Education & Training

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Adaptations to Interventions for Mental Health Support and Services

In the Fall of 2015, the York ASD Partnership provided an intensive 6 session training program to York Region service providers providing mental health services to individuals with ASD. This included organizations providing services to individuals with ASD and agencies not providing services to individuals with ASD.

Course content includes an overview of the unique learning and processing styles of individuals with ASD, early diagnosis, effective supports for individuals with ASD, differential diagnosis of mental health issues, common medical concerns, sensory processing differences, modifications to evidence informed treatments and effective treatment for mental health issues. Those sessions were recorded and edited and are now available through the CTN Community Learning Library.

Who should complete this training?

Any staff involved in providing mental health supports and services to individuals and families who are seeking or accessing these services in York Region. This includes agencies who are ASD service providers and those that are not ASD service providers.

Why is this training important?

Individuals with ASD frequently experience mental health challenges in addition to their unique learning and processing styles. A good understanding of those unique learning and processing styles and of the evidence based modifications to mental health interventions that are effective with individuals with ASD will enhance the ability of service providers to meet those needs while ensuring the experience is supportive and positive for those individuals and their families.

How to access this training

  • Interested staff must be registered by their supervisor/manager.
  • To receive login information, supervisors/managers should contact Janette Seymour, Assistant Project Manager for the York ASD Partnership
  • Please provide the participants’ name as they would like it to appear on their certificate and their email address.
  • Once this information has been received, a training “seat” will be made available to that staff. An email notification will be sent directly to that staff.
  • The training “seat” will remain open for 90 days. The participant will be reminded by email 14 days prior to the closure of the seat.
  • Participants who complete the training will receive a certificate of participation.

Training Module Descriptions

Each module shows its number, title, presenter, description and duration.

Module
Title
Presenter(s)
Description
Length
1
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Dr. Wendy Roberts

Dr. Roberts discusses and explains:

The importance of recognizing that ASD is a hard-wired biological disorder

The range of functioning that makes each individual with ASD so unique

The dimensions of the autism spectrum

How the dimensions of development interact with the dimensions of autism to result in the individual differences across the autism spectrum

The importance of the team for diagnosis and support

10:31
2
Diagnostic Criteria for ASD and Related Disorders

In this module, you will learn about:

The differences between the DSM-IV and DSM-V diagnostic criteria.

On overview of the DSM-V criteria including deficits in social communication, restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interested, severity levels and specifiers

25:04
3
The Importance of Early Diagnosis
Dr. Wendy Roberts

Dr. Roberts provides an overview of a variety of factors related to an early diagnosis of ASD that include:

The history and timing of the appearance of symptoms

The interactions between behaviour and developmental stages

Individual and family differences and experiences

The current state of genetic research and the implications for:

The neurobiology of ASD and the impact on thinking

24:27
4
Signs of ASD in Infants
Dr. Wendy Roberts

Dr. Roberts reviews a longitudinal study of infants  at risk for ASD because they have a sibling with ASD. Learn about:

The recurrence rate of ASD in siblings, the differences between girls and boys

The earliest age for reliable prediction of a diagnosis of ASD

The most common indicators of a subsequent diagnosis at various ages

17:24
5
Proactive Strategies to Support Individuals with ASD
Dr Vicki Rombough

Dr. Rombough reviews how internal factors (ASD) and external factors (environment) can impact learning and behaviour. Learn how to set the stage for individuals with ASD to be successful by using a variety of proactive strategies including:

Communication tools

Visual supports

Task modification

Reinforcement

Sensory breaks

Anxiety reduction

21:15
6
Differential Diagnosis: Factors Impacting the Mental Health Diagnosis
Dr. Vicki Rombough
Dr. Rombough provides an overview of the full day training program which attempts to disentangle to various factors contributing to the emotional and behavioural challenges seen in individuals with ASD.
1:14
7
Differential Diagnosis: Neurological and Environmental Factors impacting the Mental Health Diagnosis
Dr. Cynthia Goldfarb

Dr. Goldfarb highlights the difficulties in accurately diagnosing mental health issues in complex individuals with ASD and reviews various factors that may result in a presentation that may be mistaken for mental health concerns.  These factors include:

Neurologic problems

Problems with environmental supports and expectations

19:18
8
Common Medical Concerns and ASD: Part 1
Dr. Cynthia Goldfarb

In this module learn about the most common medical concerns that impact individuals with ASD and may present as behaviour concerns.  Topics include:

The difficulties in identifying and assessing medical concerns in individuals with ASD

The most common medical concerns

An overview of other medical issues

10:02
9
Common Medical Concerns and ASD: Part 2
Dr. Cynthia Goldfarb

As a continuation of the previous module, learn about:

A review of various gastrointestinal difficulties

A review of how individuals with ASD may present symptoms in unusual ways

A review of various sleep challenges including those that are most common in individuals with ASD

A review of effective intervention strategies

17:55
10
Differential Diagnosis: Understanding Sensory Processing – Part 1
Paula Aquilla

Learn about:

Sensory processing

Sensory systems

The importance of an integrated sensory system and some of the challenges experienced when that foundation is not as solid as it could be.

19:27
11
Differential Diagnosis: Understanding Sensory Processing – Part 2
Paula Aquilla

Learn more about sensory processing:

Why we need it?

The difference between sensory processing and sensory integration

Where does it happen?

How does it happen?

The impact on how we react and behave

18:36
12
Differential Diagnosis: Understanding Sensory Processing – Part 3
Paula Aquilla

Learn more about sensory processing:

An overview of assessment tools

Case examples that review characteristics, assessment results and effective strategies

Planning that includes environmental adaptations, specific approaches and specific activities to address sensory processing needs

A review of areas impacted by sensory processing

29:54
13
Differential Diagnosis: Assessing Mental Health in ASD – Part 1
Dr. Vicki Rombough

Once the medical, environmental, emotional and sensory factors have been taken into account, mental health assessment is the next step.  Learn about:

The prevalence of mental health disorders in ASD

The factors impacting the prevalence of mental health disorders in ASD

The most common comorbidities in ASD

The correlates of anxiety in ASD

Contributors to anxiety in ASD

23:31
14
Differential Diagnosis: Assessing Mental Health in ASD – Part 2
Dr. Vicki Rombough

Continue with the process of mental health assessment in ASD. Learn about:

The expression of the symptoms of anxiety in ASD and the overlap with the characteristics of ASD

Factors to consider when assessing mental health in ASD

Recommendations and considerations for assessment of mental health in ASD

17:04
15
Differential Diagnosis: Assessing Mental Health in ASD – Part 3
Dr. Vicki Rombough

Continue with the process of mental health assessment in ASD. Learn about:

The importance of a thorough and detailed developmental history

The strengths and applicability of a wide range of mental health assessment tools

How to put it all together with clinical judgement to develop a treatment plan

The importance of goals and ongoing assessment

14:17
16
Mental Health Assessment: Modifications for Individuals with ASD
Dr. Vicki Rombough

In this module, learn about the modifications needed when assessing mental health issues in individuals with ASD including:

How to interview a client with ASD

How and why to interview the parent of the client with ASD

How to conduct a joint interview of a parent and a client with ASD

14:43
17
Mental Health in Individuals with ASD – Principles to Assist with Modification of Evidence Informed Treatments
Dr. Vicki Rombough

In this module learn:

An overview of the modification principles and key adaptation for treatment of mental health in individuals with ASD including the use of visual, concrete structures, using special interests, utilizing special interests

An overview of helpful APPS

28:20
18
Treatment for Mental Health in Individuals with ASD
Dr. Vicki Rombough

In this module, learn about the 3 most common challenges when treating mental health in ASD:

Identifying the problem and a willingness to change

Client engagement

Therapy plateaus

18:26
19
Treatment for Mental Health in Individuals with ASD – Principles to Assist with Modification of Evidence Informed Treatments
Dr. Vicki Rombough

In this module, learn about the best practices for individuals with ASD that are the basis for modification of evidence informed mental health treatments:

Using reinforcement

The importance of exposure and response prevention

Challenges related to deep breathing

Developing concrete coping strategies

Integrating social skills

Using cognitive restructuring

21:11
20
Treatment for Mental Health in Individuals with ASD – Mindfulness for Children with ADHD and ASD
Dr. Vicki Rombough

In this module, learn about mindfulness including:

What is mindfulness?

A review of the types of mindfulness therapies

An overview of the research on mindfulness and the impact on staff, parents and children

A review of adaptations to mindfulness for individuals with ASD

13:20
21
Treatment for Mental Health in Individuals with ASD – Psychopharmacology
Dr. Wendy Roberts

In this module, learn about the challenges associated with determining if the use of medication is appropriate and what that medications might be including:

Difficulties related to clinical trials and ASD

The strengths and weaknesses of the target symptom approach

The increased use of medication over time

The problems related to measuring the efficacy of a specific medication

20:23
22
Treatment for Mental Health in Individuals with ASD – Psychopharmacology – Part 2
Dr. Wendy Roberts

In this module learn about specific medications for mental health when used with individuals with ASD:

SSRI’s – indications, benefits, adverse effects and efficacy

Stimulants- indications, benefits, adverse effects and efficacy

25:00
23
Treatment for Mental Health in Individuals with ASD – Psychopharmacology – Part 3
Dr. Wendy Roberts

Continue learning about specific medications for mental health used with individuals with ASD:

Respiradone – indications, benefits, adverse effects and efficacy

Atypical neuroleptics – indications, benefits, adverse effects and efficacy

Melatonin – indications, benefits, adverse effects and efficacy

Anti-seizure medications – indications, benefits, adverse effects and efficacy

General recommendations for using medication in ASD

11:44
24a
A Personal Perspective:  Jacob’s Story Part 1
Speaker: Jacob
Jacob is a young man with ASD who has experienced mental health difficulties.  In this module, he speaks eloquently about his theory of the experience of autism, sensory overload and meltdowns.
20:57
24b
A Personal Perspective:  Jacob’s Story Part 2
Speaker: Jacob
Jacob continues his story moving to his personal experiences of mental health challenges, his triggers and his journey to try and achieve control of his behaviour and his life.
16:52
INCREASE FONT
CONTRAST

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          Let's talk about it.

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            Let's talk about it.

            York ASD Partnership logo

            Send this message to:

            Neil Walker
            neil.walker@yorkasdpartnership.org