WEST LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- More than 250 people attending a daylong autism conference sponsored by Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services were brought to tears as renowned British actress Julia Ormond (pictured) presented Eustacia Cutler the 2010 Emmy Award she received for portraying her in the movie about her daughter, Temple Grandin.
Ormond, who participated in the conference to officially present Cutler the Baron Inspiration Award, stated, "I know that as a young woman Eustacia Cutler's dream was to be an actress. She put aside her own dream and sacrificed everything for her children. Knowing Eustacia as I do, I believe she would have been an incredible actress. Instead, she played the most important role a woman can play in life... that of a loving and caring mother and, for that, I want her to have my Emmy."
Hosted by Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services' Julia Ann Singer Center, the conference is designed to benefit parents of children with autism and professionals in the autism field.
In her widely read book -- "A Thorn in My Pocket" -- Eustacia Cutler chronicled the challenges of raising a child with autism in the conservative era of the 1950s. That child was Temple Grandin, who has gone on to become one of the world's leading animal scientists and autism advocates. Ormond won a 2010 Emmy for her portrayal of Cutler in HBO's Temple Grandin.
At the conclusion of the conference lunch period, attendees were treated to a moving performance of two songs -- from their CD "Fly: Into Autism" -- by The Vista Inspire Program Miracle Theater Kids. The performance was followed by an "Ask the Artists" session in which a panel of teens shared their thoughts about living with autism. Panel participants included a nonverbal young man who took part by typing his responses, as well as teen Wyatt Isaacs and moderator Elaine Hall -- both of whom starred in the HMO Emmy-Award-winning documentary -- Autism: The Musical.
Rounding out the afternoon were several break-out sessions, including:
"Top 10 Tips for Creating the Team for Your Child; "Personalized Lifetime Support: Transitioning Teens to Adults;" "Therapeutic Approaches for Families with Kids in the Autism Spectrum;" and "Finding Strength for the Journey -- A Bio/Psycho/Social/Spiritual Panel."
Friday, November 19, 2010
Posted by BA Haller at 6:52 PM