Autism can be detected between 12 and 24 months of age. So why is the average age of diagnosis still close to 5 years? Researchers at the University of Minnesota are trying to change that through innovative training and intervention programs for providers who work with families in the community. The webinar will cover recent research advances in the early identification and intervention of very young children with autism. We will provide background information on the gap between what is known about early diagnosis and intervention and what is being done in practice. We will describe what research has identified as the earliest signs of autism and how early intervention can prevent and reduce negative outcomes of autism from unfolding in the critical early childhood years.
Sheri Stronach is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Dr. Stronach’s current research interests include describing early social communication across cultures, promoting community engagement to improve the early identification and intervention of ASD, and exploring cultural adaptations for caregiver-implemented early intervention models. In addition to teaching several undergraduate and graduate courses, she also coordinates her department’s graduate Bilingual and Multicultural Emphasis Program.
Amy Esler is an assistant professor in Pediatrics, psychologist in the Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinic, and director of the Fragile X Clinic at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Dr. Esler specializes in early screening and diagnosis of ASD and is interested in the interaction between culture, screening and diagnostic practices, and access to services. Her research focuses on autism prevalence and early detection.