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SCSB Colloquium Series: Catherine Lord, Ph.D.
February 10, 2016 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm-5:00 pm, followed by reception
Speaker: Catherine Lord, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Center for Autism and the Developing Brain; New York Presbyterian Hospital; Weill Cornell Medical College; Teachers College, Columbia University
Host: Hazel Sive, Ph.D.
Talk Title: Early Regression and Worsening in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Abstract: Autism is defined by difficulties in two areas: the quality of social communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviors, onset is typically in toddler or preschool years. However, autism symptoms are just being recognized. Research suggests that many children who at later ages will meet formal diagnostic criteria for autism will not necessarily show clear difficulties in all areas at young ages. Our research and clinical work has asked whether autism can reliably be diagnosed in children as young as two years, is there a reason to distinguish autism from more broadly defined autism spectrum disorders at these young ages and what are the trajectories of development associated with autistic spectrum disorders beginning under 3 years of age. The focus is on both positive (abnormal) behaviors and negative (the absence of abnormal) behaviors, which means that developmental level and contextual effects have to be taken into account. Research suggests that it is possible to diagnose autism reliably at age two. However, there is much more variability, particularly in children with less certain diagnoses, than there will be years later. The clinical and educational implications of these findings will be discussed.