Join us for Autism 202: A Voice for Severe Autism, a virtual presentation by Jill Escher, President of National Council of Severe Autism, and Amy Lutz, Vice President of National Council of Severe Autism.

The presentation will cover:

  • What is meant by severe autism
  • The dramatically growing prevalence of severe autism, and implications for policy
  • Challenges: therapeutics, appropriate education, adult programs, housing, crisis support
  • The importance of advocacy and standing up for difficult realities

Many millions of people have traits associated with autism. This presentation will focus on important issues and concerns impacting the growing population of children and adults affected by severe forms of autism or related disorders. This population includes those who, by virtue of any combination of cognitive and functional impairments, require continuous or near-continuous, lifelong services, supports, and supervision. Individuals in this category are often nonverbal or have limited use of language, have intellectual impairment, and, in a subset, exhibit challenging behaviors that interfere with safety and well-being.

Due to the reasonable caution surrounding reducing the spread of COVID-19, this month’s Autism 200 lecture will be streamed live through Facebook Live on Seattle Children’s, Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center’s Facebook pages. There will be no in-person attendance. Thanks to everyone for your understanding. Further announcements regarding future Autism 200 lectures will be forthcoming.

If you are unable to watch the stream live, a video of the presentation will be available immediately after the lecture on Seattle Children’s, Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center’s Facebook pages. It will also be available in the future on Seattle Children’s Autism 200 Series YouTube playlist.

Learn more about Seattle Children’s Autism 200 Series Lectures.


Date: Thursday Feb 18, 2021

Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm Pacific Time


Presenter bios:

Jill Escher is an autism research philanthropist (Escher Fund for Autism), real estate investor who provides low-income housing for adults with developmental disabilities, former lawyer, and mother of two children with nonverbal autism. In her role as an advocate, she serves as president of National Council on Severe Autism, and immediate past president of Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area. In her role as a promoter of innovative research she was recently elected to serve on the governing council of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. Escher is a graduate of Stanford University and the UC Berkeley School of Law.  Most importantly she is the mother of two children, a 22 year old man and a 14 year-old girl, with nonverbal forms of autism.

Amy S.F. Lutz is an advocate and writer based in Pennsylvania. Amy’s work has been featured in The Atlantic, Slate and Babble, among others, and she writes about autism at Inspectrum for Psychology Today. Her essay collection We Walk: Life with Severe Autism was published in October 2020, and her first book, Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT, and the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children came out in 2014She is currently pursuing a PhD in History and Sociology of Science at University of Pennsylvania. She is the mother of five children, one of whom has a severe form of autism.