Year 1 – School-age Children and Adolescents with ASD
The first year of the program is focused on developing clinical competencies in the assessment and treatment of older children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As a result of the Center for Autism and Related Disorder’s (CARD) interdisciplinary model, clinical fellows work closely with members of other disciplines within the clinic including social work, speech and language therapy, developmental pediatrics/neurology, psychiatry, and occupational therapy.
Year 1 includes:
- Training in comprehensive psychological testing and ASD-focused diagnostic assessments, utilizing appropriate modules of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2. Fellows also provide comprehensive psychological evaluations as part of CARD’s inter-disciplinary team evaluation for transition-age youth.
Year 2 – Young and Early Functioning Children with ASD
The second year of the program features a similar format focused on developing clinical competency with young and early functioning children with ASD.
Year 2 includes:
- Comprehensive psychological testing utilizing a developmental, strengths-based approach to capture the full range of abilities in children with language and cognitive delays for whom there is a concern for ASD. Fellows also will provide ASD-focused diagnostic assessments, utilizing appropriate modules from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2 to toddlers and preschoolers.
Supervised intervention experiences are provided across years 1 and 2 and are focused on providing training in both behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment for children ranging in age from toddlers to older adolescents.
- Supervised intervention primarily utilizing behavioral therapy 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. Fellows also have the opportunity to provide behavioral consultation within CARD's Achievements Therapeutic Preschool Program.
- Supervised intervention experiences are also provided, targeting co-occurring psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, mood disturbance, disruptive behaviors, and adjustment disorders, primarily utilizing cognitive-behavioral approaches adapted for children with ASD. Fellows also assist in facilitating social skills groups and are exposed to empirically-based individual and group treatment methods for older children with ASD who do not have co-occurring cognitive or language delays.
Our training program is committed to the health and well-being of postdoctoral fellows as well as to providing high quality training experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet these goals, fellows participate in a hybrid model that includes both in-person services, utilizing the robust safety precautions outlined by Kennedy Krieger Institute, and telehealth care. Personal protective equipment as well as the technology necessary to provide virtual care from home are provided. For more information about Kennedy Krieger Institute’s response to coronavirus, please see our website: https://www.kennedykrieger.org/.
In addition to the major rotations, our program also offers two six-month minor rotations (up to one day a week), in a specific area(s) chosen by the fellow. Minor experiences can be used to broaden or to provide more in-depth training experience.
Possible minor experiences include:
- Research: Residents can participate in a wide range of research projects in ASD and/or other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Training is provided through one-to-one faculty mentorship and attendance at clinical research meetings.
- Public Policy and Advocacy: Residents can obtain experience researching and developing public policy initiatives through Kennedy Krieger’s Project HEAL and the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities. Opportunities for educational advocacy and exposure to educational law are also available through work at Project HEAL.
- Specific Pediatric Populations: Residents may elect to receive more in-depth training with a specific patient population by providing assessment, intervention, and/or consultation (e.g Department of Neuropsychology, Psychiatric Mental Health Program, Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress, Kennedy Krieger School Programs