REGISTRATION IS OPEN
Spring 2011 Conference Level 1 & 2 Practitioner Seminars, General, Nutrition & Science Sessions
Save the date!
Fall 2011 Conference
Las Vegas Hilton
Want to see what happens at the Conference?
View free lectures from past conferences online - including the latest lectures from our Fall 2010 Conference in Long Beach
Great Rates at Renaissance Waverly
Conference sessions are set for the Renaissance Waverly Hotel. The Autism Research Institute has negotiated a block of special discounted room rates of $124 per night. Please register early to take advantage of this special rate.
Get Early-Bird Rates Through April 5th
Angel Funds Going Fast, Medical Student, Military & Student discounts available
We are very pleased to announce that the Fall Conference in Atlanta April 28-May 1 will offer a variety of financial support options for families, including:
$69/day or buy all 3 days for $179 -ends April 5th.
ANGEL DISCOUNT Thanks to generous support from our conference exhibitors, families in need are invited to register at a reduced "Angel" rate - select this rate if you are truly unable to pay the regular rate - no questions asked. Funds are limited and available on a first-come/first-served basis.
You must pre-register online to receive this rate while funds last - Angel discounts are not available at on site registration.
STUDENT & MILITARY DISCOUNT
We also continue to offer 15% discounts for students and active members of the military. (ID required at check-in). Use the code 'military' or 'student' when you register.
MEDICAL STUDENT - SEMINAR DISCOUNT
Medical students receive 50% off the registration fee for the Level 1 Practitioner Seminar - use the code 'medstudent.'
Offers cannot be combined - one discount is available per registrant.
Dinner Auction April 30th at the Spring Conference
On April 30th we will hold our Conference Dinner. This special event is always a favorite, providing everyone time to come together in a relaxed setting to connect with other parents, medical professionals, and specialists from around the world. A highlight of the evening is our silent benefit auction featuring donated items.
We would love to offer a variety of items that would appeal to our audience. Donated merchandise, services, and gift certificates are simple to acquire from your workplace. A week at a vacation home is always a hit. Sports tickets and memorabilia are fan favorites. Gift baskets of your products are a great way to promote your business. Remember this a national conference so donations are accepted from any part of the country. Simply print and return the Auction Donation Form by April 22nd.
Proceeds from your contributions help fund research that makes a difference for families living with autism. Thank you for your support!
Have questions? Email us
Puzzle Pieces to Support Research
Updates from Campaign Coordinator Lynda Huggins
I would like to remind folks that April is Autism Awareness month and March is the perfect time to visit local businesses and ask them to help increase autism awareness by distributing the Autism Puzzle Pieces.
This is a perfect time to reflect on how the Million Dollar Puzzle honors the memory of the Bernard Rimland, PhD. Bernie was the best friend and greatest champion ever of children with autism and their parents. Read more about our about our founder's story.
I am thrilled to have received a very large request for puzzle pieces from an elementary school in California - they have supported the Puzzle Pieces project every year since 2009. They ask students if they would like to participate and if they do, the student is given a packet of 50 puzzle pieces to take home and try to distribute. In the past they have collected over $5100 and they hope to double that this year!
Let's all work together and make this a BIG year for autism research.
All my best,
Spring is just a couple of weeks away, and I think almost everyone is looking forward to a warmer temperatures.
Good news! Early registration for our upcoming conference in Atlanta (April 28 to May 1) is going extremely well, and we have received many inquiries about our adult track on Sunday, May 1. Based on the early numbers, the Atlanta conference could likely be one of our biggest conferences ever! To learn about the upcoming conference, watch my video message - View in Quicktime or Download and view in Windows Media Player
ARI's Puzzle Piece campaign, spearheaded by Lynda Huggins of Louisiana, will move into high gear next month during Autism Awareness month. Please consider joining the campaign and helping us raise money to support research. Learn more about the Puzzle Piece campaign at www.AutismPuzzlePieces.com.
Our iPad/iPhone/iTouch app, titled 'Autism,' is becoming a popular app on iTunes with almost 11,000 users. An advice paper, written by Drs. James Adams, Bernard Rimland, Temple Grandin, and me, can be downloaded for no charge. For only 99 cents, users can upgrade the app, which includes information on various treatments and related topics. Users can also complete the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) and receive the summary scores immediately. In addition, users can watch several key videos from our previous conferences. The app is also available for Android phones.
We have recently translated a shortened version of the GI consensus report, which was published last year in Pediatrics, into Hindi and Arabic. These translations can be viewed and download from our homepage, www.autism.com [links are located in the lower left corner]. The report has also been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Steve Edelson, PhD
Autism Research Institute
Thoughts on ASD and the 'Cutting Edge'
"If you follow the news about health research, you risk whiplash. First (you're told) garlic lowers bad cholesterol, then--after more study--it doesn't. Hormone replacement reduces the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women, until a huge study finds that it doesn't (and that it raises the risk of breast cancer to boot). Yet even if biomedical research can be a fickle guide, we rely on it." (Excerpted from Sharon Begley's January 24th Newsweek article Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong).
Surely no one feels the pull of contradictory medical advice more than those of us in the autism community. For us, it often feels as if there's almost no advice coming from conventional front-line clinicians, and a bewildering array of advice from complementary and alternative medicine clinicians. As a result, we occasionally hear the complaint that we don't include enough "breaking" research or treatment protocols in our conference programs; Begley's Newsweek article describes our concerns: "...the very framework of medical investigation may be off-kilter, leading time and again to findings that are at best unproved and at worst dangerously wrong. The result is a system that leads patients and physicians astray--spurring often costly regimens that won't help and may even harm you." It is for this reason that ASD children are medically better served by a methodical approach, a careful progression through the many treatments and interventions that have been shown to be beneficial for others on the spectrum. Pursuing "cutting-edge" treatment (to the exclusion of evidence-based interventions) presents the possibility of "placebo effect" in caregivers' perceptions, and will likely waste time and money--and possibly even cause harm.
Since research on treatment for the medical issues of autism has always been thin, it is evident our greatest challenge is to assess the risks and benefits of any available treatments. When we began to offer conferences in the late '90s, very little was known; children were suffering, parents were trying to help them, and, while we had sound reasons for suggesting the treatments we proposed and discussed, we regretted that more wasn't known, and we made a continued call for more research. We were concerned about the "whale watching phenomenon"; whenever a new treatment arrived on the horizon, there was a tendency for everyone to rush to one side of the metaphorical boat. Fortunately, hundreds of basic research papers have since been published that indicate we're on the right conceptual track toward understanding autism. As well, numerous clinicians have been treating people on the spectrum for many years - there's now a larger pool of knowledge to draw from when making treatment decisions, giving us the opportunity to refine our perspectives with updated/longstanding information.
Setting the bar: ARI's Think Tanks & Scientific Advisory Panel
There's no magic bullet yet. ARI is uniquely committed to raising the standard in this scientific arena by hosting think tanks with respected academics, researchers, and clinicians from some of the best institutions in the country. These events are regarded as the nucleus of evolving thought on emerging research and evidence-based medical treatments. ARI's Scientific Advisory Panel chooses the think tank presentations it thinks would most benefit our conference audience. Through this respected forum, we continue to strengthen the rigor of the science in our program every year.
Because ARI is dedicated to research, our founder Dr. Bernard Rimland very much wanted to ensure objectivity and resistance to influence from private interests. ARI maintains a long track record of declining financial sponsorship or advertisements from businesses at its conferences and think tank events, and continues to offer general and science presentations for free online to provide access to as many people as possible worldwide.
The surest way to improve the quality of a child's life is to focus on the whole child. While we previously concentrated on the medical issues related to autism, we realize that many people are able to make it to only one autism conference, due to time constraints and financial issues. Therefore, we strive to provide the complete treatment picture, including behavioral, sensory, and educational support.
Our mission remains the same
All families struggle with decisions on providing the most appropriate and beneficial care for their child. Parents, along with researchers and clinicians, might find it hard to navigate through what is or what appears to be conflicting information. ARI's Conferences guide parents about how best to help their children, educate practitioners about how best to treat patients, and inform the community about the latest and most promising published research findings.
Our mission is to provide clarity for parents, clinicians, researchers, and educators, to minimize the "whiplash" and provide a safe and effective roadmap to ensure people with ASD receive the respect and care they need.
New at the ARI Conference: Breakout Track Focuses on Adult Issues May 1st in Atlanta
ARI's conferences, for many years, have offered ground-breaking, high-quality information. This year's conference is no exception. Its first-ever track devoted to information on adult services features timely, evidence-based topics that have the potential to change the trajectory of adult life for those in spectrum. ARI's approach to this conference is novel; they have invited internationally known professionals who also have ASD to lead this track.
Brenda Smith Myles, PhD
Associate professor at the University of Kansas, who writes and speaks internationally on Asperger Syndrome and autism.
The Autistic Global Initiative, a new program sponsored by ARI, is offering its first-ever one-day conference track devoted to issues and concerns related to adults on the spectrum and those who support them at our spring conference. Topics include legal/law enforcement issues, medical treatment for adults on the spectrum, transition, acceptance, and facial recognition strategies. We are pleased to welcome our first-time Adult Track speakers, including:
- Ruth Elaine Hane
- Pat Pulice
- Charles Joiner, M.D.
- Dennis Debbaudt
- Sondra Williams
- Janine M. Collins MTS, MSW
- Erika Laurion, MS, CNS
- Judy Endow, MSW
- Sherry Moyer, MSW
Learn more about our 'Adult Track' Atlanta team
This new track is pioneered by ARI's Autistic Global Initiative - a collaborative of individuals with autism who provide in-house advisory, consulting services to ARI, as well as to other organizations in the disability community. Make sure to stop by the Autistic Global Initiative's booth in the vendors' hall, where you can meet and greet members of the collaborative and ask questions about adult services and concerns.
Free Evening WorkshopsJoin us Thursday and Friday (April 28-29) for our Evening Workshops - options include lectures for parents, caregivers, and clinicians. Workshops both evenings are free - please feel free to bring a friend, colleague or fellow parent to learn about the latest research and effective treatments.
Try Your Hand at the Biomedical Approach in our "Demo Room"
Taking a page from Biology 101, ARI offers its on-site "lab," teaching practical skills for taking the biomedical approach home. The "Demonstration Room" will be offered during breaks and lunchtime on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Spring Conference. The conference offers parents effective strategies for helping their children, serving as a meeting ground for clinicians using a biomedical approach and the parents who seek their aid. Still, for many of us, returning to what is in effect a biology/chemistry class presents a challenging learning curve. While lectures are essential to our understanding, the information is only as effective as the hands that are charged with putting these treatments into effect. Don't miss this chance to stop by for free one-to-one tutorials by experienced healthcare professionals and experienced parents. Topics include administering B-12 injections, scheduling supplements, tracking treatment success, teaching pill-swallowing, and more. The "Demo Room" is free with your paid registration.
New to the biomedical approach? Meet a parent mentorFor many families new to the autism diagnosis or starting the biomedical approach, finding a parent mentor can help ease the frustration, help to navigate the confusing "system," and help jump-start the family with ACTION for their child affected by autism. Our friends at Talk About Curing Autism have a key focus on building the autism community and helping families affected by autism. They have generously offered to connect parents, with a chance to meet a TACA Parent Mentor at the conference.
Want to meet a mentor? Stop by the TACA booth at the conference. REGISTER NOW
Events in the Community ...
Spring 2011 ARI Conference DATES: April 28-May 1
LOCATION: Renaissance Waverly - Atlanta, GA
Follow the latest science on evidence-based medical treatments for ASD. Level 1 & 2 Practitioner Seminars, Parent, Diet, Adult, & Science Sessions
New Sessions inlcude: diet and adult tracks and information concerning sensory and behavioral interventions.
Parent/Non-medical Professional/Individual w/ASD Rates
All Together for Autism Run
DATE: Registration 7:30-9 a.m., April 9, 2011 - 10 a.m. start
LOCATION: Meadow Breeze Park, Washington Township, NJ
Events include 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk, vendor booths, facepainting and more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Autism Research Institute.
Printable Flyer and Registration form
Greater Phoenix Autism/Asperger's Conference
DATES: May 13-14
LOCATION: Scottsdale Bible Church
Featured speakers inlcude:
Diana Henry, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Friday Keynote
Systems change occurs when everyone on the team, including family, school and community providers "owns" a piece of the sensory puzzle. Putting the pieces together requires collective team empowerment. Diana will share how she encourages every person in the child's life to join in.
Sean C. Barron, Saturday Keynote
Sean is Co-Author with Temple Grandin of the
Unwritten Rules Of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism. Hear his share personal stories to explain the 10 unwritten rules and patterns of social relationships and why they're important.
Learn more about the 2011 Greater Phoenix Autism/Asperger's Conference
AutismOne & Generation Rescue Present: Autism Redefined - Recovery on a Budget
DATES: May 25-29
LOCATION: Westin Lombard Yorktown Center,
70 Yorktown Ctr., Lombard, IL
Registration & Information
Your Healing Retreat Practical Solutions for Families and Primary Care Providers Dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning and Attention Problems
DATES: June 3-5
LOCATION: Kanuga Retreat Center in Hendersonville, NC
An integrative approach for families and primary care providers dealing with autism, learning and attention disorders.