THERAPY THROUGH THEATER
A novel approach to developing social skills for young adults with autism—a theater workshop that ran for 12 weeks at Montclair State University—put The Autism Center at NJMS in media headlines this year.
One in every 94 children in New Jersey is diagnosed with autism, a rate higher than the national average of 1 in 150. This is a statistic that UMDNJ clinicians and researchers take very seriously. Millions of dollars from sources like the National Institutes of Health and the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Autism fund autism-related projects on several campuses. Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our University has spearheaded the New Jersey Autism Study, a population-based study. Another team of UMDNJ experts drawn from biochemistry, neurogenetics, pediatric toxicology, pharmacology, pediatric neurology, nutrition, synthetic chemistry and hands-on autism clinical care has been meeting every Thursday for two years. The good news: They believe they are on the verge of a treatment to make autism as manageable as diabetes.