Optimism and Hope for the Future of Autism Discussed at Eden Autism Services 20th Annual Princeton Lecture Series

Princeton, NJ, March 27, 2014 --(PR.com)-- On Friday, March 21, 2014, Eden Autism Services, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization serving individuals with autism, presented its 20th Annual Princeton Lecture Series at Princeton University’s McDonnell Hall. For families and professionals, Eden’s Princeton Lecture Series is an open forum where leading authorities in the field present new findings and future possibilities for the treatment and awareness of autism.

Attendees at this year’s Princeton Lecture Series heard from four distinguished and knowledgeable guest lecturers who shared their various perspectives in the autism field.

The morning kicked off with an inspiring and optimistic look at the understanding and treatment of autism by V. Mark Durand, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. He focused upon Functional Communication Training to help reduce challenging behaviors in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

His talk was followed by Margaret Bauman, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. She spoke of the importance of medical co-morbidities in autism. She stated that you should not assume that all behaviors are “behavioral” or psychiatric in origin. She cited several incidents where behaviors in persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder were the result of a medical condition, such as gastrointestinal problems.

Afternoon presentations included the Honorable Helen E. Hoens, former Justice of the NJ Supreme Court and the mother of an adult son with autism. She reflected upon her past experiences as a mother of a child with autism while also looking ahead to the future.

Paul Wehman, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University concluded the Keynote presentations with his talk about youth with autism and the transition into adulthood and employment.

The day ended with a thought provoking question and answer panel comprised of the guest speakers as well as additional experts in the autism field.

New to this year’s Princeton Lecture Series was the inclusion of several Eden students and adult participants who assisted with morning registration and introduced all of the speakers.

“This year’s Princeton Lecture Series was a shining example of how we can all work together to create more hope and understanding for individuals with autism and their families,” said Peter Bell, President & CEO, Eden Autism Services. “Twenty years ago, the prevalence rate for autism in the U.S. was 1 in 2,500 and was considered untreatable. Today, even though the prevalence rate has soared to 1 in 88 (1 in 49 in New Jersey), our understanding of the disorder has improved, treatments are more readily available and we can recognize that better outcomes are possible.”

Funded in part by the Asch Foundation for Funding Education and Research in Autism and the Puzio Family Charitable Trust, Eden’s Princeton Lecture Series is a program of Eden Outreach Services, which is supported in part by Wawa, Inc., the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, the Connor P. Casey Foundation, and the Torch Foundation.

Founded in 1975, Eden Autism Services was among the first to provide a wide range of science-based services to children and adults with autism through early intervention, 3 to 21 education, employment, adult residential, and consultative programs employing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). With a national prevalence rate of 1 in 88 births (1 in 49 in New Jersey), autism is the third most common developmental disability. Recognized nationally, Eden is a leader in working with individuals who have the most challenging behavioral and cognitive deficits. Eden's outreach department offers support and training for families and professionals and has made available for purchase the Eden assessment and curriculum, available in print and online (ELMS: Eden’s Learning Management System), which is comprised of nearly 40 years of clinical experience. For more information, visit www.edenautism.org or call (609) 987-0099. Follow Eden on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Eden Autism Services
Aileen Kornblatt