By Brenna Carroll This article is a part of the January/February 2019, Volume 31, Number 1, Audiology Today issue. The popular Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology is one of the highlights of the American Academy of Audiology annual conference. The 2019 conference in Columbus, Ohio, will mark the 15th anniversary of the lecture series. To celebrate this landmark honoring the legacy of Marion Downs, the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF), with support from the Oticon Foundation, is pleased to host a presentation and panel of experts discussing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the clinical audiologist. The lecture will explore how the diagnosis may present in an audiologic clinic setting, current knowledge on the science of autism spectrum disorder, and strategies to assist pediatric patients and their families with the diagnosis. I had the pleasure of interviewing two experts from our panel, Jolanta McCall, MA, MSc, and Glenn Rall, PhD, and discussing their work related to ASD and children with hearing loss. This discussion provides a preview of what is sure to be an engaging discussion at the Academy’s annual conference. Originally from Krakow, Poland, McCall holds an MA as a qualified teacher of children with special needs, with a specialty in teaching deaf children. She moved to the United Kingdom in 1995 and obtained an MSc qualification in educational audiology. She is a former leader of the PAN-London Children’s Audiology Services network, past secretary of the British Association of Educational Audiologists, and former chair of South East England Heads of Services and Schools for the Deaf consortium. McCall has a national and international reputation, particularly for the development of innovative services. She was responsible for the development and establishment of the renowned Hummingbird Clinic—to date the only United Kingdom-based specialist clinic for hearing assessment for children with autism and additional special needs. She is a frequent speaker at conferences at home and abroad and has acted in an advisory capacity to the National Deaf Children’s Society in the development of U.K. Quality Standards for Early Years provision. She serves as a member of an international working group on the development of new approaches to family-centered care and support and is involved in research in the field with a number of high-profile partners in academia and industry. Rall earned a PhD from Vanderbilt University in microbiology and immunology. He has multiple academic and research appointments and holds the titles of professor, chief academic officer, and director of post-doctoral programs at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Rall’s background as a researcher includes a focus on virus infections and immune responses within the brain. Because of his expertise in immunity in the brain, he was appointed to serve on the Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Board from 2008 to 2014 and was honored as Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Member of the Year in 2011. Rall is also a coauthor of the leading virology textbook Principles of Virology. He has served on multiple National Institute of Health study sections and review panels. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!