My Addiction
Are We Becoming a Majority?

Brandeis U. Autism Awareness Week Update: Current Schedule

Brandeis By Jake Crosby

Location: Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (directions below)

Open to the Public

Nov 9-11, 2009

Events for Monday, November 9
African Dance Performance, 1:00-2:00PM, Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

We are very proud to be having the African Dance Club, not only be one of our sponsoring
student organizations, but also to put on a vibrant performance for autism awareness

Panel  DiscussionMedical Issues Surrounding Causes and Treatments of Autism, 3:30-5:00PM, Shapiro Campus Center, 2nd floor, multi-purpose room

The focus of this event will be fascinating discussions about the most ground-breaking research into causes and treatments for autism. Panelists will include Mark Blaxill, of Age of Autism, discuss the project he has been doing with investigative journalist Dan Olmsted tracing back the etiological history of autism. The rest will be Harvard and MassGeneral neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert on the role of genes and the environment, Dr. Elizabeth Sajdel-Sulkowska of Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital on postmortem brain research of autism, Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Harvard and director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation  on his research on the cutting edge therapy Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and its practical application to treating autism spectrum disorders. Refreshments will be served.

Events for Tuesday, November 10

Roundtable Discussion and Luncheon, Noon-1:30, Usdan Student Center, International Lounge

Parents of children with ASDs and people with ASDs discuss their personal experiences of coping with autism. This event will take place in the International Lounge of the Usdan Student Center. Lunch and refreshments will be served. Come and tell us your story!

Screening of “The Horse Boy,” 9PM, Olin Sang Auditorium, Room 101

Screening of the critical acclaimed film “The Horse Boy,” based on the best-selling book by award-winning author Rupert Isaacson, will be shown, about a father’s journey to Mongolia to heal his autistic son. After the movie, Mr. Isaacson will discuss the film and take questions from the audience. During the event, fundraising for optional donations will take place. All proceeds will go to the Horse Boy Foundation.

Events for Wednesday, November 11

Panel Discussion, Social Issues Surrounding Autism, 3:30-5PM, Shapiro Campus Center, 2nd Floor, multi-purpose room

The focus of this event will be important social issues surrounding autism, particularily accommodating and helping people cope with autism spectrum disorders. Panelists will include Zohar Fuller, Brandeis ’11, who will be discussing her experience as a camp counselor helping children with Asperger Syndrome put on a threatrical play, and is also a classmate of mine for the course, Sociology of Disability, along with Karolina LaBrecque, therapeutic riding instructor, and specialist in Hippotherapy, who will discuss  horse and movement therapy for autistic children. She is a member of T.H.E. Farm, a therapeutic riding center that is a part of the Tewksbury Hospital Campus. Also speaking will be Guiseppina Chiri, a graduate student of Brandeis’s Heller School for Social Policy with a focus on autism, and fellow of the Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation, which has just donated a generous $29 million grant to Massachusetts General Hospital to create an autism center for adults as well as advance current activities taking place at the hospital including care for children, research and advocacy.

Screening of “Autism: The Musical,” 9PM, Golding Auditorium
This film features the lives of children with autism spectrum disorders of a wide range of severity participating in a musical. During the event, fundraising for optional donations will take place. All proceeds from the event will go to Autism Speaks.

Nov 9-11, 11AM-4PM

During all the days of Autism Awareness Week, ongoing functions will be held in the Shapiro Campus Atrium, including the Puzzle Project where ornamental puzzle pieces will be sold for $1 a piece as well as a bake-sale of all your favorite treats. Proceeds will go to Autism Speaks and Age of Autism. There will also be an Info Booth where participants can learn about important information about autism spectrum disorders.

I hope to see you all there!

Jake Crosby is a project manager for Autism Awareness Week.

Directions to Brandeis University are found here:

There is free on-campus parking available. Also, we’re right near the Brandeis/Roberts Commuter Rail stop.  Guests need to pick up a parking pass at the main gate and park at the Theater Lot (T-lot) which is quite close to the Shapiro Campus Center.  The Multi-Purpose Room is on the 2nd floor of the Shapiro Campus Center, which is a big rusty green building with a lawn out front. University Directions Courtesy of Emily Griffin, Brandeis '11, Event Chair


Jake Crosby

And Emily Griffin is actually a senior, I got that wrong, too. Sorry Em.

Jake Crosby

I got Guiseppina's title wrong, she's not a fellow of the Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation (NLMF), but of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy that was started by the NLMF at the Heller School for Social Policy here at Brandeis.


Great work, Jake and I'm happy to hear about the screenings and Mark's talk. I don't know if I can make it because of childcare issues but would love to know more, particularly about the African dance club. I used to study back in the day, have a huge amount of respect for the form. I've gotten a bee in my bonnet that African Dance could be incredibly beneficial for my kids. I've been shy about approaching various area schools and clubs, not quite sure what the response would be. Maybe this group is open to the idea of special needs students? If so it would be a dream come true.

I'll be sure to make some inquiries and will await updates as well. We might try to make one of the events but might have to leave if the children don't cooperate.

All power to you.


Jake, it sounds like a great educational event. Way to go!!!!!!!


I'm local but sadly, can't attend tomorrow's events. Wish it could be audio and/or video recorded; I'd pay a small fee to see/listen, especially if proceeds benefited a great group.

Good luck! I'll be there in spirit!


Jake this is great that you have organized this. Starting at the education level is the very best place to get the message out.


This is awesome. I loved that Mark Blaxil was able to be there. Way to go, Jake, for your work in organizing this. Can you come to our campus?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)