Melissa Shimek is a recently diagnosed woman on the autism spectrum. She discovered her diagnosis as she sought information about a possible diagnosis for her twin daughters, who also have been diagnosed. As adjustments are made within her own life, Melissa finds it beneficial to share her experiences through a blog (http://militiapennsylvania.blogspot.com/) and by taking part in community outreach through support groups. She have contributed previously as a panelist during Autism Awareness events. Melissa has become a member of INSAR will share her findings at IMFAR 2012 with her community.
Meagan is a graduate student at Boston University, where she is working on the Infant Sibling Project, a collaborative investigation led by Dr. Helen Tager-Flusberg and Dr. Charles Nelson, which follows the infant siblings of children with autism from 6 through 36 months of age. Her current focus is on understanding the early language and social-communicative development of these infants, particularly in the context of parent-child interactions. Prior to her graduate work at Boston University, Meagan was involved in research at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, where she worked on several research projects related to early identification and development of infants with autism, primarily under the direction of Dr. Sally Ozonoff.
At IMFAR, Meagan will be presenting work on the relations between parents’ concerns and infants’ early language development. Her attendance at IMFAR will allow her to learn more about important new research, which she will share with other students and colleagues in the ROADD laboratory at Boston University.