The Help Group Summit 2012 – Advances and Best Practices in Autism, Learning Disabilities and ADHD took place on October 26th and 27th at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. With First 5 California as the Major Sponsor and ABC 7 as Media Sponsor, this year’s event featured 30 leading experts who provided cutting-edge information to 600 attendees.

The conference was chaired by The Help Group President & CEO Dr. Barbara Firestone, and UCLA Semel Institute Director Peter C. Whybrow, MD and Chief of Medical Psychology/Neuropsychology, UCLA-Semel Institute, Robert M. Bilder, PhD. Keynote speakers included David Amaral, PhD; Richard Lavoie, MA, MEd; Eric Fombonne, MD; and presenters included Robert Accordino, MD, MSc; Bruce Baker, PhD; Jan Blacher, PhD; Stephanie Bodison, OTD, OTR/L; Jason Bolton, PsyD; Florence Clark, PhD; Pamela Clark, MA; Pamela Crooke, PhD; Diane M. Danis, MD, Shannon Des Roches Rosa; Amy Griffiths, PhD; Diane Haager, PhD; Stephen Hinshaw, PhD; Ted Hutman, PhD; Jane Kim, MS; Elizabeth Laugeson, PsyD; Pamela Lein, PhD; Philip Levin, PhD; Pat Levitt, MD; Sara McCracken, PsyD; David Miklowitz, PhD; Robert Suddath, MD; Jane Tavyev Asher, MD; Judy Van De Water; PhD; Louis Vismara, MD; and Janis White, EdD.

David Ono, co-anchor of ABC 7 Eyewitness News and multi-award winning reporter, emceed the Summit luncheon. In welcoming the sold-out crowd, he said. “ABC is proud to once again be the media sponsor for this fantastic event that brings together so many researchers, clinicians, educators and parents all dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults affected by autism, learning disabilities and ADHD.”

Dr. Firestone presented The Help Group’s 2012 Champion for Children Award to Senator Carol Liu, California State Senate, 21st District and member of the Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders. “Senator Liu is an ardent advocate on behalf of individuals with autism,” said Dr. Firestone. “We are immensely grateful for her many efforts and dedication to the children of California.”

To cap off the luncheon proceedings, The Help Group’s Children’s Choir performed a wonderful musical tribute to Sen. Liu, First 5 California and ABC 7 and everyone gathered.


Leave a Reply