ASD-friendly Seattle-area museums and family destinations

Here in the Seattle area, many travel-associated businesses and organizations and tourist destinations are deliberately ASD-friendly, with special accommodations for light, noise, and volume of visitors. Here are a few programs that exist and destinations to put on your list:

***please note that inclusion/exclusion does not imply any endorsement or relationship between our lab and these organizations

October 2017 Autism Blogcast

This month’s Autism Blogcast focuses on INCLUSION. It discusses events and activities that focus on inclusion this Fall. The timing is particularly relevant as Seattle prepares for the 2018 Special Olympics next summer.  The blogcast also discusses research results that show a reduction in the symptoms of Autism severity when an individual has a fever. Check out Raphe  and Jim for this months Autism Blogcast!


Missense Mutations identify neurodevelopmental disorder genes

A recent publication from Dr. Evan Eichler, Dr. Raphe Bernier and others discuss how missense mutations may identify neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism.   A missense mutation is when a single DNA letter is swapped with another, altering one amino acid in a protein.  Although many missense mutations are harmless, Eichler, Bernier and others have identified some potentially harmful missense mutations associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. The research was pusblished in 2017 in Nature Neuroscience.  Spectrum News also discusses the study results with interviews from Dr. Eichler and others involved.

Scan of ‘missense’ mutations marks new suspects for autism risk


Journeying and Sightseeing for Travelers with Autism

The idea of travel can bring up feelings of excitement, apprehension, fear, curiosity, anxiety, and happiness for individuals with autism and their family members and caregivers.

This recent article describes how “travel can be […] onerous for people on the spectrum — but it can be especially enriching, too.” The author nicely highlights both challenges and rewards of traveling and also mentions many great programs and resources to help individuals with autism feel more comfortable while traveling and sightseeing, as well as companies that specifically work with travelers with ASD and other special needs and sensitivities.

How the world is changing for travelers with Autism

An overhead shot of a long-lens camera, a Field Notes Notebook, a pencil and a travel bag laid out on a map


Autism Speaks Walk 2017

The Bernier Lab and Seattle Children’s Autism Center staff attended the September 2017 Autism Speaks Walk at the Seattle Center.  They talked with families about research opportunities, including the SPARK study, ABC-CT study, PANGEA study, and many others.  The turn out for the walk was great with many enthusiastic families attending! Thank you to our staff for taking part to support this wonderful event!

Post-doc Appreciation Week

It’s post-doc appreciation week! Here at the Bernier Lab, we are fortunate to have 4 amazing post-docs working on our team.

Caitlin Hudac: Caitlin is an integral member of our EEG team and received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the social brain and socioemotional development in children with and without autism. Check out a recent publication of her’s here.

Anne Arnett: Anne is also a vital part of the EEG team here at the Bernier Lab, and also plays a role in our clinical team. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver and is interested in research regarding genetic and neuropsychological factors associated with atypical attention, memory, and learning. Check out an article she wrote on sex difference in dyslexia here.

Jessica Peterson: Jess is one of the more experienced members of our clinical team. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Seattle Pacific University and is focused on research pertaining to autism spectrum disorder- from diagnoses and treatment to psychiatric comorbidity in children and adolescents. Take a view at a publication she had a hand in bringing to life regarding developmental trajectories for young children with 16p11.2 copy number variation here.

Jen Beighley: Jen is also a big part of our clinical team here at the RabLab! She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University and is interested in research relating to early identification, diagnosis, and treatment of children with developmental disabilities. You can find an article she wrote on the differences in stereotypic behavior in adults with ASD using the DSM-IV-TR and the DSM-IV here.

We are so incredibly lucky to have such smart and accomplished post-docs here at our lab! Their passion for research and working with families helps keep our lab running both positively and efficiently!