By Christine Wu Nordahl, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
UC Davis MIND Institute
For researchers and clinicians at the MIND Institute, Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month is an opportunity to reflect on our commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals and families with neurodevelopmental disabilities. We embrace and celebrate diversity in all forms and are striving to promote equal access to high quality health care, education, and research for ALL members of our community. Below we highlight ongoing programs and recent educational webinars related to DEI efforts. Learn more about our recent research findings here.
Also, all are welcome to join us Saturday, April 10 from 11:00-1:00 for a virtual open house featuring a behind the scenes tour of the MIND Institute and presentations from MIND Institute researchers. Register for this webinar here.
Parent support groups and resources
- Sankofa (African American Developmental Disabilities Alliance) Come join a social network for parents and caregivers of African American children with disabilities. Our goal is to support parents as they advocate for the needs of their child. The next meeting is scheduled for April 28, 2021 via zoom. Click here for details. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-703-0403.
- Apoyo de Padres para Padres (Parents Supporting Parents) (PDF) Padres para Padres es un grupo de apoyo continuo que es realizado completamente en español. Esta es una oportunidad para los padres de niños con necesidades especiales para compartir sus ideas y sentimientos en un ambiente de apoyo y confidencial. Para registrarse, por favor llame al 916-703-0439.
Apoyo de Padres para Padres (Parents Supporting Parents) is an ongoing parent support group that is conducted entirely in Spanish. It is an opportunity for parents of children with disabilities to share their thoughts and feelings in a supportive and confidential environment. To register, please call 916-703-0439.
- Vamos a platicar (Let's Talk) Venta a compartir sus experiencias y a apreder sobre el diagnóstico, necesidades y servicios de su hijo, además de conocer a otros padres. Para registro y estacionamiento gratuitito, por favor comuníquese al 916-703-0439.
Vamos a platicar (Let’s Talk) is an opportunity to learn about information and resources from professionals supporting people with disabilities and their families, as well as share with other parents with the same concerns and needs. Presented ONLY in SPANISH
- ADEPT (Autism Distance Education Parent Training) Interactive Learning is an original 10-lesson interactive, self-paced, online learning module providing parents with tools and training to more effectively teach their child with autism and other related neurodevelopmental conditions functional skills using applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques. Available in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Spanish.
- Distinguished Lecturer Series – ‘What can historically marginalized groups teach us about the research to practice gap in ASD?’ Dr. Aubyn Stahmer discusses the poor understanding of necessary adaptations for best-practice interventions to work for racially and ethnically diverse families, as well as the MIND Institute’s efforts to address the gap.
- MINDS Behind MIND – Neurodiversity, Autism, and Identity
Panel featuring self-advocates, parents, and professionals sharing their perspectives on how multiple identities impact life experiences and relationships.
- Neurodiversity Summit - sponsored by the Center for Mind and Brain and the MIND Institute and featuring presentations and discussions on topics including:
- Education and how teachers interact with students on the autism spectrum and whether there might be better ways of fostering richer learning opportunities for students. Learn more from the panel discussion.
- Important controversies that today surround early ABA intervention for young children on the autism spectrum
- How the neurodiversity movement can apply not just to autism but to many disabilities.
- The importance of participatory research and the under-explored concept of autistic burnout
- Ways in which researchers could better autistic people and align their work with the neurodiversity approach
- Spanish-language Seminars of Excellence in Neurodevelopmental Research series -
A presentation from Dr. Manuel Casanova "From bench discoveries to clinical therapy in autism: transcranial magnetic stimulation" launched this new virtual seminar series.
- Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders – This year’s virtual event, ‘Women on the Spectrum: From Research to Real Life’ featured presentations about camouflaging in autistic women and the intersection of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in women. The highlight was a panel discussion of autistic women sharing their unique experiences.
- ECHO Autism The ECHO model is a teleconferencing program connecting our hub team of autism experts here at the UC Davis MIND Institute to practitioners working in underserved and rural areas. Practitioners receive training in understanding and treating issues related to autism and participate in case conferences to promote their confidence in working with complex children and families. Read more about the recently launched ECHO Autismo, which expands and improves autism care for children in Latin America by offering sessions in Spanish. You can also learn more in this Spanish language video.