Community outreach has been and will continue to be a major priority of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment. We are committed to educating patients, families, and the general public, and we frequently participate in educational programs. We meet regularly with our constituents to evaluate goals and priorities, as well as to get feedback on our programs and events.
We have developed formal and informal relationships with schools, advocacy groups, and other community organizations to further our collective goal of improving treatment and advancing effective therapies for autism and related conditions.
The infrastructure provided through the National Institutes of Health and foundation support has made it possible for us to launch several educational and outreach events in recent years, including our Seaver Seminar Series, which provides a forum for Mount Sinai and outside researchers to present current data on broad topics relevant to the advancement of autism research (such as epidemiology, genetics, and early detection). We also hold an annual “Advances in Autism” Conference, which draws participants from the scientific and lay communities.
These forums are designed to allow our investigators to share findings and discuss current autism research with members of our communities. Our annual conference provides a unique opportunity for our investigators to present current research findings in basic and clinical sciences to the community and includes workshops for parents, professionals, and affected individuals.
Museum Tour Program
The Seaver Autism Center has a relationship with the American Museum of Natural History to help the museum become better equipped to offer tours for individuals with ASD and their families. Michelle Gorenstein-Holtzman, PsyD, Director of Community Outreach, and Danielle Halpern, PsyD, Director of Psychology Training, led trainings to teach museum tour guides and volunteers about ASD, and provide ideas for interventions to use when conducting these tours. Drs. Gorenstein-Holtzman and Halpern also helped develop a monthly autism tour for children on the autism spectrum called the Discover Squad. Due to the high demand for this specialized tour, Drs. Gorenstein-Holtzman and Halpern developed materials (i.e., social stories, visual cues, prompt cards) for a second tour, and materials for a third tour have been requested. To book a tour, click here.