February 23, 2024
Geraldine Dawson is the William Cleland Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, where she also is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience. Dawson is the Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences whose mission is to promote interdisciplinary brain science and translate discoveries into solutions for health and society. Dawson also is Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, an NIH Autism Center of Excellence, which is an interdisciplinary research program and clinic, aimed to improve the lives of those with autism through research, education, clinical services, and policy. She has published several books on autism, including An Early Start for Your Child with Autism, A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism, and What Science Tells Us about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dawson’s pioneering studies were among the first to describe the emergence of autism symptoms during infancy, leading to new screening tools. Dawson co-created the Early Start Denver Model, an early autism intervention shown to improve behavioral outcomes, which has been translated into 17 languages and is used worldwide. Her work showed for the first time that early intervention can normalize aspects of brain activity in children with autism, changing the field’s view of brain plasticity in autism, a finding recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2012. A strong advocate for persons with autism, Dawson has testified a number of times before the US Congress in support of major autism legislation and was appointed by the U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services for two terms to the DHHS IACC.
All Autism Talk (allautismtalk.com) is sponsored by LEARN Behavioral (learnbehavioral.com).