UO seminar covers autism trends, research

EUGENE, Ore. -- (April 29, 2013) -- More children than ever are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Is that proof of an epidemic – or a change in how we define and diagnose this developmental disability?

An international expert and a team of specialists from the University of Oregon invite the public to get the facts on autism – and the latest developments – at a seminar and panel.

"The Science of Autism" brings together researchers and others to discuss autism prevalence, best practices in identification and intervention and family-based services. It runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Ford Alumni Center, 1720 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.

Dr. Eric Fombonne, of Oregon Health and Science University, will provide the keynote address: “Is Autism an Epidemic? Update on Rates, Trends, and New Studies.” Fombonne, director of autism research at OHSU’s Institute for Developmental Disabilities and Child Development & Rehabilitation Center, travels the world to raise autism awareness and work with governments on responses.

Autism experts will hold a panel discussion on the latest developments. Panelists include:

  • Philip Washbourne, associate professor of biology, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon
  • Laura Lee McIntyre, associate professor of special education and clinical sciences, University of Oregon
  • Judy Newman, co-director of Early Childhood CARES, College of Education, University of Oregon
  • Wendy Ricketts, parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome and patron of the College of Education.

Tickets are $5 for UOAA members and $15 for nonmembers. The event is free for k-12 teachers and all k-12 and UO students. Register online or by phone at 1-800-245-ALUM (2586). Contact alumni@uoregon.edu.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cooper, UO media relations, 541-346-8875, mattc@uoregon.edu

SOURCE: Laura L. McIntyre, associate psychology professor, 541-346-7452, llmcinty@uoregon.edu

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with satellite uplink capacity, and a radio studio with an ISDN phone line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.