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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Symposium on the relation between autism and addiction: to increase collaboration between services

In this official Autism Month, a perfect time to inform and raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue in collaboration with the Réseau national d'expertise en trouble du spectre de l'autisme and the Autism and Addictions Partnership research project team will hold the Autism and Addictions Partnership Symposium in virtual format this coming April 22 and 23.

A Symposium on the relation between autism and addiction: for an increased collaboration between services (CNW Group/Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT))
A Symposium on the relation between autism and addiction: for an increased collaboration between services (CNW Group/Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT))

The event will bring together actors from the fields of research and practice in the humanities and social sciences, education and health to discuss the challenges of collaboration when autism is not a stand-alone condition. "The objective is to share knowledge from research in the field of autism in the context of associated conditions and needs for support. We want to create a space for knowledge sharing and reflection on the organizational issues of health and social services that affect accessibility for autistic people," explains the project's initiator, Marie-Hélène Poulin, a professor of psycho-education at UQAT's Teaching and Research Unit in Human and Social Development Sciences.

A diversified program along two axes The event's agenda is based on two main themes: one day will be devoted to research-related conferences and the other to clinical and practical aspects. The presentations will deal in particular with the themes of intersectoral and transversal collaboration within the same organisation when an autistic person wishes to receive specialized services (e.g. in addiction, mental health, parenting, sexuality, etc.) while receiving services from the Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Physical Disability (ID-ASD-PD) Program. Thus, it is from this perspective that the presentations will be divided into different themes, such as mental health, substance addiction, problematic use of alcohol, drugs, the Internet and video games, tools for screening and evaluating consumption habits, telepractice as a new intervention method, collaboration with autistic people and much more. The Symposium will be opened by Jonathan A. Weiss, Registered Psychologist, Associate Professor and Director of the Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Mental Health Disorders at York University. Professor Weiss will present a conference entitled: "Improving mental health clinicians' capacity to support autistic persons' mental health". The event will bring together 13 speakers from different backgrounds, who will share their expertise in ten presentations.

A virtual and accessible space Due to the pandemic context, all of the events will be accessible online free of charge via a webcasting platform. Simultaneous translation will be provided for all research-oriented presentations on April 22. Interested persons must register for the conferences in order to receive login information for the different presentations. It is possible to register online, on the Symposium Web page.

For further information: Catherine Bérubé-Leblanc,, Information Officer, Communication and Recruitment Services

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