Autism forum held in Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The largest forum of national, state and regional autism experts in the Southeast was held in Charleston on Saturday.It was part of an autism forum, which included keynote speakers such as Peter Gerhardt, the education director for the MCarton School in New York City. Gerhardt is pioneering an assessment program that would help identify the needs of autistic teens transitioning into adulthood.

The event will feature sessions about autism and law, research, how to advocate for an autistic child, how to diagnose, medicines and services.

More than 60 speakers are scheduled to host sessions.Dr. Frampton Gwynette, a pediatric psychiatrist at the Medical University of South Carolina, said the event is designed to help give parents the resources and support they need.

"Hopefully give parents the loudest voice they can have because as Dr. [Peter] Gerhardt mentioned, nothing good in the world of autism has ever come about that wasn't from a parent," Dr. Frampton said. "They are really the movers and shakers in this area and so giving them a sense of community and hope - that's today's goal."

More than 500 people are expected to attend the event at the College of Charleston's Sottile Theatre.