Autism and Mental Health Training


Foundations in Autism for Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Professionals

Summary of the workshop 

Autism affects 1 in 59 children in Australia. Of those, about half also have an Intellectual Disability and about 70% have a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression in addition to Autism.

This workshop is aimed at upskilling mental health professionals in evidence-based practice in clinical assessment and mental health treatment for verbal adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. The workshop combines current research in clinical assessment and mental health treatment in autism, with real-life clinical and case examples.

The workshop will begin with an introduction to DSM-5 diagnosis ASD and ID. The mental health needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and ID will be explored.  Participants will then be introduced to evidence-based mental health assessment, therapy and teaching strategies to support the complex mental health of adolescents and adults with ASD and/or ID, including adaptation of cognitive and behaviour therapy (CBT) to meet the learning needs of this population. Relevant practical examples and activities will help participants learn new skills in working with a complex population of with ASD/ID and co-occurring mental health needs.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understanding of DSM-5 diagnosis of ASD and ID (including how to screen for ASD and/or mental health issues)
  2. Understanding the mental health needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and ID
  3. Understanding and skills in how to apply evidence-based clinical assessment and modify mental health treatment to meet the needs of verbal adolescents and adults with ASD and/or ID

Who is the workshop for?

Suitable for a range of mental health professionals who want to up-skill in autism including psychologists, mental health social workers, mental health occupational therapists, Pediatricians, and Psychiatrists.

What are people saying about the workshop?

“This should be mandatory training for all health professionals”

“Outstanding content by a passionate presenter– I had no idea I could learn so much in 1 day!”

Presented by Dr. Belinda Ratcliffe

Dr. Belinda Ratcliffe, lead author of the award-winning Westmead Feelings Program 1 for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (opens in a new window) is a highly qualified Principal Clinical Psychologist and Researcher with a PhD in Autism Spectrum Disorder from the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Belinda has received multiple prizes in recognition for her work.

Dr. Ratcliffe is currently employed as a Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology at Western Sydney University (opens in a new window). Belinda also maintains a private practice in South-West Sydney where she provides clinical services and well as specialized training, supervision, and consultancy to government and non-government agencies, including the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and NSW Education and Communities.

Date: cancelled to be rescheduled
Location: Western Sydney University, Level 9, Room 10 (Conf 2) 169 Macquarie Street Parramatta
Cost Standard Registration: $479 
Provisional Psychologists/Registrars: $279 (including lunch and morning tea)

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