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Princeton Lecture Series Attracts A Sell-Out Crowd

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Eden Autism held its 23rd annual Princeton Lecture Series on April 6th & 7th. Sold out on both days, the event achieved its long-standing mission to bring awareness, educate, and create conversation in the field of autism.

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The lecture series was established to bring distinguished leaders in the field of autism together for an annual gathering in which to present on their latest work. While fostering a better understanding of any number of autism-related topics over the years, the lecture series has inspired family members, teachers, direct care staff, and therapists by providing the opportunity to learn from and interact directly with renowned experts.

Based on attendance and the results of our survey, this year’s event was one of our most successful, and among the best collection of experts to date.

Our guest speakers and their presentation topics included:

Alessio Fasano, MD

Mass General Hospital for Children

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Dr. Fasano presented Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Paradigm of What Can Go Wrong in the Gut-Brain Cross Talk. His research focuses on how environmental risk factors and triggers, along with the gut brain axis, correlate to individuals with autism. Dr. Fasano also reported on the role that certain diets can play. His work is unique and demonstrates how knowledge of both internal and external factors can be utilized in individuals diagnosed with autism.

Mary Jane Weiss, PhD

BCBA-D Endicott College

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Professor Weiss presented Teaching Meaningful Skills Across the Lifespan: Ensuring that Individuals with Autism Achieve Outcomes that Matter. Professor Weiss was also our featured presenter on day one of the series where she presented Comprehensive ABA Programming for Individuals with Autism: Utilizing the Full Range of Effective Teaching Strategies.

Professor Weiss focused on functionality and the importance of teaching skills that make sense in natural settings. She touched on subjects that included: can the learner master the skill or will a caregiver or teacher be required to carry it out; the teaching of age appropriate skills; and consideration of the frequency with which skills taught will be used and maintained naturally. Her work emphasizes the importance of determining goals through individual assessment; that how, where and what we teach matters; and the value and uses of behavioral shaping and task analysis.

Craig Newschaffer, PhD

Drexel University


Dr. Newschaffer presented Does the Environment Contribute to Causing ASD? What We Know and What it Means for Science and Families.

As a top epidemiologist, he presented his developing research on the discovery of modifiable environmental autism risk factors through studies on pregnancies.

Special Guest

Noah Britton, MA

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This year’s special guest was Noah Britton, MA, a psychology professor at Bunker Hill Community College, comedian and individual with autism. Professor Britton has worked with other autistic people since 2005 as a counselor, life coach, and self-advocate.

As has become our tradition, several Eden students and adult participants introduced our speakers and kicked off their presentations in a most special way.

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