Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to hold free forum on autism April 21

A lecture on autism research will take place at One Magnolia Circle April 21. Pictured: researchers are developing emotion-sensing technology for use in autism social interventions.

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 to 11 a.m. in Room 241 of the One Magnolia Circle building and is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Panelists will discuss recent research findings in the areas of intervention, neuroimaging and genetics. The panelists are:

  • Carissa Cascio, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, who 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, assistant professor of pediatrics and assistant professor of special education, who studies how individual, family and societal characteristics interact to promote healthy development. She also will discuss how families experience the transition to adulthood for young adults with autism.
  • Zachary Warren, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry, who directs the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’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, the 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, who 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 and address behavioral treatment effects on young children with autism.

Autism is a spectrum of developmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction and patterns of repetitive, restricted and stereotyped behaviors.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of children with autism has increased, with new data suggesting one in 88 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Register for the April 21 community forum online.

Contact: (615) 322-8240