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Featuring: Dr. Grace Baranek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
originally recorded September 12, 2016

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. This LiveTalk is part of the Advances in Autism bundle.

Description: Autism is characterized by difficulties in social-communication and sensory processing problems.  In recent years there has been an increased awareness of sensory and social-communication differences in infants as early markers of later autism spectrum disorder.  This program with internationally noted occupational therapist, Dr. Grace Baranek, will discuss her research on early identification of sensory processing and social-communication features in children with autism. This LiveTalk will highlight the importance of examining sensory processing as well as social-communication risk factors for early identification of autism and related developmental disorders; and will discuss her work on the underlying mechanisms, development, and effects on daily activities and social development of the sensory features of autism.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this LiveTalk listeners will be able to:

  1. Describe 4 sensory features in infancy which may be early markers of later autism spectrum disorder.
  2. Describe the relationship between sensory processing problems and social-communication problems in young children with autism spectrum disorder.
  3. Identify 3 social-communication problems identified in infancy and early childhood which may be a marker of later autism spectrum disorder.

Course Level: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Suitable For: Occupational Therapists, OT Assistants, Physical Therapists, PT Assistants, Psychologists, Parents, Teachers.

Domain: Contexts
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.0 contact hours or 0.1 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the recorded LiveTalk in its entirety, and complete the accompanying assessment.

About the Speaker: Dr. Grace Baranek, is Professor of Occupational Therapy and Department of Allied Health Sciences Associate Chair for Research at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy at University of Illinois at the Medical Center and her MA and Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Baranek is Principal Investigator (PI) of the Sensory Experiences Project, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, as well as the Early Development Project, a treatment study for infants at-risk for various developmental concerns, including autism. She is also a fellow with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development institute and is a co-author of the First Year Inventory, a screening tool for 12 month old infants.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969-4410 ext. 231.

Continuing Education:


Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


The Spiral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such your donation is tax deductible.