Two weeks ago, Seattle Children’s hosted Dr. Catherine Lord, Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, a subsidiary of Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital. During her visit, she toured the Seattle Children’s Autism Center, met with providers and gave several talks.

Well known and respected in the autism community, Dr. Lord “renowned for her work in longitudinal studies of social and communicative development in ASD. She has also been involved in the development of standardized diagnostic instruments for ASD with colleagues from the United Kingdom and the United States (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) an observational scale; and the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) a parent interview), now considered the gold standard for research diagnoses all over the world.”

Kicking off her Friday talks was a presentation at Seattle Children’s Grand Rounds, where Dr. Lord spoke about her longitudinal studies that follow nearly two hundred participants from initial diagnosis into late adolescence. In the afternoon, Dr. Lord presented in a public forum on the upcoming proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) specifically regarding Autism Spectrum Diagnosis. Dr. Lord serves on the American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Work Group, the group appointed to review and revise the manual regarding neurodevelopmental disorders.

Saturday morning, Dr. Lord addressed nearly 100 providers as the keynote speaker at the Washington State Autism Diagnosis Summit held at Seattle Children’s. Attendees, including speech and language pathologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, neurodevelopmental pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and behavioral specialists from around the state, took part in an all day summit addressing how, improvements can be made to practice and diagnosis.

Please look forward to future blogs that look at some of the research presented at the different lectures and our continuing coverage of the DSM revision.