Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (ACAR): Transforming autism research, training and care -- improving lives via Open Science

Training and Community 

Training and Community 

Building and training a highly skilled team of researchers, trainees and clinicians in the field of autism, while actively engaging the wider community

Quebec Autism Training Program (QART)

Mentoring the Next Generation

Each year a number of ACAR trainees are selected as fellows for the Quebec Autism Training Program (QART). The competitive program trains outstanding graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the latest research techniques and technologies, as well as develops career skills through multiple training opportunities and meaningful engagement with people living with autism, their families and the community.

QART searches for outstanding trainees carrying out multidisciplinary, innovative or translational projects. QART also emphasizes community outreach and engagement including trainee-led workshops on topics of interest (e.g. equity, diversity and inclusivity in science).

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Annual Autism Research Conference

Partnership with the Autism Community

ACAR supports an annual autism research conference, organized by the Transforming Autism Care Consortium (TACC), which brings together world-renowned autism experts from academia, healthcare, government officials, policy makers and community leaders. Participants engage in critical discussions on the future of autism care and treatment, new directions in fundamental and clinical research, updates on current research networks and cohorts, and ways for society to empower people living with autism and their families.

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Community Engagement Activities and Events

ACAR connects with researchers, professionals, decision makers, families and community members through its affiliation with the Transforming Autism Care Consortium (TACC), an FRQS-supported provincial network.

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Professional Development: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) – Introductory Workshop (May 2021)

The ACAR Clinic is offering ADOS-2 training, led by Dr. Mandy Steiman, PhD, Clinical Psychologist at the ACAR Clinic and certified ADOS/ADI-R trainer in May 2021, via Zoom. 

Dates: 
Thursday, May 13, 2021: 1-4:30 pm
Friday, May 14, 2021: 1-4:30 pm
Wednesday, May 19, 2021: 1-4:30 pm
Thursday, May 20, 2021: 1-4:30 pm
Friday, May 21, 2021: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Via Zoom (Online) 

About the Training: An online workshop that provides an introduction to the ADOS-2, an assessment tool used to help with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder across ages, developmental levels, and language skills. The workshop covers modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the Toddler module.

This workshop includes discussion about:

  • the use of the ADOS-2 toward making a clinical diagnosis;
  • issues related to diagnosis of ASD, including differential diagnosis, diagnosis in context, complex clinical situations, and report writing;
  • administration, scoring, and use of ADOS-2 algorithms;
  • current research on ADOS-2.

About the Trainer: Mandy Steiman is a clinical psychologist and expert diagnostician of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She completed her doctorate and post-doctorate studies at the University of Washington, and has worked at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) since 2006. She currently holds a clinical position at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and a research position through the MUHC’s Research Institute (RI-MUHC). Dr. Steiman contributes to quality assurance and helps develop integrated research/clinical protocols run through ACAR Clinic, including the Q1K Project (Quebec 1,000 Families). Dr. Steiman is also a certified trainer for autism diagnostic measures (ADOS-2 and ADI-R) and has much experience supervising and training professionals on best practices for autism diagnosis.

Registration is now closed. For more information, contact jessica.charlebois [at] muhc.mcgill.ca (Jessica Charlebois, ACAR Clinic Research Coordinator)

 

Professional Development: ECHO-Autism "Diagnosis in ASD" (June 2021)

The ACAR Clinic is offering an 8-session online professional development opportunity via Zoom starting June 17 to December 9, 2021 from 2 to 3:30 pm (EST). 

About the ECHO Model: The Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) modelTM consists of a platform for both delivery of services and outcomes research, with the purpose of reducing health disparities by erasing barriers between specialty and primary care, particularly in underserved and remote areas. Using a simple videoconferencing system, Project ECHO achieves this goal by using a hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing approach where teams of expert specialists lead virtual clinics catered to health professionals in local communities. Each session includes a short didactic lecture on a specific topic followed by a case presentation by an attendee and a case discussion.

About ECHO-Autism “Diagnosis in ASD”: This program aims to connect specialist teams with local care teams to increase the skills of diagnosticians to perform diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and thus benefit and empower autistic individuals and their advocates.

Learners will:

  • become familiarized with the components of ASD assessment, including remote/virtual assessment options, and best practices for diagnostic evaluation
  • gain knowledge about medical considerations, including genetic testing
  • learn about considerations to make in differential diagnosis
  • learn how to make appropriate recommendations for different profiles of patients.

Program information:

Dates Details

Session 1:
June 17, 2021
2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: The Autism Spectrum

Presenters: Hub Team Members

Learners will:

  • understand the range of symptoms displayed in ASD over the lifespan and the overlap of these symptoms with other neurodevelopmental disorders;
  • learn how to apply knowledge of heterogeneity and developmental trajectories of ASD symptoms to clinical patients.

Session 2:
July 8, 2021
2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: Components of ASD Evaluation and Remote Options

Presenter: Dr. Julie Scorah

Learners will:

  • learn the steps involved in ASD assessment, and what can be done remotely (via telepractice) during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • know what complementary evaluations and components of the ASD assessment to use with different patient profiles.

Session 3:
August 26, 2021
2 to 3:30 pm (EST) 

Title: Medical Evaluation for ASD

Presenter: Dr. Emmett Francoeur

Learners will:

  • learn what medical and genetic conditions to be aware of when evaluating patients for ASD;
  • know what types of medical investigations or referrals could be made to identify and/or manage medical or genetic conditions in patients with ASD.

Session 4:
September 16, 2021
2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: Psychiatric Evaluation in the Preschool Clinic

Presenter: Dr. Baudoin Forgeot-d’Arc

Learners will:

  • learn what signs and symptoms indicate ADHD and other psychiatric conditions in preschool aged patients and how to evaluate these;
  • learn about treatment options for psychiatric conditions, including psychopharmacological management in preschool aged children.

Session 5:
October 7, 2021
2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: Cognitive Assessment & ASD Diagnosis

Presenter: Dr. Mandy Steiman

Learners will:

  • gain knowledge about assessment of developmental, cognitive, and adaptive functioning as a part of ASD evaluations
  • learn more about using the results from developmental and cognitive assessments to inform ASD differential diagnosis.

Session 6: 
October 28, 2021
​​​​​​​2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: Psychiatric Evaluation in School Age and Adolescence

Presenter: Dr. Baudoin Forgeot-d’Arc

Learners will:

  • learn what signs and symptoms indicate psychiatric conditions in school-aged children and adolescent patients and how to evaluate these;
  • learn about treatment options for psychiatric conditions, including psychopharmacological management in school-aged children and adolescents.

Session 7:
November 18, 2021
​​​​​​​2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: Beyond Diagnosis

Presenters: Geneviève Côté-Leblanc, Ina Winkelmann

Learners will:

  • learn what treatments, interventions, and resources are available to address the range of needs of ASD patients and their families;
  • understand the realities of families’ and patients’ journeys following ASD diagnosis.

Session 8:
December 9, 2021
​​​​​​​2 to 3:30 pm (EST)

Title: Advanced Topics in ASD Evaluation

Presenters: Hub Team Members

Learners will:

  • Have an opportunity to select a topic of their choice for this session to learn more about additional considerations to make when performing ASD differential and comorbidity evaluations.

Registration is FREE, but mandatory.

Contact: jessica.charlebois [at] muhc.mcgill.ca (Jessica Charlebois, ACAR Clinic Research Coordinator)

Learn more and apply 

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The Neuro is a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.

 

 

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