Autism: A Multidisciplinary Policy Prospective

When: Thursday, April 2, 2009
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: University Club
76 East Monroe Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Register Today

In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest revised prevalence figures for autism. As reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, research indicates that the prevalence of autism is now one in 150, an increase from the CDC’s January 2004 figure of one in 166. This data and the findings from subsequent studies suggest that autism has become a public health concern.

There is a great need for further research, education, treatments, funding and comprehensive legislation. With no clear path to treat the symptoms of this medical condition, policymakers are challenged in their efforts to address diagnosis and early interventions, treatment methodologies, the environmental triggers that may cause autism, and research initiatives.

Please join us on World Autism Day as the DePaul University College of Law Health Law Institute facilitates an essential dialogue on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Recognizing that families and individuals living with autism have a multitude of needs, expert panelists — including physicians, mental health professionals, attorneys and legislative experts — will discuss a range of issues, including early intervention, education, communication and social skills, medical and psychological interventions, and the development of law and policy. Attendees will learn how the current medical, education, psychosocial and legislative issues impact policy initiatives.


8:45   Welcome

Nanette Elster, JD, MPH
Director, Health Law Institute DePaul University College of Law
9:00 – 10:15   Education Issues

Nelly Aguilar, JD
DePaul University College of Law

Deborah Pergament, MLS, MA, JD
Children’s Law Group

Mary Kay Klimesh, JD
Seyfarth Shaw, LLP
10:15 – 10:30   Panel Q&A
10:30 – 10:45   Break
10:45 – 11:45   Psychosocial Issues

Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD
Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, Loyola University of Chicago

Diane Gould, LCSW, BCBA
Diane Gould Psychotherapy

John FS Williams, M.Ed., LCPC
Director, Youth Services, Oak Park and River Forest Townships
11:45 – 12:00   Panel Q&A
12:00 – 1:15   Lunch (provided)
1:15 – 2:30   Medical Issues

Eugene Schnitzler, MD
Loyola University Health System

Ann Cutler, MD
Institute on Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago

William Dobyns, MD, PhD
The University of Chicago Medical Center
2:30 – 3:15   Panel Q&A
3:15 – 3:30   Break
3:30 – 4:30   Policy/Legal Issues

Susan H. Loeb, JD
Your Benefits Advocate

William Kling, JD
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health

Laura Cellini, MA
Illinois Autism Task Force
4:45 – 5:00   Panel Q&A
3:15 – 3:30   Closing Remarks


DePaul Students and Faculty
Free - Register with Rhea Alexis Banks at

DePaul Alumni ... $100.00
Non-DePaul Attendees with CLE ... $150.00
Non-DePaul Attendees with no CLE ... $100.00

Register Today

Limited scholarships are available. For more information, please contact Rhea Alexis Banks at or (312) 362-7271.

DePaul University College of Law is an accredited Illinois MCLE provider. This event is approved for up to 6.75 hours of CLE credit.

This event is sponsored in part by a generous grant from Autism Speaks.

Family Law