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Expert in autism diagnosis to speak as part of Vanderbilt Brain Awareness Month

Feb. 27, 2006, 10:21 AM

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with both genetic and environmental risk factors that affects the lives of thousands of children and adults and their families. Catherine Lord, Ph.D., professor of psychology and psychiatry and director of the

University of

Michigan Autism and

Communication

Disorders

Center, will be giving a lecture on autism and the importance of early diagnosis as part of

Vanderbilt

University’s Brain Awareness Month. Lord’s lecture, to be presented Thursday, March 2, at 4:10 p.m., will be entitled “Early Diagnosis and Follow-Up of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.”

Lord’s study of the process of diagnosis has provided intriguing insights into the nature of the social and behavioral deficits of children with autism. Diagnostic instruments developed by Lord have been important in providing standardized methods for research on the genetics and neurobiology of autism.

In recognition of her contributions to autism research, Lord has received the Irving B. Harris Early Childhood Lecture Award in 2004 and was a finalist for the New York University Child Study Center Scientific Achievement Award in 2005. She also has been the chair of the Early Intervention in Autism Committee, National Academy of Science.

Lord’s lecture will take place in Room 241 of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/MRL Building. Lord is one of several lectures planned for March to celebrate Brain Awareness Month as part of Brainstorm activities sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. The lectures are free and open to the public.

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 contact Leigh MacMillan at (61`5) 322-4747.

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