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Series to focus on communication for children with autism

Oct. 10, 2008

ALAMAZOO--Three speakers will address communication problems for children with autism in presentations Thursday and Friday, Oct. 30-31, at Western Michigan University as part of the 26th annual Van Riper Lecture Series.

This year's series is titled "Social Communication Assessment and Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders." Sponsored by the WMU Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the lecture series takes place in the Fetzer Center and will feature Drs. Patrica Prelock, Rhea Paul and Sima Gerber.

Advance registration is required by Oct. 17
More information and electronic registration forms

Prelock will discuss "Children with ASD and Social Communication: Understanding the Continuum of Interventions and Ways to Evaluate Current Evidence" from 8:45 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday and "Evidence-based Social Communication Strategies for Children with ASD and Limited Verbal Skills" from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

Prelock is professor and chair in the Department of Communication Sciences at the University of Vermont and also is vice president for standards and ethics in speech-language pathology for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She was the project director for the Vermont Rural Autism Project and currently co-sponsors an annual weeklong summer institute on autism with the Autism Society of Vermont while teaching an assessment/intervention course on autism at UVM.

Paul will speak from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday on "Conversational Skills in Speakers with Autism and Asperger Syndrome" and from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. on Friday on "Evidence-based Social Skills Programs for Speakers with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome."

Paul has published more than 70 papers in refereed journals and has written seven books on children's language development and disorders. She is professor and director of the communication disorders section at the Yale Child Study Center, where she pursues research on autism spectrum disorders.

Gerber will speak from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday on "The Integration of Developmental Language Models and DIR: Facilitating Social Effective Foundations of Language" and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday on "Contemporary Approaches to Assessing the Social-Emotional Foundations of Language: The ICDL-DMIC."

Gerber is associate professor in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders of Queens College, City University of New York. She has presented many workshops and seminars on the topics of language acquisition and developmental approaches to language interventions in the United States and abroad. She recently completed a training video supported by the Bamford-Lahey Children's Foundation, which illustrates the use of developmental language acquisition models for language assessment and intervention.

The lecture series also will include a panel discussion with the audience, which includes invited parents who will join the discussion.

The Van Riper Lectures are named in honor of the late Dr. Charles G. Van Riper, who was instrumental in establishing WMU's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Advance registration is required by Oct. 17. For more information, contact Paula Armstrong, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, at paula.armstrong@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8045. Electronic registration forms can be found online.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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