- This meetup is on the second Saturday of July, not our usual fourth Saturday.
- This event is a production of the Atlanta Science Tavern.
- Dinner starts at 7:00 pm.
- The evening's presentation begins around 7:45.
- Seating will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
- The capacity of the venue is 80 people.
- We expect a turnout of around 60% of day-of RSVPs.
- Refer to our Open Seating Policy for details.
- There is a $3 contribution requested from non-students.
Getting Kids to Talk: Early Vocal Development and its Derailment in Autism
Gordon Ramsay, Ph.D.
Director, Spoken Communication Laboratory, Marcus Autism Center
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine
Photo courtesy of Gordon Ramsay
Autism is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder of early onset, characterized by deficits in social communication and restricted interests/repetitive behaviors. Children with autism are almost universally delayed in acquiring spoken language: about 25% of children with autism never learn to speak; another 25% will begin to speak and then lose the ability later on.
Understanding why some individuals with autism develop language and others do not is an important and active area of scientific research, because we know that early language ability is the best prognostic indicator of long-term outcome for this condition.
This talk will describe the developmental stages typical infants go through on the path to spoken language, and review current research on the many ways in which autism may impact speech and language development in early childhood. What we learn from children with autism will also teach us about typical development, and help us to treat other conditions.
About our speaker
Dr. Gordon Ramsay directs the Spoken Communication Laboratory at the Marcus Autism Center, and is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine. He completed a Ph.D. in electronics and electrical engineering at the University of Southampton in England, after receiving an M.Phil. from Cambridge University in speech and language processing. Before coming to Atlanta, he was an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center and Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories, and has held other positions in France, Belgium, Australia, and Ethiopia.
His research focuses on developmental profiling of vocal behavior, spoken communication, and social interaction in infants at risk of autism, as part of an NIH-funded Autism Center of Excellence. The goal is to develop evidence-based community-viable technologies for early detection and intervention in ASD, to ensure that every child at risk of autism learns to talk.