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The 5th Annual Early Autism Conference: Advances in Research and Clinical Practice

Please join us on April 18, 2024 for a series of presentations focused on motor stereotypies and other repetitive behaviors in autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions (morning session) and on mapping functional brain development in infants and toddlers with and without autism (afternoon session). The event will take place in person. Please register using the registration link on this page.

Host: Kasia Chawarska (Director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Yale Autism Center of Excellence)


8:30-8:45am Coffee and registration

8:45am Welcome and introduction
Linda Mayes, MD (Chair, Yale Child Study Center) and Kasia Chawarska, PhD (Director, Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Child Study Center)

Session 1: What are motor stereotypies and why do they matter across the neurodevelopmental spectrum?

9:00 – 9:40am The ABCs of Stereotypies: Classification, Concepts, and Genetic Factors
Thomas Fernandez, MD
Associate Professor in the Child Study Center and in Psychiatry; Vice Chair for Research, Child Study Center; Co-Director of the Tic and OCD Program, Child Study Center

9:40 – 10:20am Complex Motor Stereotypies and the Pathophysiology of Other Rewarding Behaviors
Nigel S. Bamford, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Wu Tsai Institute, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Pediatric Neurology Movement Disorders Program

10:20 – 10:30am Break

10:30 – 11:10am Complex Motor Stereotypies in Toddlers with Autism and Other Conditions
Kasia Chawarska, PhD
Emily Fraser Beede Professor of Child Psychiatry; Director, Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Child Study Center; Director, Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic

11:10 – 11:50am Unraveling the Complexity: Understanding Stereotypic Movement Disorder through Case Studies
Kelly Powell, PhD
Assistant Professor, Yale Child Study Center; Co-director, Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on your own
Alexion Caféteria, 100 College St., 8th Floor
Café George, 300 George St., 1st Floor
Bonchon, 170 College St.
Yale New Haven food trucks, 333 Cedar St. (cash only)

Session 2: Mapping functional brain development in infants and toddlers across the neurodevelopmental spectrum.

1:00 – 1:40pm Task-based fMRI in Awake Infants
Nick Turk-Browne, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology; Director, Wu Tsai Institute; Yale University

1:40 – 2:20pm Sleep R-fMRI in Preschoolers with Autism: Promises, Challenges and Solutions in Progress
Adriana DiMartino, MD

Research Director, Autism Center; Dr. John and Consuela Phelan Scholar; Senior Research Scientist, Child Mind Institute

2:20 – 2:30pm Break

2:30 – 3:10pm Connectome-based Brain Age in Infants
Dustin Scheinost, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine

3:10 – 4:00pm Understanding Language Neurodevelopment via Multi-modal Integration of Simultaneous fMRI and fNIRS
Sara Sánchez-Alonso, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Yale Child Study Center

Using fNIRS to Examine Cortical Hemodynamics of Social Cognition in Toddlers with Autism
Angelina Vernetti, PhD
Research Scientist, Yale Child Study Center

The Early Autism Conference is free of charge and is open to the research and clinical community as well as families and individuals living with neurodevelopmental conditions. Students and trainees at all levels are welcome.

Please email Gitta Selva with questions.




Host Organization




Lectures and Seminars


Apr 202418Thursday