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The incidence of autism has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years, especially for the group of individuals with good verbal skills and at least average intelligence. This group has been referred to as individuals with high functioning autism (HFA) and/or Asperger’s Syndrome. In the newest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), these individuals all fall under the category of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These high-functioning children, adolescents, and adults with ASD present with significant social-communication and emotional difficulties despite their well-developed cognitive skills. Due to the rising incidence of this population there is an increased need for professionals trained to address the emotional and social needs of this group.

This workshop will focus on recognizing the diagnostic and learning characteristics of individuals with HFA and they interact with anxiety and emotional regulation. Treatment considerations will also be discussed including the Structured TEACCHing approach to improve abilities in the domains of social, communication, and behavior. Strategies for assessing emotional recognition and developing coping strategies will be highlighted. Our presenters will cover treatment interventions for children, adolescents, and adults; however, most of the interventions discussed will be targeting the child and adolescent population

The Carolina Living and Learning Center – Pittsboro, NC

TARGET AUDIENCE: All mental health and developmental disabilities professionals who work with children, adolescents, and adults. This includes psychologists, social workers, counselors, family therapists, private practitioners, case managers, care coordinators, service coordinators, school personnel, and all interested others.

Upon Completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the criteria for diagnosing autism using the DSM-5

  • Describe the learning style of individuals with ASD and the differential diagnosis of ASD versus anxiety disorders

  • Explain a practical process for treating individuals with ASD and co-morbid anxiety

  • Discuss the Structured TEACCHing approach for addressing behavior problems as well as social, learning, and communication domains for high functioning individuals with ASD

  • Identify treatment strategies to assess and develop emotional regulation in individuals with ASD and anxiety