Waisman Center Day with Experts: Autism

There will be a webinar tomorrow sponsored by the Waisman Center of the University of Madison Wisconsin. The webinar is entitled: “Waisman Center Day with the Experts: Autism”. Those wishing to see the lectures in real time can do so by going to the following link: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/events-experts-autism15.htm The introduction to the presentations will start at 9:00 AM EST. The webinar will be recorded and the different lectures can be seen at a later date at your convenience.


9:00–9:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction to the Waisman Center
Albee Messing, VMD, PhD, Professor, Neuropathology and Interim Director, Waisman Center

9:30–10:00 a.m.
Parental Verbal Responsiveness Can Facilitate Language and Communication in Young Children on the Autism Spectrum
Susan Ellis Weismer, PhD, Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders and Waisman Center Investigator

This presentation will focus on connections between parent verbal responsiveness and language development in young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Research shows that different types of linguistic input are needed to facilitate language learning depending on the child’s developmental level. Results from two studies demonstrate the effectiveness of parent-implemented programs in aiding language development and communication.

10:00–10:30 a.m.
Motor Ability in Autism
Brittany Travers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Waisman Center Investigator

Motor difficulties are not considered a central feature of autism, yet a number of individuals with autism struggle with balance, completing a motor sequence, or reacting quickly. These motor difficulties have been found to relate to more severe autism symptoms and impaired activities of daily living. Therefore, motor difficulties may be intricately intertwined with social communication and independent living skills in this population. This presentation will discuss common motor difficulties in autism, how motor skills relate to neurobiology in autism, and how motor skills develop and change over the life span.

10:45–11:15 a.m.
Quality of Life of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Leann Smith, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Waisman Center Investigator

Given that more children with ASD than ever before are now entering adulthood, there is growing interest in understanding outcomes for individuals later in the life course. In addition to studying objective measures of adult life such as employment and independent living, it is important to understand the subjective experience of well-being for individuals with ASD from the perspective of adults themselves. This presentation shares findings from a recent study on quality of life for adults with ASD at mid-life and implications for future research and practice.

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. LUNCH
Optional question and answer session with a panel of clinicians.

12:15–1:00 p.m.
PANEL DISCUSSION—A panel of experts that includes individuals with autism and family members.

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