Transforming Beginnings - Let's start at the very beginning

The theme for the fourth Asia Pacific Autism Conference (APAC15) to be held in Brisbane next week from 9 to 11 September is Transforming Futures and the supportive streams start with Transforming Beginnings. This stream is filled with the latest findings from research, early intervention, diagnosis and approaches for the early years of autism for both children and their families.

Dr Joseph Piven from the US will present in the opening plenary on Brain and Behaviour Development in Autism during the First Two Years of Life.

Also on Day 1, The Autism CRC Program 1 panel includes Olga Tennison Research Centre's Professor Cheryl Dissanayake presenting on the Developmental Surveillance for ASD with prospective identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD] in Infants and Toddlers and Dr Josephine Barbaro on the development and efficacy of a family support package for parents of newly diagnosed children with ASD. CRC Chair Judy Brewer will present details of the Autism Biobank.

An extensive selection of speakers and topics will also feature in the afternoon concurrent sessions of APAC15.

These include Amanda Brignell's presentation on Diagnosing Autism from an Australian Paediatric Research Network survey as well as the loss of communication skills over the second year of life in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; while Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett share their research into Detecting ASD Level 1 [Asperger's Syndrome] in young girls; and Bee Hong Lo poses the question, re all children suspected of having Autism diagnosed with an ASD in his presentation.

A Case Series on evaluation of a Parent-Mediated Early Play Program for Improving Early Social Communication and Play Skills and Social Emotional Development in Young Children with Autism will be presented by Genevieve Johnsson; Gabriella Vascotto will share on the topic of Intervention for Early Childhood Educators, and Karen McKinnon presents on Getting the Best Start in Life: Outcomes for Young Children with ASD Receiving Early, Intensive Behavioural Intervention.

Mirko Uljarevic focuses on Measuring Repetitive and Restricted Behaviours in Children and Adults : Validation and Heritability of Two new Instruments and Kristelle Hudry will present on Very Early Intervention for Infants at High-Risk of Autism. Beth Mozolic-Staunton whose topic of Right Kids, Right Time, Right Services: looks at the Developmental Surveillance in Early Childhood Education Settings.

Research on an eye tracking study, cognitive behaviour therapy, changes in gastrointestinal microbiota in a mouse model of Autism as well as suppression of nueroligin-2 in Cortical regions that leads to Hyperactivity and Autistic like Behaviour Features will all be presented at APAC 15.

Erin Leif presents a review of strategies for Preventing and Managing Problem Behaviour displayed by Children with Autism and Carmela Miniscalco shares the neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopment outcome of children at Age 6 and 7 Years who screened positive for language problems at 30 months.

Jointly hosted by Autism Queensland and the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the APAC15 program features clinicians, educators, researchers, people with ASD, parents and others involved in working with people on the spectrum for three days of expert learning.

The full program is available online at