Three Perspectives on the Autism Epidemic

April 3, 2012 Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 9:17 AM EDT

By WKBW News

April 3, 2012 Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 9:17 AM EDT

AMHERST, N.Y. ( release ) – As part of its April activities to coincide with Autism Awareness Month, Summit Educational Resources will sponsor a lecture, “Three Perspectives on the Autism ‘Epidemic’” by Roy Richard Grinker, Ph.D., author of “Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism” on Tuesday, April 3, from 7 – 9 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, 1300 Elmwood Avenue. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and available online from Buffalo State College at

Dr. Roy Richard Grinker, Ph.D. stopped by Channel 7's "Eyewitness News This Morning" Tuesday to talk with Patrick Taney and Ginger Geoffery about autism, and to preview the lecture.

Dr. Grinker will speak about autism from the perspective of an anthropologist who studies autism across cultures, a professor who increasingly teaches students with autism at the university level, and as the parent of a 20-year-old daughter with autism. He will discuss lessons we can learn from studies from around the world, and pay special attention to how self-advocacy is improving the social and intellectual experiences of students in higher education.

“Dr. Grinker brings a unique point of view to the discussion of the increased number of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders,” said Stephen R. Anderson, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Summit. “As a provider of educational and family support services to individuals with autism, Summit continues to experience an increasing number of calls from parents, school districts, and local organizations looking for expertise in working with individuals with autism,” Anderson said. “The need for on-going education and awareness is great.”

Dr. Grinker is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for Ethnographic Research at George Washington University, where he has taught and advised undergraduate and graduate students with autism. He is also Editor-in-chief of The Anthropological Quarterly. He is the author of five books, including Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism, an account of the cultural factors underlying changes in autism prevalence. Selected by Library Journal as one of the 30 best books of 2007, Unstrange Minds received the 2008 KEN Award.

Dr. Grinker is a sought-after speaker whose work has been covered in TIME, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, NPR Day to Day, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Smithsonian Magazine, New Scientist, and Nature.

Serving more than 1500 students each year with a staff of more than 500, Summit is Western New York’s largest private provider of educational, therapeutic, and family support services to children and young adults with autism, language disorders, and related developmental disabilities.