Thousands Virtually Hear About the Autistic Brain

    The University’s Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence (ACCE) hosted a “sold-out” Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Temple Grandin, author of “The Autistic Brain.” Dana M. Gadaire, Psy.D., BCBA-D, visiting assistant professor in the Counseling and Human Services Department at Scranton, led the Zoom webinar interview with Dr. Grandin on May 19.
    May 28, 2020

    “If you don’t stretch you don’t grow,” said Temple Grandin, Ph.D., author of the book, “The Autistic Brain,” at a “sold out” Virtual Town Hall meeting held at The University of Scranton May 19.

    “As dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies, I smiled when I heard her say that and thought to myself that she was right on the mark. COVID 19 has stretched all of our brains to think more creatively, imaginatively and to be a problem solver,” said Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D.

    “Although Dr. Grandin was discussing the autistic brain, I immediately thought of the Virtual Town Hall meetings at the University and how these virtual meetings have allowed the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence (ACCE) initiative to continue to successfully serve those in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania,” said Dean Pellegrino. “Families of those with autism in rural Pennsylvania or in a COVID hotspot now have easy access to information and connections to professionals and other support system via online resources.”

    Pre-registration for the Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Temple Grandin closed at 3,000. When the Zoom webinar began on May 19, 1,477 participants were already signed in, ready and waiting for the meeting to begin. The format was an interview with the prolific author of 20 books led by Dana M. Gadaire, Psy.D., BCBA-D, visiting assistant professor in the Counseling and Human Services Department at Scranton.

    The first two minutes of this video includes information about upcoming ACCE programming at Scranton, such as the 19th Annual U.S. Conference on disABILITY that is scheduled for Oct. 6 and will feature Dr. Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a consultant to the livestock industry and an autism spokesperson.

    The full Town Hall meeting with Dr. Grandin can be seen here or on the ACCE website.

    According to Dean Pellegrino, future virtual events may include a discussion on Dr. Grandin’s book, “The Autistic Brain,” where she weaves her own experiences in discussing the transformation of the autism revolution.

    ACCE is part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar regional initiative led by the Attorney John Moses and the ALLONE Foundation Board of Directors intended to significantly enhance the service delivery system for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families living in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. The ACCE executive hub is housed in the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies.

    As part of this initiative, the University began to offer a post-graduate Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study. Information about Scranton’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program and the verified course sequence (VCS) information is available here.

    ACCE have been providing services remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the ACCE website to learn more about virtual summer programming, parent and caregiver support, and the caregiver and wellness group.

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