IACC to hear about Minnesota Somali Project, Optimal Outcomes and National Children’s Study

28 Jan

The U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) meets tomorrow (January 29th). The agenda is listed online and below.

The committee and the public will hear updates on the Minnesota Somali Autism Project–a project to explore whether there is a high prevalence of autism in the Minnesota Somali community and, if so, why. The autism prevalence in Puerto Rico ranks high for the U.S., even though the territory population is largely Hispanic and Hispanics typically have a low reported autism prevalence in the U.S.. An update on the autism prevalence in Puerto Rico will be presented. A recent study on individuals who achieved what the authors refer to as “optimal outcomes” will be discussed. Also, a study of health outcomes in children with autism and their families will be presented.

The IACC will also discuss plans for moving forward. There are many areas I would like to see some focus applied to. But three I have proposed and hope to discuss are (1) the needs specific to children and adults with autism and intellectual disability and/or communication difficulty and (2) difficulties in delivery of medical services to autistics and (3) autism and epilepsy. It is too late for comments to be included in the record for this meeting, but if you have opinions of where autism research and policy should be moving towards, send the IACC comments at IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov.

Here is tomorrow’s agenda:

10:00 a.m. Welcome, Roll Call and Approval of Minutes
Thomas Insel, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health
Chair, IACC

10:05 Science Update
Thomas Insel, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health
Chair, IACC

10:20 Round Robin

10:50 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Minnesota Somali Project Update
Amy Hewitt, Ph.D.
Director, Research and Training Center on Community Living
University of Minnesota

Mashalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, M.D.
Chief, Developmental Disabilities Branch, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

11:20 Update on Autism Prevalence in Puerto Rico
Jose Cordero, M.D.
Dean, Graduate School of Public Health
University of Puerto Rico
Member, IACC

11:35 Lunch

1:00 p.m. Oral Public Comments

1:30 Optimal Outcomes in Individuals with a History of Autism
Deborah Fein, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Department of Psychology
Department of Pediatrics

2:00 Study of Health Outcomes in Children with Autism and their Families
Anjali Jain, M.D.
The Lewin Group

Craig Newschaffer, Ph.D.
AJ Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University

2:30 National Children’s Study Update
Alan Guttmacher, M.D.
Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Member, IACC

2:50 Break

3:05 IACC Business
Thomas Insel, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health
Chair, IACC

Susan A. Daniels, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Office of Autism Research Coordination
Executive Secretary, IACC

•2012 Strategic Plan Update
•2013 Strategic Plan Update Process
•2012 Summary of Advances
•2011-2012 Portfolio Analysis
•Other Activities

4:15 Public Comments Discussion Period

4:45 Wrap-Up

5:00 Adjournment


By Matt Carey

Note: I serve as a public member to the IACC. However, all comments and opinions, here and elsewhere are my own.
Note: I made small edits after I published this article to include the third area I would like to see get greater focus.

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2 Responses to “IACC to hear about Minnesota Somali Project, Optimal Outcomes and National Children’s Study”

  1. Science Mom January 29, 2013 at 00:19 #

    I’m looking forward to the Somali community results and the Puerto Rico prevalence report. I’d like to hope that the public comments would be constructive but in light of what’s happened in the past, I’m afraid it will be dominated by the usual circus side-show.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 31, 2013 at 01:49 #

      the Somali project team reviewed the history and methodology of the project, without giving preliminary results. Those will be this summer.

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