NEWS | March 6, 2014

UC Davis MIND Institute announces 2014 Autism Awareness Month events

Editor's note:

For more information on events (pdf.) English or en español . View this release en español


April is Annual Autism Awareness Month, and the UC Davis MIND Institute will hold a series of activities for people of all ages and abilities during this month-long observance. Unless otherwise noted, the events are free and take place at the UC Davis MIND Institute, 2825 50th St., Sacramento, Calif. 

  • Monday, March 31, 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Poetry and Art at the MIND Institute: A partnership between the MIND Institute and the Sacramento Poetry Center

Guests are invited to view the MIND Institute’s art collection, created by artists with neurodevelopmental disorders. While viewing the art, guests will learn more about the artists’ inspiring stories. Two local organizations also will display and sell art created by artists with disabilities. After viewing the art, guests are invited to listen to poets from the Sacramento Poetry Society as they share readings about their experiences of living with autism — as a parent, sibling, friend or individual with autism.  Light refreshments will be served.

  • Saturday, April 5, 8:15 a.m. to noon and 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Workshops: Autism Diagnosis, Clinical Management and Medical Treatment

Presenters: Maria Diez-Juan, clinical psychologist Reymundo Lozano, pediatric geneticist

These two workshops will be delivered entirely in Spanish and will contain the same content. The workshop will be presented by MIND Institute clinicians and researchers Maria Diez-Juan and Reymundo Lozano. Maria Diez-Juan is a clinical psychologist specializing in autism at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, Spain, and a fellow in the MIND Institute Autism Research Training Program. Reymundo Lozano is a pediatric geneticist and MIND Institute autism researcher.  Preregistration is required to participate.  Registration information is available on the MIND Institute Autism Awareness Month Web page, or by calling 916-753-2529.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Distinguished Lecturer Series: Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder, an Emerging Global Public Health Priority

Speaker: Maureen S. Durkin, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This lecture will review recent developments in the epidemiology of autism and describe opportunities to expand the horizons of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) epidemiology and service delivery to include the 80 to 90 percent of affected individuals and families who live in low- and middle-income countries, as well as in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in the United States.

  • Sunday, April 13, 1:05 p.m.

 River Cats Double Header at Raley Field

Guests can enjoy family fun at this first River Cats double header! Children will be able to run the bases and make a baseball craft.  Be one of the first 250 kids to visit the MIND Institute table and get a prize. Artwork by artists with developmental disabilities will also be displayed throughout the stadium. Ticket purchase is required. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, specially priced tickets for this game will be available before and during general public sales by clicking here. Use offer code RC14 when making the purchase.

  • Wednesday, April 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Minds Behind the MIND: Autism Research and Clinical Update

Presenters: Sally J. Rogers, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and Judy Van de Water, professor of internal medicine; Antoinette and Fallon O’Neill, community members

A panel of researchers, clinicians and community members will present new research discoveries from the MIND Institute, addressing the identification of biomarkers for autism risk and the effects of early autism interventions.  Community members will share their experiences with autism and the transition to adulthood. Information about autism research studies will be available prior to the presentation.

  • Saturday, April 26, 11 3 p.m.

Community Open House

Members of the public are invited to join the fun at the annual MIND Institute Community Open House.  Guests may purchase lunch from one of the area’s many food trucks, watch balloon artists create whimsical animals and hats, visit one of the art stations and watch magic tricks performed by a strolling magician. Kids can enjoy riding on a special surfing machine, climb a rock wall or jump in a bounce house. Learn about services, activities and information offered by many of the area’s community resource organizations. Attendees may visit MIND Institute research tables to learn how to participate in MIND Institute research, and discover the many resources available to families, individuals, educators and other professionals in the MIND Institute Resource Area. Information will be available in English and Spanish.

  • Monday, April 28, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

AT Goes to College

Many students with disabilities use or could benefit from using assistive technology (AT) to support their learning, but what is available for use at the college level?  What can students, families and educators do to prepare for the use of assistive technology in college?  This event will provide information to families, youth with disabilities, high school educators and interested community members about AT that is commonly used in college settings in and around the Sacramento area.  In addition, the differences in AT use and support between K-12 education and college will be discussed.

  • Tuesday, April 29, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Film Screening: “Sounding the Alarm”

Northern California premiere screening of a film that takes a poignant look at the lives of 12 American families after their children receive a diagnosis of autism. “Sounding the Alarm” gives viewers a look at the profound changes 12 American families experience after their children receive an autism diagnosis. The film also includes an interview with nationally recognized MIND Institute Research Director David Amaral. The film is being presented in collaboration with Autism Speaks. Reservations are required. For reservations, contact Terri Contenti, 916-703-0289 or email

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif., was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where families, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers work together toward a common goal: researching causes, treatments and eventual preventions and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Down syndrome. More information about the institute and its Distinguished Lecturer Series, including previous presentations in this series, is available on the Web at