Campus: Sonoma State University -- May 4, 2005
SSU Professor has Grant to Study Autism in North Bay
SSU psychology professor Lorna Catford has been been awarded $70,000 of a
$80,000-plus grant from the California State Department of Developmental Services
for a Collaborative Autism Training and Service project in the North Bay.
Catford will identify the service and training needs of families of local children
diagnosed on the autism spectrum in a partnership with the North Bay Regional
Center, Sonoma County Office of Education and several other local agencies.
She will also design courses for SSU students and professionals which draw on
existing autism research and practice, as well as input from parents of children
with autism diagnoses, and arrange guest lectures by community experts in the field.
SSU students will have a civic engagement component - working with the children
and their families. Parents who participate in the program will be invited to the
Catford says that 20% of children in pre-school special education programs in
Sonoma County have autism as their primary diagnosis. Local agencies report that
55% of intakes to California Regional Centers - the main state agencies that
provide services to people with developmental disabilities, including those with
autism - now have a diagnosis of full spectrum autism. Autism rates in the U.S.
have risen sharply according to reports in the media in the past few months.
Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057