America's only pop-culture image of autism is that of Dustin Hoffman counting cards in Rain Man; real autism is both far more common and much different than the Hollywood version.
Casi's Quest, the Florida chapter of the Autism Autoimmunity Project, brings two internationally known researchers to the Marriott Marina in Fort Lauderdale this weekend, doctors Andrew Wakefield and Jeffrey Bradstreet, who present "Autism Research: The Cutting Edge 2001."
Bradstreet heads the International Autism Research Center in Palm Bay, Florida. Saturday he discusses the current state of affairs in autism treatment and prevention, including dietary interventions, infectious diseases, and toxic accumulations such as mercury and other heavy metals. While years ago autism was so rare many doctors would not encounter a case their entire lives, Wakefield's recently published research staggeringly claims that the rates for the disease in the United States and his native United Kingdom now approach 1 in every 100. Of course bringing top researchers to the Marriott to speak to those concerned with the illness and carrying on with all Casi's Quest's other projects costs the center no small amount of spare change. Luckily it has found a few big names to help out.
After the presentation ends at 4 p.m., a fundraiser for Casi's Quest begins at 7 p.m. at Sutra, that vaguely Middle Eastern- themed nightclub in Himmarshee Village: The event features an auction of items autographed and donated by John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jim Carrey, Kevin Bacon, and many other stars. And while this offers the public the rare opportunity finally to get within one degree of Kevin Bacon, Travolta and Preston have given the most support to the cause of all celebrities involved, granting permission to use their names in conjunction with Casi's Quest and the autism fundraiser. And if anyone knows nightclubs, it ought to be Travolta; of course in his day they were called discos.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly guide to events in South Florida, and never be bored again. With suggestions for every day of the week, our recommendations will keep you busy on any budget.
More Calendar News
- Bonnet House Lecture Series
Wed., Aug. 5, 6:35pm
Wed., Aug. 5, 8:00pm
Thu., Aug. 6, 6:35pm
Thu., Aug. 6, 7:00pm
- An Evening with Paul Anka
- Broward 100 Lecture Series: The Last Train from Key West