How will autism research transform classrooms, workplaces and families?

World acclaimed autism researchers will meet in Brisbane from 9 to 11 September for the fourth Asia Pacific Autism Conference, APAC15, to explore how we’re approaching a revolution in how autism is understood.

Jointly hosted by Autism Queensland and the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders, APAC15’s theme of “Transforming Futures” will present the latest research and evidence-based practices for autism services, treatments, interventions and education.

The conference program is designed for researchers, practitioners, teachers and educators, allied health professionals, support organisations, advocates, parents, families and carers, and policy makers.

APAC15 Committee Chair Penny Beeston said Australian research will be a major focus for the conference.

Keynote speakers confirmed to date include developmental cognitive scientist Dr Liz Pellicano from the UK, US child/adolescent psychiatrist Dr Joseph Piven and autism lecturer, Belgian consultant and author Dr Peter Vermeulen, clinical psychologist Dr Iliana Magiati from Singapore, Social Thinking creator Michelle Garcia Winner from the the US, and academic and parent Dr Yuan Gao from China.

“APAC15 will also be one of the first opportunities for people to gain insight into research coming out of the world’s first Autism Cooperative Research Centre, which was established in Brisbane in 2013,” she said.

A series of Autism CRC panels will run across the three days of the conference with key researchers presenting their findings. The APAC15 Conference Committee is currently accepting abstracts for research, innovative programs and firsthand accounts that correspond with the conference theme, "Transforming Futures", with submissions closing on February 27.

Conference registrations and call for abstracts are available at

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is amongst the most severe, prevalent and heritable of all neurodevelopmental disorders affecting at least 1 in 100 Australian children.

With an unexplained 25-fold increase in the number of diagnoses in the past 30 years, there are now more children with ASD than the combined number of children with cerebral palsy, diabetes, deafness, blindness and leukaemia.

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