“A new dynamic for change and inclusion” is the general theme of the congress. We want to share all the new knowledge and experiences that will move us towards an inclusive society for people with autism.
The congress is organized for three days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, so that families and professionals may take part.
The main language of the congress is English but simultaneous interpretation into French is provided in all the rooms. A translation into a second language (Spanish or Italian) is envisaged in the plenary sessions. In each session, a large place will be given to questions from the audience.
The detailed program is under construction but the main elements already known are presented hereafter.
The six speakers below confirmed their participation in the plenary lectures. The titles of the conferences will be communicated later.
Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen (United Kingdom): Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Center (ARC) in Cambridge. He has worked in particular on the theory of mind, and other topics related to screening of autism and its prevalence, genetics, cognition, and synesthesia.
Prof. Sven Bölte (Sweden): Sven Bölte is professor of child and adolescent psychiatric science at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet(KI), and senior clinical psychologist at the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Sweden. He is director of the KI Centre of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (“KIND”). He is particularly interested in autism diagnostic and evaluation tools, and their applications for interventions.
Ms. Stéfany Bonnot-Briey (France): Stéfany BONNOT-BRIEY is trainer and quality & network development manager for the AFG-AUTISME association. She is co-chair of the Autistic People Association for Responsible and Innovative Self-Determination (PAARI) and is particularly interested in self-determination for autistic persons and peer support. Stéfany BONNOT-BRIEY has participated in various work-groups in France on the public policies of autism, as a representative of autistic people.
Prof. Jean Decety (United States): Jean Decety is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago. He is also the director of the "Child Neurosuite" and the "Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory" of this university. He is a specialist in neuroscience and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie empathy, moral judgment, sensitivity to justice, as well as other areas related to how we think and act in social situations.
Prof. Hilde Geurts: (Netherlands): Hilde Geurts is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, her area of specialization is the cognition of autistic people throughout life-span. She also works as a researcher, and in this context she studies the effects of aging in people on the autism spectrum. She is particularly interested in transferring knowledge from research to practice, in order to directly benefit autistic people and their families.
Prof. Ami Klin (USA): Professor Ami Klin has been Director of the Marcus Atlanta Center for Autism since January 2011, and Head of the Autism and Related Disorders Division. He is working on setting up a very early diagnosis and autism treatment program using new technologies based on comparing the eye movements of children with autism and those of typical developing children to test and intervene with children under 6 months.
Twelve symposia will bring together speakers having interest for the same sub-topics of the conference, in connection with the call for abstracts that has been launched in 2018 and that will be closed on January 31, 2019.
The first speaker of each symposium has been invited by the scientific committee of the congress, and the following interventions have already been confirmed.
Rights and participation: Ms. Sounia Amrani, Member of the Advisory Council of the Ombudsman for Democracy and Human Rights in Morocco, and several disability rights organizations.
Neural basis of autism: Prof. Thomas Bourgeron, Professor of Biology, Director of the Unit of Human Genetics and Cognitive Functions at the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France), Member of the Academy of Sciences.
Overlap with other neuro-developmental disorders: Pr. Manuel Bouvard, Professor of child psychiatry, Head of the University Psychiatry Center for Children and Adolescents at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bordeaux, (France),
Research and Ethics: Dr. James Cusack, Director of Science at the Autistica Foundation for Autism Research (UK).
Gender and sexuality: Dr. Jeroen Dewinter, Dr. in Psychology at the University of Tilburg (The Netherlands).
Physical health and access to Primary Health care: Dr Donata Vivanti, Administrator of the European Disability Forum, representing Italy.
Mental Health: Dr. Tatja Hirvikoski, Professor of Neuropsychology, Head of Unit for Research, Development and Education at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden).
Language and communication: Dr Courtenay Frazier Norbury, Professor of Psychology, specializing in language, memory and attention issues (United Kingdom)
Responses to Intensive Care Needs and Complex Situations: Prof. Chris Oliver, Professor of Psychology Specializing in Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Diagnosis and evaluation: Prof. Herbert Roeyers, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of the Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and the Autism Reference Center at Ghent University Hospital (Belgium).
Inclusion and Accompanying Housing: Prof. Jan Tøssebro, Professor of Sociology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Specialist on Disability Issues and Disability Inclusion (Norway).
Access to education: Dr. Peter Vermeulen, Psychology specialist in autism and educational sciences (Belgium).
The other presentation of the symposiums will be selected among the abstracts received by the scientific committee for each topic. Please go to the ABSTRACT tab to post a summary for the congress. Other themes in addition to those above are also proposed (autism and new technologies, strategic planning and coordination of services).
Other communication proposals (abstracts) that will be retained by the Scientific Committee will be the subject of oral communications or poster presentations.
Workshops are organized in relation to the themes of the congress but on more practical subjects and which can give examples of international cooperation. Two workshops have already been announced and we are hoping for other proposals.
A digital exhibition of work by autistic artists will be presented during the congress. Please go to the "Social Program and Cultural Events" sub-menu of the PROGRAM tab for details.