Oct 19, 2012

ASD expert headlines Center for Disabilities’ Fall Autism Conference

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Center for Disabilities at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine will host “Bridges to Adulthood for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum: Promoting Lives of Competence, Dignity, and Quality,” a two-day conference at the Holiday Inn Centre in Sioux Falls, Nov. 12-13.

Keynote speaker for the conference is Dr. Peter Gerhardt, the Upper School for the McCarton School education director and founding chair of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research. Gerhardt has more than 30 years of experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He has written several articles and book chapters on adolescents and adults dealing with ASD, and presented internationally on this topic.

“Providing services to assist in the transition to adulthood is an ever increasing need in our efforts to support individuals with ASD. Issues such as education, housing, recreation, health care, and employment opportunities must all be adequately addressed.” stated Dr. Eric Kurtz, director of the ASD Program at the Center for Disabilities.

Cost of the conference, which runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, is $200 for professionals, $100 for a family member of an individual with a disability, and $60 for full-time students. For more information or to register for the conference, go to www.usd.edu/medical-school/center-for-disabilities/fall-autism-conference.cfm.

About the Sanford School of Medicine

For more than a century, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has set the standard for medical education of students, residents and professionals in the state. The school’s mission includes education, research and service. It emphasizes family practice to help create the next generation of doctors for all parts of the state. The school’s economic impact includes attracting $17 million annually in research funding as well as hosting two of the four 2010 Research Centers designated by the governor.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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