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Why Is This Conference Different?

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer comes from Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D., Autism Speaks vice president for clinical programs (left), and Nancy Jones, Ph.D., Autism Speaks director of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and clinical projects.

Every year, several different autism conferences cover a variety of topic areas of interest to families. What makes Autism Speaks new national conference different?

As organizers of Autism Speaks inaugural National Conference for Families and Professionals, we’re excited to tell you what makes this event a unique and different opportunity for our community.

[Editor’s note: Registration closes today, July 20, for “Treating the Whole Person with Autism: Providing Comprehensive Care for Children and Adolescents with ASD,” August 3-4, in Columbus, Ohio. Click here for a schedule and speaker list and here to register.]

Every day, our families and professionals face a diversity of challenges and practical issues. These include social challenges, school issues and medical and behavioral concerns. There’s also the tricky art of everyday living both within the family and with the family’s professional support team.

This conference is unique in its focus on a “whole person” approach to care. This takes into account much more than a person’s symptoms. It embraces the many communities to which he or she belongs. We’ve embodied this in the conference title, “Treating the Whole Person with Autism.”

Certainly, this conference will provide in-depth information on important topic areas, particularly associated medical conditions, challenging behaviors, psychiatric disorders and transitions to adolescence and adulthood. Our aim, however, is to focus on the integration of care across areas. The emphasis is on how associated health issues affect overall health and wellbeing of our children, youth and families.

In addition, we are focusing on practical information for families. We want to ensure that the information, tools and resources attendees take from this conference prove highly useful in their everyday lives.

Families often ask us, “Research is great, but what are you doing for families today?” We designed this conference to provide this immediate help and support. We understand what families and their professional support teams need right now. This conference is about delivering it!

Today is the last day for registration. We would love more families to attend so please take advantage of our discounted rates today. You can find more detailed information about our great program here.  

Also see this related blog and video message from Dan Coury, M.D., medical director of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.

Got more questions? Please send them to



The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.