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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


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News