The last 20 years have seen a dramatic surge in the number of children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in California and nationwide. Symptoms of these neurodevelopmental disorders, which impact a broad cross-section of the population, include impairments in cognitive, communicative, social, and behavioral functioning. Unfortunately, a cure for these deficits remains elusive.
Whats behind this growing public health crisis? Is the increase in ASD cases real or just due to over diagnosis? And what are the ethical, social, and policy implications of how this disorder is defined, diagnosed, and treated in different communities?
In this program scientists will present what current research tell us about ASD and their complex causes, as well indicate promising avenues of future research. Panel members will also discuss commonly used treatments and their effectiveness, the existing disparities among various communities in accessing health resources provided by the state to avail themselves of these treatments, and how this inequality can be addressed at the social and policy levels.