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03/20/15- Chattanooga To Celebrate Autism Awareness Month on April 9

Chattanooga To Celebrate Autism Awareness Month on April 9

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, join staff, faculty, children, adults and families from Chattanooga Autism Center, Orange Grove Center, Signal Centers and Siskin Children’s Institute as they welcome Celine Saulnier, Ph.D.Clinical Director of Research at the Marcus Autism Center, to the Camp Houseat 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. Dr. Saulnier will speak to both parents and practitioners about current research on early screening and diagnostic methods for Autism Spectrum Disorders that aim to decrease the age of detection to as early as the first year of life. In addition, Dr. Saulnier will address how this research may impact caregivers and practitioners in our community. Families will also have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsoring organizations and the programs and services they provide. Members of the Autism community and the general public are invited to attend.

Celine Saulnier, Ph.D. is the Clinical Director for Research at the Marcus Autism Center and Assistant Professor in the Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Saulnier was both the Clinical Director and the Training Director for the Yale Autism Program, conducting and overseeing diagnostic evaluations on children with Autism and related disorders. In 2011, she relocated to Atlanta, GA to help transform the Marcus Autism Center – one the nation’s largest clinical care centers for Autism – into a center of science. At Marcus, Dr. Saulnier directs a large-scale clinical assessment core for individuals participating in research.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) occur in 1 in 68 children and is five time more common in boys than girls, according the Center for Disease Control. While it is unknown what causes ASD, medical professionals agree that early intervention can improve a child’s development. These four Chattanooga organizations are raising awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders and how to best support individuals living with ASD and their families in the region. 


From Dave Buck, Director, Chattanooga Autism Center

“We see improvements in our community each year; more people learning about Autism, more advancements in treatment and diagnostics, and more services. This progress has lead to greater acceptance and understanding, which is what individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families truly desire.”
For more information about Chattanooga Autism Center, visit

From Kyle Hauth, Executive Director, Orange Grove Center

“Although the challenges are significant for individuals on the Autism Spectrum and needs often outweigh resources, it is reassuring that Chattanooga is engaged in an effort to focus on the rudiments of successful living for this population. We must continue to engage every aspect of our community to take an active role in creating inclusionary opportunities for individuals that are differently abled and expect nothing less than aspirational living for every citizen.”
For more information about Orange Grove Center, visit

From Donna McConnico, CEO, Signal Centers

“Children and adults with disabilities are incredibly resilient.  They often surprise and exceed expectations.  But that does not negate the truth that the road traveled may be harder, more costly and a bit lonely at times.  It seems to me, that we can do better at inclusion and thus make that path just a little bit easier.”  
For more information about Signal Centers, visit

From John Farrimond, President & CEO, Siskin Children’s Institute

“It is an honor to have Dr. Celine Saulnier from the Marcus Autism Center speak to Chattanooga families and practitioners at this year’s Chattanooga Autism Awareness Day event. Dr. Saulnier’s work in the area of autism research is truly remarkable. The Marcus Autism Center is a leading research center and one of three National Institutes of Health Autism Centers of Excellence and we are proud to partner with them to highlight ASD.”
For more information about Siskin Children's Institute, visit