Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum keynote speaker at Autism Speaks event this Sunday

    Local MP, Mike Lake and family to join families, service providers and
    other community supporters at Walk Now for Autism Kick-Off Lunch.

    EDMONTON, June 20 /CNW/ - On Sunday June 22, Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum,
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics (University of Alberta) and
Co-Director of the Autism Research Centre at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
will be the keynote speaker at a free luncheon hosted by Autism Speaks Canada.
    Dr. Zwaigenbaum will address families, friends, service providers,
educators and others interested in learning more about current trends in
autism research with emphasis on the exciting discoveries of the global High
Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium, of which he is a key member. "Lonnie
has an outstanding reputation for his ability to translate science into plain
language and we are so excited that the autism community will have the
opportunity to hear his dynamic and informative presentation," notes Suzanne
Lanthier, Executive Director of Autism Speaks Canada.
    Mike and Debi Lake will be in attendance along with their children, Jenae
(age 9) and Jaden (age 12). Jaden is affected by autism. Mr. Lake, who was
instrumental in having the first UN declared World Autism Awareness Day -
April 2, 2008 - recognized in the House of Commons will be joined by Jaden to
talk about his experiences as a parent of a child on the autism spectrum.
    Also speaking will be Krista Hauffe, Miss Teen Edmonton International
2008, who has a personal connection to autism. Representatives from community
partner agencies, Children's Autism Services of Edmonton and the Autism
Society of Edmonton and Area will be joining the luncheon, expected to draw
over 120 people.
    The luncheon is the official kick-off event for Autism Speaks' Inaugural
Edmonton Capital Region Walk Now for Autism being held on September 7 at
Lion's Park/St. Albert Place in St. Albert. The luncheon is being held at the
Fantasyland Hotel from 11:30 - 1:30 PM. The event is free and lunch will be
provided but pre-registration is required by calling 1-888-362-6227.
    Autism affects one in every 150 children. One in 94 boys will be
affected. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than diabetes,
cancer, and AIDS combined.

    Autism Speaks' Walk Now for Autism, North America's largest grassroots
autism walk program, is our signature fundraising and awareness event, taking
place in communities across the Canada, the United States and the United
Kingdom. Powered by volunteers and families with loved ones on the autism
spectrum, this successful grassroots fundraising effort not only generates
vital funds for autism research but also raises awareness about the increasing
prevalence of autism and the need for increased research funding to combat
this complex disorder.
    Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum
disorders; funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments and
advocates for the needs of individuals with autism. To learn more about Autism
Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org. Since 1998 close to $6 million has
been granted to the Canadian autism research community by Autism Speaks.

For further information:

For further information: Suzanne Lanthier, Executive Director, Autism
Speaks, Cell: (416) 388-3139 or email: slanthier@autismspeaks.org

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