Daryl Scott (320x240)
Dr. Daryl Scott, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor

On Saturday, Sept. 16, Baylor College of Medicine will bring a community conference and resource fair to the Midland area to provide an educational seminar and support materials for children with special needs, as well as their parents.

Provided jointly by Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with SHARE West Texas, the conference will address the role genetic evaluations play in patients with autism spectrum disorders.

Dr. Daryl Scott, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, will walk parents through the steps of a genetic evaluation and discuss what the findings mean, citing relevant case studies. The emphasis will be placed on common causes of autism, including Fragile X syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities and mutations affecting genes linked to autism.

“Conference attendees will learn how new genetic tests have made it possible to determine why some children are affected by autism spectrum disorders. When a specific case is identified, it allows physicians to provide accurate counseling and improved medical care for all family members,” Scott said.

The resource fair will offer current information on care, education and research as they relate to autism spectrum disorders and encourages networking within the community by connecting patients and their families with others in similar situations.

“Our goal in introducing this program to the Midland community is to broaden the awareness of these disorders while also providing parents and families with the knowledge and resources they need to cope with the behavioral and developmental disabilities that often accompany them,” said Susan Fernbach, director of genetic outreach at Baylor and Texas Children’s.

The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The seminar will be held at Midland Shared Spaces, at 3500 North A St. To register, email Traci Hopper at thopper@sharewtx.org, or call 432-818-1259. The resource fair begins at 9 am, and the conference will follow at 10 am. Lunch will be provided.

This conference is supported by the Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Department of State Health Services.