15th Annual Autism Update 3/19/22

Autism through the Lifespan

A one-day conference for parents, educators and care providers of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Our annual update will focus on new research and services for individuals with autism to optimize their long term functioning. Saturday, March 19, 2021 9:00am-4:30pm (Pacific Standard Time). This conference will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Registration fees range from $0-$25. Registered participants will receive recordings of available presentations after the conference.  


Registration is closed

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Sally Ozonoff
"Advances in Early Screening and Diagnosis of ASD"

Brief Bio

Sally Ozonoff, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California Davis.  Dr. Ozonoff is a past Joint Editor of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on earliest manifestations of ASD and infant screening and diagnosis. She directed an 18-year prospective investigation that followed children at familial risk for ASD from birth through adolescence. In a new project, she and colleagues in Engineering are exploring artificial intelligence approaches to detection of ASD-relevant behaviors in video. She has published over 150 papers and three books on autism-related topics and her work on early diagnosis has appeared on the television show 60 Minutes.

Dr. Matthew S. Goodwin
"Predicting Challenging Behavior in Individuals with Autism using Wearable Biosensors and Machine Learning Classifiers"

Brief Bio

Matthew S. Goodwin, PhD. is an Interdisciplinary Associate Professor with tenure at Northeastern University jointly appointed in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the Khoury College of Computer Science, where he is a founding member of a new doctoral program in Personal Health Informatics and Directs the Computational Behavioral Science Laboratory. He has over 25 years of research and clinical experience working with children and adults on the autism spectrum and developing and evaluating innovative technologies for behavioral assessment and intervention, including video and audio capture, telemetric physiological monitors, accelerometry sensors, and digital video/facial recognition systems. Goodwin received his B.A. in psychology from Wheaton College (Norton, MA) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology and behavioral science, respectively, from the University of Rhode Island. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Affective Computing in the MIT Media Lab in 2010.


Unpredictable and potentially dangerous challenging behavior (aggression to others, self-injury, emotion dysregulation) can create barriers to accessing community, therapeutic, medical, and educational services for individuals with autism. The current line of research evaluates whether peripheral nervous system and physical activity data obtained from a wearable biosensor can be used to predict challenging behaviors before they occur. Iterative results in a sample of 70 psychiatric inpatients with autism suggest that aggression to others, self-injury, and tantrums can all be predicted 3 minutes in advance with 80% average accuracy using machine learning classifiers. These findings lay the groundwork for the future development of precursor behavior analysis and just-in-time adaptive intervention systems to prevent or mitigate the emergence, occurrence, and impact of challenging behavior in individuals with autism.

Dr. Paul Wehman
"School to Work for Youth with Autism: Career Pathways Toward Successful Competitive Employment"

Brief Bio

Paul Wehman, Ph.D. has been a tenured faculty member with Virginia Commonwealth University since 1980 with a primary appointment in the School of Education, Counseling and Special Education and a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. His highly interdisciplinary background and pioneering work in the beginning of supported employment has facilitated thousands of persons with physical disabilities, mental health issues, developmental disabilities, brain injury, and spinal cord injury to enter competitive integrated employment. As Director of the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, he has written over 230 articles related to transition, postsecondary education, business engagement, and employment for young people with disabilities. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and has been the recipient of numerous awards, plus functioning as the Principal Investigator on more than $80 million worth of federal and state grants since joining VCU.

New Trends in Autism Research at Stanford

Dr. Janani Venugopalakrishnan
"Suicide and Autism Spectrum Disorders"

Brief Bio

Janani Venugopalakrishnan, MD is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist with advanced training and expertise in diagnosis and treatment of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and early onset psychosis. She is Director of the INSPIRE Early Psychosis clinic at LPCH, and Co-Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology clinic at LPCH.

Dr. Mirko Uljarevic
"Development of a New Measure of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors"

Brief Bio

Mirko Uljarević, MD, PhD. is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences at University of Melbourne. He is a medically trained early career researcher with a background in developmental psychopathology, psychometrics, and big data science. His primary research interest has focused on combining cutting-edge psychometric procedures and a big data approach to better understand structure of core autism symptoms and on using this knowledge to improve existing and develop new clinical assessments that are more effective for screening and diagnosis and tracking the natural and treatment-related symptom progression. In addition to his focus on the development of new measures, he is engaged on numerous projects spanning a range of topics including genetics, treatment and employment, with a particular focus on understanding risk and resilience factors underpinning poor mental health outcomes in people with autism

Dr. Makoto Kawai
“Sleep Characteristics and Neurodevelopment in ASD”

Brief Bio

Makoto Kawai, MD is a physician scientist in the field of sleep medicine in aging and brain function. Using combined polysomnogram and novel neuroimaging technology, he aims to identify potential sleep biomarkers to investigate the mechanism of progression from normal aging to Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or dementia. Dr. Kawai also investigate the impact of sleep on cognitive/affective function or behavior abnormality in various neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Daniel Abrams
"Voice processing brain systems: a window into communication deficits and social reward in children with autism"

Brief Bio

Daniel Abrams, PhD. is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University where he conducts research investigating the brain bases of social communication impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Dr. Abrams research focuses on understanding why children with ASD often "tune out" from the social world around them and how this impacts social and brain development. His research employs a combination of psychophysical, cognitive, and brain imaging techniques, with the goal of identifying key neural features underlying social deficits in children with ASD.

Breakout Sessions (participants choose one to attend)

Session 1: Sally Ozonoff, PhD, "Assessments during the time of COVID: Opportunities and Challenges"

Session 2: Matthew Goodwin, PhD, "The promises and pitfalls of innovative technology in autism"

Session 3: Paul Wehman, PhD, "Vocational preparation for youth with autism spectrum disorder"

To register, click here 

Registration Fees: We are offering "pay what you can" registration fees:

Free Attendance: $0.00

Suggested donation to cover registration fees: $10.00

Suggested donation to cover registration and administrative fees: $25.00

15a Conferencia Anual de Actualización sobre el Autismo Sábado, 19 de Marzo de 2022

Autismo a lo Largo de la Vida

Una conferencia de un día para padres, educadores y proveedores de cuidado de niños y adultos con trastornos del espectro autista. Nuestra actualización anual se centrará en nuevas investigaciones y servicios para personas con autismo para optimizar su funcionamiento a largo plazo. Sábado, 19 de Marzo de 2022, 9:00 am-4:30 pm (hora estándar del Pacífico). Esta conferencia será virtual debido a las restricciones de COVID-19.
Si indicó que está interesado en escuchar la conferencia en Español cuando se registró, se le enviarán por correo electrónico las grabaciones en Español en una fecha posterior.

Para registrarse, haga clic aquí