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Expert on psychiatry of teens with disabilities to speak at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Jan. 6, 2006, 1:38 PM

Thomas Weisner, an expert on the mental health challenges and needs of teens with disabilities, will deliver the 2006 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Martin Luther King Jr. lecture Monday, Jan. 16, at 4:10 p.m. in Room 241 of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. The lecture, part of the Vanderbilt Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Series, is free and open to the public.

Weisner, a professor of psychiatry and anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, has devoted his career to understanding and improving the well-being of youth with disabilities and their families. The title of his lecture is “We Speak Different Dialects: How Teens with Disabilities Think About Friendship, Schools and Their Lives.”

Weisner will discuss the results of his research with Los Angeles adolescents with a wide range of disabilities in which he learned about their understanding of their disability and the factors most important to improving their quality of life—friendship, a stable routine, low conflict, resources and social support.

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is a national center for research on development and developmental disabilities and a national Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service. For more information about the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, visit

For more Vanderbilt news, visit VUCast—Vanderbilt’s news network—at

Media contacts: Stephanie Newton, (615) 322-5658

Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS

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