Category Archives: Events

Come Participate! Genetics Research and Pirates- What could be better?

Our Research Team is hosting a PIRATE-THEMED Research Family Fun Day on Saturday, December 2nd!  Families interested in participating in autism genetics research will have the opportunity to complete 1-2 research studies in a single day!

The SPARK and PANGEA studies are exploring genetic differences related to autism.  Families who attend the family fun day will be able to complete online registration and saliva collection for SPARK and/or a blood draw for PANGEA.  There will be food, games, prizes, parking, and childcare available!  To RSVP to this event, please contact the research team at 206-987-7917 or at SCACstudies@seattlechildrens.org.

WHAT: Fun, research participation event for families

WHEN: Saturday, December 2 from 9am to 5pm

WHERE: Seattle Children’s Autism Center, 4909 25th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

THEME: Pirates and Buried Treasure!

Sensory Friendly Performances at Seattle Children’s Theatre!

Did you know that Seattle Children’s Theatre has sensory friendly performances? This special performance series is designed to give a world-class theatre experience to those with sensory needs.  SCT makes special modifications to the theatre to best support your child, including: lower sound levels, lowered seating capacities, and use of electronic devices with headphones. SCT also provides additional materials on their website to help you and your child prepare for the show as well an option to tour the theatre before the performance.

A sensory friendly performance of Go, Dog. Go! is coming up on Sunday, October 29th at 11:00am.

Check out their website for more information!

https://www.sct.org/Shows/Accessible-Performances/SensoryFriendly

Solar Eclipse! Tips for watching and preparing your child for the eclipse

Solar Eclipse! Tips for watching and preparing your child for the eclipse

By Kira Hamer and Emily Fox

On August 21st, 2017 we will have an amazing opportunity to see an almost complete solar eclipse. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While we aren’t directly in the path of the eclipse (you have to go to Oregon for that), we will experience almost total darkness at 10:30am when the moon passes in front of the sun! Many of us might find this experience and the science behind it incredibly exciting, but for some individuals, this event could be confusing, a little frightening, and disrupting to our routines. In this blog post, our team offers some suggestions for how to prepare yourself and your child for the eclipse, as well as some fun activities to do in the Seattle area while it is happening!

Here is a social story to help prepare your child for the Solar Eclipse: I am going to see a solar eclipse

Here is what the eclipse will look like in Seattle: http://bit.ly/2uC1FlT

Facts about the solar eclipse: http://bit.ly/2tm5aKK

How to Protect Your Eyes during the Eclipse

First and foremost: looking directly at the sun without special eye protection can cause serious damage, so always protect your family’s eyes with solar glasses if you want to directly observe the eclipse. According to space.com, there are four companies that meet NASA standards for solar glasses. These are Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17. Your local library may also offer free eclipse glasses! It is important to note that sunglasses are not a replacement for special viewing glasses. If you are unable to find special glasses, another way to view the eclipse safely is to build a pinhole camera. A pinhole camera projects sunlight through a small hole in a box onto the other side of the box, so that you aren’t looking directly at the sun. You can find instructions for building a pinhole camera here.

How to Prepare Your Child for the Eclipse

Like any new experience or change for a child, it can be helpful to practice what you might do the day of the eclipse or to talk about what might happen. Here are some tips to help you and your child prepare:

  • Introduce your child to the solar eclipse using a social story. You can find an example attached. It may be helpful to read the social story several times a few days in advance of the eclipse.
  • Use a stopwatch or a timer to help your child know how much time is left in the eclipse. In most locations, the total eclipse will likely last 2-3 minutes.
  • If you are using solar glasses, help your child practice wearing these glasses so that they can get used to how they feel on their face.
  • Make sure you and your child are wearing sunscreen if you will be outside!
  • If you are worried that being outside during the eclipse will be frightening for your child, watch the eclipse in a different way! NASA will be live-streaming the event, and your child may be more comfortable watching the eclipse inside at home.
  • During the eclipse, the temperature will drop significantly and rapidly. If your family will be outside, plan on bringing an extra coat or a blanket.
  • The sudden darkness during the day will likely create increased traffic. It may be helpful to either plan on staying home for the duration of the eclipse or to get to your viewing spot early. If your child has to attend camp or a school program on the day of the eclipse, you may need to warn them that the drive could be longer or you might have to drive on a different route.
  • Make the experience fun! Color pictures of the sun and the moon, get a book from the library about space and the planets, or take photos of your family on the day of the eclipse. Help your child understand that this is a special and exciting day in science.

Fun Eclipse Activities

The eclipse is a great opportunity to help your kids become real scientists! NASA is asking people in the viewing area to report on what they see and experience. The GLOBE (Global Learning Observations to Benefit the Environment) Observer Eclipse App can be downloaded on your phone, and guides you through how to make observations. NASA is hoping to have a million eclipse viewers contribute their findings!

SCN2A Family Meeting

Two weeks ago a team from the Bernier Lab had the pleasure of flying to Wilmington, Delaware to help facilitate testing for some amazing kiddos affected by disruptive mutations to the gene SCN2A. Our team included our TIGER study coordinator, Morgan Kelly, Post-doc and EEG specialist, Dr. Caitlin Hudac, and our clinical post-doc, Dr. Jessica Peterson!  Dr. Raphe Bernier, the principal investigator of the TIGER study, also came out to the SCN2A family meeting to give a presentation on “Dynamic Behavioral & Neural Patterns Among Children with de novo SCN2A Variants”.

Thank you to the families who participated in the TIGER study during this weekend, we are very grateful to all of you and for those who helped organize and attend the event for make this research possible! Participation involved completion of assessments and collection of EEG.

Some highlights from the conference include seeing scientists and families engaged across both days with presentations made by family members and scientists interspersed, and attending the family meeting dinner, where we were able to meet with other researchers and hear stories from families affected by this genetic event. It was a truly wonderful experience to meet some of the families who are invested in seeing SCN2A research advance, thank you for welcoming us and we look forward to future collaborative work!

Follow the link to learn more about the SCN2A family conference: https://www.scn2a.org/single-post/scn2aconference

INSAR Summer Institute Schedule 2017

The International Society for Autism Research is hosting a free series of six weekly seminars related to culture and diversity in autism research. These seminars are from July 13 to August 24. Check out the INSAR website for more detailed information!

Registration is free and available worldwide to those interested in autism research.

This year’s focus will be related to culture and diversity in autism research.

13 JulyDr. Aubyn Stahmer (University of California, Davis MIND Institute) opens with a seminar on access to services and services across diverse communities.

27 JulyDr. Elizabeth Pellicano (University College London) is leading a seminar about ethical considerations, specifically ethics of autism research and the relation of ethics to research participation.

3 AugustDr. Roy Richard Grinker (George Washington University) will provide an anthropological view of ASD.

10 August Dr. Sue Fletcher-Watson (The University of Edinburgh) takes us through what we need to know and what we do not yet know about bilingualism in ASD.

17 August Dr. Jennifer Singh (Georgia Institute of Technology) will provide an overview about the structural inequalities in the diagnosis and services for ASD.

24 August Dr. Nidhi Singhal (National Centre for Autism India) concludes the series with a presentation on topics related to autism research in India, particularly epidemiological aspects and the development of screening and diagnostic tools. Â

Psychiatry Annual Meeting

This June the Psychiatry Department held it’s Annual Psychiatry Department Meeting, where faculty and staff from across the department gather to learn about the last years and upcoming year’s department profiles (e.g. faculty demographics, funding overviews) the roles and updates from the department administration team (e.g. Research, Grants Management, Human Resources).  This year the department meeting was followed by the first-ever Staff Appreciation Event, where staff were invited to lunch and to participate in different activities designed to reach across labs and centers within the department.

Bernier Lab Highlights of this year’s meeting include:

  • Recognition of Dr. Raphe Bernier’s promotion to Professor! Congratulations Raphe!
  • Raphe Bernier’s video clip where he describes the Autism Blogcasts!
  • Micah Pepper’s video clip from managing staff who are part of the Psychiatry Operations Council!

We want to send a special thank you to the Psychiatry Department’s administration team for putting together a great event this year! Some of our staff even got to meet the UW’s most famous celebrity, Dubs!