Colloquia provide deeper understanding of autism-related topics

The Master of Autism Studies program offers additional opportunities for MAS graduate students to enhance classroom learning. Colloquia are informal discussions about important autism-related topics that serve as a chance for students and community members to interact and understand how scholarly autism research can be applied to aspects of everyday life.

Open to the Community

Interested students and community members are welcome to attend Master of Autism Studies sponsored workshops, lectures, and colloquia, as well as to interact with MAS graduate students and faculty and even take graduate courses.

Past Colloquia

“Anxious and Autistic? Relations between Anxiety and Repetitive Behavior in Autism and Down Syndrome”

Laura Simon of The Ohio State University will discuss relations between anxiety and repetitive behaviors in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome. Laura Simon is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at OSU, and an alumna of Saint Mary's College (psychology and philosophy, '16).

“Biomechanics: A New Tool for Understanding Brain Development”

Dr. Maria Holland discussed the complex interactions of biology and mechanics in development, and the tools that mechanical engineers and bioengineers use to study the developing brain. Across the spectrum of typical development and neurological disorders, this research offers new insights into the form and function of the brain, and how they came to be. Dr. Holland is Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering and the Bioengineering Graduate Program at the University of Notre Dame.

“Autism and Assisted Suicide: What's Happening in Europe and Why It Should Stop”

It is now well-documented—if not well-publicized on this side of the Atlantic—that people on the spectrum have died by euthanasia and assisted suicide in Belgium and the Netherlands. In this colloquium, Dr. Michael Waddell drew upon psychological and legal scholarship to examine ethical problems with euthanasia and assisted suicide for people on the spectrum. Responses were presented by Dr. Joshua John Diehl and Professor Carter Snead of the University of Notre Dame Law School.

“Supporting Siblings of People with Developmental Disabilities: Advice from a Sib”

Faculty Fellow Dr. Joshua John Diehl offered an account of sibling relationships in families of people with developmental disabilities, integrating research, clinical, and personal perspectives to provide a practical framework for supporting these important relationships. Dr. Diehl is a Faculty Fellow in the Master of Autism Studies program, Associate Editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and Chief Program Officer for Child and Adolescent Services at LOGAN Community Resources, Inc.

“Autism in Television and Film”

This colloquium was a panel discussion about ways in which autism and people on the spectrum are portrayed in television and film. Panelists included autism studies faculty and fellows: Dr. Susan Latham, Dr. Joshua Diehl, Dr. Nancy Turner, Dr. Juhi Kaboski, and Dr. Michael Waddell. Co-sponsored by Saint Mary's College and Special Friends of Notre Dame.

“Personhood, Identity, and the Autism Rights Movement: A Catholic View”

Dr. Michael Waddell shared research in progress that drew resources from the Catholic philosophical and theological traditions to address questions about autistic identity and the autism rights movement. Dr. Waddell previously presented this research in lectures at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Dr. Waddell is director of the Master of Autism Studies program and holder of the McMahon Aquinas Chair in Philosophy at Saint Mary’s College.