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Digital Seminar

The Ziggurat Model Framework for Developing Strategies and Supports for Autistic Individuals: Improving Mental Health and Life Course

Ruth Aspy, PhD |  Barry Grossman, PhD
1 Hour 34 Minutes
Apr 06, 2022
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Digital Seminar
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Join Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., and Barry G. Grossman, Ph.D., co-authors of The Ziggurat Model, as they teach you how to simplify the complex process for designing comprehensive interventions for individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorders. You’ll learn how to apply this model in mental health and other therapeutic settings to adapt strategies and develop treatment plans that are responsive to the underlying autism.

You’ll learn how to individualize strategies in order to effectively address educational, social-communication, and behavioural needs. The focal point of the assessment-driven model is a five-tiered research-centred system that capitalizes on strengths to address underlying needs. And, most importantly, when taught to autistics, the model is an effective self-help tool!



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 program is worth 1.75 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



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Ruth Aspy, PhD, is a licensed psychologist specializing in transdisciplinary assessment and intervention for individuals on the spectrum. She is co-author of a comprehensive model of intervention, The Ziggurat Model, which earned the Literary Achievement Award from the Autism Society. Dr. Aspy has provided training and consultation throughout the United States and internationally. She serves on the Autism Society of America’s Panel of Professional Advisors. Her focus is on understanding the underlying characteristics of autistic individuals keeping their neurological/brain differences in mind. Dr. Aspy believes that kindness is at the heart of all good support strategies. She has an emphasis on working with females on the spectrum and with those individuals who have symptoms of catatonia.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Ruth Aspy has employment relationships with the Ziggurat Group and Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence. She receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Aspy receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Ruth Aspy is a member of the Autism Society of America Panel of Professional Advisors.


  1. Modify common strategies and techniques in order to support autistic individuals.
  2. Utilize specially designed assessment tools to identify the relationship of underlying characteristics of ASD with observable behaviour, for example the underlying characteristics (UCC) and individual strengths and skills (ISSI).
  3. Develop strategies and supports based on the five levels of the Ziggurat Model.


Consider Autism
  • How autism impacts the process of seeking professional support, in a neurotypical world
See Their Autism
  • Identify strengths and needs of an individual
  • The Underlying Characteristics Checklist/Individual Strengths and Skills Inventory
Five Questions to Ask
  • Adapt services to address underlying autism
Create a Five Level Ziggurat Treatment/Support Plan

Target Audience

  • Psychologists 
  • Licensed Clinical/Mental Health Counselors 
  • Social Workers 
  • Marriage & Family Therapists 
  • Occupational Therapists 
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants 
  • Speech-Language Pathologists 
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel 
  • School Administrators 

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