Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to Keynote KiDA’s Third Annual Summit on Autism

Kids Institute for Development and Advancement’s Conference at UC Irvine Will Highlight Autism’s Impact on the Family and Technology’s Impact on Autism

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is the Keynote Speaker at KiDA's Third Annual Autism Summit. (Photo: Business Wire)

IRVINE, Calif.--()--Kids Institute for Development and Advancement (KiDA), a premier center for autism treatment, hosts its Third Annual Summit on Autism Saturday, September 17, 2011, at the University of California, Irvine’s Bren Events Center, beginning at 8:00 am. The national conference on issues related to autism and mental health will have two themes: (1) Autism and its impact on family, and (2) Technology and its impact on autism. The Summit is aimed at parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, therapists, and other community members affected by autism.

UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake, M.D. will open the Summit and Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will deliver the keynote address, discussing the impact of autism on the entire family. For over three decades, Mrs. Carter, who founded the Carter Center’s Mental Health Task Force and has authored three books related to mental health and caregivers, has advocated for positive changes in the mental health field. She also will sign her new book, Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis.

“We hope that we can have a positive impact on both awareness of autism and potential solutions to help families impacted by autism in California and nationwide,” says Fariborz Maseeh, KiDA’s founder and a parent dealing with autism.

In addition to Mrs. Carter, the summit’s first panel on the impact of autism on the family will include the following nationally recognized autism experts: Dr. Wendy Goldberg, Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior and Education at UC Irvine; Dr. Connie Kasari, Professor of Psychological Studies in Education and Psychiatry at UCLA; and Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation.

The second panel will highlight technological advancements and their impact on autism, with expert presenters including: Dr. Howard Shane, Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and Autism Language Program at Children’s Hospital Boston; and Dr. Matthew Goodwin, Director of Clinical Research at the MIT Media Lab and Co-Director of the Autism Technology Initiative at MIT.

Other participating experts include faculty from UC Irvine and CHOC Children’s Hospital.

Following the summit, attendees will have the opportunity to view and participate in an interactive showcase of the latest technological advancements related to autism, presented by Drs. Shane and Goodwin.

About Autism and KiDA

Autism is a social epidemic that currently affects one in every 91 children.

Kids Institute for Development & Advancement (KiDA) is an integrated center of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder located in Irvine, California. KiDA’s state-of-the-art facility provides education, therapy, and medical services by expert staff. In addition to social groups and individual therapy, KiDA offers a full-time school featuring individualized, comprehensive education for kids with autism. For more information or to schedule a tour (16832 Red Hill Avenue, Irvine, CA 92606), call 949.222.2214 or visit

In addition to KiDA, Summit co-sponsors include:

University of California, Irvine:

Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion.

CHOC Children’s:

Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2011-2012), CHOC Children’s is exclusively committed to the health and well being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional healthcare network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four centers of excellence – The CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.

For OC Kids:

For over 10 years, For OC Kids Neurodevelopmental Center has provided comprehensive care for children with autism and a wide range of developmental, behavioral, and learning disorders. This UC Irvine/CHOC Children’s collaborative program offers assistance at early stages, including evaluations and diagnoses, and continued care throughout adolescence, including treatment, education, and support for both children and families.

The Autism Science Foundation:

The Autism Science Foundation provides funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing, and disseminating autism research. This nonprofit organization also equips the public with information about autism and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


Kids Institute for Development and Advancement
Kristin Coates, 949.222.2214
Shami Abraham, 949.222.2214

Release Summary

KiDA's Third Annual Autism Summit features a keynote address by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and panels on autism's impact on the family and technology's impact on therapies and treatments.


Kids Institute for Development and Advancement
Kristin Coates, 949.222.2214
Shami Abraham, 949.222.2214