The Help Group Presents 2021 Virtual Distinguished Lecturer Series

with Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Ellis Crasnow


The Help Group is pleased to announce that leading autism expert, Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD professor of psychology and psychiatry and director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University will be the keynote speaker in its first 2021 Virtual Distinguished Lecturer Series. Dr. Baron-Cohen will present his newest book, The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention.

Following Dr. Baron-Cohen, Ellis Crasnow, PhD, Director of Online and STEM Education at The Help Group will be presenting, Building on the Strengths of Young People with Autism through STEM Education. This online event will take place on Saturday, February 20th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST.

“It will be my privilege and pleasure to introduce Dr. Baron-Cohen, a leader in our field who has made major contributions to our body of knowledge and Dr. Crasnow, who has been integral in developing our students natural strengths and inspiring their innovative abilities through a STEM-focused curriculum,” expressed Dr. Barbara Firestone, President and CEO of The Help Group. “Our attendees can look forward to a most informative and thought provoking lecture.”

In The Pattern Seekers, Dr. Baron-Cohen posits that understanding autistic people — specifically their unstoppable drive to seek patterns, a characteristic of the condition — is the key to understanding both the ancient origins and the modern flowering of human creativity. He states, if “the hyper-systemizing qualities of autism are supported and nurtured, the unique skills and talents of autistic individuals can shine—to their benefit, and to the benefit of society.” He advocates for the celebration of neurodiversity and the minds of hyper-systemizers. He entreats employers and educators to offer more opportunities for neurodiverse people to express their pattern-seeking strengths in ways that are personally helpful and helpful to society.

As Director of Online and STEM Education at The Help Group, Dr. Ellis Crasnow is fostering the abilities of young people with autism and other social and learning differences who have a passion for STEM disciplines. “Individuals on the autism spectrum often accomplish less because we undervalue their strengths and overemphasize their weaknesses. When you provide a rich academic environment and add opportunities for real-world exploration of ideas in mathematics, robotics, architecture or computer programming, eyes light up, interest blossoms and they soar.” At STEM³ Academy, the first school of its kind in the country, students have the opportunity to hone their strengths so they are poised and ready for the 21st Century workforce.

Registration for this virtual event is now open. All registered attendees will be mailed a copy of Dr. Baron-Cohen’s, The Pattern Seekers. To register, and learn more about this event, click here.