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National Institute of Mental Health Special Lecture for Autism Awareness Month Autism's Powerful Affinities: Prison or Pathway? - April 24, 2014, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern

(Download poster, PDF – 1 MB)

The National Institute of Mental Health is pleased to invite you to attend a special lecture to recognize National Autism Awareness Month. In his talk, Ron Suskind, author of the new book Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, will discuss his family's 20 years of experimentation with his autistic son's powerful affinity for animated movies, mostly from Disney, as a tool to open new pathways of communication and social connection.  A book signing with the author will be held before the lecture at the FAES bookstore, where copies of his book are available for purchase.

Speaker: Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author.
Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Place: Lipsett Amphitheater
Building 10 (Clinical Center)
NIH Main Campus
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Campus Map and Information

The Lipsett Amphitheater is located on the first floor of Building 10.
Building 10 Map with directions to Lipsett
About the Lecture: Mr. Suskind will describe the journey that he and his family have made with their son, Owen. They first communicated with their son—who lost all speech just shy of three with regressive autism—by speaking in Disney dialogue and then role-playing characters. Complemented by a full medical/therapeutic/educational team, they used Disney movies to build a home-schooling curriculum and harnessed them in a therapy that seemed to build an "inner voice" for Owen, allowing him to make gains in executive function and deeper social and emotional connections with people around him. In his talk, Mr. Suskind will describe his family's experience and pose provocative questions about how the features of autism might be turned from challenges into strengths to help those on the spectrum achieve their full potential.
Book Signing: A Book signing with the author will be held before the lecture at the FAES bookstore, where copies of his new book are available for purchase.

When:
Thursday April 24, 2013  3:00 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Where: FAES bookstore, This link exits the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Web site First Floor, Building 10 (Clinical Center), NIH Main Campus
About the Speaker: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind has written some of America's most important works of nonfiction, framing national debates while exploring the complexities of human experience. Mr. Suskind's latest work, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, chronicles his family's twenty year struggle with their youngest son's autism. A journey of the heart, he takes readers to the core of the most fundamental human issues: love, faith, friendship, brotherhood, parenthood and how, in moments of darkness, we literally need stories to survive. The book's powerful stories are prompting a re-examination of how autism is treated, and how "affinities"—in this case Disney movies—may be harnessed to create better outcomes for those with autism. His previous works include the New York Times bestsellers, Confidence Men (2011) The Way of the World (2008), The One Percent Doctrine (2006), The Price of Loyalty, and A Hope in the Unseen. In addition to his books, he often appears on network television and has been a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and Esquire. Mr. Suskind was the Wall Street Journal's senior national affairs reporter from 1993 until his departure in 2000, and won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. He currently lives in Cambridge, Mass., with his wife, Cornelia Kennedy, and is the Senior Fellow at Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

More information on the speaker can found on his website. This link exits the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Web site
General Information: This event is free and open to all NIH staff and the general public. No prior registration is required. Parking is available at a nominal fee. A government-issued photo-identification card (e.g., NIH ID or driver's license) is required to gain entrance to the NIH campus.

The archived lecture videocast and can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov.

Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should email IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov, or phone 301-443-6040.
Registration: No prior registration is required.
Access: Metro accessible: Medical Center Metro Station (Red Line)

Parking is available at a nominal fee. A government-issued photo-identification card (e.g., NIH ID or driver's license) is required to gain entrance to the NIH campus.

From the North lobby entrance of Building 10:
Walk through the Atrium, passing Admissions on your right or the Pharmacy on your left, as well as several sets of elevators. Continue straight through the sliding glass doors. The Phlebotomy/EKG area will be directly in front of you. Make a left and continue down the corridor, passing the pediatric clinic on your left. Continue following the hallway as it turns diagonally to the right, then straight for a few feet. After you pass the dental clinic on your right, turn right into Lipsett Amphitheater.

From the South lobby entrance of Building 10:
Walk down either the hallway to your left or the hallway to your right. When the two hallways converge, you are standing in front of Masur Auditorium. Pass main elevators and turn right onto the North corridor. Walk by Medical Records, and then turn left at the second hallway. Lipsett Amphitheater is straight ahead.
Contact: Email: IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov
Phone: (301) 443-6040
Please Note: NIH has instituted stringent security procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitors must enter through the NIH Gateway Center. This center combines visitor parking, non-commercial vehicle inspection and visitor ID processing, all in one location. The NIH will process all visitors in vehicles or as pedestrians. You will be asked to submit to a vehicle or personal inspection and will be asked to state the purpose of your visit. Visitors over 15 years of age must provide a form of government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport. All visitors should be prepared to have their personal belongings inspected and to go through metal detection inspection.

When driving to NIH, plan some extra time to get through the security checkpoints. Be aware that visitor parking lots on the NIH campus can fill up quickly. The NIH campus is also accessible via the metro Red Line, Medical Center Station.

Additional NIH campus visitor information

Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact the Contact Person listed on this notice.
Additional Information: Autism Affinity Brief (PDF – 97 KB)
New York Times article This link exits the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Web site
LifeAnimated.net This link exits the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Web site


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