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International conference launches revolutionary South Asia autism network
Date:7/25/2011

work collaboratively to reach common goals."

While the conference dealt with many aspects of autism awareness within the region, a key component of the conference was the announcement and launch of the South Asia Autism Network. The purpose of the network is to identify common challenges each country faces when dealing with autism and to form partnerships to develop solutions to meet the needs of South Asian families and individuals. By bringing together health and education ministries, local networks, and private citizens throughout South Asia, the South Asia Autism Network will allow countries to provide better recognition and treatment for autistic individuals.

Shekhar Saxena, M.D., Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization, welcomed the network's development stating, "Increased attention by policy-makers and health professionals towards developmental disabilities in low and middle income families is a very encouraging sign; the WHO will provide all possible technical assistance and support to achieve the objectives of the Network."

Also discussed during the conference was the Global Autism Public Health (GAPH) initiative, the innovative, international initiative created by Autism Speaks which employs an integrated approach to focus on three goals:

  • Increasing public and professional awareness of autism spectrum disorders (ASD);
  • Increasing research expertise and international collaboration through training of autism researchers, with a focus on epidemiology, screening and early diagnosis, and treatment; and
  • Enhancing service delivery by providing training and expertise to service providers in early diagnosis and intervention.

At the conclusion of the conference, Autism Speaks convened the first Advisory Board meeting of GAPH Bangladesh. Autism Speaks Vice President of Scientific Affairs Andy Shih, Ph.D. stated, "GAPH Bangladesh made s
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Contact: Matthew Van Wagenen
matthewv@brownlloydjames.com
01-121-248-67070
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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