Category Archives: Autism Videos at ACT

Implementing Modified CBT in a Group Format to Treat Anxiety in Children with ASD: Insights for Parents, Clinicians, and Researchers

Dr. Krista Johnston has had a long standing interest in the modification of CBT for children with ASD. In this 20 minute presentation, Dr. Johnson highlights the growing evidence that group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatments to address mental health issues, such as anxiety, are promising alternatives to standard individual CBT treatments for children with ASD. However, despite high demand, group treatments are often not available in the community – greater progress is needed to translate knowledge from academic/healthcare research settings to everyday practice in the community.

The Facing Your Fears program is a manualized and evidence-based (Reaven et al., 2011), modified CBT group treatment for children with ASD and anxiety disorders. Clinician-researchers at BC Children’s Hospital have administered 15 of these groups to children between the ages of 8 and 13 and their parents over the last five years. A selection of research findings will be shared.

The presentation will include information to support parents in recognizing anxiety and seeking appropriate services as well as information for professionals interested in learning more about clinical and research efforts related to increasing community accessibility of group treatments targeting mental health concerns.

Learning Objectives
  • Cite research on a group treatment program for treating anxiety in ASD.
  • Translate clinical research in a tertiary-care setting to community-level implementation.
  • Recognize anxiety in ASD.
  • Discuss clinical and research challenges associated with offering group treatments for children with comorbid mental health issues in community settings.
Krista Johnston, PhD

Krista Johnston, PhD, graduated in Clinical Psychology specializing in Autism and Developmental Disorders with special interest in mental health in ASD. She has worked with individuals with ASD and their families for 16 years and is currently completing her residency at BC Children’s Hospital.

Part 1: Need for anxiety treatment, Barriers for families and clinicians, and treatment using CBT

Part 2: Comparison of group treatment options in a real-world example

Part 3: Next steps

  • Bridging the gap between research and practice
  • Improving cost effectiveness for use in private practice
  • Consultation, support, and training for clinicians

ACT’s News Round-Up: November 2018 Edition

This week:

Understanding Mental Health Problems and ASD – Evidence-Based Case Conceptualization to Inform Treatment Planning

Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych

This presentation is part of a free training series developed for mental health clinicians experienced in CBT with an interest in adaptations relevant to neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., autism, ADHD, learning disability).

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize common emotional and behavioual problems associated with ASD
  • Differentiate mental health problems from ASD symptoms
  • Conceptualize common case frameworks that can inform CBT planning
  • Consider ethical issues in working with individuals with ASD using a CBT framework – including a panel discussion

As part of ACT’s Online Mental Health and Autism Project, we are launching a dozen new online videos this Fall/Winter season at Autism Videos @ ACT.

Watch video

Dr. Weiss holds the Canadian Institute of Health Research Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research. He is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto.

Dr. Weiss’ research focuses on the prevention and treatment of mental health problems in people with ASD and/or intellectual disabilities across the lifespan. He is interested in their health service needs, their emergency service use, and their experiences of psychiatric crisis. Among other research areas, Dr. Weiss is interested in cognitive-behavioural and social skill interventions to promote resilience and improve the mental health of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Watch Dr. Weiss speak on Thriving in Youth in ASD: What Does it Take? from October 2015.

Next week’s video: A panel discussion on the perspectives of Adults with ASD.


Diagnosing & Managing ASD in Adults

The University of British Columbia is responding to the chronic shortage of mental health professionals trained to work with adults with ASD with a two-day course from an international expert in autism, Dr. Anthony Bailey, MBBS, DCH, MRCPsych, FRCPC. Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, UBC.

Registration has now opened for Diagnosing & Managing Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults
Feb 1-2 (Fri-Sat), 0900–1630
UBC Robson Square ,Vancouver – also available via web streaming.

Target audience: psychiatrists, family physicians, other mental health care professionals
Up to 10.5 Mainpro+/MOC Section 1
View course content details
Register here

ACT recently launched a 30 minute presentation by Dr. Bailey as part of the Online Mental Health and Autism Project on the Role of Medications in the Management of ASD


Pilot Project to Identify Best Treatments for Autism

The Laurel Foundation is requesting the help of the autism community in completing a short five-question Pilot Survey. The objective is to create a metadata analysis project with individualized web based therapy programs for children with ASD. The project will involve thousands of families anonymously inputting information about their child’s treatment and its effectiveness to find the most efficient strategies for her/his specific challenges. At this stage they are determining if families would like such a program to be set up and are willing to provide the data to form the information pool.

As a first step, they are asking five simple questions to shape the project with the goal of empowering families to identify and access the best treatments available.

Complete the survey here.


Autism in the News

Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Vancouver teacher is schooling educators on the value of inclusive classrooms – The Globe and Mail

How history forgot the woman who defined autism – Spectrum News

Kelowna mom goes extra mile to help special needs son adjust to school life – Global News

Sensory issues in autism may have sex-specific roots – Spectrum News

Theatre class helping people with autism break out of their shells – CTV News

Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations – Edutopia

Neighbor builds shelter for boy with autism to wait for school bus – Lincoln Journal Star

Dads open up about autism in new film – Community Care Review

Expecting autistic people to ‘fit in’ is cruel and unproductive; value us for our strengths – The Conversation

Small town unites to prevent autistic neighbor from becoming homeless – Yahoo

NDP government ‘open’ to alternative pay options for special needs educators – Global News

Addressing Mental Health in Autism : Should We Treat the Person with ASD, the Family, or the Community?

In this fascinating keynote presentation, Dr. Jonathan Weiss, one of Canada’s leading autism researchers, describes the individual and contextual factors that increase the likelihood of mental health problems for individuals with autism. Drawing on the research, and his extensive clinical experience, Dr. Weiss offers important insights into the ways these problems can be  alleviated by working with individuals, families, and communities.

Learning Objectives
  • Recognize ways that mental health problems present in people with autism.
  • Identify individuals at risk and contextual risk factors for mental health problems.
  • Describe interventions to address mental health problems.
Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych

Weiss_photoJonathan Weiss holds the Canadian Institute of Health Research Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research. He is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto. Dr. Weiss’ research focuses on the prevention and treatment of mental health problems in people with ASD and/or intellectual disabilities across the lifespan. He is interested in their health service needs, their emergency service use, and their experiences of psychiatric crisis.

Families play a critical role in the health of people with developmental disabilities by providing them with care and enabling their access to health services, one of Dr. Weiss’ research interests is the experience of family caregivers. In addition, he is interested in program development and evaluation. Dr. Weiss has a specific interest in the impact of Special Olympics on the psychological well-being of participants, and of cognitive-behavioural and social skill interventions to promote resilience and improve the mental health of children and adults with developmental disabilities.


Part 1: Introduction and overview

Topics covered:
  • Transdiagnostic approach
  • Multiple baseline design research
  • Correlational Study

Part 2: Individual-contextual approach to mental health problems


Part 3: The individual as the target


Part 4: The family as the target


Part 5: The community as the target


Part 6: Discussion period

Questions
  • What research is being done on the relationship between environmental factors and anxiety? (Start of video)
  • Mindfulness group strategies? (2:49)
  • Trauma-focused therapy? (4:35)
  • Self-reporting and research by autistic researchers? (5:30)
  • Is there a link between personality disorders and autism? (6:47)
  • How do you incorporate siblings into the bio-social approach of care? (10:32)
  • Parental mental health? (11:57)
  • What should be measured to document the impact of an intervention so as to demonstrate that it can have positive health implications?

Mental Health Challenges in ASD: Perspectives of adults with ASD and professionals who work with adults

This fascinating panel discussion provides positive, practical insights offered by autistic individuals, clinicians and researchers on the complex realities facing individuals with autism with mental health conditions, primarily anxiety and depression.

This panel was recorded at ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Conference held in 2017- Autism & Mental Health – Looking Beyond Autism – to provide a forum to discuss common co-occurring mental health conditions with the goal of encouraging equitable access to mental health services for people with ASD across the lifespan.

Panelists:

Kenneth Binnie & Allixe Galloway: autistic adults providing their personal insights

David Worling, PhD, Registered Psychologist, Director, West Coast Child Development Group, Vancouver 

Grace Iarocci, PhD, Registered Psychologist, Professor of Psychology, Simon Fraser University

Jonathan Weiss, PhD, Registered Psychologist, Canadian Institute of Health Research Chair in ASD Treatment and Care, Associate Professor of Psychology, York University

Part 1: Allixe Galloway – Impact of mental health on career and personal life

Part 2: Kenneth Binnie

Part 3: David Worling

Part 4: Q&A

  • Gender identity (Start of video)
  • Rates, risk, and prevention of suicide (1:53)
  • Differences in mental health between individuals with ASD and the general population (3:14)
  • Perspective of adults with ASD: Useful tools and therapy (7:05)
  • What would you have liked your family or peers to better understand about you when you were younger? (12:08)
  • What do you think is required to be an expert so that individuals with autism can become more involved? (14:09)
  • First Nations communities living with ASD and the impact of inter-generational trauma (18;35)
  • Thoughts on being an observer (21:34)
  • Suggestions for assisting people with anxiety to engage in treatment (26:19)

Challenges for Moving Forward – Adapting Existing Therapies for Individuals with ASD: Panel Discussion

This 30 minute panel discussion features researchers and clinicians discussing the adaptation of therapies for individuals with ASD, covering both practical strategies and research findings.

The discussion was recorded at ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Conference which provided a forum for community professionals, researchers, individuals with autism and families to discuss co-occurring mental health conditions and consider solutions to the complex realities facing individuals with autism who rarely have ‘just autism’.

Panelists:

Jonathan Weiss, PhD – Registered Psychologist, Canadian Institute of Health Research Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University, Toronto.

Krista Johnston, PhD – Resident, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver

Dori Zener, MSW, RSW – Individual, Couple and Family Therapist, Toronto

Rashmeen Nirma, PhD – Registered Psychologist, Clinical Instructor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Pediatrics, Vancouver

Christopher Gillberg, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Director, Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre

 

Part 1: Jonathan Weiss, Krista Johnston & Dori Zener

Part 2: Rashmeen Nirmal & Christopher Gillberg

Part 3: Q&A – Recommendations for dealing with lack of support funding after age 19