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Day with the Experts: Autism

January 23, 2021 @ 9:00 am 10:30 am

Virtual Waisman Center Day with the Experts: Autism

Learn about the latest advances in autism research and services and hear from a panel of experts — individuals with autism and family members.

Saturday, January 23, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

9:00-9:05 a.m. Welcome Qiang Chang, PhD, Director, Waisman Center 

9:05-9:30 a.m. Behavioral and Brain Effects of Videogame-Based Balance Training in Autism Brittany Travers, PhD, Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Waisman Center Investigator Motor difficulties are not considered a diagnostic feature of autism, and yet a number of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle with balance, grip strength, completing a motor sequence, or reacting quickly. These motor difficulties have been found to relate to more severe autism symptoms and impaired activities of daily living. Therefore, motor difficulties may be intricately intertwined with social communication and independent living skills in ASD. This talk will discuss recent behavioral and neuroimaging findings of the impact of a biofeedback-based balance training to target motor challenges and core symptoms of ASD. 

9:30-10:00 a.m. How Are You Feeling?: Managing Feelings in an Overwhelming World Through the Lens of Autism Madeline Barger, MS, LMFT, BCBA, CST and Alyssa Walsh, PhD, Waisman Autism Treatment Programs How are you feeling? This essential question is more complicated lately as we face a global pandemic, and negotiate its unprecedented challenges to our physical, social, and emotional health. People with autism and their parents report higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, than the general population, without pandemic impact. We also know the pandemic-related stress disproportionately impacts people with developmental differences. There is hope: People with autism have unique socio-emotional experiences, processes, and expressions. The autism population has a lot to teach clinicians and caregivers about managing emotions in creative and resilient ways. This presentation explores understanding the science of feelings, evidence-based ways to manage stress, and how to translate our emotive experiences from one brain to another. 

10:00-10:30 a.m. PANEL DISCUSSION — A panel of experts that includes individuals with ASD and family members. 

Register at www.waisman.wisc.edu/event/experts-autism-2021/ 

Hosted by the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin and the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sponsored by the Friends of the Waisman Center.