ITASD 2014 international conference

Key speakers

Sir Michael Rutter is the author of more than five hundred research papers, many of which are about autism. His work on Autism includes: early epidemiologic studies; studies involving a wide range of scientific techniques and disciplines, including DNA study and neuroimaging; links between research and practice; deprivation; the influence of families and schools; genetics; reading disorders; biological, social, protective and risk factors; interactions of biological and social factors; stress; longitudinal as well as epidemiologic studies, including childhood and adult experiences and conditions; continuity and discontinuity in normal and pathological development. Click here to read his welcome interview.

Ami Klin, Ph.D. got his Ph.D. from the London University and completed his clinical research and post-doctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center at Yale University Medical Faculty (USA). He ran the Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center until 2010, where he was also the Harris Professor of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. Ami Klin, Ph.D. is Chief of the Autism Disabilities and Developmental Division at Emory University Medical School, and is Director of the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta.
Dr. Klin’s primary research activities focus on studies concerning aspects of the social mind and social abilities of autism from infancy to adulthood. These studies include the use of innovative technologies that allow researchers to see the world through the eyes of individuals with autism. Dr. Klin is the author of over 180 publications in the field of autism and related conditions.

Mr. James Cusack, a 26-year-old PhD student at Aberdeen University in Scotland, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 12. He says his condition has helped define his work. His scientific career is young, but his research is promising. Click here to read his welcome interview.



John LeSieur has been actively involved with technology for over 3 decades and spent over 12 years of that as a director for a company servicing major Canadian banks. He decided in 2006 that it was time to concentrate his energy on his life’s mission which meant creating technology that would empower people from around the world. John brought to the market important innovations such as Zac Browser which was the first browser for children with autism and reached over 2.5 million users worldwide. John LeSieur, People CD’s President and CEO, understands the need for specially designed software for children on the autism spectrum, being a grandfather to two.

Maria is and adolescent with autism, Miguel Gallardo is a renowned cartoonist, father of Maria. He began his professional career combining the comic (one of the authors of Makoki, a character and Spanish underground icon) and sketching, dedicating himself totally to the latter in the end. He is a habitual collaborator for the Vanguard newspaper and Publico as well as different magazines and publications with a national and international scope like the Herald Tribune, New York Times and the New Yorker. He published “Maria and I” in 2007, a graphical novel narrating the adventures and trips with his 13 year old daughter Maria who has autism. He is also the author of Maria´s journey, an animated short introducing autism available with subtitles in English French and Polish and on the Orange YouTube channel. At the moment, the short of `The Specialists´ is in its final stages and is centred on the abilities of people with autism which makes them so special.

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