2021

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on autism families is unprecedented. Dr. Pam Feliciano, Simons Foundation, laid out the results of the surveys SPARK for Autism conducted to assess the disruptions felt by individuals with ASD and their families.
Rethinking ASD assessment in the pandemic and beyond is a key conversation for the wider autism community. Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, University of Alberta, reflected on how the pandemic is leading experts to reexamine assessments to ensure timely and equitable access to care.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become buzzwords, but are often thought of as boxes to be checked rather than actions to be taken. Dr. Brian Boyd, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, Life Span Institute explains why a social justice movement is needed in autism research and presented some concrete ideas for moving the field in the direction it needs to go.
Dr. Sarah Spence, Co-Director of the Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, explained what we do and don’t know about epilepsy and autism, as well as what patients and families can do to possibly prevent the rare fatal complication of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) during this year’s Jake Rimland Memorial Talk.
Treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders, especially for genetic conditions, are being developed at a rapid pace and we need to be ready to test the effectiveness of these treatments. Dr. Shafali Jeste, UCLA, explained the relevant challenges and opportunities in studies of clinical trial readiness and finding the right help for individuals with autism.
CBD and other cannabinoids hold great promise to improve the lives of individuals with autism. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, NYU Langone Health, discussed the latest cannabidiol research in ASD and how treatments may be helpful to treat common issues including irritability, aggression, anxiety, and insomnia.
To view the 2021 DOL Virtual Information Table, click here.
To view the 2021 Day of Learning Bio Book, click here.