THIS IS THE WEDDING OF THE YEAR. Yet, for those of you still needing a push, I offer three reasons why you should attend this very special all-autism wedding.

Reason #1: Witness a love story of hope.

Not only will guests witness the love these two individuals share, but Anita & Abraham’s story is also one of hope.  I once heard someone with autism say, “It should be love versus autism” when discussing the conference. I was saddened and deeply affected by this comment.  Mainstream media has delivered the message to individuals on the spectrum that love is somehow not for them.  This teen’s speaks to how these messages have been internalized. It is my hope that this individual and others, who have internalized this message, will attend Anita & Abraham’s wedding. This wedding demonstrates that those with autism not only want love but also deserve to and can find romantic love.

This message of hope is not only for those with autism, but also for parents raising children with autism. For these parents it is often hard to envision what life will be like for your child as he or she grows up. This might be the result of life being so busy that getting through the now is enough to handle.  However, I think the bigger issue is that parents raising young children and teens do not get a chance to interact with a variety of adults who have autism.  For these parents, Anita & Abraham’s wedding would serve as this message of hope.  That wanting your child or teen to grow up and find someone to share his or her life with is not too much to expect.

Reason #2: Be a part of the Love & Autism movement. 

Attending Anita & Abraham’s wedding is not only a time to show the couple support, but also be a part of the Love & Autism movement. Be part of a grassroots effort to change mainstream messages about what it means to be a person with autism.  Quality of life is not only possible, it is necessary and important for our community to see that persons with autism live full lives! As the old saying goes, “Seeing is believing.”  Let’s make a conscious effort to invite new messages and change old beliefs! See for yourself! Join the Love & Autism movement.

Reason #3: Everyone should experience the joy that is a wedding.

Anita once said to Jenny Palmiotto, Love & Autism organizer, “I have never been invited to a wedding before.” Anita assumes that many individuals with autism have also had a similar experience.  It was one of the reasons she chose to have her wedding at the Love & AutismConference.  Not only does she support the conference’s message, but she also wants everyone to be invited to at least one wedding.  Between the live painting by Michael Tolleson, beautiful words by both Stephen Shore and Temple Grandin, and ceremony music by classical harpist, Kat Highet, this historic wedding promises to be a magical night. There will also be dancing, curtsey of by DJ Alex Plank, the creator of Wrong Planet and groomsman to Abraham.

And if the first three reasons were not enough…

Reason #4: There will be CAKE!

Eager to get involved with the Love & Autism movement, a mom and her two sous chefs with autism are practicing their wedding cake skills as part of their own Love & Autism movement. In baking together, this family enjoys quality time together.

Join us as Anita Lesko & Abraham Talmage Neilson recite their vows to become husband and wife! Officiating the wedding is Dr. Stephen Shore, the couple’s long-time friend and global ambassador for autism.  Temple Grandin has created a special video message for the couple to toast their union. While Michael Tolleson, a savant artist will live-paint, creating a painting for the couple.

So remember to Save the Date!  September 26, 2015 at 4:30pm at Love & Autism: A Conference with a Heart. Join us for the wedding event of the year! The public is invited to attend. To register for the wedding and to read more about the conference, speaker line-up and find out about funding sources, be sure to check out our website

Jenny Palmiotto, Psy D

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