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Autism is Topic for CUC Breakfast Meeting

UCR Autism Expert to Address Citizens University Committee

Professor Jan Blacher will highlight the mission and focus of newly established family resource center during the meeting held October 24.

(October 8, 2007)

Professor Jan Blacher of the UCR Graduate School of Education.

Professor Jan Blacher of the UCR Graduate School of Education.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( —Professor Jan Blacher of UCR’s Graduate School of Education, who has established the SEARCH [Support, Education, Advocacy, Resources, Community and Hope] center for families dealing with autism, will address the upcoming Citizens University Committee (CUC) breakfast meeting. Her topic, “Is it in the Water? Autism Rising,” will be presented Wednesday, October 24 from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. at the University Extension — Rooms D/E, 1200 University Avenue.

“With an increase in autism disorder diagnoses, estimated at one out of every 150 children, we have established SEARCH to help families find necessary educational resources for their children,” Blacher said. “We quickly realized that at this growth rate a collaborative effort among educators, researchers and policymakers, was needed for these families in the Inland Empire.”

The SEARCH program specifically will assist families with finding information on proper diagnosis and treatment; educate families on the disorder itself and on selecting evidence-based intervention options; help them access educational, medical, social support and legal services; and ease the transition from early childhood to kindergarten.

In addition to presenting the mission of SEARCH, Blacher will also address the vast increase in this disorder and its implications on the families dealing with it. Blacher is a nationally recognized expert researcher, educator, columnist and advocate in the area of developmental disabilities.

Also presenting at the October 24 meeting is John Tavaglione, Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

The cost for the CUC event is $18 and includes a breakfast buffet. Reservations must be made no later than Thursday, October 18 by contacting the UC Office of Governmental & Community Relations and Technology Collaboration at (951)827-5184 or by e-mailing

The CUC is UC Riverside’s oldest continuous support group. It formed in 1948 to lobby the California State Legislature to locate a campus of the University of California in Riverside at the site of the Citrus Experiment Station. In 1949, the legislature passed appropriations to build a Riverside campus and UC Riverside opened its doors in February of 1954.

Today the CUC provides a means for the community to tap into the cultural, intellectual and social vitality of the UC Riverside campus. The group hosts monthly breakfasts, which highlight the latest cutting-edge research initiatives the faculty is undertaking.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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