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Feb. 15: Public forum to rethink autism through neurodiversity

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health kicks-off 2018 Public Health Portland Style series Jan. 18




The first installment of the 2018 Public Health Portland Style series, “Neurodiversity: rethinking autism,” will discuss how viewing autism as a source of diversity rather than an illness may have positive, practical consequences to general health and well-being.

Hosted by the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, the forum will feature:              

  • Dora Raymaker, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University, and co-director, Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education
  • Christina Nicolaidis, M.D., M.P.H, professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University; associate professor medicine (general internal medicine and geriatrics), OHSU School of Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health; co-director, Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education; and editor-in-chief, Autism in Adulthood.
  • Katharine Zuckerman, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., associate professor of pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and affiliate associate professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

The event is free and open to the public; minors also are invited to attend.


Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 at 6 p.m.

Media interested in attending should RSVP to Tracy Brawley at 503-494-8231 or Interviews prior to the event are available upon request.


Lucky Lab, 1945 NW Quimby Street, Portland, Ore.


Each year, approximately 1 in 68 U.S. children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disability that affects social communication, sensory processing and scope of interests. As children on the autism spectrum enter adolescence and adulthood, there is a growing appreciation of the needs and perspectives of adults who have already been diagnosed, and who know what it’s like to live in a world where they are the minority. Adults on the autism spectrum have asked business leaders, health care and educational providers, public health advocates, researchers and community members to rethink autism, not as a deficit to be fixed, but rather as a source of human variation that should be appreciated, accommodated and supported.

Public Health Portland Style is a monthly series designed to open dialogue about key issues that affect residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The presentations feature timely topics about public health issues such as health care reform, homelessness, gun violence and skin cancer prevention.

The next Public Health Portland Style event, “Student Voices: Racism and Public Health in Oregon,” will take place Thursday, Feb. 15. Students in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health will tell personal stories or reflect on an effective call to action against racism through song, dance, literary readings or the spoken word.


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