On April 8, 2014, Neurodiversity class students and graduate Psychology students in a Psychopathology seminar course attended the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) meeting at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The trip was organized by the course instructors, Psychology professors Janice Zeman, Cheryl Dickter, Josh Burk, History professor Karin Wulf, and W&M Scholar-in-Residence, John Robison. The IACC committee is chaired by Dr. Thomas Insel, Director for the National Institute of Health and Robison is an IACC member.
The meeting began with a review of recent scientific findings related to autism followed by presentations from the Center for Disease Control regarding recent prevalence estimates of autism, the BRAIN Initiative, and the National Database for Autism Research. The morning session concluded with a presentation by John Robison about William & Mary’s Neurodiversity Initiative including the course being taught at the College of William & Mary and the upcoming course in the W&M/Washington office. In the afternoon, students listened to public comments, including from parents of children with autism and about services research for autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan. Funding for this trip was provided by the offices of the Dean for Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.