CSUSB Palm Desert Campus to host autism lecture


Cal State San Bernardino’s Institute for Child Development and Family Relations will present “Controversies and Trends in Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders,” a lecture by Danelle Hodge on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the university’s Palm Desert Campus.

PDC entranceThe free presentation will be at 5 p.m., in the Oliphant Auditorium and is offered to professionals and non-professionals who have an interest in autism spectrum disorders.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Why are the rates of autism skyrocketing?
  • Are immunizations causing autism?
  • Why is the American Psychiatric Association changing the diagnostic criteria for autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) describes a group of complex brain disorders that includes autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified and Asperger’s syndrome. These disorders share in common, to varying degrees, deficits in social functioning, communication impairments and the presence of repetitive behaviors.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 American children is somewhere on the autism spectrum. This represents a ten-fold increase in prevalence of ASD over the past 40 years. Affecting more than 2 million individuals in the U.S., ASD is more common than juvenile diabetes, AIDS and cancer, combined. The rapid prevalence increase, as well as the complexity of the disorder, has led to a flood of information, both accurate and inaccurate. This presentation will address some of the most common debates in the field of ASD research.

Hodge is the associate director of research at Cal State San Bernardino’s University Center for Developmental Disabilities, the coordinator for community outreach at the Institute for Child Development and Family Relations and an adjunct faculty member at CSUSB.

Hodge uses a bio-ecological approach to understand ASD. She has specific interests in the relative roles of genetics and the environment and the impact of a child with ASD on other family members.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the University Center for Developmental Disabilities, the CSUSB College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Health Assessment Resource Center (HARC).

The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus is located at 37-500 Cook St.

For more information, visit the CSUSB Institute for Child Development and Family Relations website, call (909) 537-3679 or e-mail icdfr@csusb.edu.

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the campus’s Office of Public Affairs at (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107 or msinger@csusb.edu.