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Autism Awareness events continue this week

April 22, 2012

Autism Awareness events continue this week

Autism Awareness activities, coordinated by students of Psychology Professor Rachel Mann-Rosan, continue this week with the following events, all of which are free and open to the public. The week wraps up with an information fair and carnival April 29 on campus.

--Tuesday, April 17, 5 p.m., Bolton Hall, Room 280

Nicole Weinstein and Victoria Schultz, RN, MS, ANP-C, will discuss "Do You Have What It Takes? Becoming a Direct Support Professional or a Nurse with the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)." Hear about direct support professional and nursing positions at the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and find out how you can make a difference in the life of someone in this system of care.

--Monday, April 23, 7 p.m., Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall

Autism: The Musicalwill be screened. This touching and uplifting documentary brings "attention to a modern-day epidemic while celebrating the value of the human spirit in overcoming any challenge." The film tells the story of five autistic kids, who along with their parents, take part in a groundbreaking theatrical workshop. The film "...captures the struggles and triumphs of their family lives and observes how this musical production gives these performers a comfort zone in which they can explore their creative sides."

--Tuesday, April 24, 5 p.m., Bolton Hall, Room 280

Ronda Fein, Ph.D., will lead a discussion titled "Diagnosing Autism: Current and Future Perspectives." With the upcoming new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, there are changes anticipated in how Autism Spectrum Disorders will be defined and diagnosed. Dr. Fein will describe and explain the current diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder and Asperger's Disorder and will compare and contrast these with the proposed changes.

--Thursday, April 26, 6 p.m., Bolton Hall, Room 382

Paul A. H. Partridge, Ph.D., will present "The Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Brief Review of the Research Literature." In recent years, there has been much discussion about the reported increase in prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This presentation will focus on how common ASDs are and what factors have and have not been found to be associated with these disorders.

--Friday, April 27, 5:30 p.m., Bolton Hall, Room 280

Valerie Bolivar, Ph.D., will discuss "Mouse Modeling: The Genetic Basis for Autism"

--Sunday, April 29, noon, Intramural Gym

Skidmore's Department of Psychology will join ASPIRe NY, inc., the Parent Network of the Capital Region, and Saratoga Bridges, in cooperation with New York State Sen. Roy McDonald, to present an Autism Information Fair and Carnival on campus Sunday, April 29. The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. in the College's Intramural Gymnasium.

Fun for the whole family, there will be a bounce house, arts and crafts, carnival games and a quiet area. More than 40 exhibitors will attend, including camp, therapeutic, and pre-kindergarten to college-level school programs, technological applications, and more.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Mary Fornabia at Saratoga Bridges via email or by calling 587-0723.

Autism is a behaviorally defined disorder with symptoms that include impairments in social interactions, cognitive inflexibility, language difficulties, and repetitive motor behaviors. Assumed to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors, the precise etiology of autism remains elusive. Dr. Bolivar will discuss her research and effort to identify the underlying genes and brain structures.

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