Dean Pellegrino Speaks about Autism Collaborative Centers of E...

    Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies, discusses theAutism Collaborative Centers of Excellence on "Newsmakers".
    November 13, 2018

    What can Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson teach us about autism? Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies, answers this question in a recent op-ed about the newly-formed   Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence. The University will serve as the executive hub of the five family-friendly centers that serve 13 counties in Northeast and Central PA.

    What Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson can teach us about autism

    By Debra A. Pellegrino

    Many believe that Mark Twain’s brilliance was driven as much by autism as it was by literary genius. Alas, Twain passed away in 1910, more than three decades before Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, was clinically identified.

    Twain is but one of many brilliant exemplars of famous and not so famous gifted individuals who made the most of this somewhat elusive disorder.

    American child psychologist Leo Kanner in 1943 described ASD as its own condition, but today we know that the lists of causes, effects and red flags are longer than the white picket fence in Twain’s “Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

    Research has shown us that autism comprises a wide variety of different behaviors, skills, abilities and disabilities, as well as numerous signals for diagnosing the condition.

    Continue reading Dean Pellegrino's op-ed on Penn Live here.

    Hear her discuss the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence on "Newsmakers" here.


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