Science of Autism

Science of Autism Series

Monthly discussions on the latest scientific developments and research in the field of autism spectrum disorders. All events are held virtually on Zoom on Friday mornings at 9 am and consist of a 45-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers. These events are free but require advanced registration to receive the Zoom meeting link. Most presentations are recorded and then posted here after the event. 

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Science of Autism Discussions

Click on the title of a past event to see the recording and presentation slides.

Current Events


New Models of Medical and Mental Health for Adults and Youth with ASD

Dr. Fred Volkmar, MD

Description: Adolescents with autism/ASD face many challenges as they transition to adulthood.  These include appropriate vocational support, independent living, and access to medical and mental health care.  In this presentation, Dr. Volkmar will review the work on the best approaches to supporting the transition to adulthood and factors that predict positive outcomes.  The special mental health challenges many young adults face will be summarized and approaches to care including new approaches will be discussed.


Presentation Slides

Measurement in Neuropsychiatric Biomarkers in Autism

Dr. Adam Naples

Description: This talk will introduce attendees to current research in biomarker research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Naples will discuss findings from large-scale biomarker research studies in autism and progress in adapting biomarker measurement to heterogeneous, including previously ineligible, populations.


The Psychopharmacology of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dr. Christopher McDougle

Description: The purpose of this presentation is to describe the target symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that may be amenable to treatment with medication; the types of medication that may be helpful for improving target symptoms associated with ASD, and the potential side effects associated with these medications.  The associated target symptoms will include ADHD, Irritability (aggression, self-injury, property destruction, tantrums, and mood swings), Anxiety, Sleep Disturbances, and Language Impairment, among others.


Presentation Slides

A Roadmap for Equity in Autism Diagnosis and Care

Dr. Kate E. Wallis

Description: In this talk, I will describe disparities in autism diagnosis and interventions by race and ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, and cognitive ability, based on published studies. I will describe potential mechanisms through which disparities in autism diagnosis and care are perpetuated. And I will then discuss potential solutions to improve equity in autism identification and care.


Presentation Slides

Early Development in Autism

Dr. Suzanne Macari

Description: Social, emotional, and behavioral development in young children with autism is the focus of this presentation. Dr. Macari will discuss recent research on psychological development in very young children with autism, including work from longitudinal infant sibling studies.  




Presentation Slides

Supporting Psychological Flexibility with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Treatment

Dr. John Molteni

Description: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Treatment is an approach to addressing higher-order concept formation and psychological flexibility. As a therapeutic approach, it offers a focus on individual values as a guide for behavior change and a process for differentiating thoughts and emotions from the person (e.g., I am experiencing anger vs. I am angry).  In this presentation, we will discuss various applications of ACT across intervention contexts. 

Presentation Slides