Discover SPARK

Webinar: Siblings From Infancy to Adulthood

In this webinar, which will take place May 18, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Alycia Halladay, Ph.D., and Samantha Els will review the science on what is known about siblings, from infant sibling studies to research looking at the challenges and strengths of siblings of those with ASD as they enter adolescence and adulthood. Please be prepared with questions for a scientist as well as a sibling.

Who is Alycia Halladay?

A photo of researcher Alycia HalladayAlycia Halladay is the Chief Science Officer for the Autism Science Foundation (ASF), where she oversees the scientific activities, grants, and initiatives of ASF. Prior to joining ASF in 2014, she served as the Senior Director of Clinical and Environmental Sciences at Autism Speaks. She has authored over two dozen peer-reviewed papers in science journals. Alycia also serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation. She received a Ph.D. in biopsychology from Rutgers in 2001 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2004. She still holds a faculty appointment at Rutgers. She has an 11-year-old daughter with autism.

Who is Samantha Els?

A photo of the Els siblingsSamantha “Sam” Els is the sister to Ben, an incredibly charismatic 19-year-old male diagnosed with autism. Sam is an agent of change worldwide for siblings of individuals with autism. She is the Ambassador of Sam’s Sibs Stick Together, a webinar series sponsored by Els for Autism® and The Autism Science Foundation. Sam is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she majored in Human Biology and played on their rugby team. Her capstone project at Stanford University, the Social Side of Sibs, focused on the lived experiences of siblings of individuals with autism. Sam was also a mentor for the Stanford Health Careers Collaborative where she designed curriculum for an after-school program encouraging underrepresented students to pursue scientific research and provided mentorship for their academic interests.

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