secret Ingredients.

Another remarkable presentation that parents will appreciate is that of Boaz Nelson Santiago, co-founder of Picasso Einstein, an organization that assists individuals with disabilities and their families to explore, establish and initiate small business ventures with the main purpose of providing meaningful employment for the disabled person.  “His Person-Ventured Entrepreneurship workshop for increasing independence and engagement in individuals with disabilities is a unique and exciting paradigm-shifting program that can provide a window into an incredible future that parents have never before considered for their developmentally disabled children, no matter their age,” says Kays.
“Our other health-focused speaker is Dr. Shane Walker, DC, owner of Thrive Chiropractic, in Naples. He will speak about autism and the brain/body connection as it relates to behaviors and interrupted brain/body messages. Overall, it’s going to be a truly enlightening evening and our best conference to date,” says Kays.

Location: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 625 111th Ave. N., Naples. For tickets, visit Direct questions to [email protected] and visit

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