Newsroom | 02 September 2010

Cigna Offers Free Nine-Month Autism Education Series Starting in September


Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092

  • Monthly telephone seminars for parents and care givers, first one is September 9
  • One-hour programs feature wide range of expert guest presenters, with live Q&A sessions
  • Listen to any or all programs in the series, playback available

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., September 02, 2010 - Starting in September, Cigna will offer a series of free monthly telephone seminars to help people better understand the physical, mental, and emotional challenges in children who may display the symptoms of developmental disorders like autism and Asperger syndrome. These one-hour seminars are open to any parent or caregiver who is interested in learning more about autism and autism spectrum disorders.

Registration isn't required and people can choose to listen to the entire series or any individual session that interests them. Each session will feature an expert guest presenter who will speak for about 40 to 45 minutes, followed by a question and answer session. Playback of each session will be available for people who are unable to listen to the live sessions.

Each program in the series will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern time so that it's convenient for people in all time zones to listen and participate. To listen to a seminar, call toll-free 1-800-214-0745 and enter passcode 121391 when prompted.

Information about the first three programs in the series is listed below. Click here for a schedule of the entire series.

  • September 9: "Educating First Responders About Autism and What Families Can Do to Prepare for Emergency Situations." Guest presenter: Marianne Toedtman, R.N. M.N., Assistant National Director of Outreach and Resources, Autism Speaks.
  • October 14: "Tips for School Success." Guest presenter: Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Indiana Institute.
  • November 11: "The Role of Adaptive Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Implications for Functional Outcome." Guest presenter: Celine Saulnier, Ph.D., Training Director, Autism Program, Yale Child Study Center.

"Sometimes it can be challenging for families to access helpful, reliable and practical information about autism spectrum disorders," said Neal Cohen, LMHC, LPC, vice president of behavioral operations at Cigna. "We're pleased to offer this informative educational series, which is a collaboration between Cigna and the many organizations that provide support, advocacy, and education for families in the autism community."

Cigna's autism education series is intended to provide general information to the public. People who have specific questions and have Cigna behavioral health care benefits should contact their health advocate.

About Cigna

Cigna (NYSE:CI), a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 46 million people throughout the United States and around the world. To learn more about Cigna, visit To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to . Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna , visit Cigna's YouTube channel at and listen to Cigna's podcast series with healthy tips and information at or by searching "Cigna" in iTunes.