October 14, 2016
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased exponentially over the past three decades. At the same time, research into ASD has grown and crossed over into multiple disciplines, greatly expanding our understanding of this complex neurodevelopmental condition. Although we have made tremendous advancements in our ability to screen, diagnose, and treat ASD, there continue to be significant disparities in the ability of children and families to access these services. This talk will provide an overview of the clinical manifestation of ASD and the evidence-based practices for diagnosing and treating this condition, as well as a discussion of differences in the manifestation and experience of ASD across individuals on the spectrum and who is at risk for misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and reduced access to treatment.
Allison Ratto is a clinical psychologist at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University Medical Center. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her predoctoral internship at Children's National, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National, prior to becoming a member of the faculty there. Her research interests include the study of females with ASD, cultural differences in the manifestation and assessment of ASD, and reducing disparities in access to ASD treatment for underserved populations. Dr. Ratto also provides clinical services to children and adolescents with ASD and their families in her role as a clinical psychologist.