SFARI director of clinical research Wendy Chung presented What We Know About Autism to those gathered in Vancouver, Canada, for the TED2014 conference on March 19, 2014.
The talk, geared to the lay public during Autism Awareness Month, covered topics ranging from reasons for increased autism prevalence to the role genetics plays in the disorder.
Focusing on some of the suspected causes of autism, Chung stated clearly — to applause — that no credible scientific studies exist showing a link between vaccines and autism.
Chung’s presentation also explored sex differences in autism, the importance of early detection for the best chance at intervention and the future of treatments.
“The TED talk was a wonderful opportunity to take the creativity and energy of the TED community and partner it with the insight and experiences of families with autism to identify new opportunities to improve the lives of individuals and families living with autism,” Chung said.
Chung emphasized to TED attendees that while the science of autism is advancing, more progress and more active participation in research are needed. She stressed the importance of building a robust community focused on identifying the important issues in autism research and asked interested parties to join the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), an online community of families affected by autism.
Visit SFARI.org, the website of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, to learn about advances in autism science.
Read TED’s blog post about Wendy Chung’s talk.
Read Wendy Chung’s autism FAQ for families.