Mount Sinai Hosts Prestigious Clinical Practicum in Autism with Keynote from Eustacia Cutler

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry selected the Seaver Autism Center for Research & Treatment to host a clinical practicum on autism research.

New York, NY
 – November 3, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

The Seaver Autism Center for Research & Treatment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine had the honor of hosting a clinical practicum of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) as part of the Academy’s 57th Annual Meeting on October 26. The practicum was chaired by Alexander Kolevzon, MD, Clinical Director of the Seaver Autism Center.

"We were honored to be selected to host this year’s AACAP practicum, entitled ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Genes to Novel Therapeutics,’"noted Joseph Buxbaum, PhD, Director of the Seaver Autism Center. "The continuing increase in diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) made this an especially relevant topic for AACAP. We were gratified to have the opportunity to highlight the advances we have made at the Center, while discussing the exciting endeavors of our colleagues around the country.”

Of special note at the practicum was a presentation by advocate Eustacia Cutler, the mother of Dr. Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin is an accomplished adult living with autism who was the subject of an Emmy-award winning HBO film.

Eustacia, the author of Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandin’s Mother Tells the Family Story, spoke about the neurological gift for change and how open all of us are to its creative possibilities. She finished with a quote from Matt Ridley’s book, Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes us Human: "Because of the way their promoters turn on and off in response to external instruction, genes are very far from being fixed in their actions. Instead they are devices for extracting information from the environment. Every minute, every second, the pattern of genes being expressed in your brain changes, often in direct or indirect response to events outside the body. Genes are the mechanism for experience."And, said Eustacia, "Experience is determined by our life choices.”

Additional topics covered at the practicum included:

  • "Genetics of Autism Spectrum Disorders," presented by Joseph Buxbaum, PhD
  • "Diagnosis and Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders"and "Current Trends in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism, " presented by Latha Soorya, PhD, Chief Psychologist of the Seaver Autism Center
  • "The Autism Mental Status Exam, " presented by David Grodberg, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
  • "Current Trends in the Pharmacological Treatment of Autism," presented by Alex Kolevzon, MD.

About the Seaver Autism Center

Furthering Mount Sinai’s dedication to translational research, the Seaver Autism Center strives to translate scientific efforts into optimal community care. The Center combines the work of psychiatry, psychology, neurology, molecular genetics, and neuroimaging into an integrated series of unique research programs. Additionally, the Seaver Autism Center’s Clinical Program provides state-of-the-art assessment, cutting-edge genetic testing, and treatment in ASD. This multidisciplinary approach has resulted in breakthroughs that run the gamut from genetic findings to potential new therapies. For more information, please visit

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation's best hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

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