Many children and adults with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have cooccurring
health problems. Recent large-scale studies have confirmed that several medical
conditions are significantly prevalent in people with autism compared to the typical
population, including: eczema, allergies, asthma, ear and respiratory infections,
gastrointestinal problems, obesity, sleep problems, bowel disease, severe headaches,
migraines, and seizures.
This conference was designed for physicians, nurse practitioners, education specialists and
other professionals interested in learning more about autism spectrum disorders. The
speakers for this conference are highly regarded scientists and clinicians specializing in
autism spectrum disorder. They presented on a range of topics, including evaluation and
treatment of gastrointestinal and sleep problems, medication intervention, and the role of
nutrition and physical activity in treatment.
Featured Speakers Included:
** Members of The Center for Discovery’s ASSET Leadership and Team.
**Theresa Hamlin, Ed.D., P.D., is the Associate Executive Director of The
Center for Discovery, which is a national premier specialty center for the
advanced care of individuals with developmental disabilities, medical
frailties and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is an internationally
known expert and educator in the area of special education, developmental
disabilities and ASD. She has served as expert advisor to leaders of
developing countries and in 2004 she represented the United States in a joint
US-India meeting of experts on ASD in India. Dr. Hamlin leads research
efforts at The Center looking at responses to intervention for children with
ASD at the Discovery School. She is involved in the establishment of an
integrated, short-term stay Assessment Center for children with ASD. She is
also involved in the development of the Health E6 comprehensive approach
to treating autism.
Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D. Mortimer D. Sackler Associate
Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University and is currently a faculty
member at Columbia University Medical Center and New York State
Psychiatric Institute. He is Board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
and Adult Psychiatry. He is a leading research expert in Autism Spectrum
**Kara Gross Margolis, M.D. is an Assistant Professor, Department of
Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center in the Department of
Gastroenterology, Divsion of Pediatric Gastroenterology. She is a leading
research specialist in the brain-gastrointestinal link in Autism Spectrum
Disorder and a member of the research committee at The Center for
**John Ratey, M.D. is a psychiatrist and an Associate Clinical Professor of
Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School with extensive publications. He is a
leading expert on the neuropsychiatry of Autism Spectrum Disorder and
effect of exercise in the treatment of ASD. He is also a member of the
research committee at The Center for Discovery.
Terry Katz, Ph.D. is a Senior Instructor with Distinction and psychologist at
the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics.
She established a sleep behavior clinic for children with neurodevelopmental
disorders at Children’s Hospital in Colorado, co-chaired the Autism
Speaks/Autism Treatment Network Sleep Committee, conducts research on
sleep and autism spectrum disorders and is particularly interested in the
ways in which parents can be taught to help improve their children’s sleep.
**Katherine L. Tucker, Ph.D. is a Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology,
Department of Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences, University of
Massachusetts Lowell. She also has adjunctive faculty appointments at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School and Tufts University. She is an
author of over 250 peer reviewed articles and her research focuses on dietary
intake and risk of chronic illness. She is a member of the research
committee at The Center for Discovery.
**George Todd, M.D. is the Chair of the Department of Surgery at St. Luke’s-
Roosevelt Hospital and is an author on over 100 publications in his field. He is
currently the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board at The Center for
Discovery and has served on the Board of Directors for many years.
Patrick H. Dollard – President and Chief Executive Officer, The Center for
Discovery. The Center is an internationally renowned provider of research,
intervention and residential services for children and adults with
developmental disabilities and medical complexities, including autism
spectrum disorders. The Center pioneered the development of
environmentally advanced health care and educational facilities such as
The Discovery Health Center, and The Thanksgiving Farm CSA. The Center
is developing a Regional Children’s Assessment Center and Skilled
Nursing Facility and has a major project underway in Hurleyville.