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Upcoming Packard/Stanford Autism Symposium a Catalyst for Collaboration among Researchers and Community
Date:1/22/2009

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- For parents of children with autism, ordinary questions become bewilderingly hard to answer: What will it take for my child to thrive at school? Will he get better at interacting with others? How can I help her mature toward a satisfying adult life?

Parents, clinicians and educators of children with autism have a prime opportunity to ask such questions Saturday, Feb. 7, when Lucile Packard Children's Hospital hosts its second annual Autism Spectrum Disorders Update. The one-day symposium, co-sponsored by Stanford University School of Medicine, gives families a chance to meet top autism researchers and hear the latest findings on the neuroscience and treatment of autism. In response to feedback from last year's sold-out event, several presentations will focus on integrating people with autism into the world beyond their families.

"We want to be responsive to the concerns of parents and educators," said Carl Feinstein, MD, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Packard Children's. "And we feel it's important to keep people up-to-date on the evidence base for treatment." Feinstein, who also directs the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford, said this year's program includes a new "Ask the Experts" hour for participants to pose their queries to panels of scientists. "This whole day is a catalyst for members of the autism community to interact with researchers and raise questions of their own," he said.

Symposium presentations, led by top psychologists, psychiatrists, educators, neurologists, and neuroscientists, will cover topics such as the neurology of autism; behavioral treatments for autism; and techniques for integrating high-functioning children with autism into general-education classrooms. "In addition to the evidence-based treatments available, each child with an autism-spectrum diagnosis needs an indiv
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SOURCE Lucille Packard Children's Hospital
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