Autism Conference at Fairfield University


Hear Dr. Michael Weiss on WNPR, May 29, speak about "The Science on Autism"

"Translating Autism Spectrum Disorders: Bench to Bedside and Beyond" is the focus of a conference on Monday, June 2, sponsored by AIND/Giant Steps, a private school for children diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities, Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services and Fairfield University. The conference will take place in the Quick Center for the Arts and begins at 7:00 a.m.

Due to the complex nature of Autism Spectrum Disorders and related developmental brain disorders, bench researchers face the challenge of translating their findings far beyond the bedside to a wide community of caregivers. This conference is intended to provide a forum for dialogue between research and treatment and should be of special interest to doctors, nurses, researchers, educators, therapists, advocates, families, and students who are eager to learn from each other. Continuing education credits, including Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available.

Among the presenters at the conference are:

David G. Amaral, Ph.D., the M.I.N.D. Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) University of California, Davis. Dr. Amaral's topic is the "Neurobiological and Neuroimmune approaches to understanding Autism."

Margaret L. Bauman, M.D., director of The Autism Research Foundation and the Autism Research Consortium, Boston, Mass., and associate pediatrician and assistant neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, who is director of LADDERS (Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Service) which is a satellite multidisciplinary clinic of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, a branch of which is located at Giant Steps Connecticut in Southport, Conn. Dr. Bauman will present the basic science regarding Autism that scientists, parents and clinicians all need to know to communicate. Dr. Bauman's research interests include the study of the microscope brain structure in Autism, Rett syndrome and other disorders of neurological development.

Timothy Buie, M.D. is pediatric gastroenterologist at MassGeneral Hospital in Boston. He has a special interest in children with developmental disabilities throughout his career and has published works including GI issues in Down's syndrome and Autism. Dr. Buie helped to found the Autism Treatment Network, a multi-center collaboration of several medical centers, formed to pursue medical dysfunction in children with autism. He will present on GI issues and the biomedical treatments for children with Autism such as diet and supplements.

Marie Duggan who, along with Dr Howard Shane, was instrumental in the creation of the first "highly innovative technological program for adolescents with Autism" within the City of Boston. Ms. Duggan is also a parent of a child with Autism.

Pat Levitt, Ph.D., Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Levitt's clinical genetics and basic research studies focus on understanding the basis of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and how genes and the environment together influence typical and atypical development. His topic is progress and challenges in dealing with the etiologies of the Autisms.

Marvin Natowicz, MD, Ph.D., a medical geneticist and biochemist whose clinical interests include metabolic and genetic aspects of Autism. Dr. Natowicz is the Vice Chairman of the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. He will present on the genetic, metabolic and mitochondrial issues as they relate to Autism.

Howard C. Shane, Ph.D.
, director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Children's Hospital Boston. He has designed more than a dozen computer applications used widely by persons with disabilities. Dr. Shane's topic is teaching hard to learn language concepts through the 'TLC' approach.

Michael J. Weiss, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at Giant Steps School - Connecticut and Adjunct Professor in Psychology, Fairfield University. Dr. Weiss will present on the correlation between communication and movement disorders and hyperlexia.

To register for the conference, please call (203) 259-5067. Registration by May 23 is $100; walk in registration is $125.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 7, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 262