Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tristram Smith

Autism Light #468 is Tristram Smith.

Tristram H. Smith, Ph.D., BCBA, was a leader in the field of evidence-based research as a treatment for autism. He had been serving at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) since 2000 and at the time of his passing was the URMC's Haggerty-Friedman Professor in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatric Research. He was born on April 9, 1961, and passed away on August 8, 2018, at the age of 57, from a heart attack. He is survived by his wife Jennifer Katz and two children, Jonah Smith and Madeleine Katz. His funeral service was held on August 10, 2018, at the Anthony Funeral Chapel in Brighton, New York (Read more at Anthony Funeral Chapel Obituary for Tristram Smith). Tristram Smith will be placed on the Autism Light Memorial Roll today.

Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, said of Tristram Smith, "For autism families, he was a hero. His research was groundbreaking, of course, but he also pushed for increased access to autism services and lobbied for legislative changes. It's unusual to see scientists also act as advocates, but Tris went far beyond what most clinician-researchers do (As quoted by University of Rochester Medical Center News, August 8, 2018).

Other Tributes: The Association for Science in Autism Treatment published several noteworthy tributes to Tristram Smith after his untimely death. You can read them in the article Tributes to Dr. Tristram Smith.

In April 2018, the Autism Partnership Foundation gave Tristram Smith the Lifetime Achievement Award. Here is the video of the presentation of the award.

Author: Tristram Smith published the book Making Inclusion Work for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Evidence-Based Guide in 2011. It is available on

Tristram Smith passed away just days after giving this presentation at the UC Davis Mind Institute on August 3, 2018.

We remember Tristram Smith for his efforts to advance the field of evidence-based research for autism treatment. It is our hope that his life and research will be a foundation to inspire others to enter the field of autism research to continue the advancements for future generations. Our thoughts are with the family he leaves behind.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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