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1/21/20 Identifying and Addressing Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues in Individuals with ASDIdentifying and Addressing Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues in Individuals with ASD


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General Information

Title: Identifying and Addressing Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues in Individuals with ASD

Presented By: Nicole Pearson, PsyD, BCBA-D

Date: Tuesday 1/21/2020

Time: 10:00am-1:00pm eastern (New York)

Recording Availability: 1/22/2020 – 1/27/2020 at 5 pm eastern


The prevalence of co-occurring mental health issues amongst individuals with ASD is four to six times higher than the general population, with research estimating that of those with ASD, between 40% and 74% will meet criteria for one or more psychiatric disorders. Common disorders include anxiety, depression, ADHD and phobias. This webinar will discuss the latest findings regarding these co-occurring conditions and how they manifest differently in individuals with ASD. Considerations for differential diagnosis using a behavior analytic approach, and how to implement effective, evidence-based treatments and improve long-term outcomes through professional and family collaboration will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:
1.   Identify the most common types and prevalence rates of co-occurring mental health disorders amongst individuals with ASD;
2.   Identify how these co-occurring disorders manifest differently in individuals with ASD as compared with the general population;
3.  Utilize a behavior analytic framework for differential diagnosis;
4.  Identify evidence-based interventions and curricula available to address these co-occurring mental health issues;
5.  Identify considerations for effective multi-disciplinary and family collaboration.


Presenter Bio and Disclosure Statement

Dr. Nicole Pearson is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) who has specialized in working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities for more than a decade. Dr. Pearson received her initial training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the Alpine Learning Group and went on to work in a number of other educational settings including The McCarton School, NYC Department of Education and most recently, NYC Autism Charter School where she served as Director of Education. She has also worked with autism programs internationally in Kenya and the Maldives.  

Dr. Pearson holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and completed her certification in ABA through the University of North Texas. She also has a BS in Business Administration from Villanova University.  Dr. Pearson completed a post-doctoral internship in the Behavioral Psychology Program at Westchester Institute for Human Development where she specialized in the assessment and treatment of severe behavior including aggression, self-injury and feeding issues.  While there, she was also a fellow in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) interdisciplinary training program. While in New York, Dr. Pearson served on the Board of Directors for the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis and the Junior Board of the NYC Autism Charter School. Relocating to Colorado in 2017, Dr. Pearson serves as the Director of Mental Health Services at The Joshua School and has her own practice, West Side Behavioral Associates, which provides consultation, evaluation and treatment services to schools and families.

The presenter(s) and/or presenters’ family members do not have financial arrangements or affiliation with any of the
products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk.


Credit Hour Information

Certified/Licensed Behavior Analysts: 3 Type II CEUs

Psychologists: NA

Social Workers & Counselors: NA

Only behavior analysts and psychologists may view ABAC recordings for continuing education credit (If eligible). All other professions must attend live.

For ABAC's continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page


1:00 pm: Introduction
1:05 pm: Webinar begins
2:30 pm: 10 minute break
2:40 pm: First Q&A session
2:50 pm: Webinar resumes
3:45 pm: Second Q&A session
4:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms