KU Autism Conference to Feature Research for Families, Professionals, Educators

The Kansas Center for Autism Research and Treatment will host the conference Autism Across the Life Span on April 8 at the KU Edwards Campus BEST Building.

For the first time in two years, the one-day conference will be held in person and will feature six breakout sessions on autism research and programs related to behavioral health, interventions, neuroscience and the transition to adulthood.

KU Edwards Campus building at dusk with a pink and blue sky

The conference addresses the needs of families, professionals and educators interested in autism spectrum disorder.

“This annual meeting is unique because it aims to bring together everyone that is part of the autism community, including autistic individuals, their families, educators, providers and researchers,” said Matt Mosconi, center director and KU professor of clinical child psychology. “The face-to-face interaction is a vital piece of this gathering, so we are very excited to be able to safely host this meeting in person again this year. There is a lot of progress that has been made in different areas of research as well as in education and clinical care programs. There is something for everyone at this event.”

Registration for the conference is $95 for professionals, including researchers, providers and educators. Families and self-advocates can register for $50, and the cost is $40 for undergraduate and graduate students. Scholarships are available for families and self-advocates.

With presentations from nationally recognized scientists including KU faculty, the conference will offer research presentations as well as practical and informative guidance for people who are currently working and caring for children, teenagers and/or adults with autism spectrum disorder. Topics include medication management, parenting children with autism, social support networks, self-determination, social skill development through virtual reality, communication in young children and more.

Highlights of the conference this year include a virtual keynote address by Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, who is the Murphy Professor of Developmental Neuropsychiatry and director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who uses neuroscience research tools in the pursuit of new treatments for autism spectrum disorder and pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training is a part of the KU Life Span Institute. The Life Span Institute brings together scientists and students at the intersections of education, behavioral science and neuroscience to study problems that directly affect the health and well-being of individuals and communities in Kansas, as well as across the nation and world.