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National conference on autism April 25

By Staff | Apr 7, 2009

A conference on autism, “Promising Pathways: The Road to Best Practice in Autism,” will be presented for physicians, parents and educators on Saturday, April 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom at Florida Gulf Coast University.
National experts in the research and study of autism and autism spectrum disorders will address a variety of topics such as diagnosis and treatment, current research, communication alternatives, parents of individuals with autism and the community system, addressing behavioral concerns, and more. This is the second annual “Promising Pathways” Conference.
Sponsored by Florida Gulf Coast University, College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences, The Road to Best Practice in Autism conference is free and open to the public. Reservations are required by registering at www.fgcu.edu/events/promisingpathways by April 17, or by calling 239-992-4680. Additional conference sponsors include Physicians Regional Healthcare System, Eden Florida, Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism, WINK-TV, Parent & Child Magazine/The News-Press, Your Health Magazine, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, The School Board of Collier County and Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that is sometimes referred to as an “equal opportunity disorder” as it strikes families of all races, education levels and family incomes. It affects a child’s social growth and behavior, sensory, communication and learning. At this time, autism is not curable, but it is treatable. One in 150 children in the United States is affected by autism (Source: Centers for Disease Control).
“We’re very pleased to once again partner with Florida Gulf Coast University to present such an in-depth look at autism as well as offer a symposium with essential topics. The conference will offer pertinent information for professionals in the medical and educational fields as well as parents and caregivers, and all those affected by and/or interested in the study of autism,” said conference Chairman Armando Galella, executive director of Eden Florida, a non-profit agency that offers lifespan services for children and adults with autism.

Keynote presenters include:

Mohammad Ghaziuddin, MD, MRCPsych, a child psychiatrist on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Ghaziuddin is the author of several scientific articles and book chapters on autism and Asperger syndrome. In addition to directing the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program, he is the Director of Child Psychiatry Training at the University. He is also a member of the editorial board of several leading professional journals.

Dr. Paul Law, the Director of Medical Informatics at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is also an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Law earned his MD from Johns Hopkins University in 1997 and received a MPH degree from the JHU School of Public Health in the year prior. He completed his pediatric residency in 2000 and a health informatics fellowship in 2005 – both at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Law has extensive experience in the design and implementation of health research studies in autism and international health. He joined Kennedy Krieger in 2005 to lead a project to develop the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), a new national autism database and to support other researchers at the Institute through the discipline of health research informatics.

Kiely Law, M.D., M.P.H., Research Director, Interactive Autism Network, Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Kiely Law is responsible for developing and implementing IAN’s research agenda. With a background in medicine and public health, she approaches autism spectrum disorder-related research from both an individual and community perspective. Dr. Law received her medical and public health degrees from Johns Hopkins University and then completed an internship in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Systems in 2002. In addition to her professional experience, she has also been impacted personally by autism. In 1996, her 3-year-old son was diagnosed with the disorder at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. During the past five years, Dr. Law has worked on many autism-related initiatives with her husband, Dr. Paul Law. The Laws live in Baltimore, Maryland, and are the parents of four children.

Additional speakers include:

Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz, associate professor, founder and chair of Behavior Analysis Programs at the Florida Institute of Technology, a department offering graduate degrees in Behavior Analysis in Melbourne and Orlando. Dr. Martinez-Diaz also is the Program Director of Florida Tech’s Applied Behavior Analysis Professional Development Program and is the Chief Executive Officer of ABA Technologies, Inc. In addition, he is on the adjunct faculty at Penn State University’s Distance Learning Center.

Anne S. Holmes, M.S., C.C.C., B.C.B.A., Chief Clinical Officer for the Eden Family of Services, located in Princeton, New Jersey. Ms. Holmes received her Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Douglass College and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence as well as New Jersey licensure, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is also an adjunct faculty member of the College of New Jersey. In addition, Ms. Holmes is on the Autism Society of America’s Panel of Professional Advisors. Ms. Holmes has worked in the field of autism for more than 30 years and is responsible for oversight for monitoring standards of care including staff development and student/participant outcomes by means of a comprehensive quality management system; as well as supervision of outreach diagnostic, evaluative, and consultative services.

Source: FGCU