Evaluation of and Advanced Topics in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ND)


This course is focused on enhancing the understanding of differential diagnosis, evidence-based treatments, case formulation, and recent research in the area of neurodevelopmental disorders (ND), including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The course has two aspects: (1) Case formulation and discussion of diagnostic and recommendation considerations of cases presented in a multidisciplinary team (MDT) format and (2) Learn about and present on advanced topics in the area of ND and ASD.

MDT case review and discussion (from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM). This part of the course provides training and education on best practice diagnostic processes, developing case conceptualizations, education on and application of DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis of neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions, developing a working understanding of a variety of diagnostic measures and procedures from across disciplines, developing familiarity with the clinical interpretation of clinical measures, and formulating individualized recommendations based on best practice parameters and evidence-based treatments for youth and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ASD), social development concerns, and genetic conditions.

A multidisciplinary orientation is a core aspect of the diagnostic formulations and development of recommendations during the case conference. The specialties of the multidisciplinary team faculty members include clinical psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and genetics. Cases are presented by the lead psychologists and team on the case. The case presentations include a review of the presenting issues, developmental and medical history, current social- communication functioning, and behavioral functioning gathered from direct observation, structured clinical interviews, standardized measures, and multi-informant rating measures. Standardized measures include results from cognitive and neuropsychological functioning, psychiatric functioning, and adaptive functioning. In addition, the team is presented with a videotaped recording of illustrative examples from the clinical evaluation that best represents the social, communication, and behavioral concerns that are in question. 

Didactic presentations (from 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM).Weekly didactics are presented in advanced clinical topics that focuses on recent advancements in the areas of assessment, diagnosis, etiology, and interventions for ND, genetic conditions, and ASD. Core faculty, guest presenters, and trainees present in these areas based on their interests. Some examples of the topics presented include alternative treatments for ASD, best practice parameters for ND, play development in young children, and medication considerations. 
Course Goals:Trainees in the course would gain familiarity and exposure to diagnostic conceptualization, differential diagnosis, assessment instruments and process, recommendation formulation for a range of neurodevelopmental disorders including medication and non-medication based, and recent advancements in research in understanding and treating ND. 

 James McCracken, M.D. 
Amanda Gulsrud, Ph.D. 
Benjamin Schneider, M.D. 
Rujuta Bhatt, M.D.
Shafali Spurling Jeste, M.D.
Derek Ott, M.D. 
Brandon Ito, M.D. 
Rujuta Bhatt, M.D. 
Jena Lee, M.D.
Patricia Renno
Charlotte Distefano
Nicole McDonald

Consent of instructor

Dates and Availability
Duration: Thursdays, 11:30am-1:00pm
Planned Days: 
Planned Months: 
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Planned Frequency: 

300 Medical Plaza at UCLA
Room:  Room 1208

Course Code: 

Last updated: March 13, 2018 - 18:33