March 13, 2007

CONTACT: Kate Olderman
(215) 349-8369

PENN Autism Network Conference: Journeys Through Adolescence and Adulthood
Promoting Support and Services for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

(PHILADELPHIA) –For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), transitioning  from adolescence  to adulthood presents many challenging issues.  In addition to the usual stresses of adolescence, young adults with ASD need help dealing with social skills, sexuality, and, at times, extreme anxiety that may result from tension and confusion.  Adults with ASD face communication and social problems that can affect employment, personal relationships, and the other skills needed to live an independent life.  These challenges affect not only the individual, but also their parents, siblings, and other friends and family members.  As children with ASD transition into adulthood, those who care for them are often left asking, “what now?”

Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Second Annual PENN Autism Network Conference presents a unique opportunity to focus on promoting systems of supports and services for adolescents and adults with ASD, including the issues surrounding the transition into adulthood.


Houston Hall
University of Pennsylvania [map]
3417 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Research Perspectives in Autism
Hosted by Penn and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
March 15, 2007
8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Discussion topics include

  • Language, emotion, and social behaviors
  • Do you have a good candidate gene for autism?
  • Brain connectivity, sleep, and activity

Journeys Through Adolescence and Adulthood
March 15, 2007
8 – 9:30 p.m.
Jerry and Mary Newport – internationally recognized advocates, authors, and savants – present, “You Don’t Have to be ‘Normal’ to be Happy”

March 16, 2007
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Over 20 breakout sessions are offered.  Topics include:

  • Treatment of Adults with ASD
  • Relationships Through an Autistic Lifespan
  • Strategies for Coping with Social Danger
  • Autism & Sexuality: To Teach or not to Teach and the Potential Consequences of Doing Nothing

Research Perspectives in Autism (selected presenters)

Journeys Through Adolescence and Adulthood (selected presenters)

For a complete agenda, including speakers, sessions, and times, visit:

If you plan on attending, please contact Kate Olderman at (215) 349-8369 or


PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

This release is available online at