The state of North Carolina has had a longstanding concern and com mitment to the understanding and treatment of autistic, communications handicapped children and their families. This commitment found expres sion in the only comprehensive statewide program for families confronted with this disability, Division for the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped CHildren (Division TEACCH). Our program staff has been privileged to respond to this commitment by developing and providing the needed services, and to engage in research informed by our clinical experience. Although many of the problems con cerning these developmentally disabled children remain to be solved, substantial progress has been made during this past decade of collabo ration among professionals, parents, and their government representa tives. The TEACCH staff has resolved to mark the effectiveness of this collaboration by holding a series of annual conferences focused on the several major issues confronting these children and their families. The conferences are held in order to bring together the best research knowl edge available to us from throughout the country, and to encourage par ticipation by the different professional disciplines and concerned parents. In addition these annual meetings form the basis for a series of books based on the conference theme. These books are, however, not merely the published proceedings of the presented papers: some chapters are expanded from conference presentations and many others were solicited from experts in the related areas of research and their service application.