Introduction to the AIR-P

Introduction to the AIR-P


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Archived Recording
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Wednesday, December 16, 2020
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Zoom Webinar

Webinar Description:

Join us for an introduction to the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P). Learn more about the network, our Autistic Researchers Review Board (ARRB), and ways other researchers across the AUCD network can get involved.

The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) improves the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD). AIR-P advances HRSA's goal of addressing disparities and improving health equity by focusing on individuals from underserved populations across United States. As a multisite Learning Network, AIR-P provides a collaborative laboratory for developing and testing evidence-based interventions and accelerating the adoption of effective interventions to improve care and reduce disparities.


Laura Kavanaugh smiling for headshotLaura Kavanagh MPP - Ms. Kavanagh is the Deputy Associate Administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration. MCHB's mission is to improve the health of America's mothers, children and families. Its Title V Maternal and Child Health Services program serves over 61 million pregnant women and children in the United States, comprising 84 percent of all pregnant women and 63 percent of all infants and children, including those with special health care needs. Ms. Kavanagh has served as the Deputy Associate Administrator since April 2015, with a focus on improving the transparency, accountability, and evidence base of MCHB's programs and initiatives. Her 30-year career in government and academia demonstrates a clear commitment to improving maternal and child health, with emphases on teaching, mentoring the next generation of MCH professionals, and advancing a diverse array of programs for underserved communities.

Women smiling for headshotAlice Kuo, MD, PhD, MBA - Dr. Alice Kuo is the Principal Investigator of the AIR-P. She is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and of Health Policy and Management in the Fielding UCLA School of Public Health. She is also Chief of Medicine-Pediatrics at UCLA. Her research interests include access to and delivery of developmental services, cognitive and language development in young minority children, and services for children and adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Since 2014, she has been the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)-funded Health Care Transitions Research Network (HCT-RN) for Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition to her research, Dr. Kuo has been involved in educational programs at several levels, from undergraduate students to post-graduate fellows. Since 2006, she has been the Director of the MCHB-funded Pathways for Students into Health Professions for disadvantaged undergraduate students interested in public health and health professional careers. At the post-graduate level, Dr. Kuo is the Director of the UCLA Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program, which she founded in 2003. In 2016, she became the Director of the University of California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (UC-LEND) program.

Man smiling for headshotPatrick Dwyer is an autistic graduate student in developmental psychology. His main research interest is using various methods (including electrophysiology, questionnaires, psychophysics, etc.) to explore sensory processing and attention in autism, as well as heterogeneity in sensory processing. Patrick also has strong side-interests in topics such as education, behaviour intervention, and neurodiversity theory; broadly, Patrick is interested in anything relevant to the well-being of autistic people. Along with TC, Patrick is a co-founder and co-chair of the Autistic Researchers Committee at the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and is also part of the online training advisory board at the Sinneave Family Foundation. At a local level, Patrick facilitates peer-support communities for autistic students. He maintains a blog,


Woman smiling for headshotEmily Hotez, PhD is an adjunct assistant professor in The Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research in the Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.Dr. Hotez is an interdisciplinary social science researcher with a focus on applying mixed methodology towards understanding adult development, health, and well-being and the role of interventions in promoting these capacities. Dr. Hotez's current research focuses on advancing research within the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P),which seeks to advance the evidence base on effective interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan with a focus on addressing physical health and well-being. In the context of this work, Dr. Hotez is committed to conducting research that adapts a neurodiversity-oriented lens towards health-promotion. Dr. Hotez received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in developmental psychology and her B.A. in psychology from the George Washington University.



Woman smiling for headshotJackie Ryan is a PhD candidate in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta. She holds a Master's Degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University where her research on leadership to promote self-determination of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder won the University Founders' Award. Her current research is on understanding autonomy and autonomy-support from the perspective of autistic adults with intellectual disabilities using a community-based participatory research approach. She will be utilizing novel methods to understand the perspectives of autistic adults who are unable to reliably report their inner thoughts and ideas including Photovoice and Deep Assessment which includes Startle Reflex Modulation Measurement. Jackie works for a large multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit service provider in Edmonton, the Centre for Autism Services Alberta, where she created Quest for Independence, a post-secondary transition program for young adults with ASD focused on teaching skills for independence. Jackie is autistic and mom to an autistic young adult son. She is passionate about the inclusion of autistic people in all that affects them including research, policy-setting, and service provision. Jackie views autism with a neurodiversity lens and is interested in recent research that calls into question the assumption that autistic individuals struggle with social communication and that perhaps it is a two-way problem.