A primary focus of the training program is the development of clinical competencies in the assessment of autistic children. Fellows will have the opportunity to evaluate children of diverse ages, ranging from toddlerhood to late adolescence, and a wide range of developmental levels. Training includes comprehensive psychological testing utilizing a developmental, strengths-based approach as well as autism-focused diagnostic assessments using appropriate modules of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2. Clinical fellows work closely with members of other disciplines within the clinic including social work, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy in the context of inter-disciplinary team evaluations. Evaluation services are provided exclusively onsite at the CASSI clinic.
Supervised intervention experiences are focused on providing training in both behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment for children ranging in age from toddlers to older adolescents. Behavioral therapy experiences includes the delivery of empirically-based parent training approaches to address disruptive behaviors such as aggression, elopement, and tantrums and to improve compliance and adaptive behaviors. Cognitive-behavioral treatment experiences target co-occurring psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, mood disturbance, emotional dysregulation and adjustment disorders. Fellows also assist in facilitating social skills groups and are exposed to empirically-based individual and group treatment methods for older children who do not have co-occurring cognitive or language delays. Intervention services are currently offered either onsite or virtually dependent on the child’s and family’s needs and preferences.