URBANA, Ill. - The myths surrounding autism often overshadow the truths. Leading University of Illinois experts will provide insight into what autism is as they debunk myths during an online webinar from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. The program is offered jointly by Illinois Extension and The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP).

Panelists include Amy Cohen, director of psychology services; Noa Hannah, clinical assistant professor with BCBS and speech language pathologist; Barbara T. Doyle, autism consultant; and Linda Tortorelli, director of TAP at Illinois.

Jeanne Kramer, SLP and TAP resource specialist, and Hena Thakur, doctoral candidate in psychology will discuss what autism is, expectations for someone on the autism spectrum, and how to seek diagnosis. Register online

Additional webinars will be held during April. Lisa Crane, SLP, will provide families tips and strategies for dealing with picky eaters at 6:30 p.m. April 14. Register online.

Dustin Hardan, U of I graduate student in  clinical community psychology, will discuss the processes and challenges of sleep for youth with autism spectrum disorder. Hardan is a clinician at the university's Autism Clinic. Register online

Funding is provided by The Autism Program of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and University of Illinois Extension.

Source: Aaron Ebata applies community-based Extension strategies and technological innovations in supporting families, including families with young children and those with children on the autism spectrum. He also investigates the impact of nature on family health and how family-based nature activities can promote strong family relationships.