Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum with Co-occurring Mental Health Issues - Autism Awareness
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Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum with Co-occurring Mental Health Issues

Featuring Dr. Cathy Pratt

Individuals on the spectrum can present numerous challenges to the professionals and family members who support them. However, when an individual also has a mental health issue the support needs can be more complex and complicated. Starting with an understanding and strategies for assessing behaviors, practical strategies will be presented that address the whole child, including the role of trauma and stress in a child’s life and how to promote self-regulation.


Welcome and Introductions
Discussion of Co-Occuring Challenges
Role of Trauma and Stress
Assessing Behavior Through a Different Lens
Programming Strategies
Question and Answers
Closing Remarks


Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D, is the Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism located at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana’s University Center for Excellence in Disabilities.  Most recently, Dr. Pratt has become the director of the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative. Dr. Pratt serves on numerous Advisory Boards, including the Advisory Boards of Maap Services, Inc., the Temple Grandin/Eustacia Cutler Autism Fund, the Autism Society of Indiana and the College Internship Program.

In the past, she served on the Board of the national Autism Society and is a Past Chair.  Dr. Pratt also serves on the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society.  In addition, she is a member of the National Autism Leadership Collaboration.  She also served as a member of the expert working group on services and as a member of the public review committee for the Research Roadmap of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and in 2010 was invited to the White House to provide feedback on the president’s initiatives on autism spectrum disorders.  Dr. Pratt has been honored by the Autism Society with the Individual Achievement Award, with the 2005 Princeton Fellowship Award, and with various awards through NYFAC (New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc.), including recognition from the United States House of Representatives.

In 2008, Dr. Pratt was awarded with the Distinguished Service Award by the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education.  Dr. Pratt was the Shibles Distinguished Visiting Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine. In 2016, Dr. Pratt was awarded with the Charles Heineman Allied Professional Award through the Indiana Psychological Association.  She writes and presents internationally on the following topics: autism spectrum disorders, functional behavior assessment/positive behavior supports, applied behavior analysis, instructional approaches, evidence-based practices, systems change, and policy.

Watch a short excerpt from this webinar: