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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

07/11/2016 - Autism and Oak Hill School

This week Slow Living Radio takes on the very important subject of Autism, a disorder which is seeing a rise over recent years.  We welcome Susan Andrews, past Executive Director of Oak Hill School in Marin, a school dedicated to children with autism that is having huge successes.  We then hear from Professor Robert L. Hendren, Professor of Psychiatry, USCF Department of Psychiatry and Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, and also a board member of Oak Hill school to learn more about the condition and current research findings.

Oak Hill School

Oak Hill School was founded in 2000 by a small group of parents with children on the autism spectrum. After forming a Board of Directors, advised by special educator and founding clinician Dr. Barbara Kalmanson and several community educators, they purchased a school site in a wooded former estate behind Marin City in Sausalito. School began with five students and steadily grew after certification as a non-public school. Oak Hill is licensed by the State of California to accept students with school district funding as well as private tuition.

With a growing student body, Oak Hill moved in 2008 to its current home on the Sunny Hills Services campus in San Anselmo. Now with 36 students and growing, Oak Hill benefits from extensive campus opportunities, including 7 classrooms, speech and psychotherapy rooms, an occupational therapy studio, offices, an organic vegetable garden, a chicken run, gymnasium, natural and synthetic turf athletic fields and an outdoor swimming pool.

Susan Andrews
Past Executive Director
Oak Hill School

Susan has been a school director and non-profit board member for most of her working life, most recently as the Executive Director of Oak Hill School, serving families affected by autism. She remains a longstanding board member of the Eva Gunther Foundation. Susan was the Director of Presidio Hill School in San Francisco for 17 years, and a board member and director of The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley.  Earlier leadership includes that at SF Cross Cultural Family Center, and The Playgroup in Inverness. She remains co-owner with her husband of Buddy Rhodes Studio. Susan is an active grandparent, and a resident of both San Francisco and Mendocino County.


Robert L. Hendren, D.O.
Professor of Psychiatry
UCSF Department of Psychiatry & Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute
UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences
Neurodevelopmental Translational Outcomes Research Program (NTORP)
Co-Director, UCSF Dyslexia Center
STAR Autism and Neurodevelopment Program
Oak Hill School Board and Research

Robert L. Hendren, D.O., is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science; Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Co-Director of the UCSF Dyslexia Center; Director, Program for Research On Neurodevelopmental and Translational Outcomes (PRONTO), and Medical Consultant, STAR Autism and Neurodevelopment Program. Dr. Hendren is Past President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2007-2009). He has published over 100 scientific papers and 5 books and has been listed in “The Best Doctors in America”, each year since it was first published in 1996.

Dr. Hendren took his residency in general psychiatry at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. He is board certified in General as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  He has been on the faculty at the George Washington University School of Medicine, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutger’s)  - Robert Wood Johnson and New Jersey Medical Schools. From 2001-2009, he was Professor of Psychiatry and Executive Director and Tsakopoulos-Vismara Chair at the University of California, Davis M.I.N.D. Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders).

His current areas of research and publication interests are translational interventional outcomes research including clinical pharmacology, nutraceutical and nutritional trials using biomarkers (MRI, measures of inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function and pharmacogenomics) to enhance resilience in neurodevelopmental disorders. He is currently applying a targeted outcomes research approach in collaborative projects with the Oak Hill School for youth with severe autism and neurodevelopmental spectrum disorders in San Anselmo, CA and at the Charles Armstrong School for youth with dyslexia in Belmont, CA

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