Autism Symposium May 7 at Stanford University, Sponsored by Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

* Event theme of “Understanding the Puzzle” helps parents make sense of how new research could affect their children’s lives

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2016

STANFORD, Calif. — Raising a child with autism, parents can struggle to piece together all the information they receive. News of possible therapies, novel brain-science discoveries, and individual anecdotes about others’ treatment experiences may leave them wondering: How could this help my child?

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Stanford Medicine Children’s Health are here to help parents understand the puzzle. On May 7, the hospital presents its ninth annual Autism Spectrum Disorders Update, an event that gives members of the community a chance to learn about new autism research and therapies.

This year's conference includes keynote presentations by internationally renowned autism experts Catherine Lord, PhD, and Peter Mundy, PhD, in addition to Stanford researchers, including Vinod Menon, PhD.

Lord, of Weill Cornell Medicine at Cornell University, is a leading autism authority who is helping transform the way this disorder is diagnosed and treated. She will discuss the rationale and impact of the new diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder that came into effect in 2013, with publication of the DSM-5. Mundy, of the University of California-Davis, will speak about a core autism deficit, lack of joint attention. Many scientists theorize that this inability to gesture or talk with another person about an interesting object or event may underlie other problems in autism.

“We’re excited about all parts of the program this year,” said Antonio Hardan, MD, chief of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Autism Center at Packard Children's Hospital. “It’s great to be able to present our cutting-edge Stanford research, and we are especially glad to be bringing Dr. Lord and Dr. Mundy to Stanford in response to parents’ interests.”


In addition to the keynote presentations, Stanford autism experts will discuss a wide cross-section of topics, including new research findings in many areas of autism science from stem cell research to innovative clinical trials. The day will include breakout sessions with time for Q&A with speakers.

The complete program is online at  


Li Ka Shing Learning and Knowledge Center, Stanford University, 291 Campus Drive, Stanford, Calif.


Saturday, May 7, 2016, 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:15 a.m.)


Parents, teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, caregivers and anyone with an interest in autism spectrum disorder are invited to attend. Register online.

The $125 registration fee includes a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. Media may attend free of charge through the contact below.


Samantha Dorman
(650) 384-5826

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at