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Calls to Action

Autism Speaks Hails First Latin American Autism Conference

Government leaders, researchers, NGOs, & families lay groundwork for regional collaboration
September 07, 2013

Autism Speaks, RedeAmericas and Columbia University's department of epidemiology are presenting Latin America's first regional autism conference September 10 and 11, 2013, in Santiago, Chile.

RedeAmericas is the Regional Center for Mental Health Research, financed by the National Institute of Mental Health. 

The conference seeks to start a regional dialogue on autism in the conference’s participating countries of Argentina, Brazil and Chile. It will also provide opportunities to establish new research partnerships, discuss concrete strategies to improve service delivery to individuals with autism in Latin America, encourage countries to sign agreements with international organizations, engage parent organizations and contribute to the further development of these groups and promote legislative initiatives in participating countries that improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families.

Participants will include:

  • Mr. Hernán Soto, Head of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability, Ministry of Health, Chile (MINSAL)

  • Dr. Ginés González García, PhD, former Minister of Health, Argentina, and current Ambassador of Argentina to Chile

  • Ms. Soledad Larraín, Protection Unit, UNICEF Chile

  • Dr. Beverly Pringle, PhD, Head of Global Mental Health Research at the Office of Disability and Global Mental Health Research, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

  • Congressman Avelino Lago, President of the Health Committee, Santa Fe Province, Argentina

  • Mr. Eladio Recabarren, Head of the Department of Health for the National Disability Service (SENADIS), Chile

  • Dr. Ezra Susser, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University y New York State Psychiatric Institute

  • Dr. Marcela Armus, PhD, Infant and Juvenile Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Argentina

  • Dra. Alexia Rattazzi, PhD, PANAACEA Representative, Argentina

  • Dr. Carlos Gadia, PhD, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurology, Florida International University, Medical Director of Autismo & Realidade, Brazil

  • Dr. Ricardo García, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Norte Universidad de Chile

  • Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD, Associate Professor, AHFMR, Health Academic, Co-director of the Autism Research Center at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta, Canada 

The conference will be webcast live at and

Look for live updates from Michael Rosanoff, associate director of public health research for Autism Speaks, who will be live tweeting from the event. You can follow him @AS_ScienceGuy.