Touro Recent Graduate, with Deputy Chairperson of Psychology of Touro College’s School for Lifelong Education, Present New Autism Research in San Diego, Nov. 11

Date: November 29, 2010
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

New York, N.Y. – Beatrice Bleier, a recent graduate of Touro College’s School for Lifelong Education (SLE), and Dr. Faye Walkenfeld, assistant professor and deputy chairperson of psychology at the school, recently participated in an interactive academic presentation at a conference titled, “A Brain Research Meeting: The Emerging Neuroscience of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiologic Insights, Treatment Opportunities,” which was held Nov. 10-11, in San Diego, California

The conference reviewed current knowledge about the causes and symptoms of various forms of autism. Ms. Bleier and Dr. Walkenfeld’s research project, entitled “Enlarged Brain Size in Autism and Its Relationship to Local Bias,” focuses on how researchers might be able to identify a specific form of autism early in infancy so that proper interventions can begin as early as possible in a child’s development.

“Our research may ultimately make it easier for physicians to diagnose this particular form of autism, which typically is characterized by a visibly enlarged head,” explained Dr. Walkenfeld. “This physical evidence could allow earlier detection of the disease, before typical behavioral symptoms become apparent.

The presentation was part of a two-day satellite event held prior to the 2010 Society for Neuroscience’s Annual Meeting, also in San Diego, and was organized by Elsevier, publisher of the supporting journal, Brain Research. The research project is Ms. Bleier’s first publication. Dr. Walkenfeld’s previous publications and presentations have focused on memory and cognitive development.

“School for Lifelong Education faculty members and advisors are personally involved with students to encourage their interests and help them reach their potential,” stated Shoshana Grun, director of the School for Lifelong Education. “Dr. Walkenfeld’s work with Ms. Bleier is a wonderful example.”

A resident of Rockland County, N.Y., Ms. Bleier graduated from SLE in Spring 2010 and currently is enrolled in the behavioral neuroscience graduate program at Queens College, N.Y. She is also a research coordinator at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, studying the possibility that environmental toxins might be contributing to the documented increase in various childhood disorders, such as ADHD and autism.

The School for Lifelong Education was established in 1989 to serve the academic needs of the Hasidic communities, whose unique culture, commitment and lifestyle require bold and innovative approaches to higher learning. The program is open to nontraditional motivated students whose learning is facilitated by alternative modalities of instruction.