Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Free Forum on Autism Research

Updated on 4/13/2012 4:49:32 PM.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Hosts Community Forum on Autism Research

By Jennifer Wetzel

As part of Autism Awareness Month, nationally recognized each April, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Education and Human Development will host a community forum titled, “What’s on the Forefront of Autism Research?”

The event is Saturday, April 21, from 9 - 11 a.m. in room 241 of the VKC, Registration is required.

Autism is a spectrum of developmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction and patterns of repetitive, restricted, and stereotyped behaviors. TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing an increase in the prevalence of children with autism, with new data suggesting one in 88 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Panelists at the community forum will discuss recent research findings in the areas of intervention, neuroimaging, and genetics and include:

Carissa Cascio, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Cascio focuses on the neural basis of sensory processing differences in children and adults with autism and investigates what role sensory disruption plays in the core features of autism such as decreased socialization, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors.

Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; Assistant Professor of Special Education

Taylor studies how individual, family, and societal characteristics interact to promote healthy development and can discuss how families experience the transition to adulthood for young adults with autism.

Zachary Warren, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry; Director, TRIAD; Director, Autism Clinical Services

Warren directs the VKC’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders, which examines the causes and treatment of autism spectrum disorders with current research programs including the diagnosis of autism, identification of genetic and core behavioral features of autism, and early intervention with children at risk for autism. Warren leads the autism evaluation and diagnostic clinics within Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics and Division of Developmental Medicine.

Paul Yoder, Professor of Special Education

Yoder studies communication and language development in children with autism and other disorders. He can discuss parental and community influences on communication and language development with toddlers and preschoolers with developmental disorders.

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