FEATURE | Posted April 10, 2014

Celebrate autism awareness

MIND Institute observes National Autism Awareness Month

MIND Institute
UC Davis MIND Institute

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and the UC Davis MIND Institute is marking the health observance with a month-long series of events — including lectures, a community open house, film screening and a health fair — most of them free and open to the public. The events are designed to appeal to people of all ages and levels of ability.

On April 13 children and adults can attend a special Sacramento River Cats double header against the Salt Lake Bees at Raley Field. Kids can run the bases and will receive a prize if they visit the MIND Institute booth on the concourse. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. To purchase reduced-price tickets, visit the River Cats’ website and enter offer code RC14.

Two of the world’s leading autism researchers, UC Davis professor Judy Van de Water and Sally Rogers, will provide updates on their groundbreaking research during the Minds Behind the MIND panel discussion on April 16. The Minds Behind the MIND series features UC Davis researchers and community representatives who place living with neurodevelopmental disorders in perspective. The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in the MIND Institute auditorium.

Balloon artists, food trucks, magic tricks and a rock climbing wall are among the attractions planned for the MIND Institute Community Open House on Saturday, April 26. The fun-filled event will offer information on services provided by local community organizations serving people with developmental disorders, and participants can learn how to participate in MIND Institute research. The event starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

More people with autism are attending college, and assistive technology can help support them. On Monday, April 28, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. the MIND Institute’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities will offer insights into how assistive technology is used in college settings and how students may benefit.

Finally, on Tuesday, April 29, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the MIND Institute will host the Northern California premiere screening of “Sounding the Alarm,” a film that examines the lives of 12 American families after their children receive a diagnosis of autism, presented in collaboration with the science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks. The film includes an interview with MIND Institute Research Director David Amaral.

For reservations, contact Terri Contenti, 916-703-0289, theresa.contenti@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.