Where Do I Start? Clinical Reasoning in Assessment & Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

October 3, 2014 9:00am - 12:15pm

Advance payment is required.

This event is open to OT/ST/PT.

This course is has approval of 3 CCUs from TPTA, 3 CEUs from TOTA and TSHA.


Jennifer Lawson, OTR, MS

Course Location:

Morgan’s Wonderland

5223 David Edwards Dr.

San Antonio, TX 78233

Course Description:

Given the increased availability of information, literature reviews and resources regarding evidence based practice in the assessment and treatment of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, practitioners no longer need to spend as much time and energy sifting through all of the research studies to determine what is most effective.  However, there are a many established and emerging focused treatment options (from behavioral based interventions to visual supports to cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as intervention frameworks (from those that are primarily behavioral in nature to those more socially/relationally oriented).

Practitioners are often left pondering questions such as these:

  • Where do I start?
  • Which intervention(s) do I use for which skills or issues?
  • How do I prioritize with a child who has multiple needs?
  • How can I make sure the recommendations I am making for the family are appropriate and manageable?

Even with the current available resources, formulating effective comprehensive intervention plans can be quite challenging, given the unique needs of each child with ASD and his/her family.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and the intervention process must be active, fluid and dynamic.

This training is appropriate for professionals who have at least a basic understanding of the features, needs, and challenges associated with the diagnosis of ASD and/or prior experience working with children with this diagnosis.

There will be an initial overview of the current available resources that can be utilized as a foundation for skilled Occupational, Physical and Speech Language assessment and intervention.  The main emphasis of the training will be on the following: how to best utilize available resources; clinical reasoning methods and processes for prioritizing needs; how to make the most effective match between identified needs and intervention technique(s); and how to stay focused on pivotal areas of need and to support families and other team members to do so as well.

About Our Speaker:

Jennifer Lawson, OTR, MS

 Jennifer studied Psychology and Spanish as an undergraduate at Indiana University and received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 1996 from the University of Indianapolis. She has worked in pediatrics since 1999 and is currently the Occupational Therapy Program Director & the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program Director for THERAPY 2000, a growing pediatric home health therapy company based in Dallas, Texas.  Jennifer guides overall philosophy and delivery of OT programming, as well as therapist training and clinical development.  She works with children and families, mentors other therapists, and coordinates the OT student program.

Jennifer’s main area of interest and expertise is in working with children on the Autism Spectrum and their families. This interest and expertise was developed through experiences such as: working for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (North Carolina, with TEACCH and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center as resources); serving on an interdisciplinary team at Mason City Schools Early Childhood Center to develop specialized programming for children with ASD (near Cincinnati, Ohio, with support and resources through the Kelly O’Leary Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and OCALI, the Ohio Center for Autism & Low Incidence), and serving as primary In-Home/Parent Trainer for McKinney ISD.

Jennifer believes strongly in the importance and power of the therapeutic relationship, and provides mentoring and training in this area as well. Jennifer has been a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2006 and a yoga studio owner in the Dallas area since 2011.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this training, participants will:

  1. Identify available resources for assessment and intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and how these resources might best be utilized.
  2. Discuss factors to consider for assessment, prioritization of needs, as well as establishment of goals.
  3. Utilize clinical reasoning processes and guidelines to propose plans for matching current needs with intervention strategies.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to discuss and collaborate with family/team members when it appears that the current intervention plan is not as effective as it needs to be.

9:00 am – 12:15 pm

This course is $15.

Advance payment is required.

Payment is not accepted at the door.

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