In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Autism Speaks co-hosted a seminar with the Autism Society and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reflect on advancements made in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) since the creation of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) a decade ago. The seminar, Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding an Urgent Public Health Concern, was held in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, and the state’s leading autism research and advocacy organizations at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.
Designed as a learning experience for partner organizations, the seminar provided a forum to evaluate the progress made in understanding autism during the past decade and future challenges at the community, state and national levels. In addition to representatives from locally based advocacy groups, speakers included Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr. and Chris Smith, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd, NCBDDD Director Dr. Coleen Boyle, the Autism Society’s Vice President of Public Policy & General Counsel Jeff Sell, and Peter Bell, Autism Speaks’ Executive Vice President of Programs and Services. Bell provided background on Autism Speaks’ ongoing research and the role science has played in shaping our perception of ASDs. Discussions also covered a variety of issues facing individuals with autism, such as public health approaches to ASDs and ways to make a difference in the lives of families affected by this public health crisis.
Click here to view the slideshow presented ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders: Understanding an Urgent Public Health Concern.’