The Help Group Summit 2010 – Advances and Best Practices in Autism, Learning Disabilities and ADHD convened on Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd at The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. This cutting-edge conference featured more than 30 leading experts from across the country presenting the latest research being done in their fields for parents and professionals. Generously sponsored by First 5 California and First 5 LA, this year’s Summit was a record-breaking success, with more than 700 professionals and parents in attendance.
The two-day conference was co-chaired byDr. Barbara Firestone, President and CEO of The Help Group, Dr. Robert Bilder, Chief, Medical Psychology-Neuropsychology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Professor of Psychology, UCLA and Dr. Peter Whybrow, Director, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at The Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Firestone commented, “Each year, this Summit brings together the nation’s most distinguished professionals and thought leaders in the fields of autism, learning disabilities and ADHD to share their expertise, insights and perspectives. We are delighted to give you the opportunity to learn the most current information regarding research and best practices in neurodevelopmental disabilities.”
During the luncheon program, Dr. Firestone presented artwork made by children of The Help Group to Yolanda Bosch, Chief Administrative Officer for First 5 LA as a sign of appreciation for its support of The Summit as well as programs at The Help Group that provide critically needed child abuse and neglect prevention programs that improve the quality of life of hundreds of children and families each year.
The luncheon program of the Summitwas highlighted by the presentation of The Help Group’s 2010 Distinguished Professional Award to Dr. Connie Kasari, Professor, Psychological Studies in Education, UCLA. Dr. Kasari is a founding member of theUCLACenter for Autism Research and Treatment and one of the world’s leading experts in evidence-based treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders.
At the conclusion of the luncheon program, Dr. Firestone and Dr. Bilder paid memorial tribute to Dr. Paul Satz Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and the founder of the neuropsychology program at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior andResnickNeuropsychiatricHospital. In collaboration with The Help Group, Dr. Satz established the firstSummit in 1996.
“ThisSummit, in my knowledge, is a one of a kind opportunity for people who are involved in the care of children with special needs, their families, friends and loved ones,” Dr. Bilder remarked. “It really is a unique opportunity, and I know nothing would please Paul more than seeing this process continue.”
At last year’s Summit, The Help Group announced the naming of the Paul Satz Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology in his honor. In 2006, he was honored at the Summit with a special Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his significant contributions to understanding neurodevelopmental disorders and to the progress of treatment.