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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Autism Navigator

10:00 am to 12:00pm (Eastern Time)

It’s Time to Embrace Profound Autism

Featured Speaker — Alison Singer 
Co-Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation

I will present data supporting the need for a re-bifurcation of the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis to add a new diagnosis of ‘profound autism’ to serve this vulnerable and underserved population better. The change from DSM-IV to DSM-5 lumped people with drastically different needs and functional levels together along one spectrum. There are real-world implications for people with profound autism when high-functioning advocates seek to defund and deprioritize medical research, block access to treatment and clinical care, censor necessary and accurate scientific language, and advocate for policies that cause real harm to those who will not and cannot ever live independently. We can only begin to meet the highly diverse needs of both groups by returning to at least two separate diagnoses.

Learner Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

  1. Recount diagnostic criteria for profound autism.
  2. Explain epidemiological data indicating the size of this population.
  3. Describe how individuals with profound autism have been excluded from research and the effect of DSM-IV on access to services.
  4. Identity issues regarding medical language usage in autism.
  5. Summarize the argument for re-bifurcation of the diagnosis.

12:45 pm to 2:15 pm (Eastern Time)

Causation, Disparity, and Comorbidity in Autism: Clinical and Translational Advances from Longitudinal Research

Featured Speaker — John Constantino, MD
Chief, Behavioral and Mental Health, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Acting Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine

This presentation will describe advances in knowledge from the past decade of longitudinal research in the laboratory of the speaker and his colleagues.  It will begin with an update on understanding of the manner in which genes, brain, and behavior are linked in the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Race-based disparities in the level of tailored support for young ASD-affected children during early childhood development are now believed to have very significant adverse consequences that need to be averted as a matter of systematic national priority. Finally, ways in which psychiatric syndromes can compound the impairment of ASD over the course of development will be discussed, along with the current literature on intervention strategies that are specific to joint conditions, so-called, dual diagnosis.  The talk will conclude with remarks surrounding the landscape for system transformation in child mental health as it relates to autism and related disorders.

Learner Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

  1. Gather necessary information to estimate recurrence risk for autism within a family.
  2. Describe the steps necessary to mitigate excess risk for cognitive impairment among minority children affected by autism.
  3. Implement advances in prevention and/or treatment for joint behavioral and developmental disability in clinical practice.
  4. Explain the factors that perpetuate inequity and non-parity for mental health service to individuals with autism within health systems

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Takeaways from the Day for Healthcare and Educational Settings

Panel Discussion with John Constantino, MD; Kristin Sohl, MD; Patricia Armstrong, MSW; Lerena Fleck, MS

Panel members will discuss the information presented today, each member sharing their unique perspective from a medical or educational setting. Topics covered include advancements in research in genetics and neurological development. The panel will also discuss race-based disparities and their effects on access to intervention and quality of educational opportunities. A question-and-answer period will be offered to encourage participants to ask questions.

Learner Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

  1. Identify two advancements in autism research.
  2. Recount the effects of race-based disparities in autism.
  3. Describe two evidenced-based intervention strategies.
Click Here to Register for June 13

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