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The Conference on Autism Innovations and Global Impact Conference: State of the Science at the Els Center for Excellence (in Jupiter, Florida) was a tremendous success. The conference had wonderful speakers as well as the topics were very varied, including Cultural adaptation of Empirically-based treatments for ASD in various parts of the world, new and significant research from experts in the areas, and also discussion of the future of diagnosis and treatment of Autism. Cultural competency was very present in this conference.  Professionals from all areas (physicians, psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers) and parents were present. The Els Center proved to be not just a Center for Excellence for their local and global programs, but also to provide their very first conference with the greatest proficiency and superiority.



One of the most important “take home messages” for clinicians and parents was very clear: The earlier one can be diagnosed, the better the interventions for the child. As a matter of fact, with Dr. Ami Klin’s research clearly suggested that if babies could be screened for any differences in social interaction with their caregivers even before the age of 18, they would then benefit from receiving intervention that would help babies and families even if the diagnosis of ASD would not be made: By providing parents with guidance and with coaching on engaging their children in intense social engagement and interaction, one could only benefit from such experience! So, I would like to recommend that pediatricians continue to screen all their patients for ASD during the 18 month and the 24 month old visit to their offices. But not only that, but also that pediatricians ask parents questions about their interaction with their babies, and that the doctors also observe their interaction with their babies as well during visits even before the 18-month visit with their pediatricians. I am very pleased to also inform that I have been working in the area of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, P.C.I.T., when parents are coached in their interaction with their children and they are the agents of change for the quality of social and emotional engagement with their children, and in this case, the children with ASD. 

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