PRESS RELEASE - Autism: New Attitudes, Approaches and Assumptions


Autism: New Attitudes, Approaches and Assumptions

Toronto, July 11, 2014—The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research hosted a public discussion: Autism: New Attitudes, Approaches and Assumptions featuring leading Canadian researchers and thinkers in the field of autism.

Funded through the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Café Scientifique series, speakers included CIHR researchers Dr. James Bebko, Dr. Edvokia Anagnostou, and leading advocate Estée Klar.

Dr. Bebko, Registered Psychologist with a commitment to the field of autism, stressed that we should not think of individuals as being defined by their autism, but by their humanness. “The task is for us (is) to understand that autism is just one more expression of the range of human development, and to understand how we might help these individuals to become the most self-actualized they can be.” Dr. Bebko is a Professor and former Director of the Clinical Developmental Psychology Programme at the Department of Psychology, York University.

Estée Klar, PhD candidate of Critical Disability Studies at York University, as well as the Founder and Director of the Autism Acceptance Project ( shared her perspective as an advocate, researcher, and mother of a child with autism.

Dr. Evdokia, child Neurologist and Senior Clinician Scientist at Bloorview Research Institute, and Co-Director of the Autism Research Centre at Holland Bloorview, and Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, was unable to join at the last minute. Her CIHR-funded research was represented by her associate.

The event was held at the Fox and Fiddle on 280 Bloor Street West, and included refreshments for the audience. About 50 people attended the lively discussion.

For more details please contact:

Kathy Matusiak, Executive Director

The DeVeber Institute for Bioethics & Social Research

415 Oakdale Road, Suite #215, Toronto, ON M3N 1W7 or 416-256-0555

About the deVeber Institute:

The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research is a non-profit educational foundation that conducts and disseminates research on topics connected to human life in its biological, social and ethical dimensions.