Author: The Autism Blog

Autism 200 Series: Crisis Support for Complex Behavioral and Mental Health Needs

This month’s Autism 200 series class is Autism 208: Crisis Supports : A Panel Discussion

Facilitator: Eric Boelter, PhD, BCBA-D

Panelists include: Elizabeth Landry, NW Justice Project, Gary Stobbe, UW Adult Autism Clinic, Beth Leonard, Developmental Disabilities Ombuds, Stacy Dym, Arc of King County, Gail Krieger, Medicaid/Healthcare Authority, Beth Krehbiel, Developmental Disabilities Administration, Arzu Forough, Washington Autism Advocacy and David O’Neal, Sound, Health Community Network Program

When faced with a crisis, where do individuals with severe autism and Intellectual impairment turn for support, treatment, services and stabilization? Those with complex mental health or significant behavioral challenges are not being served by current crisis services. Lack of appropriate services, held in hospitals, and inappropriate inpatient psychiatric placement are just a few of the alarming concerns. This panel session will take a closer look at what is available, challenges, gaps, barriers, and what should be done to prevent and intervene for people experiencing crisis, challenging behaviors and/or mental health emergency. This panel will address the needs of those enrolled in the Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) system. A future Autism 200 will address the needs of those not enrolled in DDA system.

Class Schedule: This class will be held Thursday, September 19, 2019 at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Please join us in person or watch on Facebook live. For more information see the  Autism 200 Series webpage.

Here is a link to the class flier: Autism 208 Crisis Supports FLIER Sept 19, 2019

Research Opportunity – WONDER Study

Welcome to our series on Research. We continue with information about the WONDER study. Read about more research opportunities in our next research blog.

Who? Families with an infant under the age of 6 months with an older biological sibling (whole or half) with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and who use English as a primary language.

What? Seattle Children’s researchers want to better understand social brain development in infants during the first 3 years of life. Over the course of 3 years, there will be 5 in-person study visits at our research lab in Seattle. During the visits, researchers will: record brain activity and eye movement while showing your child pictures and videos, engage your child in play-based activities to monitor child development. Feedback about your child’s performance on developmental assessments will be provided. One caregiver will be asked to complete questionnaires around the same time as the study visits, and 4 phone interviews over the course of the study. Study visits will vary in length from 1- 2 ½ hours. Phone interviews and questionnaires will last approximately 1-2 hours. Appointments will be scheduled at a time that works well for your family. Families may receive up to $410-$425 by the end of the study for completing all the study activities. Children will receive a small toy at each visit. Parking validation is provided.

When? This study is currently enrolling participants. Contact the study team . Drs. Fred Shic and Sara Webb, Center for Child Health, Behavior & Development, are the co investigators of this study.

Autism 200 Series: Transition to Adulthood: Abuse & Neglect of Adults with Developmental Disorders

Please join us for Autism 207, the second of a 2 part series: “Transition to Adulthood”. People with developmental disorders are at an increased risk of abuse and neglect. This population also appears to be at an increased risk of exposure to intimate partner violence in childhood, which can produce lasting effects. At the same time, post-traumatic stress can be very difficult to detect and treat among developmentally delayed adults. This presentation will outline primary risks, as well as recommendations for assessment and treatment of trauma and neglect in adults with autism and developmental disorders.

 

Rachel L. Loftin, PhD, is a clinical and school psychologist who specializes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She has extensive experience in diagnosis, assessment, and intervention to help promote positive outcomes for people with ASD. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Loftin has been involved in cases involving special education, family, criminal, and civil law. She has particular expertise working with people with autism, intellectual disability, and other conditions that can increase social vulnerability and complicate interactions with law enforcement. Dr. Loftin’s clinical-research interests include interventions to increase independent function in young adults, strategies for increasing self-monitoring, transition to adulthood, and sexuality education and sexual identity in people with ASD.
Dr. Loftin is adjunct faculty in the Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Department at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and in the Psychiatry Department of the Yale School of Medicine

Class Schedule: This class will be held Thursday, August 15, 2019, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Please join us in person or watch on Facebook live. For more information see the  Autism 200 Series webpage.

Autism 200 Series: Transition to Adulthood – Autistic Burnout

This month’s Autism 200 series class is Autism 206, the first of a 2-part series: Transition to Adulthood: “My physical body and mind started shutting down”: Autistic burnout and the costs of coping and passing.

Instructor: Dora Raymaker, PhD

Although autistic adults have identified an urgent need to address autistic burnout – a near-total exhaustion, sense of hopelessness and detachment and loss of function in daily life (sometimes called autistic regression) – research on burnout and autism has focused on caregiver and provider burnout. The Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE), a long-standing community based participatory research partnership, has begun new research in this area. This presentation will first provide an understanding of the characteristics and experience of autistic burnout, and how it impacts people’s lives. Then we will discuss its potential causes, including prolonged masking of autistic traits. Lastly we will offer suggestions for preventing or reducing autistic burnout, and conclude with implications for healthcare and service providers.

Class Schedule: This class will be held Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Please join us in person or watch on Facebook live. For more information see the  Autism 200 Series webpage.

Autism 205: Gender Diversity and Autism

This month’s Autism 200 series class is Autism 205: Gender Diversity and Autism: Exploring Identity, Healthcare and Advocacy

Instructors: Felice Orlich, PhD and Rachel Earl, PhD

Individuals may identify with a gender that is different from their assigned sex at birth or may not identify with traditional definitions of male or female genders. Given societal pressures for gender conformity, gender diverse children, adolescents and young adults may face particular challenges navigating their communities in a way that feels true to their affirmed gender identity, which can cause significant distress and mental health risks. The experience of being gender diverse in the context of autism is not well understood at this time, and is an area of important study for researchers and clinicians looking to provide personalized, gender-affirming care to patients and their families. We will review what is currently known about gender identity development for individuals with autism, balanced gender-affirming healthcare considerations and supports for patients and families. We will also discuss community resources and self-advocacy for those navigating gender diversity and autism.

Class Schedule: This class will be held Thursday, May 16, 2019, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Please join us in person or watch on Facebook live. For more information see the  Autism 200 Series webpage.