National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Developmental Disabilities Branch                                                  APRIL, 2007 

Spotlight Quarterly


1. Calling All Partners!  April 24th: Partnerships for Developmental Disabilities:

On Tuesday, April 24th from 8:30am-4:30pm, the Developmental Disabilities Branch will host a one day meeting entitled “Partnerships for Developmental Disabilities.” The goal of this meeting is to bring together partners who continue to support Developmental Disabilities Branch activities such as the Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Program (MADDSP), the Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) and the Centers for Autism Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE)  including the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED).

While the program will highlight these activities, it will also feature presentations from various partners including: Diana Robins, Georgia State University; Stephanie Moss, Georgia Department of Human Resources; Amy Thornhill Pakula, MD, Marcus Institute; Alan Weintraub, MD; Anna Marie Champion and Cynthia Gray, Reaching For The Stars; Debra Thompson, Georgia Department of Human Resources; Kimberly Kulka, Battelle Centers for Research and Evaluation; Sheila Wagner, Emory Autism Resource Center; David Cantor, Psychological Sciences Institute.


The meeting will be held at CDC’s Roybal Campus at 1600 Clifton Road. Pre-registration is required:  Seating is limited and advance registration closes on April 20th. To view the program, click here:  Lunch is sponsored by The Autism Walk, Autism Speaks and Marcus Institute." to the end of that sentence.

For those who wish to participate but cannot attend, a conference call in line has been established:

Also, those unable to attend may view the presenters’ slides by logging onto a webinar at:

2. Update: First Annual Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

Anna Marie Champion, Dr. Janice Brunstrom, Cynthia Gray, and Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp
Anna Marie Champion, Dr. Janice Brunstrom, Cynthia Gray, and
Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp
On March 21st, NCBDDD and the Developmental Disabilities Branch hosted the First Annual Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in partnership with Reaching for the Stars: A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy. The event included speakers personally affected by cerebral palsy including Morgan Champion, 6; Catelyn Gray, 5; Brandon Sudge, 8; and Kyle Pease, 19. 

Also included in the program were Drs. Janice Brunstrom, Cerebral Palsy Center, St. Louis Missouri (also personally affected) and Mindy Lipson Aisen, United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation.  Developmental Disabilities Branch scientists also provided an overview of current CDC efforts in Cerebral Palsy.

To read more about these activities, click here. To learn more about Reaching For The Stars, click here:

3. Featured Partner: The Marcus Institute

The Marcus Institute offers a new Resource Room!

On Thursday, April 5th, The Marcus Institute celebrated the opening of the Norman Shutters Resource Center, which is a unique health information center accessible to parents and family members of children with developmental disabilities. It is staffed by volunteers and is open to the public. As a part of the event, Build-A-Bear Workshop® was onsite with their mobile marketing store. Students at The Marcus School, patients at The Marcus Institute and the public were invited to make a bear in celebration of this unique community resource center and in recognition of Autism Awareness Month.

“Build-A-Bear Workshop is dedicated to helping to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear. “This is our third year partnering with Autism Speaks to increase awareness and support for autism research, prevention, treatment and a cure.” Throughout the month of April, Build-A-Bear Workshop stores invite Guests to purchase a purple satin heart for a $1 donation. For each heart sold, the money will be distributed through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to Autism Speaks.

About the Marcus Institute:

The Marcus Institute serves Atlanta, Georgia, the Southeast and the international community in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders. Specializing in Autism, ADHD, Pervasive Development Disorders, FAS and Feeding Disorders, The Marcus Institute offers unique, leading edge treatment, diagnosis and assistance to children and their families living with developmental disabilities. By offering a comprehensive list of services under one roof, families can receive diagnosis, treatment and support in a single location. Treating patients across Georgia and the Southeast, The Marcus Institute is the comprehensive resource for children with developmental disorders. The Marcus Institute, dedicated to serving the developmentally disabled community, turns disabilities into possibilities. For more information, call 404.419.4000, or visit

4. RWJ Foundation Issues Call for Grant Proposals

In February the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Local Initiatives Funding Partners (LIFP) issued its 2008 Call for Proposals. The LIFP is a partnership between the RWJ and local grant makers to fund promising, original projects that "address the health needs of people who are not reached by traditional health and social services, or for whom existing systems are fragmented and insufficient." Projects must be new, innovative, collaborative and community-based, but significant program expansions to new regions or new populations may also be considered. Proposals should be nominated by local grant makers interested in participating as one of the funding partners, working with each grantee to obtain matching funds throughout the grant period. Deadline for applications is July 10, 2007 for awards that begin July 1, 2008. For more about this opportunity, click here.

5. NCBDDD Announces New Director

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the CDC has announced the appointment of Edwin Trevathan, MD, MPH. Dr. Trevathan, who will join CDC in July, comes from Washington University at the St. Louis School of Medicine, where he serves as professor of neurology and pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology. He is also the Neurologist-in-Chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Dr. Trevathan has conducted epidemiologic studies of childhood epilepsy and developmental disabilities, has directed multi-center clinical trials and has published in clinical pediatric neurology, epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disabilities. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Neurology and is a regular reviewer for several other journals. For more about the work of NCBDDD, go to

6. Stay Tuned: Autism Appropriations Hearing on Capitol Hill

A Senate Health, Education and Labor Subcommittee Hearing on Autism & Appropriations is anticipated on April 17. Check the regularly-updated listing of Senate hearings by clicking here. The Combating Autism Act authorizes appropriations, but the actual funding to implement the law will be established by appropriations legislation developed by House and Senate Subcommittees.

7. Autism Speaks/Marcus Institute Walk For Autism

On Saturday, May 19th Autism Speaks and The Marcus Institute will host the Walk For Autism at Atlantic Station in Atlanta. Registration begins at 7:30 am on the morning of the 19th and the walk, approximately 3 miles, commences at 9:00am. Autism Speaks and The Marcus Institute invite everyone to attend Whether you are impacted by autism everyday, living with autism or are committed to this effort. Strollers are welcome, but no pets please. For more information or to register, visit: To walk with the Developmental Disabilities Branch team, please contact:

8. Autism Society of America- Georgia Chapter to hold annual conference, April 13-14th

The Greater Georgia Chapter of The Autism Society of America will host a two-day conference, April 13-14, 2007, at the Gwinnett Convention Center, focused on providing current resources and information on autism and related disorders.  The conference will feature presentations and workshops by top autism professionals, leading researchers and experts on various.

The conference is oriented toward families, educators and autism professionals who are looking to find new or better ways to care for the individuals with autism in their lives.  Further, the conference is oriented toward individuals with autism who are looking for resources which can help them reach their maximum potential.  Past conference attendees were from a diverse group, including parents, grandparents, individuals with autism, educators, autism professionals, and students interested in pursuing a career in fields related to autism. For more information or to register visit: .

9. NCBDDD News: RSVP for Second Annual Open House

Don't miss out! Remember to RSVP for the Second Annual Open House event hosted by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). The Open House is set for Friday, April 13, 2007 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia (Executive Park Dr., Building 12, Room 1002 A&B). For more information, click here

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