Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Keep Calm and Carry On

  • 03 Nov 2015
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Autism Connection of PA, 35 Wilson Street #101, Pittsburgh, PA 15223
  • 31


Registration is closed

Anxiety and 

Autism Spectrum Disorder: 

How to Keep Calm and Carry On

 Presented by

Sarah Laughlin, Ph.D. &

Holly Gastgeb, Ph.D.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

7:00  p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  

Autism Connection of PA

35 Wilson Street #101

Pittsburgh, PA 15223

Act 48 Credits Available

Sarah Laughlin, Ph.D. is a Clinical-Developmental Psychologist.  She has worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for over ten years.  She began her career in 2003, working as a teacher and behavior specialist at the New England Center for Children (NECC) in Southborough, Massachusetts.  Following this, Dr. Laughlin worked within the Autism Program at Yale University School of Medicine.  She then completed doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh and clinical internship at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) within the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Since returning to Pittsburgh from North Carolina in 2014, Dr. Laughlin has worked as a member of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Program, affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of UPMC.  She is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) where she continues to serve children and families through psychological assessment and treatment.  At AGH, she has been charged with the long-term goal of developing diagnostic and intervention programming for individuals with autism and related disorders within the Department of Psychiatry. 

Holly Gastgeb, Ph.D. is a Clinical and Developmental Psychologist with over ten years of experience diagnosing, assessing, designing and implementing interventions, and conducting research with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from toddlerhood through adulthood. Dr. Gastgeb is the Licensed Clinical Psychologist for the Pitt Early Autism Study at the University of Pittsburgh, performs assessments for the Autism & Development Disorders Inpatient Research Collaborative (ADDIRC) Pittsburgh site at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), and performs psychological assessment services including evaluations for ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and other emotional and behavioral difficulties at Associates in Behavioral Diagnostics and Treatment (AIBDT). She is also the CEO of Rufus Robot, Inc., a virtual company that makes mobile applications for children with ASD and other learning differences. Dr. Gastgeb has presented her research at fourteen national and international autism and child development conferences and has published nine research articles in top peer-reviewed journals.

Program Description

This workshop will give an overview of the diagnostic features, diagnostic methods, common issues, intervention strategies, and community resources relevant to the care of children and adolescents with co-occurring anxiety and ASD.  More specifically, the presenters will speak about updates to diagnostic criteria based on the DSM-5 and discuss common issues experienced by those with these diagnoses.  The presenters will provide information about what comprises an optimal diagnostic evaluation and effective treatment.  The workshop will provide the opportunity for audience members to practice intervention strategies they may use to assist those with ASD and anxiety.  Finally, the presenters will provide information about how to connect with relevant community resources and service providers.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will:

  • Recognize the characteristic diagnostic features of anxiety disorders, Social Communication Disorder and ASD based on DSM-5 criteria
  • Describe how these diagnoses are typically made and locate providers of diagnostic services in our community
  • Describe research that defines characteristic problems experienced by individuals with anxiety and ASD in order to help guide referrals for treatments that work
  • Recognize empirically supported treatments and demonstrate the ability to implement interventions that assist children and/or adolescents with anxiety and ASD

Autism Connection of PA    711 Bingham Street     Pittsburgh, PA 15203     (412) 781-4116         The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania certifies that the Autism Connection of PA is registered as a charitable organization with the Department of State's Bureau of Charitable Organizations under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Acts, 10 P.S. Section 161.2 et seq., and is authorized to solicit charitable contributions under the conditions and limitations set forth under the Act. The certification does not imply endorsement by the Commonwealth. 
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