Center for Autism and Related Disorders Celebrates 20 Years with a Star-Studded, Red Carpet Gala on September 25, 2010

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), the world's largest autism treatment center, announces success with its 20th Anniversary Gala, celebrating 20 years of leading the way in the effective treatment of autism. The event, benefiting ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today), was held on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at the legendary Park Plaza Hotel, 607 S. Park View Street, in Los Angeles.

One in 110 children is diagnosed with autism in America. The neurological disorder is more prevalent than pediatric cancer, juvenile diabetes and AIDS combined. "Autism is a global issue that challenges the very fiber of humanity," says Grammy winner Macy Gray, who performed a mini-concert at the gala's post party. "As a mother and artist, I support families and communities struggling to secure treatment while preserving dignity. I support CARD and ACT Today! for making therapies available to those who lack the financial means."

"This star-studded, charity event drew 500 supporters including community leaders, leading autism researchers and therapists from around the nation, children who have recovered from autism through CARD's treatment programs; as well as celebrities from film, television, and sports," says Event Producer Daphne Plump.

Guests who walked the red carpet included: Macy Gray (Grammy-winning artist), Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh (world-renowned autism expert), Emmy winner Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife"), Actor Max Burkholder (Emmy-nominated show "Parenthood"), Dr. Jim Sears ("The Doctors" talk show), Tila Tequila (reality star), actress Ariel Winters ("Modern Family), Kyle Massey ("Dancing With the Stars"), actress Lorraine Toussaint ("Saving Grace"), actor Barry Shabaka Henley ("Flash Forward), Taylor Armstrong ("Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Won-G (International Rap Artist), actor C.S. Lee ("Dexter"), Janna (recovered from autism), Brett (recovered from autism), 2 U Neek (Disney stars), The Miracle Project kids ("Autism: the Miracle"), as well as experts in the field of autism.

Featured at the Gala event are a silent auction and reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dinner program with special tribute to Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh for her illustrious career in the field of autism, which spans over 30 years. A post dinner party followed with a mini-concert by Macy Gray and live entertainment provided by DJ Crash.

"When I began my career, in the mid-80's, the incidence rate of autism was 1 in 10,000. Today, it's 1 in 100 children," says Dr. Granpeesheh. "This is a crisis that deserves our attention and resources. Autism is treatable and recovery is possible with the right services. This is why I started CARD and that is what keeps me going."

"I was told to institutionalize my son when he was diagnosed with autism at the age of three," said Bryce Miler, mother to former CARD client, Brett. Brett, who spoke at the 20th Anniversary Gala, was treated by CARD from 1994 to 1999, recovered and is now studying psychology at Moorpark College. "Thank goodness I found CARD back then. They worked miracles with my son and so many other children."

"Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh is a true pioneer in the field of autism. She has provided hope to families living with autism around the world. Her passion, vision and commitment have made a difference for generations to come," says Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, Executive Director of Autism Care and Treatment Today! (ACT Today!).

Gala Honorary Committee Members include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Kelsey Grammer, Howie Mandel, Joe Mantegna, Camryn Manheim, Jane Kaczmarek, Ken and Linda Howard, Annette O'Toole, John Salley, the Dixie Chicks, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Jerry Penacoli, John Mendoza, Charles Downes, Leeza Gibbons, Ron Masak, Leven Rambin, Tom Bergeron, and Mariel Hemingway.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh accepts Special Tribute

Macy Gray performs at CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010

Emmy Winning Actress Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) walks the red carpet of CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010.

Actors Kyle Massey (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Max Burkholder (“Parenthood”) walk the red carpet of CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010.

ACT Today’s! Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, International Rap Artist Won-G, and Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh on red carpet of CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010.

Dr. Granpeesheh and Macy Gray on FOX's Good Day LA

Watch Now! This past Wednesday, September 15th, CARD Founder and Executive Director Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D discussed autism's rising rates and what this epidemic means, during a LIVE, in depth interview, on the highly rated morning news show - FOX 11's Good Day LA. Dr. Granpeesheh was joined by Grammy winning artist Macy Gray as the two also discussed CARD's 20th Anniversary Gala.

Dr Jonathan Tarbox and Bonnie Z Yates, discuss ABA processes and recovery.

Dr. Jonathan Tarbox talks about research of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) for kids with autism. Bonnie Z Yates, then speaks on how to procure funding for ABA services.

Quality AND Quantity in ABA: Why It Matters

Download Dr. Tarbox's Presentation in PDF form:

C.A.R.D. Celebrates 20 Years!


The Center for Autism and Related Disorders Presents

20th Anniversary, Star Studded, Black-Tie Gala

Grammy Winner Macy Gray to Headline Star Studded Gala


Grammy Winning Artist Macy Gray (Performance)
World-Renowned Autism Expert/Behavior Analyst
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh (Honoree)

Red carpet for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc,
the world’s autism treatment center, 20th Anniversary
Black-Tie Benefit Gala

Saturday, September 25, 2010
6:00pm - Press Check-In, entrance of Park Plaza Hotel
6:30pm – Arrivals begin. Red Carpet at entrance of Park Plaza Hotel

All attendees will be asked to display PHOTO ID
in order to participate in the event.

Video Cameras are not allowed during Macy Gray’s performance.

The Park Plaza Hotel - 607 S. Park View Street - Los Angeles, California
Self - Park. No Validation. Valet Parking Optional.

CONFIRMED GUESTS (as of Sept. 07):
Emmy Winner Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”), Actor Max Burkholder (Emmy Nominated Show “Parenthood”), Actress Ariel Winters (“Modern Family), Actress Lorraine Toussaint (“Saving Grace”), Actor Barry Shabaka Henley (“Flash Forward), Tila Tequila (Reality Star), Leeza Gibbons (Entertainment Reporter/Host), and more surprise celebrity guests.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Actor Kelsey Grammer, Talk Show Host/Comedian Howie Mandel, Actor Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Actress Camryn Manheim, Actress Jane Kaczmarek, Oscar Winner Ken Howard, Actress Annette O’Toole, NBA Champion/Actor John Salley, Grammy Winning Artists The Dixie Chicks, Actor/Model Antonio Sabato, Jr., Entertainment Reporter Jerry Penacoli, Comedian John Mendoza, Retired Racecar Champion Charles Downes, Actor Ron Masak, Entertainment Reporter Tina Marie Tyler, Actress Leven Rambin (“Scoundrels” and “Grey’s Anatomy”), and Actress Mariel Hemingway.

Dr. Jim Sears (“The Doctors” Talk Show)

Funds raised go toward Autism Care and Treatment Today (ACT Today!), a non-profit organization that provides funds for therapy, biomedical treatment, social skills groups, protective helmets and more to children with autism whose families can not afford the necessary tools for their child to live a productive life or reach their highest potential.

Macy Gray: “Autism is a global issue that challenges the very fiber of humanity. As a mother and an artist, I support those families and communities struggling to secure treatment while preserving dignity. I support CARD for making therapies available to those who lack the financial means .”

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh: “When I began my career, the incidence rate of autism was 1 in 10,000. Today, it’s 1 in 110 children. This is an epidemic that we as a society are not keeping up with. So many children would benefit from treatment, but they have zero access because of lack of funding or qualified clinicians. This is not acceptable. Autism is treatable. This is why I started CARD 20 years ago, and is why I’m so passionate about spreading treatment globally.”


Daphne Plump Event Producer 661.478.6512
Helaine Ross Publicist 310.246.1872

Interpreting Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues

By Marlena N. Smith

In a recent study, Kuzmanovic, Schilbach, Lehnhardt, Bente, and Vogeley found adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to depend primarily on verbal cues, rather than nonverbal cues, when interpreting social situations. Research has indicated that persons with ASD have difficulty processing non-verbal social information. Kuzmanovic et al. set out to investigate how persons with high-functioning ASD interpret social information, specifically verbal and non-verbal social cues.

Participants included 15 adults with high-functioning ASD and 15 adults with typical development matched on gender, age, education, and IQ. The participants completed two tasks. First, the participants interpreted complex social situations involving verbal cues in addition to either agreeing or disagreeing non-verbal cues. The participants also interpreted basic social situations consisting of a single verbal or non-verbal cue.

The participants with high-functioning ASD performed comparably to the participants with typical development when interpreting individual verbal and non-verbal social cues, as well as verbal cues accompanied by agreeing non-verbal cues. Moreover, both the participants with high-functioning ASD and the participants with typical development depended more on verbal information than non-verbal information when interpreting disagreeing social cues; however, the participants with high-functioning ASD were found to be significantly more reliant upon verbal cues than the participants with typical development.

While the participants with high-functioning ASD were able to interpret individual non-verbal cues, they depended mostly on verbal cues when interpreting complex social situations. The findings suggest that social information processing in persons with high-functioning ASD is primarily centered on verbal indicators. Further research investigating the cognitive processes involved in the interpretation of social situations in persons with ASD is warranted.


Kuzmanovic, B., Schilbach, L., Lehnhardt, F., Bente, G., & Vogeley, K. (in press) A matter of words: Impact of verbal and nonverbal information on impression formation in high-functioning autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2010.07.005