Autism Forum

It’s no secret that living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be enormously difficult for the individuals affected and their families. But beyond that broad generalisation, ASD has been largely misunderstood.

However, with rates of diagnosis increasing – ASD now accounts for 33% of primary disabilities in Australia – a great deal of research is being conducted to shed light on the condition.

The University of Adelaide is playing a leading role in this effort, and in this Forum we’ll discuss a number of important findings, including:

  • ASD’s genetic causes, and the influence of ageing parents and immunisations – tackling the myths about “who’s to blame”.
  • What DNA analysis reveals about autism’s frequency.
  • How “video modeling” and a mobile app are being used to help improve the social skills of children with autism, presenting lifelong potential benefits.
  • How autistic adults are using theatre to communicate and how this can changes our perceptions of autistic people.

Questions will also be taken from the floor. Don’t miss this important Research Tuesdays event.

The facilitator

Louise Davies is Acting CEO of Autism SA, the state’s peak body for the provision of education, care, support and advocacy for families and individuals living with ASD.

The panellists

Professor Jozef Gecz is Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute and an Affiliate Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute.

Dr Neil Kirby is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Disabilities Research Unit in the University of Adelaide’s School of Psychology.

Michael Allen is completing a Masters of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide in the Discipline of Anthropology. As part of his exogesis he is producing a play to show how theatre can create new understandings of autistic people’s capabilities.

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