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Autism Acceptance Month: Early Learning and Intervention Expert

For April’s Autism Acceptance Month, Drexel News Blog is highlighting experts from Drexel University’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, whose research ranges from studies to determine if prenatal environmental exposures cause pathologic changes in the developing brain, to evaluations of screening, diagnosis, and early intervention approaches for community-based settings, to projects connecting youth and young adults with employment and educational opportunities, and more.

Giacomo Vivanti, PhD, is an associate professor in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. His research focuses on understanding and addressing the social learning difficulties observed in young children with autism, such as their difficulties in imitation, attention and play skills.

“I study early learning, how children with autism learn from others in the first years of life, and early intervention, how we can promote positive outcomes for children with autism using early intervention techniques,” said Vivanti.

Vivanti, a leading expert in the field of early intervention, has recently published on implementing, evaluating, optimizing and customizing early interventions for children with autism in the community. He is also the lead author of two manuals that guide professionals in the practical implementation of early interventions for children, “Clinical Guide to Early Interventions for Children with Autism” and “Implementing the Group-Based Early Start Denver Model for young children with Autism.”

“This focus reflects my life experience of growing up with two brothers diagnosed with autism, as well as my diverse clinical and research training,” said Vivanti.

Vivanti believes Autism Acceptance Month is important because, “we need to create a more autism-friendly society. This requires scientific progress, but also societal awareness on the uniqueness of individuals with autism, including their unmet needs and the unique contributions they can offer to the society.”

Media interested in speaking with Vivanti should contact Annie Korp, news manager, at 215-571-4244 or amk522@drexel.edu.

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