KU autism conference to feature wide range of sessions for professionals, scientists, families
Researchers, students, professionals, educators, families and advocates are invited to Autism Across the Life Span, an annual conference presented by the Kansas Center for Autism Research & Training (K-CART) at the University of Kansas Life Span Institute.
The conference will take place in-person from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 24 at the KU Edwards Campus BEST Building in Overland Park.
Registration is $95 for professionals, including researchers, providers and educators. The cost is $50 for families and $40 for students. Participants may register to attend online.
Matt Mosconi, K-CART director and KU professor of clinical child psychology, said the conference is an opportunity for people in the autism community — researchers, educators, providers, and autistic people and their families — to come together.
“There is something for everyone at this event,” he said.
The conference features presentations from nationally recognized scientists, including KU faculty. Highlights include discussions on advancing inclusive research; resources and strategies for families of people with autism; managing medication and therapeutic intervention for co-occurring conditions with autism; transition from childhood to adolescence to young adulthood; health care access within rural and urban environments; and self-determination of career goals.
The conference also will feature a panel discussion by women with autism on how this demographic has been historically overlooked within the autistic community. They will discuss neurodiversity, sexuality, relationships and community engagement.
Keynote speakers for the 2023 speakers are Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, assistant professor with the Life Course Outcomes Research Program at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University, and Lea K. Davis, associate professor of genetic medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and assistant professor of biomedical informatics, physiology and biophysics, and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Vanderbilt.
McGhee Hassrick’s work focuses on investigating social network support systems for people with autism in different life stages along with their family, schools and communities.
Davis works at the intersection of genetic epidemiology, psychiatry and medical informatics to investigate the genetic basis of a wide range of mental health conditions. A major effort in her lab is to understand the links between biology and environment and both mental and physical health using data extracted from medical records and linked with genomic information.
“We are pleased to host these innovative researchers pursuing work in the area of autism,” Mosconi said. “Dr. McGhee Hassrick brings new ideas and opportunities to support autistic people by applying sociological ideas about relationships and society. Dr. Davis’ work is bringing new understanding to how environmental factors may interact with an individual’s unique biology to increase risk for common psychiatric diagnoses.”
A full schedule is available on the conference website.
The Kansas Center for Autism Research & Training is a multidisciplinary center that promotes research and training on the causes, nature and management of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). K-CART generates new scientific discoveries about ASD, disseminates research-based practices by training professionals to practitioners and families who serve children and adults with autism.