Autism Research lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.
Once considered an extremely rare childhood mental disorder, autism is now recognized as a common neurodevelopmental disability, affecting more than 1 percent of the population in the U.S. Reasons for the rise in prevalence are not fully understood, but they are likely associated with societal and cultural influences, and the expansion of the concept of autism to a spectrum disorder: autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
In this lecture, Maureen Durkin will discuss trends in the prevalence of ASD, focusing on the role of intellectual disability — both as a co-occurring condition with ASD and in terms of using ASD as a diagnostic substitute for intellectual disability. She will also explore evidence of socioeconomic disparities in access to ASD diagnostic and therapeutic services, the cultural and financial barriers underlying these disparities, and the need to incorporate modern concepts of disability into the epidemiology of ASD, placing emphasis not only on primary prevention of impairments but also on enhancement of functioning and social inclusion of people with ASD.