GLENDALE, Calif. – On September 12, 2019, the Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles chapter joined forces with the Armenian American Medical Society (AAMS) and the Armenian Autism Outreach Project (AAOP) to present an informative event called Autism Awareness: Diagnosis, Testing, Supportive Care and Resources. The event was held at the Glendale Public Library. Parents, educators, staff and community members attended this public event to learn about autism, its development, challenges and the individuals and organizations that assist in supporting families with autism challenges.
Autism is a lifelong complex neurodevelopment disorder, with biological roots thought to be present at birth, which continues through adulthood. Autism can affect any child and family from any race, ethnic or socioeconomic group anywhere in the world. Research indicates that early identification and interventions tailored to each child’s strengths and needs can result in significant positive outcomes for many children with autism.
Talene Hachikian served as master of ceremonies on behalf of the Tekeyan Metro Los Angeles chapter, while Hasmig Karayan was the chair of the Tekeyan organizing committee.
Keynote speakers included developmental-behavioral pediatrician Dr. Tamar Chorbadjian. Dr. Chorbadjian serves as the director of the High Risk Infant Follow-Up Clinic and Assistant Division Head of the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park. Chorbadjian began the series of lectures introducing and characterizing autism.
Dr. Ani Khatchadourian, the next keynote speaker, focused on describing some of the evaluations and testing applied in her practice to diagnose autism. Khatchadourian, a neuropsychologist, is the founder and clinical director of Dr. Ani and Associates in Pasadena, CA.
Following Khatchadourian’s presentation, Dr. Talin Babikian, board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA and Associate Director of UCLA’s BrainSPORT program, spoke about co-morbidities associated with autism and highlighted some treatment and alternative perspectives.