2010 Autism Intervention Conference provides a lifeline of hope and help to participants
More than 400 experts and families gathered in Columbia on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10, 2010, for the 5th annual Autism Intervention Conference. For families affected by autism spectrum disorder, this meant a way to come together to learn about evidence-based interventions and to find support through others. Sessions covered current evidence-based research related to the diagnosis and treatment of autism.
|Drs. Amy Weatherby and Janet Farmer
Amy M. Wetherby, Ph.D., director of the First Words Project in the College of Medicine at Florida State University, began Friday’s events with a presentation outlining the latest research on the importance of early detection and intervention of autism in children. Included in her presentation was video footage outlining the difference between typical development and development that might indicate autism.
Said Wetherby of her research, “I feel like those with autism can do more than they’re showing. If we can find kids at a younger age we can help them keep the skills that they would lose without intervention.”
Dan Coury, M.D., Medical Director of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Ohio State University opened the second day of sessions at the conference by speaking about the The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and the new insights it is providing into the medical conditions faced by participating families, and the impact on their overall quality of life.
More than 50 people made the journey from the Holiday Inn Executive Center to tour the Thompson Center facility on Friday evening. Said one participant from Southeast Missouri, “This is the highlight of the conference for some of us.”
KOMU-TV 8 shared stories from the conference in reports at 6 pm and 10 pm on Friday, April 10, 2010, and the Columbia Missourian featured a story on China, a 12-year-old Siberian Husky that attended the conference with Charlotte McKenney, RN, BSN, Assistant Director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction. Research studies on the use of service animals with individuals with autism may identify new approaches to treatment.