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Promoting Psychological Health Among Adolescents and Adults on the Autism Spectrum

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Please note that this talk is taking place from 3.30pm-4.30pm UK Time

Abstract: Individuals on the autism spectrum experience high rates of depression. However, relatively little is known about the longitudinal course of depressive symptoms, how they relate to individual life circumstances, or how autistic adults living in the community make use of mental health services. This presentation details several findings from a natural experiment design in which we longitudinally examined how disruptions caused by the COVID -19 pandemic were associated with depressive symptoms in a large, verbally fluent group of adults on the autism spectrum.

Presenter: Somer Bishop, PhD Dr. Bishop is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Weill Institute for Neurosciences at UCSF . She is a clinical psychologist with expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Her research and clinical interests are focused on ASD symptom manifestations in individuals of different ages and levels of ability, as well as on differentiating between ASD and other developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

Shuting Zheng, PhD, BCBA Dr. Zheng is a postdoctoral scholar at UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her research interest has developed around profiling developmental heterogeneity in autism and identifying novel treatment targets to promote treatment individualization, with a focus on mental health. Dr. Zheng currently leads a longitudinal study with a cohort of SPARK young adults with autism to examine the effects of depression services and life circumstances on depressive symptom over time

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