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Colloquium to put spotlight on autism

Oct. 13, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A daylong colloquium on Friday, Oct. 24, at Western Michigan University will bring the disorder of autism into sharper focus.

The fifth annual Barbara A. Rider Colloquium will feature Dr. Wendy J. Coster as keynote speaker. The event, also featuring two additional speakers and a panel discussion, is being offered by the WMU Department of Occupational Therapy and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Fetzer Center. Registration is required and space is limited.

Fifth annual Barbara A. Rider Colloquium
Details and registration form

Coster, chair of the Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Counseling Department at the Boston University-Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will speak on "Joining Evidence and Expertise for Best Practice." She was awarded the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, the highest honor given by the American Occupational Therapy Association to a member who has "creatively contributed to the development of knowledge of the profession through research, education, and/or clinical practice."

In addition to her work as an educator and leader at Boston University, Coster helped develop the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory and the School Function Assessment, two tools that evaluate functional capabilities and performance in young children.

Also making presentations will be Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, on "Imitation and Autism: Mirror Neurons, Intentionality or Motor Planning" and Michelle Simino, teacher consultant and facilitator, on "The Statewide Autism Resources and Training Initiative." There will also be a panel discussion of parents of children with autism.

The colloquium is an annual endowed event named after Barbara A. Rider, professor emeritus in occupational therapy, who served as chair of the department from 1976 to 1985. For more information and registration, visit wmich.edu/ridercolloquium or call (269) 387-7260.

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

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