Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spring 2013 Autism Events


autismMatch Family Consultant
Center for Autism Research

It is hard to believe that February is almost here! With the approach of spring comes a full schedule of autism events in the Greater Philadelphia region.

For your convenience, here is a compiled list of upcoming events.

Thursday, February 7th
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Wednesday, February 13th
Hosted by ASCEND – The Asperger & Autism Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Thursday, February 21st
Hosted by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

Lecture: Timothy Roberts, PhD, Vice Chair of Research, Department of Radiology, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Wednesday, February 27th
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Thursday, March 7th
Lecture: Sarah Paterson, PhD, Director of the Infant Neuroimaging Lab, Center for Autism Research, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Saturday, March 9th
Hosted by the ARC of Delaware County

Sunday, March 10th
Hosted by the Variety Club

Tuesday, March 12th
Hosted by ASCEND – The Asperger & Autism Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Thursday, March 21st
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Lecture:
  • Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, Director, Center for Applied Genomics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Maja Bucan, PhD, Professor of Genetics, Chair, Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania 
  • Tara Wenger, MD, PhD, Pediatric Genetics Fellow, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Saturday, March 23rd
Hosted by the Bucks County Autism Support Coalition (BCASC)

Tuesday, April 2nd
Resolution 62/139 of the United Nations General Assembly

Thursday, April 4th
Lecture: David Mandell, ScD, Director, Center for Mental Health Policy & Services Research, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Associate Director, Center for Autism Research, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Saturday, April 6th
Hosted by the Variety Club

Saturday, April 13th
Hosted by the Gwynedd-Mercy College Autism Institute

Sunday, April 14th
4th Annual Huddle Up for Autism
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP and the Philadelphia Eagles

Thursday, April 18th
Lecture: Gregor Kohls, PhD, Scientist, Developmental Neuroimaging Laboratory, Center for Autism
Research, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP

Saturday, April 20th
Hosted by Autism Speaks

Sunday, April 21st
Hosted by the Autism Society of America – Greater Philadelphia Chapter

Hosted by the Asperger Syndrome Education Network (ASPEN) 

Saturday, April 27th
Hosted by the Variety Club

Tuesday, May 7th
Hosted by ASCEND – The Asperger & Autism Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Saturday, May 18th
Hosted by Autism Speaks

Wednesday, May 22nd
Hosted by the Center for Autism Research at CHOP





"All In" for Kids Poker Tournament Benefits CHOP's Autism Research and Care Programs


On Thursday, January 17th, 2013, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) hosted the “All In” for Kids Poker Tournament at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City. This annual tournament, hosted by poker legend Phil Hellmuth, brings together celebrities, athletes, and professional poker players with Hospital Trustees, donors, and grateful families for an exciting and worthwhile evening to benefit Children's Hospital. This year, the beneficiary of the tournament was the Hospital’s autism research and care programs. 

We would like to give a special thank you to the event’s Honorary Chairs, Susan and Don Wenger. The Wengers became involved with CHOP’s autism program after their grandson was red-flagged for  an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at a visit to his pediatrician. The Wengers have provided financial support to help realize the Center for Autism Research’s goal of creating a Roadmap for Autism. The Roadmap will be a comprehensive website providing families with accurate information about ASD, directories of service providers at CHOP and elsewhere, and information ASD families will need at various stages of life. With so much information available on the internet, CAR hopes this will be a good starting point for reliable information for families who need help finding their way.

At the Poker Tournament, Susan Wenger welcomed the crowd and shared her story:

I know that each one of us here tonight has a different reason for attending this event. Possibly you are supporting a family member, friend or co-worker or maybe you simply enjoy playing poker. I also know that until coming face to face with the possibility of an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) diagnosis, one may not quite comprehend the conviction to fight this potentially devastating disorder.

Over the years I was certainly aware of Autism, but like so many of us, I already had charities that I was involved with and donated much of my time to… until the day that my daughter came home from my grandchild’s doctor visit – my grandchild had been red flagged for a possible ASD diagnosis.

It was as though our lives had been turned upside down and I did not know how to begin making life better for my beautiful, bright, happy grandchild!

After doing much research and after many meetings and phone calls, it became evident that we were facing a very long journey with many obstacles in our path. How could finding guidance be so difficult and locating the appropriate therapists next to impossible?!

This is when my determination began to provide a clearer path, with easier access to therapists for those families in need. I learned that The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a national leader in research and caring for Autism Spectrum Disorders. With the help of family members, I was able to raise the funds needed to enable CHOP to develop the much needed Road Map for Autism.

My hope for the future is that NO ONE be given an ASD diagnosis, however, if faced with this diagnosis, I know that the Road Map and the Center for Autism Research will be there to make the journey less stressful and provide the best chance for the brightest future for those with ASD and their families, as well as those like myself who are red-flagged and receiving guidance without a diagnosis.

In the wake of so very many children, 1 in 88, being red flagged for ASD, I do not think that anyone should feel immune to experiencing the frustrations that we have felt while trying to stay afloat!
I am here tonight on behalf of all those affected to thank you for your support, both tonight and especially in the future!!