Autism experts to be on hand Friday at UF


Published: Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 12:38 a.m.

Some of the nation's leading autism experts will participate in a panel discussion and answer audience questions at the fifth annual Autism Conference at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute on Friday.

Facts

Autism Conference at University of Florida

  • WHERE: McKnight Brain Institute, first-floor auditorium

  • WHEN: Friday, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • WHAT: Panel discussion on autism at 1 p.m., followed by a talk by Dr. Bryan King, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, on "Autism: Dimensions and Drugs," at 3 p.m. The conference is open to the public.

  • INFORMATION: Call 392-8373.

  • The panel discussion, which begins at 1 p.m., will include clinicians and scientists, including Dr. Bryan King, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School.

    Afterward, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., King will lecture on "Autism: Dimensions and Drugs." King is an acknowledged expert in psychopharmacology as it relates to developmental disorders.

    More common than once thought, autism affects two to five out of every 10,000 children, with signs beginning before age 3.

    Symptoms usually occur in combination and with varying degrees of severity, so one size treatment does not fit all, according to Dr. Jodi Star, an associate professor of psychiatry at the College of Medicine who directs the autism program at UF.

    The UF autism team includes child psychiatrists, behavioral analysts, speech and language pathologists, nurses, health psychologists and pediatricians.

    Joining King and Star for the panel discussion, all from UF, are Dr. H.K. Seung, an assistant professor of communicative disorders; Dr. Maureen Conroy, associate professor of special education; and Dr. Brian Iwata, a psychology professor and director of the Florida Center on Self-Injury. Also taking questions from the audience will be Dr. Gary Geffken, an associate professor of psychiatry and program director for the Children's Mental Health Unit for children with autism spectrum disorders; and Dr. Jennifer Elder, an associate professor in the College of Nursing, who studies father-child communication in homes with autistic children.

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