UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

UCSB AUTISM CONFERENCE THIS FRIDAY, SEPT. 24

September 22, 1999

A conference on autism for health professionals, educators, and families will be held this Friday, Sept. 24, at the Fess Parker Double Tree Resort beginning at 9 a.m. Approximately 300 participants are expected to attend the all day conference titled "Autism 2000: Focus on Solutions."

According to conference organizers, an increasing number of children are receiving a diagnosis of autism—a developmental disability that severely affects communication and social skills. The conference's objectives are to: clarify the diagnostic implications of the increase in numbers, explain research advances, emotional support strategies for families and caregivers, help families and patients access needed services and intervention procedures, and present current California educational laws and legislative proposals.

Featured speakers include: California State Senator Jack O'Connell on "Education Trends in the Year 2000"; UCSB autism researchers Robert and Lynn Koegel, 1998 recipients of the Sesame Street Children's Television Workshop Sunny Days Award; B. J. Freeman, UCLA professor of medical psychology, on "What We Know about Autism"; lawyer Christopher E. Angelo from the firm Mazursky, Schwartz & Angelo on "A Lawyer's Guide to Insurance Coverage and a Parent's Call to Organize"; and Princeton University Professor of Chemistry Clarence E. Schutt, executive vice president and secretary of the National Alliance for Autism Research, on "Because of Alex—Scenario for a Future without Autism."

Conference information, call (805) 652-0162. For more information about UCSB's Autism Research Center, call (805) 893-2176. Web site is http://www.education.ucsb.edu/autism/

###

(48)