Science of Autism

Science of Autism Series

Monthly discussions on the latest scientific developments and research in the field of autism spectrum disorders. All events are held virtually on Zoom on Friday mornings at 9 am and consist of a 45-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers. These events are free but require advanced registration to receive the Zoom meeting link. Most presentations are recorded and then posted here after the event. 

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Science of Autism Discussions

Click on the title of a past event to see the recording and presentation slides.

"With new evidence-based practices being identified every year, practitioners and program leaders must begin to plan for implementation     We review how policies adopted at the federal, state, and local level can help or hinder uptake, using the example of practices to help manage severe aggression in school and community settings."    
Peter Doehring, PhD 

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Adaptive behavior is the independent performance of daily activities that are required for personal and social self-sufficiency. Deficits in adaptive behavior are, by definition, criteria for Intellectual Disability. Yet in ASD, adaptive skills tend to fall below age and cognitive expectations, especially for autistic individuals with intact cognition and language. This gap between cognition and adaptive behavior appears to widen with age and impedes functional independence into adulthood. This presentation will outline profiles of adaptive behavior in ASD and discuss the importance of assessing for and fostering adaptive skills from initial diagnosis throughout the lifespan.  

Celine A. Saulnier, Ph.D. 
Clinical Psychologist 
Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting Services Adjunct Associate Professor 
Emory University School of Medicine 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Define adaptive behavior & differentiate adaptive behavior from cognition or ability 
  2. Describe common profiles of adaptive functioning in ASD 
  3. Identify effective treatment strategies for enhancing adaptive functioning 

After effective treatment development in the 1980s, outcomes for autism have markedly improved. Many challenges, however, still remain in areas like supporting students in college, adults in the workforce, and developing new models of independent living. 

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