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Autism Open Day a hit

Approximately 3-400 people attended Curtin’s Autism Open Day recently to meet autism researchers, see demonstrations of the newest technologies available and hear from parents of children on the spectrum and individuals with autism. The aim of the day, which was held in conjunction with the Autism CRC and the Telethon Kids Institute, was to create a meeting space between the autistic community and the research community.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Deborah Terry, officially opened the day, and in her speech acknowledged Joel Wilson, who initiated the idea of an open day last year. Joel, who is autistic, is a valued member of Curtin’s autism research team.

Keynote speaker, Tori Haar, who is a fantastic advocate and role model for children and young adults on the spectrum, gave an insightful presentation about living with autism.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Professor Patricia Howlin, Professor Torbjorn Falkmer, Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, Tori Haar, Lyn Beasley and Joel Wilson.
Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Professor Patricia Howlin, Professor Torbjorn Falkmer, Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, Tori Haar, Lyn Beasley and Joel Wilson.

Also presenting this year was Professor Patricia Howlin, an internationally renowned researcher whose principal research interests focus on autism and developmental disorders.

A mix of people attended the day including professionals, families, people on the spectrum and researchers from the Autism CRC. Two of the three CRC program directors reside in Western Australia, Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Senior Principal Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute, who leads Program 1, and Professor Torbjorn Falkmer, Dean of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, who leads Program 3.

Videos of presentations from the day will be available in August here.