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RI-CART Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 3, June 2017

Welcome! Welcome to those of you who have joined the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) in the past few months! Currently, more than 1400 individuals and families have enrolled. We want to thank all of you for partnering with us to learn more about autism and to improve the lives of people with ASD. We look forward to continuing to work with you! If you are not part of RI-CART, and are interested in learning more, please call us at 401-432-1200 or visit our website, www.AutismRI.org. The RI-CART Team

RI-CART Spotlight: Giulia Righi Dr. Giulia Righi is a staff psychologist at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at E. P. Bradley Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Righi is focused on understanding ASD through both research and clinical services, with a primary focus on the assessment and study of those who require significant levels of psychiatric care. Her research interests are in the study of the phenotypic and psychophysiological characteristics of children and adolescents with ASD and co-morbid psychopathologies, as well as on improving diagnostic accuracy and identifying factors relevant to treatment outcomes. Prior to joining RI-CART, Dr. Righi completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston where she conducted research surrounding early markers of ASD using electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures. She received her PhD in cognitive sciences from Brown University and completed her clinical internship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Read about one of Dr. Righi’s recent publications here: Study of Kids with Autism Identifies Hospitalization Risk Factors

Featured Study Currently Enrolling The PHOEBE Study—Physiology of Emotion, Behavior, and Engagement The goal of this study is to learn more about how the bodies of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) react to their social environment. Another goal is to learn more about how children with ASD attend to social information. By better understanding physical reactions and attention, we can improve our abilities to diagnosis ASD and we can develop better therapies for those with ASD. To accomplish this goal, this study is exploring potential differences in body responses during different experiences. Participants will have their physiology (heart and nervous system responses) recorded non-invasively while resting, while playing with toys, and while interacting with an adult. Participants will also have their visual attention recorded while viewing pictures and movies of things like objects and faces. We are enrolling children two to six years old with ASD, developmental delays, and typically developing children. Participants will be compensated for their time in the study. Contact: Carolyn McCormick, PhD. 401-453-7637. [email protected] PHOEBE is enrolling through August, 2017. Act now if you would like to learn more and / or schedule an appointment!

CLICK HERE to see descriptions of all of our currently enrolling studies.

What We’ve Been Up To Through Our Eyes Art Exhibit In March, RI-CART and the Museum of Work and Culture hosted an art opening as part of Brain Week Rhode Island that featured all artists with autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions. The Through Our Eyes art opening was featured in both the Providence Journal and the Pawtucket Times. The exhibit featured 82 pieces created by nearly as many artists, and was curated by Hartford, Connecticut based artist, Matthew Best.

We are hoping to host a similar event next year!

John M. Williams. The Great Wall of China. Framed collage.

Nehven Carvalho. Autism Atom.. Colored pencil.

Children from the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Inpatient Unit. When I Grow Up. Mixed media on canvas.

Imagine Walk 2017 In April, RI-CART participated in the 15th annual Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day, organized by The Autism Project. Almost 8,000 people turned out for the event! We enjoyed seeing you all there!

Conference Presentations—IMFAR and APS In the past month, many RI-CART faculty, staff, and affiliates presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco and the Association for Psychological Science in Boston. To see some of the academic posters we presented, please click the title to view the PDFs below. Pupillary Response in Adults with ASD During Tasks with Social and Nonsocial Cognitive Load Christopher Blanding-Phothisane, Carolyn McCormick, Hasmik Tokadjian, & Stephen Sheinkopf Increased Psychiatric Complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Explaining Diagnostic Inconsistencies Hasmik Tokadjian, Danielle Morriss, Carolyn McCormick, Kayla Perkins, Lindsay Oberman, Thomas Anders, Eric Morrow, & Stephen Sheinkopf Preference for Nonsocial Realistic Movement in Children with ASD Carolyn McCormick, Hasmik Tokadjian, & Stephen Sheinkopf Increased Presence of Familial Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Groups with Unclear or Negative Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis in a State-wide Autism Registry Danielle Morriss, Hasmik Tokadjian, Carolyn McCormick, Lindsay Oberman, Eric Morrow, Thomas Anders, & Stephen Sheinkopf Reliability and Validity of the Brief Observation of Social Communication Change (BOSCC) Kristen Sutton, Carolyn McCormick, Hasmik Tokadjian, & Stephen Sheinkopf COBRE Pilot Study of Resting State fMRI and Relationship to TMS Response in Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorder Lauren I. Kasoff, Anacecilia Panameno, Christiana Westlin, Rachel E. Christensen, Amanda L. Ruggieri, Daniel P. Dickstein, & Lindsay M. Oberman

We would like to say thank you to all who have participated in RI-CART and our partnering research studies. Your participation made these presentations possible!

Upcoming Events Sensory-Friendly Film for Teens & Adults Cinemaworld Lincoln, along with RI-CART and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, is hosting a sensory-friendly showing of Pirates of the Caribbean (rated PG-13) on Saturday, June 17th at 1 p.m.

Dim lighting and low sound No previews Trained and caring staff Special snacks permitted due to dietary restrictions and / or allergies

Boston Children’s Museum Morningstar Access Program Boston Children’s Museum Morningstar Access program offers children with special needs or medical needs the opportunity to enjoy the Museum in an uncrowded environment with few other visitors. Experience The Power of Play! Admission for non-members is $8 (half off the regular price!) and is free for members. Registration is required. Please visit www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org/Morningstar to register. LOCATION: 308 Congress Street, Boston, MA. For directions and parking information, click here. DATE: Sunday, June 18th TIME: 4 – 6 p.m.

RI-CART SPECIAL SEMINAR Social Treatments for Autism: Neurophysiological Indicators of Change Amy Vaughan Van Hecke, PhD RI-CART invites parents and individuals, researchers, clinicians and educators to attend this Special Seminar! LOCATION: Brown University, Sidney Frank Hall, Marcuvitz Auditorium, Room 220. 185 Meeting Street, Providence DATE: Thursday, June 22nd TIME: 11 a.m.

Sensory Autism Spectrum Story Time Class Sensory Autism Spectrum Story Time Class is a 6 week preschool program for children who are on the autism spectrum. The program will include a picture schedule, music, movement, fun stories, and sensory activities! Children of all ages welcome! LOCATION: Children’s Caidin Room, Pawtucket Public Library, Pawtucket, RI DATE: Weekly, beginning Thursday, July 6th TIME: 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Your Life Your Canvas Your Life Your Canvas is a group that utilizes expressive arts techniques to empower participants while bringing awareness and insight to life experiences. Eligible teens are invited to participate in a 10-week group session that harnesses the power of artmaking to promote health and overall wellbeing. Groups are filled based on age, clinical presentation, and best fit with other group members. All materials provided; the one-time fee is $25. For more information, call Melissa at 401-432-1119 or visit the website.

LOCATION: Bradley Hospital, East Providence, RI DATE: Weekly, beginning Tuesday, July 11th TIME: 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Autism BrainNet: Promoting Research into the Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism BrainNet? Autism BrainNet is a new network of four university-based sites across the country that have come together to make brain donation both easier and more useful for future research. Why is Autism BrainNet important? Autism is a disorder of brain development. In order to make progress in all areas of autism research, scientists need to study brains. Understanding what is different about the genetics or structure of the brain will give autism researchers essential information to develop better treatments and ultimately prevent the debilitating symptoms of autism. Visit www.takesbrains.org to learn more.

CLICK HERE to read about the Ursitti family: Superheroes for Autism Brain Research

Invite a Friend! If you know anyone who hasn’t yet joined RI-CART, please feel free to share this newsletter with them or invite them to attend an event! If anyone would like to hear more about RI-CART, they can visit our website at www.autismRI.org and click Contact Us. We can also be reached at 401-432-1200.

To remove your name from our mailing list, please e-mail [email protected]. Questions or comments? E-mail us at [email protected] or call 401.432.1200.