Autism Awareness Month at ICI
April is Autism Awareness Month. With two centers - Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program (MN LEND) and the Research and Training Center on Community Living - and numerous projects and publications related to the needs of children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ICI staff are always working to raise awareness about autism. This month provided several additional outreach opportunities, including participation in the University of Minnesota Autism Initiative Day on April 8, where ICI’s Joe Timmons spoke on person-centered practices, and ICI’s Minnesota Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (MN-ADDM) project gave a poster presentation created by Amy Hewitt, Amy Esler, Jennifer Hall-Lande, Kristin Hamre, and Anab Gulaid. On April 13, Hewitt presented in St. Paul at “Autism in the Somali Community and Vaccine Hesitancy,” a professional forum sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health. On April 15, Gulaid (pictured on right), Hewitt, and Hall-Lande participated in the fourth annual World Autism Day gathering sponsored by the Somali Parents Autism Network, sharing information on developmental milestones and indicators for ASD. And Joe Reichle will close out the month when he presents, “Positive Behavior Supports for Persons with ASD: Evidence-Based Strategies for Home and School,” at the Autism Society of Minnesota annual conference in Minneapolis, which ICI and MN LEND are co-sponsoring on April 27-30.