Research on autism can take years to trickle down to people affected. An annual conference later this week aims to bring new findings directly to an audience of families, health care providers, and educators.Rebecca Landa, founder of the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders, gives a preview of her talk on early intervention. She says coaxing pre-verbal communication in toddlers, like gesturing at objects, is an important place to start. Registration information for the conference is here. And Rebecca Rienze, executive director, and Thomas Whelan, who’s on the autism spectrum, describes the work of the nonprofit Pathfinders for Autism. Thomas will be speaking at the Annual Autism Conference on Friday.