13th annual Municipal Finance Conference


13th annual Municipal Finance Conference



2:00 pm EST - 6:00 pm EST

Past Event

Autism and Hope

Friday, December 16, 2005

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Recent estimates indicate that up to 1 in 200 children have a condition in the autism spectrum that includes autism, pervasive development disorder, and Asperger’s syndrome. Fortunately, over the course of the last two decades early intervention regimens for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have become much more effective.

Children with ASD are not only speaking and going to school in significant numbers, but some adolescents are no longer exhibiting the types and the severity of symptoms that led to their initial diagnosis and many are able to enjoy friendships and hold jobs. Even the more severely challenged are often doing much better than before. However, the availability of the intensive early intervention that can lead to these outcomes is highly limited in the United States. Most parents cannot afford it, and neither government nor the health insurance industry covers very much of the treatment costs for ASD.

The Brookings Institution, in conjunction with The Help Group of Los Angeles and with the additional support of the Karmazin Foundation, Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now, and Michael Fux, held a conference to examine policy proposals for expanding the availability and affordability of early intervention for ASD. Drawing on a variety of expert opinions, the conference illustrated that autism and hope are no longer mutually exclusive.


Memo to Providers trying to navigate the TRICARE bureaucracy (November 2008) » (PDF)



Michael E. O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Dr. Barbara Firestone, President & CEO, The Help Group, Los Angeles
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) 
  > video (.mpg)

Panel 1: The Nature of the Autism Spectrum Problem
Moderated by Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Director, National Institute of Mental Health 
  > presentation (.pdf)

Jose Cordero, M.D., Director, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control
  > presentation (.pdf)
Peter Bell, B.S., M.B.A., CEO, Cure Autism Now
  > presentation (.pdf)
Rafael Castro, Ph.D., CEC Partners, Boston

Panel 2: The Promise of Modern Treatment Methods

Moderated by Dr. Barbara Firestone

Catherine Lord, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, Director, Autism and Communications Disorders Center, University of Michigan
  > presentation (.pdf)
Laurie Stephens, Ph.D., Director, Autism Spectrum Disorders Program, The Help Group
Christine Caselles, Ph.D., Director, Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children, Rockville, MD
  > presentation (.pdf)
Stanley Greenspan, M.D., Ph.D., George Washington University Medical Center, inventor of Floortime Method
  > presentation (.pdf) 
  > Dr. Greenspan is also showing a video

Panel 3: What’s Wrong with Current National Policy And How To Fix It

Moderated by Michael E. O’Hanlon

Eileen Costello, M.D., Pediatrician, co-author of “Quirky Kids,” Boston University
  > presentation (.pdf)
David Mandell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  > presentation (.pdf)
Louis A. Vismara, M.D., Policy Consultant to Senator Don Perata, California Senate
  > presentation (.pdf)
Stuart Spielman, Esq., Cure Autism Now