Autism Speaks Family and Professional Conference

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 View Comments

Posted by Daniel Coury, M.D., medical director of the Autism Treatment Network and a developmental-behavioral pediatrician with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.

Parenting a child with autism can be difficult and frustrating. There are so many things to do. Schedule appointments with therapists, keep those appointments, participate in ongoing therapy at home and so on. Should we use medicine?  Do we need a special diet?  Families have a lot to figure out. Often, they don’t know where to get reliable recommendations.

It can all be overwhelming at times.

Autism Speaks and the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) are offering families and physicians the unique opportunity to learn together how to best treat children with autism. We call this “Family Centered Care,” where families work in collaboration with the team of professionals that you and your child may see.

We’re hosting a national conference on Aug. 3 and 4, in Columbus, Ohio. It will focus on these care issues. We will talk about sleep and GI issues, challenging behaviors and the latest research on the immune system and other biological research. We will discuss how these issues affect care options. We will talk about how to organize and coordinate care for children and manage care through the teenage years.

We chose speakers for their experience in treating and conducting research on these aspects of autism. Judy Van de Water, Ph.D., has conducted important studies of the immune system in individuals with autism. She has identified associated abnormalities and is working to understand what causes them and how they might be treated. Tim Buie, M.D., is a gastroenterologist. He will speak on GI issues and how problems with the GI tract can first appear as behavioral problems. Other speakers will address the importance of the gut environment in children and adults with autism and how this can affect treatment.

We will also have presenters discussing what we know about autism and metabolic abnormalities and sleep disorders – and how these issues can be best managed. We will review behavioral interventions and planning for adolescence and adulthood in detail.

Importantly, our presenters will be available to answer your questions outside of their presentation sessions. While you’re at the conference, you will have the opportunity to visit with key presenters on every topic and ask experts about topics of interest to you. In addition, you will have access to a wide variety of resources and tool kits.

Autism Speaks has partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to provide this conference. Its goal is to help families and the professionals who serve them, in order to improve the care that individuals with autism spectrum disorders receive.

So come to Ohio in August and be a part of this amazing opportunity to learn from families and professionals engaged in best practices in the care and treatment of children with autism.

Editor’s note: Follow the hyperlink to learn more about attending Autism Speaks National Conference for Families and Professionals. Also see this related blog post by Amy Hess, the ATN site coordinator for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.