NEWS | June 29, 2011

UC Davis, Sacramento State to hold Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders


The Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders, an annual conference on current research and best practices for clinicians, educators, students, parents, caregivers and therapists for children and adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism, will be held Aug. 5 at Sacramento State University.

The day-long conference is jointly sponsored by the UC Davis MIND Institute, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Sacramento State University and the UC Davis Health System Office of Continuing Education. Speakers will include educators and clinicians from throughout the state and nation.

The keynote speakers will be Louis Vismara, one of the founders of the UC Davis MIND Institute and the parent of a son with autism, and his daughter Laurie Vismara, an assistant research scientist at the MIND Institute. They will discuss “Autism research and policy: A family journey.”

Highlights of the event include a session presented by Sally Ozonoff, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UC Davis MIND Institute and an internationally respected expert in the early identification of autism, called “First signs of autism: Rethinking onset,” as well as a session by Isaac Pessah, director of the UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health, on “Environmental contributors to autism spectrum disorders.” 

A pre-conference workshop on the importance of self-advocacy for adolescents and adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the UC Davis MIND Institute. It will be led by Barbara Glaeser and Debra Cote, professors of special education at California State University, Fullerton.

Continuing medical education credits are available. For further information, please contact the UC Davis Health System Office of Continuing Medical Education at 916-734-5390 or

The conference is chaired by Robin L. Hansen, professor of pediatrics and director of the Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and clinical programs at the UC Davis MIND Institute. The tuition for the conference is $175 for health-care and other professionals and $100 for students or parents/caregivers. Two parents registering together qualify for a special discounted rate of $150. A group discount is also available. Tuition for the conference will increase after July 15.

The UC Davis MIND Institute, in Sacramento, Calif., was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where parents, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers collaborate to study and treat autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, Tourette syndrome, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More information about the institute, including previous presentations in its Distinguished Lecture Series, is available on the Web at