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The sign for the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.

Upstate to host two-day conference on autism for teachers, parents and clinicians Nov. 7 and 8

Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital is co-sponsoring a two-day conference on autism in early November for teachers, parents and clinicians featuring a nationally recognized expert on the subject.

The conference, “Autism Spectrum Disorders: Early Detection – Bridging Research and Practice,” will be Nov. 7 and 8 at Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road, Syracuse. The presenter will be Amy M. Wetherby, PhD, CCC-SLP, distinguished research professor of clinical sciences and director of the Autism Institute at Florida State University College of Medicine. Quadrant Biosciences is the event's co-sponsor.

Wetherby, who has spoken at Upstate before, has long been at the forefront of autism research, said Lauren McIndoo, PhD, MS, CCC-SLP, clinical coordinator and interim director of the Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center.

“She has been on the cutting of research for decades,” McIndoo said. “Early detection is so important and she’s developing tools that help with early detection of autism spectrum disorders and strategies for appropriate interventions.”

The conference has three parts with a different target audience per session:


Thursday, Nov. 7

“Mobilizing Community Systems to Improve Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Access to Care.”

Time: 8 to 8:30 a.m. breakfast and registration; 8:30 to 10 a.m. presentation.

Target audience: program administrators, community planners, physicians, mental health workers, DOH EI coordinators and DSS social workers.

Cost: $25


“Changing Developmental Trajectories of Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Strategies for Bridging Research to Practice”

Time: 11 to 11:30 a.m. picnic lunch and registration; 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. presentation.

Target audience: Family members.

Cost: $40


Friday, Nov. 8

“Mobilizing Community Systems to Bridge Research to Practice: Improving Early Detection and Access to Evidence-based Early Intervention for Toddlers and Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”

Time: 8 to 8:30 a.m. breakfast and registration; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. program, which includes breaks and lunch.

Target audience: Professionals working with young children with disabilities including speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, special education and elementary teachers.

Cost: $60 for students; $75 for professionals.

Visit www.upstatefoundation.org/UpstateCON2 to register.


McIndoo said conference organizers were eager to have the content be relevant to many people – from parents to professionals. Quadrant Biosciences is a co-sponsor of the event, which will allow Wetherby to present for two days and cover more topics, McIndoo said. 

“We are hoping to bring some of the newer research that Wetherby is working on and bridge that research with real strategies that teachers, parents and clinicians can use to work with children on the autism spectrum,” McIndoo said. “There’s always a need for ongoing information as the statistics for autism spectrum disorders are only increasing. Recent numbers suggest that one in 59 kids are being diagnosed, which is significant.

“We’re really looking forward to being able to offer this to the community.”