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Digital Seminar

A Practitioner's Guide to Autism Assessment: A Strengths-Based Approach

Rebecca Sachs, PhD, ABPP |  Tamara Rosen, PhD
1 Hour 25 Minutes
Audio and Video
Apr 22, 2021
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Have you ever worked with a child or adolescent and noticed that treatment wasn’t progressing as expected? Or perhaps you noticed a developmental concern, and you suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but didn’t know what to do next?

Join Rebecca Sachs, PhD, ABPP, and Tamara Rosen, PhD, and learn how to skillfully use specific screening and assessment-based tools and strategies for: 

  • When ASD is suspected and you feel stuck 
  • Understanding and treating challenging behaviours that may be impacting treatment  
  • Confidently communicating ASD concerns to other professionals and parents 
  • Making effective and appropriate referral 
  • Incorporating screening and assessment results into tailored interventions 

By incorporating this knowledge and using skills that you already have, you will be able to support your client’s underdeveloped areas while also harnessing their strengths! 


Continuing Professional Development Certificates
- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Rebecca Sachs, PhD, ABPP's Profile

Rebecca Sachs, PhD, ABPP Related seminars and products

Rebecca Sachs, PhD, ABPP, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of individuals on the Autism spectrum who also experience difficult co-occurring disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and severe anxiety. She works with individuals across the lifespan and loves to talk, lecture and train others about autism and common complicated co-morbidities. Dr. Sachs is board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology and brings warmth, sensitivity, and a strong sense of humor to her work as a psychologist. She was recognized as a rising star by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), receiving their Career Development Leadership Award in 2015. Dr. Sachs received her Bachelor's degree and PhD from New York University and Hofstra University, respectively, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Miami. Dr. Sachs is excited to start a second venture this year- a school refusal program for students 6th grade and beyond.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Rebecca Sachs is the co-founder of Successful School Transitions and maintains a private practice. She receives a grant from New York State Department of Mental Health. Dr. Sachs receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Rebecca Sachs is a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Associations, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the New York State Psychological Association.

Tamara Rosen, PhD's Profile

Tamara Rosen, PhD Related seminars and products

Tamara Rosen, PhD, is trained in both assessment and therapeutic interventions. Dr. Rosen has worked with youth and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a variety of settings for over a decade. She is currently completing her Postdoctoral Fellowship with an emphasis on the intersection of mental health and developmental differences at JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine. In her fellowship, Dr. Rosen provides consultation and supervision to developmental pediatricians, social workers, psychology trainees, Speech and Language pathologists and Occupational Therapists. She received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from SUNY, Stony Brook University. Under the mentorship of ASD researcher Dr. Matthew Lerner, she completed her dissertation on the structure of co-occurring anxiety and depression symptoms in youth with ASD. Dr. Rosen is passionate about increasing access to evidence-based mental health services for individuals with developmental differences.

Speaker Disclosure:
Financial: Tamara Rosen is postdoctoral faculty fellow, LEND fellow at Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Tamara Rosen has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


  1. Utilize appropriate screening tools when ASD is suspected.
  2. Conduct a functional assessment of challenging behaviours associated with ASD, a co-occurring condition, or both.
  3. Determine the information required to make an appropriate referral for evaluation or services when ASD is suspected.
  4. Utilize specific interventions and modifications informed by screening and assessment results.


  • Assessment and Screening Through a Neurodiversity Lens 
    • Profile and how brain works differently 
    • Identifying strengths 
    • Needed supports to promote independence & valued living 
    • Collaborative assessment driven approach 
    • Screenings that all providers can use 
  • Functional Behavioural Assessment 
    • Diagnosis isn’t the main issue  
    • Current behaviour is important to address 
    • Once function of behaviour is identified, what next? 
    • How to encourage more helpful behaviours, regardless of diagnoses and environment 
    • Cases examples using Motivational Assessment Scale 
  • When Screening Shows ASD... Now What? 
    • Types of referrals to make and why they are so important 
    • Psychoeducation resources  
    • Therapy 
    • Understanding elements of a good provider with ASD expertise 
  • How to Broach the Topic of ASD to Families: Role-Play 
    • Earlier diagnosis -> earlier intervention -> better trajectory 
    • Educational identification vs medical diagnoses 
    • System challenges: Time to get to a proper evaluation 
    • Age of receiving diagnosis and acceptance 
    • Racial and economic disparities: Social justice and equity lens 
    • Gender differences 
    • How long it takes to get ASD diagnosis 
    • Help parents process acceptance and address ambivalence 
    • Discomfort/ambivalence in relaying diagnosis 
  • Integrating strategies for: 
    • Social Communication 
    • Restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRB) 
    • When attention is the function 
    • When escape is the function 
    • Role-plays incorporating a combination of the above 

Target Audience

  • Licensed Professional Counselors 
  • Social Workers 
  • Psychologists 
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Speech-Language Pathologists 
  • Occupational Therapists 
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants 
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel 

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