W-15: Understanding Anxiety in Individuals Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Act fast! This workshop is near maximum capacity!

As there has been in an increase in the numbers of children with autism, we have also seen changes in how mental health support is put into place in school settings. Prior to 2012, the Department of Mental Health was in charge of providing counseling services to California students; often seeing children on the high functioning side of the autism spectrum disorder or children with Asperger’s Disorder. Often with the individual with ASD there is there is comorbidity with obsessive-compulsive behaviors and high Skill Levels of anxiety. Some studies find that almost half of OCD/Anxiety students had comorbidity with ASD (Ivarsson, 2007). Schools need concrete ways in assisting the ASD individual with these cognitive challenges; this is the main focus of this workshop. The attendees will gain a beginning knowledge of how to utilize cognitive behavioral therapy to combat anxiety with all Skill Levels of the individual with ASD.

Dr. Sean Surfas BCBA-D LEP is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst formerly with the Los Angeles County Office of Education-Division of Special Education. He has worked in private consultation since 1995. Dr. Surfas works with school and agencies across the state assisting individuals with developmental delays and autism. He works closely with local school districts for both direct service and to assist in developing educational programs to fit the child’s needs. Dr. Surfas’ private consultation group T.O.T.A.L: Treatment for the Autistic Learner provides services for students with autism throughout the state.

Strand: D, Topic: 2, Skill Level: I-III
NASP Domain: 4