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Speech-Language Pathologists to Discuss Early Identification of Autism

The inaugural Speech-Language Pathology Symposium at Duquesne University will examine the early identification of autism and increasing the communication of school-age children with the disorder.While autism is becoming more prevalent, most children are not diagnosed until they are 2 to 3 years old—often because of the presence or absence of certain behaviors.

The symposium is aimed toward speech-language pathologists, who often are involved because of communication issues associated with autism. The morning session will discuss common barriers to early identification of young children with autism, early social and communicative behaviors, and behaviors that help in the decision-making process of a diagnosis.

The morning’s keynote speaker will be Elizabeth Crais, PH.D. CCC-SLP, a professor in the division of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Crais, who has been active in early intervention for more than 35 years, will deliver the presentation Early Infant/Toddler Behaviors That May Lead to a Diagnosis of Autism: How Early Is Early?

The afternoon session will focus on the implications of neurobiologic research findings for language intervention with both low-verbal and high-functioning school-age children with autism. The last decade’s research has provided a new understanding of the mind and brain, and the findings are influencing interventions so that they now are designed to accommodate the way the brains of children with autism function.

Diane Williams, Ph.D. CC-SLP, assistant professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Duquesne University and co-director of the Center of Excellence in Autism Research at the University of Pittsburgh, will discuss Implications of Neurobiologic Research Findings for Language Intervention in Low-Functioning and High-Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism.

When: Friday, March 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Duquesne University’s Power Center Ballroom, Forbes Avenue and Chatham Square, Pittsburgh.

Cost: $175, $50 for Duquesne speech-language pathology alumni. Continuing education units are available through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Act 48.

Information: Call 412.396.4225, visit www.duq.edu/speech-language-pathology or email slpconference@duq.edu.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.